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

BeltMarch21SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) spearheaded a measure through the Senate that would prohibit burning toxic synthetic chemicals in Illinois.

“PFAS poses a risk to people and the environment,” Belt said. “The waste incinerator in Sauget brings a potential risk of exposure to harmful substances to residents in the Metro East.”

House Bill 4818 would ban incinerating materials covered under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory that contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. The measure provides that incineration does not include the use of thermal oxidation for the purposes of pollution control and includes exemptions for the combustion of gases at landfills, medical waste incinerators and byproducts generated by municipal wastewater treatment facilities.

Under this measure, the Veolia Environmental Services waste incinerator in Sauget would be prohibited from incinerating firefighting foams, a product that often contains PFAS chemicals.

“Today we are one step closer to creating a healthier environment for our community,” said Representative LaToya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis). “I’m thankful for the leadership from advocates, Senator Belt and others who have worked hard to ban the burning of these dangerous chemicals.”

House Bill 4818 passed the Senate and heads to the House for concurrence.

Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) championed a measure that passed the Senate Wednesday that would further increase student safety by ensuring their local school board’s threat assessment procedures are filed with the local law enforcement agencies.

“We have seen school shootings on the rise across the country,” Belt said. “Ensuring our school’s threat assessment procedures are up to date is essential to protecting our students in an emergency situation.”

Currently, each public school district is required to implement a threat assessment procedure that includes the creation of a threat assessment team. The team must consist of an administrator, teacher, school counselor, psychologist, school social worker and at least one law enforcement official.

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Category: Press Releases

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