"Legislation creates incentives for businesses who award time off to donors"

SPRINGFIELD – To focus on encouraging more organ donors to step up and save lives, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) has teamed with his colleague State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) on legislation to incentivize businesses who offer paid sick time to any employee who donates an organ or bone marrow.

“As a recipient of a donated organ, I understand first-hand the health challenges faced by the thousands of Illinoisans who are currently waiting for a transplant,” Belt said.

In 2009, Christopher Belt began dialysis due to kidney failure brought on by high blood pressure. Less than a year later, he received a kidney transplant– an operation that would change the course of his life.

The legislation would create the Organ Donation Tax Credit, offering employers a 25 percent credit against their withholding taxes if they provide paid sick time for at least 30 days to an employee as they donate an organ.

“Most of the attention on organ donation is focused on the recipient of the organ – not the donor,” Belt said. “Donors must go through their own set of tests and invasive surgery and must live with post-surgery effects that can often be painful. As a state, we should be making it easier for living donors to transition back into daily life.”

Senate Bill 68 passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon and will head to the Senate floor for further debate.

Category: Press Releases

03062019CM0370SPRINGFIELD – To help inmates transition out of prison, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) is sponsoring legislation to require the Department of Corrections (DOC) to screen inmates for Medicaid eligibility before being released.

At this time, the Unified Code of Corrections requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to give inmates the opportunity to apply for Medicaid at least 45 days before they are discharged and requires DOC to assist them in filling out their application.

“We all know that this population has chronic and severe health issue ranging from HIV, Diabetes, and Hepatitis A & B, among other illnesses,” Belt said. “Applying for Medicaid can be overwhelming, but assisting inmates by screening and helping them apply means we could prevent these health problems.”

Read more: Belt: Medicaid screening for inmates needs to be mandatory

Category: Press Releases

03122019CW0247SPRINGFIELD – Veteran families will receive an additional $25 for the cost of transporting and erecting a veteran headstone or memorial marker under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia).

Currently, families only receive $100 to pay for the cost of transporting and erecting a veteran headstone or memorial marker.

“We must always recognize and respect the service of those who keep us safe,” Belt said. “Veterans went out and fought for our country, and some lost their lives in the line of duty, so giving the families additional assistance is the least we can do. As costs for services and memorials go up, we should periodically make sure our assistance does as well.”

Read more: Belt helps veterans’ families honor their lost loved ones

Category: Press Releases

03122019CW0200SPRINGFIELD – Impoverished school districts will receive more state aid under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) that advanced yesterday in the Senate Education Committee.

Currently, a school district is allowed to take 85 percent of the Equalized Assessed Valuations plus Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax to determine their ability to issue bonds. Belt’s proposal, Senate Bill 1746, would count state aid as part of baseline on which a district can base that 85 percent calculation.

Read more: Belt pushes for poorer schools to issue more bonds

Category: Press Releases

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