ParkGrantELGIN – To kick off Parks and Recreation Month, State Senator Cristina Castro announced funding for investments in four local parks and forest preserves in Cook and Kane Counties.

“Spending time outdoors has many benefits, from encouraging people to be physically active to improving cognitive function and memory,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “By making critical improvements to our local parks and outdoor spaces, we are prioritizing the overall well-being of our residents.”

Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program grants are administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and support local park projects. When combined with local matching funds, the latest OSLAD grants provide more than $56 million in local park development projects and land acquisitions statewide.

Projects receiving funds in the area Castro represents include:

  • Hanover Park District, Community Park – $319,700
  • Hoffman Estates Park District, Beacon Point – $180,000
  • City of Elgin, Millennium Park – $338,100
  • Kane County Forest Preserve District, Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve – $400,000

 “I’m excited to see what improvements are made to these spaces, and the jobs these projects create will provide a strong boost to our local economy,” said Castro. “This Parks and Recreation Month, I encourage residents to get outside and check out all our area has to offer.”

Learn more about OSLAD grants and see a full list of projects on the Illinois DNR website.

Category: News

ELGIN – Following news of the Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) released the following statement:

“The overturning of Roe v. Wade is a devastating loss for women and reproductive rights. When it comes to health care, everyone should have the right to make decisions on their own body.

“This decision will especially impact communities of color and low-income people who might not have the means to travel to access reproductive care or be able to afford to raise a child in these times of ever-rising prices.

“I take some solace in the fact that our state is a leader in reproductive rights—enshrining these rights as fundamental. As the impact of this decision unfolds, I ensure every woman who seeks the right to choose that your rights will be acknowledged and protected here in Illinois.”

Category: News

CASTRO HB 5385ELGIN – Thanks to a measures supported by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), veterans can look closer to home to access the federal SkillBridge program.

“Making sure our veterans get the most convenient support as they enter the workforce following their transition out of the military is a top priority,” Castro said. “This law will ensure that veterans have access to assistance with the program based right here in Illinois.”

The new law makes the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs the primary statewide assistance organization under the U.S. Department of Defense’s SkillBridge Program. This program matches eligible service members who are transition from active duty with workforce development opportunities.

“Our service members and veterans should have convenient access to workforce development opportunities to prepare them for work outside of the military, and that’s just what this law aims to do,” Castro said.

The new law was signed Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: News

CASTRO HB 5412ELGIN – Construction workers who are not fairly compensated by subcontractors will soon be given an opportunity to collect unpaid wages, thanks to a new law spearheaded by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Wage theft is a real problem, especially in the construction industry, which can have a complicated web of involved companies,” Castro said. “This law will provide a mechanism for the workers who have been slighted to receive their fair compensation and encourage primary contractors to employ reputable subcontractors.”

In a typical construction project, commercial property owners or developers will hire a primary contractor, also called a general contractor, to oversee a project. The general contractor will hire and coordinate with subcontractors, such as ones specializing in painting, window installation, electrical and more. Subcontractors employ their own workers to carry out their part of the project.

Under the new law, if a subcontractor fails to pay an employee, goes bankrupt or cannot pay their employee for any other reason, that employee can file a legal claim with the general contractor for any unpaid wages and benefits. Additionally, it requires the subcontractor to compensate the general contractor if this happens.

“Last year alone, 52,000 construction workers in Illinois reported payroll fraud,” Castro said. “These are real people who are going without their earned compensation, highlighting the pressing need for this law. I am pleased to see this signed to ensure our workers have an opportunity to be paid.”

The law includes exemptions for residential rehab and small commercial projects and does not include projects where a homeowner acts as their own general contractor.  Additionally, it adds a statute of limitations for when complaints can be filed and creates a task force to consider innovative ways to bring bond reform to the construction industry.

The law, originally called House Bill 5412, was signed by the governor Friday and is effective immediately.



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:
121-C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-7746 phone


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