05192017CM0079AURORA – The city of Elgin will soon see a face lift and an influx of economic opportunity thanks to a new law signed today.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) sponsored Senate Bill 1783 which extends the Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program to free up much-needed funding for the restoration of older buildings in downtown Elgin.  

“River Edge economic incentives make up a proven, bipartisan economic tool that increases investment in our communities to create millions of new good-paying jobs,” Castro said. “The extension of this important program will help us preserve our local history while we continue to see the job-creating benefits of the investments we have made in Elgin’s riverfront and downtown revitalization.”

According to the city of Elgin, about 100 buildings in the downtown Elgin area can now potentially be rehabilitated.

“I came to Springfield to make sure the people of my district are receiving the things they need from the state, such as job creation and economic development. This will help accomplish that,” Castro said. “This legislation not only helps restore older structures to their former beauty, but helps us accomplish our big-picture goals such as job creation.”

The measure passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 1783 goes into effect immediately.

Category: News

05022017CM0348ELGIN- The 22nd Senate District may be one step closer to reinstating a bipartisan economic development program, thanks to a measure championed by Democratic Senator Cristina Castro of Elgin.

House Bill 162 reinstates the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program, allowing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to offer tax credits to businesses that invest in Illinois.

“This bipartisan legislation will help energize our economy and create good-paying jobs for local residents,” Castro said.

EDGE tax credits are an economic development program that helps Illinois attract and retain jobs.

House Bill 162 will require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to repossess economic development funds if a business granted the tax credit does not fulfill their part of the contract.

That money would then be distributed to the local workforce investment area.

EDGE credit recipients will also be required to submit an annual report to DCEO containing supplier diversity information to help promote diversity in state economic incentives and programs.  

The Illinois Manufacturer Association supported passage of this economic incentive.

“The IMA is pleased that legislators passed a short-term extension of the EDGE tax credit,” Mark Denzler, Vice President & COO of IMA said. “It's an important tool to help attract and retain jobs.”

House Bill 162 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Category: News

03292017AM9159ELGIN – Illinois residents can now tackle eliminating and reducing more than 7,000 units of government.

Senate Bill 3, which allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum, was signed into law today.

State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) supported the passage of this monumental government consolidation measure to allow local residents to find additional property tax savings by eliminating outdated and impractical government bodies.

“This is a no-brainer,” Castro said. “Government needs to evolve with the needs of the people. This common-sense legislation will empower local residents to be active participants in deciding how government works for them.”

Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers.

The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.
Illinois currently has more units of government than any other state in the nation.

“This common-sense approach to consolidating government services will lighten the load on taxpayers without sacrificing services,” Castro said. “This one small step will make government more effective and efficient.”

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: News

05312017CM0287SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) today voted to support community schools.

“Today we passed monumental school funding reform that will allow all our children a chance to be successful regardless of their zip code,” Castro said. “This funding reform will finally give school districts like U-46 essential funding to support our students without taking resources away from students in School District 54, District 211 or any other district in the state.”

Castro praised Senate Bill 1 as a monumental school funding reform bill that is widely supported by school superintendents, educators, advocates and community organizations across the state.

“This was not only the most beneficial reform brought forth this legislative session, it is also the most necessary,” she said.

The state’s school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation. The final step needed to enact SB1 into law was a signature from Gov. Bruce Rauner, yet he refused to advance the historic reform, instead vetoing it and requesting the changes.

Castro’s vote helped the Senate override Gov. Rauner’s that demanded more than 100 changes to the historic measure just weeks before school was scheduled to start. A final vote is needed in the House for a full override.

One of the most impactful changes demanded by the governor was the removal of a hold harmless provision for school districts after three years. Unlike the plan Castro supported, the governor’s proposal could result in school districts such as Districts 54 and 211 losing money at the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

Rauner’s veto came despite his approval of “90 percent of Senate Bill 1,” according to his education secretary earlier this year. But instead of enacting this historic reform, he chose to use education funding as leverage in an attempt to further his regressive legislative agenda. Several of the demanded changes weren’t even related to education, including an amendment that would punish schools for their local governments’ economic development efforts.

“We shouldn’t have to choose between providing our children with a good education and growing our economy,” Castro said. “I don’t know why Governor Rauner is trying to force municipalities to make that choice.”

Castro said Gov. Rauner once again showed he was willing to pit Illinois’ communities against one another to further an economic agenda that has largely failed for lack of support in the general assembly.   

“Governor Rauner is using his veto powers to distract the people of Illinois from the real issue at hand: fixing an outdated and unfair school funding system,” Castro said. “We should be searching for the best outcomes for the children of Illinois, yet the governor refuses to meet us at the bargaining table.”

Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: News

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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
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