03282017CM0341The Illinois Senate passed a measure Friday that would bring automatic voter registration to the state of Illinois.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who co-sponsored the measure released the following statement:

"I am happy to see this measure receive such great support from my colleagues on both sides of the isle. The right to vote is a pillar of our democracy. Automatic voter registration will bring more participation and allow more voices to be heard in the legislative process."

The measure, Senate Bill 1933, passed the Senate on Friday and goes to the House for consideration.

Category: News

The Illinois Senate approved a measure today that limits local police interaction with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions, and rebuilds trust between police and immigrant communities. The TRUST Act prohibits law enforcement agencies from engaging in immigration enforcement unless a warrant issued by a judge is presented, bans detaining a person based on their immigration status and forbids the use of any state or local resources to help create a federal registry based on race, national origin, religion or other protected classes.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“We should be fostering safe communities where a person’s fear of hostility, or having their families torn apart, does not get in the way of public safety. A person in the shadows often will not come forward to report crimes against themselves or other people because they fear their status may be exposed. When someone’s fear gets in the way of cooperation, our communities become less safe. This legislation gives us the tools to put Illinois on the right track, keep families together and build stronger communities."

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Today in the Capitol, Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed a resolution to designate this month of March Social Work Month in Illinois.03292017AM9159

“Social workers protect the most vulnerable among our society and deserve to be celebrated for their tireless efforts,” said Castro. “I’m happy that my fellow senators see the importance of everything social workers do to support our communities and join me in making March the month to recognize their hard work.”

With nearly 650,000 social workers in the U.S. and over 20,000 in Illinois, social workers are the largest group of mental health care providers in the U.S., and help people cope with a wide range of challenges in life.

Category: News

Some Elgin-area residents are going without vital mental health services, such as emergency assessments, crisis counseling, psychiatry and other treatments – or waiting longer to receive such help – because of state funding cuts.

mental health imageOver the past two years the governor has eliminated state grants for individuals without insurance and grants for psychiatric services. At the Ecker Center in Elgin, this results in many people who are seeking mental health help being turned away during a time when the need is high.

The center has been forced to let a full time psychiatrist go, and have been unable to replace those hours of service to the public. Additionally, it has been forced to close one of its group homes.

Although it is managing to stay afloat in spite of not being fully funded, the Ecker Center is worried for its future and the future of mental health services for the state.

In an interview with the Elgin Courier News, Karen Beyer, the executive director said there is an increasing number of people who need these services. She explained that she’s not worried about the Ecker Center, but rather the people it can’t serve. “We are very frightened, all of us,” Beyer told the Courier.

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Category: News

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