05302019CM0593

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt’s a measure that would create a statewide program to promote public awareness and early detection of Parkinson's disease was signed into law.

“We want people to take care of their health,” Belt (D-Cahokia) said. “That’s why we are trying to inform everyone what Parkinson’s disease is and encourage people to manage their health more carefully.”

House Bill 3247 would also allow the Illinois Department of Public Health to accept for the program any special grants of money, services or property from the federal government or any of its agencies or any foundation, organization or medical school.

An estimated 1.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. An additional 50,000 are diagnosed annually, and another 1.5 million people have the disease but have never seen a neurologist.

“I’m hoping that this will nudge people to see the doctor regularly,” Belt said. “Even if you are healthy, health protection and prevention is the key to staying that way.”

House Bill 3247 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: Press Releases

capital

SPRINGFIELD – Billions of dollars in funding will be released for construction projects across the state under a bipartisan package of bills approved by the General Assembly and signed into law today by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“Infrastructure is the backbone of economic growth and expansion,” Belt said. “If we want our state to grow and prosper, we must make continued investments in our roads, bridges, schools and health care networks.”

The construction plan is Illinois’ first in a decade. Since the last statewide construction plan in 2009, the condition of the state’s roads, bridges and public buildings has degraded, causing AAA to give Illinois’s infrastructure a grade of D.

The plan also includes a combined $850,000 for the cities of East St. Louis, Centreville and Alorton for crumbling sidewalks, streets with large potholes and outdated sewer lines.

“This will be an economic stimulus for these cities and give local leaders a chance to invest in their communities,” Belt said. “Overall, this capital bill provides the necessary tools to improve our infrastructure and put us on track to where we need to be.” 

In addition, the East Side Health District, which has been providing health services to the region for 73 years and has filled a vital gap in health services in East St. Louis, will receive $1 million to expand clinic services and invest in urban farming in the neighborhoods.

Category: Press Releases

05242019CM0220

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) passed legislation today that provides funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an organization of volunteers who advocate for the best interest of abused and neglected children in court.

“Kids shouldn’t have to deal with abusive atmospheres,” Belt said. “CASA ensures that neglected kids are removed from those circumstances and are placed in safe and loving homes.”

Belt’s legislation amends the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act to require every county that uses CASA’s services to provide grants to fund their activities.

Currently, Illinois is one 6 states that does not have an appropriation for the CASA programs and ranks last in providing funding of state CASA offices.

House Bill 2497 passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for a concurrence vote

Category: Press Releases

05272019CM0007

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) passed a measure today seeking to increase minority representation on corporate boards.

Under the legislation, all publicly held corporations whose principal executive offices are located in Illinois would be required to submit information with their annual report regarding the gender and racial/ethnic make-up of their board of directors. 

The University of Illinois would then conduct a study to make recommendations on how to improve minority and female representation.

“Lack of diversity at the top often results in bad business decision-making,” Belt said. “By encouraging minority representation on corporate boards we are not only securing opportunities for minorities, but also promoting better business.”

Currently, only eight percent of the 77 Illinois Fortune 1000 companies have corporate boards composed of 20 percent or more women. Nationwide, black professionals make up only 6.3 percent of corporate boards. Asian Americans and Latinos make up 3.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“The inclusion of different perspectives breeds an environment where innovation and creativity increase, which advances corporations’ progression,” Belt said.

House Bill 3394 passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for concurrence.

Category: Press Releases

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