EAST ST. LOUIS – In response to a fire that consumed an apartment building in Washington Park, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and Representatives LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis) and Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) have teamed up to collect clothes for the victims who have been displaced from their homes.Clothing drive

“While I am grateful the residents of the building made it out safely, I’m devastated as I think about the struggles the families will face as they’re displaced from their homes,” Belt said. “Representatives Greenwood and Hoffman and I have come together to pledge our support for the people who were affected by this unforeseen tragedy.”

A fire struck at an apartment building Wednesday morning in Washington Park. The Assistant Chief for the Washington Park Fire Department Ronnie Harris reported that when firefighters got there, flames were already pouring from the building. Fortunately, all the residents were able to make it out safely.

“My heart goes out to the families that are impacted by this tragedy,” Hoffman said. “Let’s come together as a community to help these folks out as they get back on their feet.”

”I’m thankful that nobody was seriously hurt, but I know there are some difficult days ahead,” Greenwood said. “I’m praying for these families as they rebuild, and encourage everyone to take a moment to help those who were affected.”

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Category: Press Releases

MADISON – With the upcoming NASCAR Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway, State Senators Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) and Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) attended the race’s official name announcement, Enjoy Illinois 300, sponsored by the Illinois Office of Tourism.Senator Belt

“I am proud to represent the great city of Madison and the hardworking community that lives here,” Belt said. “This raceway has made essential investments over the years to become what it is today – a place that brings diversity, revenue and excitement together. The upcoming race will have an enormous economic boost for our community and the Metro East that will uplift local businesses, hotels, restaurants and more.”

The NASCAR Cup Series is enjoyed by millions of viewers across the globe nearly year-round – at the track, on television and through robust digital platforms. These events are credited with delivering millions of dollars annually to host communities. An economic impact study recently completed by the Rawlings Sports Business Management Department at Maryville University projects that this NASCAR Cup Series event will produce at least $60 million in economic impact for the region, attracting more than 83,000 fans.

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Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) is supporting measures to ensure that Direct Support Personnel are fairly compensated for the assistance they provide to individuals with developmental disabilities.Senator Belt

“Support workers are essential workers,” Belt said. “These individuals care for residents who rely on them to do basic day-to-day tasks that many of us do without thinking. It’s vital that these workers are taken care of and paid a fair wage.”

DSPs are vital in community residential settings, where they help residents with daily personal care like eating and hygiene as well as teaching life skills and attending to complex medical needs. While funding for these services has increased over recent years, starting wages remain barely above minimum wage, and vacancies remain high. This disparity is because the state does not always require community agencies to pass wage increases through to the workers.

Belt joined State Senators Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) in a press conference Wednesday announcing legislation to raise worker wages. Senate Bill 3607 would raise the reimbursement rate for DSPs by $3.50 an hour to ensure these employees are the ones seeing a wage increase.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD – To address the teacher shortage, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) supported the passage of a package of legislative measures to help recruit substitute teachers, teacher assistants and support educators in the classroom.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there are more than 4,000 unfilled positions in schools.

“As chair of the Senate Education Committee and a former school board member, I know how essential it is that we address the shortage head-on,” Belt said. “My colleagues and I have been working to combat the teacher shortage to ensure our children are getting the best educational experience and opportunities for their futures.”

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Category: Press Releases

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