1351SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) voted last week to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1351 and to protect college students from overwhelming amounts of debt upon graduation.

Castro co-sponsored Senate Bill 1351, which creates the Student Loan Servicing Rights Act which would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights. The Student Loan Bill of Rights would prohibit loan servicers from taking advantage of students and parents.

“Some companies knowingly put students in risky loans that are overly expensive,” Castro said. “As legislators we need to do everything in our power at the state level to protect our students from being taken advantage of by the student loan industry. More and more students are coming out of college with enormous amounts of debt.”

Student loan debt has become the largest form of unsecured consumer debt in the United States with one in four borrowers being in default or behind on their payment.

“Students and their families deserve to be informed and given resources to prevent them from making mistakes they didn’t know they were making, like falling behind on payments,” said Castro. “Governor Rauner’s veto is another example of him putting profit over people.”

The Senate overrode the governor’s veto on Senate Bill 1351 and now heads to the House for consideration.

Category: News

864SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is fighting back against President Donald Trump’s efforts to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Castro sponsored Senate Resolution 864, which calls upon the Trump administration and U.S. Congress to preserve protections for undocumented young people formerly eligible for the DACA program.

“Illinois has the third largest number of DACA recipients in the United States,” Castro said. “Trump is trying to make young people, who have lived much of their lives in this country, leave a place that has become their home. We cannot allow Trump to hurt Illinois’ residents and hinder our economy.”

In September, Trump announced plans to repeal DACA, an Obama initiative put into place to protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. The program allows them to remain and work in the country if they meet certain criteria.

Senate Resolution 864 was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Casflooding403tro (D-Elgin) is helping victims of July’s floods recover and repair property damage.

Senate Bill 403, which Castro co-sponsored, allows a natural disaster income tax credit for damages up to $750 for property owners in counties where a major disaster was declared in July.

“Individuals affected by the July floods are still waiting on money to rebuild their homes,” Castro said. “I’m not only here to represent the people of my communities, but to protect them as well.”

Anyone claiming the tax credit must be an owner of the property or business and must have reported the damage to the appropriate authority along with IEMA or FEMA, or applied for disaster relief from FEMA.

The owner is not entitled to a credit if they received reimbursement from an insurance company.

The measure applies to the following counties: Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside.

Senate Bill 403 was passed by the Senate with bipartisan support and moves to the House for consideration.

Category: News

1462aSPRINGFIELD – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) worked with the Illinois State Senate to override the governor’s veto on Senate Bill 1462 to bring a new economic development program to Illinois.

Senate Bill 1462 would create an Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program to encourage and assist beginning entrepreneurs in certain business sectors by reimbursing them for state fees associated with forming a business.

“It’s important to utilize this opportunity to help entrepreneurs start their businesses here in our state and stay here,” said Castro. “I am excited to continue fighting for economic development opportunities like this to make our state a better place to do business.”

Currently, entrepreneurs must pay several fees for licenses and permits.  Senate Bill 1462 allows for reimbursement of those fees in hopes of making it easier to start a new business in Illinois. It reimburses state fees for first-time business owners of information services, biotechnology and green technology businesses.

“Governor Rauner is a business man, but he is struggling to recognize the importance of new jobs,” said Castro. “Information Service, biotechnology and innovative green industries are the jobs of our future. It’s important we work together to embrace these industries and modernize Illinois’ economy.”

Senate Bill 1462 was overridden by the Senate with bipartisan support and moves to the House for reconsideration.

Category: News

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