FlagsSPRINGFIELD – State parks are now required to fly the United States, Illinois and prisoner of war/missing in action flags under a new law spearheaded by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Walking in the park one day, I overheard a boy ask his grandfather what the three flags waving in the wind were for,” Belt said. “The grandfather pointed to the U.S. flag and said ‘That represents the best nation in the world.’ He continued to the Illinois flag and replied ‘This is for the best state in our country.’ Lastly, he pointed to the POW/MIA flag and said ‘The individuals this flag represents is why the U.S. and Illinois flags are flown today.’”

Read more: United States, Illinois, POW/MIA flags flown at all state parks under Belt law

Category: Press Releases
Senator Belt EAST ST. LOUIS – Communities throughout the Metro East that without functional wastewater infrastructure are encouraged by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) to apply for grant funding to bring proper facilities to the area.
 
“Disadvantaged communities do not always have functional wastewater infrastructure,” Belt said. “This leaves homes and businesses at a higher risk of damage. Providing support for these improvements protects the infrastructure and lives in disadvantaged communities.”

Read more: Belt announces wastewater infrastructure funding

Category: Press Releases

Belt 226 FBSPRINGFIELD – Starting Jan. 1, students who wish to attend an Illinois public college or university will no longer be required to submit ACT and SAT scores when applying, thanks to a law championed by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Standardized test scores do not showcase a student’s ability,” Belt said. “Students struggle each year to do well on ACT and SAT tests. Removing this requirement will help test-anxious students get into college.”

The new law, led by Belt and Representative LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis), creates the Higher Education Fair Admissions Act, which prohibits Illinois’ public universities from relying solely on a student’s ACT or SAT score to make an admissions decision.

Currently, a quarter of the country’s public universities do not require standardized tests scores for admittance. Notably, the University of Chicago recently saw record enrollment of first-generation, low-income and rural students after lifting its standardized test requirement.

Admission counselors have been looking more closely at the benefits from adopting test-optional strategies. Other submissions from students, including essays, activities and academic records, bring larger and more diverse applicants to colleges and universities.

“The ACT and SAT create a barrier for underprivileged and disadvantaged students,” Belt said. “When qualified applicants are denied admittance because of a test score, high-caliber students are left out. It’s essential that we continue to protect students and give them every available opportunity to support their future.”

Starting Jan. 1, incoming college students will not be required to submit standardized test scores under Public Act 102-0054.

Category: Press Releases

DCEOWaterSewerEAST ST. LOUIS – Low-income families can now apply for help with their bills to avoid water and sewer shut off, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) announced Wednesday.

“Many families are forced to spend a large percent of their monthly income on utility services,” Belt said. “This funding provides stability for low-income customers who need assistance paying their monthly utility bills.”

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program provides $42 million to help people avoid shut offs, assist households that have already had their services shut off or provide assistance to residents unable to pay their water and sewer bills.

Read more: Belt encourages low-income families to apply for water and sewer help

Category: Press Releases

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