Belt

SPRINGFIELD – An initiative sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that would ensure all eligible employees are paid prevailing wage and create a more transparent Illinois Department of Labor passed committee on Wednesday.

The Prevailing Wage Act requires contractors and subcontractors to pay laborers, workers and mechanics employed on public works construction projects no less than the average rate for the same work in the county where the work takes place.

The initiative would require IDOL’s electronic database of payroll records to be listed by the middle of each month and searchable by the public, ensuring compliance with prevailing wage laws.

“The government shouldn’t be involved in underpaying construction employees,” Belt said. “We owe it to our local economies to create good paying jobs, and we owe it to the public to ensure government construction projects – especially on roads and bridges – are done right.”

Though IDOL is already required to maintain a database of payroll records to ensure workers are actually being paid the prevailing wage, Belt’s legislation would make it public.

“This added transparency will help ensure workers are being paid the prevailing wage they have earned,” Belt said.

Senate Bill 1767 passed the Senate Labor Committee with a vote of 12-5 and will now head to the Senate Floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

U.S. and POW-MIA Flags -- Antietam National Cemetery Sharp… | Flickr

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation introduced by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that would require the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to fly the United States, Illinois and prisoner of war/missing in action flags at all state parks passed committee on Wednesday.

“When these flags are flown, they become more than flags, they become a representation of our nation and state, as well as a reminder of the sacrifices brave service members gave to protect      the freedoms we all enjoy today,” Belt said.

The measure would require IDNR to fly a United States, Illinois      and POW/MIA flag at all state parks within five years after it is signed into law. Additionally, the legislation would allow for groups and individuals to donate resources to the department’s Special Projects Fund to cover the cost of implementation.

“In a time of division across our nation, this measure should help to unite us,” Belt said.

There are over 100 state parks across Illinois.

Senate Bill 2089 passed the Illinois Senate State Government Committee without opposition and is now headed to the Senate floor for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

hospital room

SPRINGFIELD – An initiative sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that would ensure Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City would maintain its status      as a safety net hospital was signed into law Friday.

“Illinois’ safety net hospitals are of vital importance to our community’s health and safety, especially during a pandemic,      “Belt said. “Gateway serves thousands of people each year, and ensuring that it maintains its status as a safety net hospital has      been one of my top priorities.”

In recent years, Gateway Regional Medical Center has been collaborating with neighboring Alton Memorial Hospital to preserve its behavioral health and obstetrician services through a realignment of services, with OB services being relocated to Alton Memorial. Unfortunately, due to this realignment, Gateway would not qualify as a safety net hospital, because it no longer provides OB services.

“Many patients served by safety net hospitals are uninsured,” Belt said. “These hospitals are the only place thousands of Illinoisans can go to receive medical care, and I put forward this initiative to protect them.”

In order to maintain its status as a safety net hospital, the initiative adds Gateway to a list of grandfathered safety net hospitals in the state.

“Nobody should be afraid to seek medical attention when they need it,” Belt said. “By signing this initiative into law, we’re ensuring that thousands of residents in the Granite City area will still have an affordable option.”

The new law, Senate Bill 1530 of the 101st General Assembly, takes effect immediately.belt

Category: Press Releases

CLASSROOM

CENTREVILLE – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) is announcing that school districts in the 57th District will receive an estimated $211.3 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As chairperson of the Senate Education Committee, I’ve seen firsthand the lengths schools have gone through to make sure students receive the best education possible during this health crisis,” Belt said. “This money will help not only students and their teachers get back to our new normal, but parents as well.”

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

Local school districts are set to receive the following estimated amounts:

Read more: Belt announces local schools set to receive over $211 million

Category: Press Releases

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