SPRINGFIELD – A plan sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) aimed at mitigating the threat of the state’s pension crisis was signed into law Wednesday.

“The number one budget issue legislators have been dealing with for decades is the pension crisis,” Castro said. “We got a victory today with this consolidation plan, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

The new law will enact many changes to pension statute, chief among them the ability to consolidate. Under the law, the roughly 650 separate pension funds for downstate police officers and firefighters will be consolidated into two individual and separate funds over a 30-month transition period in January. The consolidation process is estimated to save $160 million annually, while not affecting individual pension amounts.

Senate Bill 1300 takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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SPRINGFIELD – Just days after passing a resolution through the Senate creating it, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) was named to the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform by Senate President John J. Cullerton.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Castro said. “It’s time to get started.”

The commission was established by House Joint Resolution 93, which Castro sponsored during the second week of veto session. The commission will consist of members appointed by the four legislative leaders, the governor, the attorney general and the secretary of state, and will review various state ethics laws and make recommendations to the General Assembly.

“This commission will lay the groundwork for ethics reform in Illinois,” Castro said. “When we see allegations like the ones in recent months, they call into question the integrity of our Democracy. To act quickly to restore that trust, I sponsored the legislation that created this commission and I am proud to serve on it.”

State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) was also named to the commission.

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SPRINGFIELD – A 16-member ethics commission will be formed after a resolution sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) passed the Senate this week.

“Legislators and lobbyists absolutely must be held to high standards,” Castro said. “No one should be able to profit from their public service.”

House Joint Resolution 93 creates the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying. The commission will be comprised of 16 members appointed by the Senate president, the Senate minority leader, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the House minority leader, the governor, the secretary of state and the attorney general.

Under the resolution, members of the commission may not have been registered as lobbyists within the previous five years, and the commission will be required to hold public hearings.

“As recent events have caused the public to lose trust in their legislator’s ethics, I hope this commission can help regain that trust,” Castro said.

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