shop local 102521ELGIN – As Illinois continues to bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses are receiving over $2.2 million in funding thanks to support from State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“The Back to Business grant program has been instrumental in keeping small businesses afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Castro said. “From bars and restaurants to barbershops and gyms, small business owners can breathe a little easier with this financial assistance.”

The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget. In the district Castro represents, 62 businesses received grants in the latest round of funding.

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022522CM1195SPRINGFIELD – Breast reduction surgery is often considered a cosmetic procedure, but many women suffer from various health issues that would be remedied by this type of surgery. In response, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) supported a measure to require insurance coverage for this procedure when deemed medically necessary.

“Ensuring women get the medical procedures they need to help them live their life without chronic pain is important,” said Castro, who has been a longtime advocate for women’s health. “I am proud to support this legislation to help women improve their quality of life without complicated financial strain.”

Women often require breast reductions for medical reasons, including immense neck and back pain, numbness and rashes. Because these procedures are often considered cosmetic, they are usually not covered by private insurance plans.

House Bill 4271, which Sen. Castro is a co-sponsor of, would require private insurance companies to cover breast reduction surgery when doctors deem the procedure as medically necessary.

“Oftentimes, insurers turn a blind eye to women with unique health issues,” Castro said. “This legislation will make sure Illinois women can get the health care they need to improve their well-being.”

HB 4271 passed the Senate Tuesday.  

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ECC campus 2ELGIN – Thanks to support from State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), Elgin Community College will receive a grant for a Certified Recovery Support Specialist Success program to prepare students for work as behavioral and mental health professionals.

“Our mental health and substance use recovery specialists are the backbone of our behavioral health care system,” Castro said. “Making sure our workers can get the education they need to give the best help possible to vulnerable individuals is critical.”

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Castro White House

(Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) 

WASHINGTON D.C. – As Midwest Chair of the Executive Committee of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) met with Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House during the organization’s annual National Summit in Washington D.C. Friday.

“It’s my distinct honor to represent the Illinois Hispanic community in Washington D.C.,” said Castro. “Friday’s meeting with Vice President Harris touched on many avenues of collaboration between state and federal government to ensure the voices and needs of our community are heard.”

The NHCSL 19th annual National Summit provides an educational and networking experience for Hispanic elected officials, corporate leaders, community organizations and policy experts. Educational sessions focused on the state of Latino education, featuring U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, as well as health, affordable housing, diversity and more.

During her meeting with Vice President Harris, Castro joined other state legislators from Utah, Virginia, Arizona, Puerto Rico and New Jersey for a discussion on immigration, the federal Build Back Better plan and other important topics.

“I hope to continue my work with stakeholders from all levels of government to make sure the Hispanic community makes gains in representation as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Castro said. “I want to thank Vice President Harris for taking the time to earnestly listen to what we had to say.”

Learn more about the work NHCSL does to improve the represent the Hispanic community across the country here.

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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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