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

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) has been named chair of the Senate Revenue Committee.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to chair one of the most important committees in the Senate,” Castro said. “I think more than any other committee, Revenue affects the most people in the state the most often because bills that come through the committee affect paychecks and bank accounts. It’s a responsibility that no one should take lightly, and I’m confident in my ability to be an effective chair.”

The Revenue Committee handles all legislation affecting ways in which the state bring in money, including taxes, fees and fines. It consists of nine members and typically holds hearings on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. during the legislative session.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform met in Springfield Thursday to discuss ethics in government. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) focused on exposing and rooting out conflicts of interest.

“Conflicts of interest threaten the integrity of our government and erode the trust that citizens have in it,” Castro said. “The public, journalists and fellow legislators must be absolutely certain that when lawmakers are negotiating and voting on legislation, they’re doing so in the best interests of the people of our state and not the best interests of their bank accounts.”

Castro is among the lawmakers and reformers calling for an overhaul of the state’s economic interest disclosure statements in an effort to better identify conflicts and encourage ethical behavior. These forms are intended to publicly disclose elected officials financial interests, but the current forms are routinely criticized as being outdated and vague.

Castro supports legislation that would overhaul the forms and make them relevant. The legislation is Senate Bill 2506 and is pending in the Illinois Senate.

 “We need to ensure accuracy, truthfulness and transparency in statements of economic interest in order to fight the scourge of conflicts of interest,” Castro said.

Category: News

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate selected Don Harmon to be its next President Sunday afternoon. State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who joined her caucus colleagues in electing the new president, expressed optimism of the senate’s future under the new leadership.

“We had a very productive 2019, so I’m excited to see what 2020 has in store under President Harmon,” Castro said. “I’ve known President Harmon for a while, and I know the kind of person he is. I am beyond confident that he’ll fight hard for changes that the people of Illinois need, such as protecting working class families.”

Castro also voiced her gratitude toward former President John J. Cullerton, who resigned from his position Sunday after announcing his intention to do so in November.

“I’m grateful to President Cullerton for leading us through what was the most successful year since I’ve been in the Senate,” Castro said. “I will of course miss his leadership, but I am optimistic about the direction that President Harmon will take our caucus.”

President Harmon became the 39th President in Senate history.

Category: News

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