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

032422CM0170ELGIN – State Senator Cristina Castro was recently appointed to serve on the State Procurement Task Force, which will work to explore ways to improve diversity in contracts with Illinois state agencies.

“Minority-owned and women-owned business have long faced barriers to contracts with state agencies,” said Castro (D-Elgin). “I am honored to serve on this task force to help create a more inclusive commerce process that puts equity on the forefront of our state’s work.”

The State Procurement Task Force will review Illinois’ procurement process and make recommendations to improve equity and efficiency, provide departments with more flexibility and increase women-owned and minority-owned business participation.

“By sitting together with bi-partisan members of the General Assembly, entrepreneurs, state agencies and others, I look forward to exploring ways to make our procurement process more equitable for minority-owned and women-owned businesses,” said Castro.

The task force will create a report to present to the General Assembly by Jan. 1, 2024. 

Category: News

CASTRO HB 4647ELGIN – Care providers for Illinois residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities will see specific funding go to their wages thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Ensuring people who care for our state’s most vulnerable residents are properly compensated will help address high turnaround in this workforce,” Castro said. “I am proud to have worked on this legislation to hold employers accountable when it comes to passing along funding increases to their workers.”

Developmental service providers are vital in community residential settings, where they help residents with daily personal care like eating and hygiene as well as teaching life skills and attending to complex medical needs. While funding for these services has increased over recent years, starting wages remain barely above minimum wage, and vacancies remain high. This disparity is because the state does not always require agencies to pass wage increases through to the workers.

The law, formerly known as House Bill 4647, will require developmental services that are licensed through the Illinois Department of Human Services to certify that all legislatively or administratively mandated wage increases are passed on to the employees.

“Care providers are the backbone of our intellectual and developmental disability community. This law will help ensure hard workers are directly receiving funding that is meant for them,” Castro said.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the law Friday. It goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023. 

Category: News

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District Office:
The Professional Building
164 Division Street, Suite #102
Elgin, IL 60120
847-214-8864 phone
847-214-8867 facsimile

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


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