Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD – Following the Senate’s approval of a responsible, balanced Fiscal Year 2023 budget, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) released the following statement:

“Building upon the responsible spending decisions we’ve made over the last few year, the spending and tax relief package passed today prioritizes people in all corners of our state. To fight inflation, working families will see relief checks in their mailboxes in the fall, a freeze on the state grocery tax and state’s portion of the gas tax increase, and property tax relief.

“As chair of the Senate Education Committee, I’m pleased to see an increase in the evidence based funding model for K-12 education as we continue to invest in our students’ successes. 

“Additionally, I have been a firm supporter of a tax holiday to ease the burden on families as children return to school. This plan helps families with back-to-school shopping by creating a state sales tax holiday on school supplies and clothing from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14 of 2022. My hope is that our friends from across the Mississippi, who have had a tax holiday weekend in place for years, will travel to the Metro East to take advantage of this ten day tax break and support our small businesses to help boost our economy.”

Category: Press Releases

crimeesttlSPRINGFIELD – To address the increase in crime across Illinois, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) supported a measure that passed the Senate that would create a pilot program for the East St. Louis Police Department to provide essential resources and assistance to victims.

“Crime is a real issue across Illinois,” Belt said. “No matter the crime, every victim deserves the respect and support after a trauma.” 

House Bill 4736, a measure Belt is co-sponsoring, would create the Co-Responder Pilot Program in the East St. Louis Police Department in the 57th Senate District. The unit’s primary focus would be providing crisis intervention, case management, advocacy and ongoing emotional support to victims of all crimes, particularly to victims of crimes that cause a high level of trauma.

“Adding a pilot program in East St. Louis would give Metro East crime victims the resources they need after a traumatic event,” Belt said. “This program would improve the lives of victims who often are left feeling alone.”

The Co-Responder Pilot Program would also be implemented in the Peoria, Springfield and Waukegan Police Departments.

House Bill 4736 passed the Senate. 

Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) championed a measure that passed the Senate Wednesday that would give people another option to become an organ donor.

“In January 2010, I received a kidney transplant,” Belt said. “After living on dialysis for a year, I understand how important organ donors are.”

House Bill 4696 would allow the Department of Natural Resources to offer online hunting license holders the opportunity to be redirected to the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.  On average, 300 people die each year waiting for an organ donation. More than 4,700 Illinois residents are waiting for an organ or tissue donation. In 2020, there were 7 million Illinoisans registered as organ donors.

The first-person consent law provides an opportunity to save more lives and ensures that your wish to be an organ/tissue donor is honored. Prior to the first-person consent registry, many Illinoisans who signed the back of their driver's license as a donor were unaware that family consent was still required in order for donation to occur.

“Organ donors save hundreds of lives,” Belt said. “This measure would make it easier for individuals who hold a hunting license to join the organ registry.”

House Bill 4696 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and heads to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD – To benefit communities across the state, the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus unveiled a $1.8 billion tax relief plan to put money back in people’s pockets in a responsible, equitable way, including a proposal championed by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that would provide relief to working families.

The plan outlined Friday addresses inflation and the rising prices at the pump by suspending the 1% state grocery tax and the state’s portion of the gas tax increase for six months. Parents could see additional relief at the store from Aug. 5-Aug. 14 thanks to a plan to also wipe out the state sales tax on clothing, shoes and school supplies to give consumers an economic boost as they go back-to-school shopping.

“I have been a firm supporter of a tax holiday to ease the burden on families as children return to school,” Belt said. “I hope our friends from across the Mississippi will travel to the Metro East to take advantage of this ten day proposal. I urge them to come on over and support our small businesses and help boost our economy.”

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Category: Press Releases

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