SPRINGFIELD – A measure to close a compensation loophole often exploited by lawmakers was moved through committee Wednesday by its sponsor, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“The era of legislators taking advantage of the system to the detriment of taxpayers is over,” Castro said. “This is long overdue and I’m proud to be the one fighting to end this practice.”

Senate Bill 2456 closes a glaring loophole in legislator pay laws, which currently allow for a retiring lawmaker to delay leaving office until the first of the month but still earn pay for the entire month. The practice has long been questioned, but fell under particularly harsh scrutiny last year when two disgraced former lawmakers used the loophole to receive extra pay following their resignation after being indicted for federal crimes.

Under Castro’s bill, legislators would only be compensated for the days they hold office.

“If we have a system in place which allows those who abused their office and betrayed their constituents to still benefit, then all that does is further erode the trust the public has in their elected officials,” Castro said.

The legislation, which has the support of Comptroller Susanna Mendoza, passed the Senate Executive Committee without opposition and awaits further consideration before the full Senate.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – A pilot program meant to provide supervision and care to adults and children with developmental disabilities will be expanded and made permanent under a measure sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Taking care of an individual with developmental disabilities can be a real challenge and many families across the state struggle to do so,” Castro said. “The pilot program proved to be successful in providing services to those in Illinois who really needed it, which is why it should be made permanent and expanded to provide even more assistance.”

Senate Bill 3416 removes the pilot designation from what will be known as the Voucher Respite Program. Under the program, the Department of Human Services issues vouchers to participating families, which can be used to purchase services meant to provide supervision and care to individuals with developmental disabilities. The bill also removes the provider limit and expands the number of entities who may administer the program.

“Under this expansion, we’re increasing the number of families who have access to services and providing them with greater flexibility over their choices to ensure not only that their needs can be accommodated, but that the services are provided promptly and without delay,” Castro said.

The bill, which was an initiative of DHS, passed through the Senate Committee on Human Services Tuesday and awaits final action before the full Senate.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Governor JB Pritzker delivered his Budget Address before a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday. Upon the conclusion of the address, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“Every year that I’ve been in office, the General Assembly has fully funded the pension program and I’m pleased the governor’s proposed budget will continue that trend. As the new chair of the Senate Revenue Committee, I look forward to working with Gov. Pritzker to fulfill our responsibilities to Illinois families and keep our state on a path toward stability.”

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – Disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s 14-year prison sentence was commuted by President Donald Trump Tuesday after just over seven years served. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who serves on the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform, issued the following statement:

“Rod Blagojevich’s sentence was commuted because he is friends with the president and appeared on his realty show, and no other reason. The misdeeds he committed while governor of our great state are disgraceful and embarrassing, and it’s a shame that his friendship with the president affords him the luxury of not facing the full consequences of his actions.” 

Category: News

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