864ELGIN – The newest member of the Legislative Ethics Commission said she intends to push the agency to be more timely and responsive in its handling of complaints.

“I want to make it clear that I intend to help drive a culture of swiftness in the actions of the Commission. When there are accusations of wrongdoing, I intend to be thoughtful and fair – but the Commission should make every effort to act in a timely manner,” said Illinois State Sen. Cristina Castro, a Democrat from Elgin.

Castro officially joined the Legislative Ethics Commission on Friday, November 3.

She hopes to bring a fresh perspective to the commission.

Castro, a former marketing and communications manager in the private and public sector, was first elected to the Illinois Senate last year. She now serves as a full-time legislator for the 22nd State Senate District.

Castro said her first priority is filling a vacant inspector general post so complaints that have lingered can be investigated and adjudicated.

“It’s unacceptable to have complaints sit as long as they have. That’s going to change,” Castro said.

The eight-member commission is charged with ruling on findings of ethical misconduct within the legislative branch and its employees. The commission was created in December 2003 by the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act.

For more information about the commission, visit its website.

Category: News

elginELGIN – Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) demanded today that the governor do his job and release the funds Harper and Elgin Community Colleges desperately need.

After months of negotiations, the General Assembly put together a responsible and bipartisan budget that included cuts, reforms and revenue. Although the budget included $225,000 for Harper and Elgin Community Colleges, the state has not released the funds.

“I fought for a budget because I did not want to have this lingering uncertainty over Harper and Elgin Community Colleges and the work center,” Castro said. “It is important that we cover the cost of operating the Education and Work Center because it has a meaningful impact on the lives of the people in our community.”

Harper College partnered with Elgin Community College and the Chicago Cook Workforce at the Hanover Park Education and Work Center to provide services to community members. The center provides a variety of career skills development and English as a Second Language, basic adult education and high school equivalency instructions.

If the state does not release the funding, then the center might not be able to remain open beyond the fall semester.

“I am tired of Governor Rauner neglecting his duties,” Castro said. “The two-year budget impasse had a shattering impact on colleges and universities in Illinois and if he doesn’t release these funds, he will leave a lasting and staggering effect on the economy in my district.”

Category: News

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

eNewsletter

  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Contact Info

District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

Springfield Office:
M121 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone