05312017CM0287 RZELGIN – Gov. Bruce Rauner axed a measure from State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) Friday that would have protected undocumented immigrant tenants from harassment by landlords.

“This once again proves the governor is no friend of Illinois’ diverse immigrant communities,” Castro said. “Gov. Rauner continues to flock President Trump’s hostile right-wing agenda instead of embracing the contributions diversity brings to our state and society. Illinois needs a leader, not a Trump follower.”

Rauner issued vetoes on three measures, including Castro’s Senate Bill 3103, which would create the Immigrant Tenant Protection Act to prohibit landlords from questioning a tenant’s immigration status as a means of harassment or to force an eviction.

Castro’s measure would allow tenants to report criminal activity or habitability issues without being targeted based on their immigration status.

“This measure would simply put protections in place to ensure that landlords were not holding their tenants’ immigration status over their head to demand higher rent or eviction,” Castro said. “Tenants should have the freedom to come forward and report these crimes, no matter their citizenship status. It is important, not only for the tenant’s safety, but the safety of our communities.”

House Action Illinois, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Latino Policy Forum, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence and SEIU Healthcare are a few of the organizations in support of the measure.

Rauner also vetoed The Immigration Safe Zones Act (SB 35), which would have directed the Illinois Attorney General to develop model policies for courthouses, schools, libraries, medical facilities and shelters on how to handle immigration enforcement activity, and the VOICES Act (SB 34), which would have set consistent rules for law enforcement agencies that work with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking and certain other crimes.

Castro pledges to work with her colleagues to override these discriminatory vetoes.

“Gov Rauner refuses to stand up for minority communities across our state,” Castro said. “Every time we need him to lead, he has turned his back on immigrant families who are simply trying to achieve the American dream.”

Category: News

CastroHeadshotELGIN – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) that will provide children in foster care and under supervision of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) the opportunity to go to college was signed into law on Thursday.

“Kids in foster care are less likely to attend college,” said Castro. “This affects their futures, including their income levels and employment stability. I don’t want there to be barriers for these kids who are in situations that they had no control over.”

Under Castro’s measure, certain youth from DCFS, who file for FAFSA and do not receive a DCFS fee waiver, will have the opportunity to receive a scholarship. The scholarship will cover the remaining tuition and fees for any public institution of higher learning in Illinois.

“This measure will give kids from DCFS the tools to be successful,” said Castro. “They will then go out and contribute to our economy and make the job market stronger in our state.Their talents and dreams shouldn’t be limited.”

House Bill 5122 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: News

04252018CM0552ELGIN— Gov. Bruce Rauner has continued his tirade on the working class by rejecting two measures that would benefit Illinois’ emergency personnel.

Rauner issued vetoes on House Bill 126, which extends bargaining rights to paramedics, and House Bill 127, which provides health coverage and educational benefits for firefighters and their families if a paramedic or EMT suffers catastrophic injury or is killed in the line of duty.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) said the governor’s actions show utter disregard for community heroes.

“The governor has demonstrated once again he is blinded by his war against unions,” Castro said. “His anti-union actions and rhetoric are evident in everything he does, but even by his standards this action against our emergency personnel is despicable.”

House Bill 126 would have extended the same rights granted to firefighters to paramedics that are also employed by units of local government. Castro said paramedics face the same dangers and serve our communities with honor and respect.

The legislation would only impact approximately 60 paramedics employed by local governments such as Mascoutah, Menard County, Morton, Highland, Troy and Union County.

“Our paramedics put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe. The next time the governor needs to call 911, he should take a second to remember how he took our emergency personnel for granted,” Castro said. “

House Bill 127 would have extended health coverage and educational benefits to paramedics and EMTs if they suffer a catastrophic injury or are killed in the line of duty

“Our EMTs and paramedics are often the deciding factor between life and death,” Castro said. “We cannot thank them and their families enough for their service and sacrifice to keep our communities safe. I just wish our governor would take the time to do the same.”

House Bill 126 and House Bill 127 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Castro vows to fight for an override of the governor’s vetoes to ensure Illinois’ EMTs and paramedics receive adequate benefits and protections.

Category: News

1905ELGIN – Illinois’ roads will be safer thanks to a new law pushed by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

Castro’s House Bill 4846 was signed into law Tuesday, takes effect July 1, 2019 and making the first time a person uses a cell phone while driving a moving offense. Previously, the first offense was classified as a warning.

“This new measure will help save lives,” Castro said. “Sending one quick text while driving is dangerous. We have to work together to get the message across that texting and driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving.”

In 2013, the General Assembly passed a bill to prohibit all uses of cellular phones while driving. House Bill 4846 strengthens this law to create stricter guidelines.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 25 percent of police-reported incidents involve some form of distracted driving. According to AT&T, nearly 9 in 10 people engage in smartphone activities while driving. Castro wants to end this epidemic to help save lives and stop preventable fatalities.

“There are countless distractions on the road,” Castro said. “It’s important that we do our best to educate and bring attention to this issue. One short text can cost lives.”

The Illinois Secretary of State and State Police supported the measure.

Category: News

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