040122CM0837EAST ST. LOUIS – In response to record rainfall resulting in numerous families being displaced in East St. Louis, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea), State Rep. Latoya Greenwood (D-East St. Louis) and State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) are working with local, state and federal leaders to address public safety concerns and released the following statements:

“Flood waters pose a significant threat to a community’s health, safety and property,” said Rep. Hoffman. “Families in East St. Louis are at the forefront of our recovery efforts following last week’s historic rainfall.”

“As both a lifelong and proud resident of East St. Louis, I want our citizens to know we are working with Mayor Robert Eastern III, Gov. JB Pritzker and his administration, St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Director Herb Simmons, as well as Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to get families back into their homes as safely and quickly as possible,” said Rep. Greenwood.

“I would be remiss if I did not thank Meridian Health Plan of Illinois for heeding our calls of distress and donating PPE, disinfectants and pledging funds to help cover some of the costs associated with temporary housing for those citizens who have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the flash floods,” said Sen. Belt. “To reduce future flooding concerns, we’re continuing to explore funding opportunities and other solutions to improve the sewer and wastewater infrastructure for East St. Louis residents.”

“Area citizens have plenty of problems to deal with in the best of times. When disaster hits like this flood that displaced families and ruined homes, there are so few resources to help,” said Sister Julia Huiskamp, MSW, Business Manager of Griffin Center with Catholic Urban Programs. “The very generous offer Meridian supplied of $5,000 and other resources to help these abandoned families is so touching and so badly needed!” 

If you or someone you know needs assistance due to the floods, dial 2-1-1 or 1-800-427-4626 to connect with United Way of Greater St. Louis and get the latest information on available resources.

Category: Press Releases

032222cm1017EAST ST. LOUIS – With support from State Senator Christopher Belt, the Illinois State Board of Education awarded 10 local school districts with a combined $485,000 for infrastructure improvements.

“School facility quality is an important factor in teacher retention and student learning,” said Belt (D-Swansea), chair of the Senate Education Committee. “When individuals are comfortable in their classroom, they are more successful. This state investment will directly contribute to an improved learning environment.”

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Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltEAST ST. LOUIS – Burning toxic synthetic chemicals will be banned thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt that was signed into law Wednesday.

“PFAS can harm people and the environment,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “This initiative stems from concerns that our neighbors have surrounding the waste incinerator in Sauget, which puts Metro East residents at risk of exposure to these harmful substances.”

The new law bans incinerating materials covered under the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory that contain perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS. 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 are not included.

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Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – To address the increase in car part thefts, State Senator Christopher Belt supported a proposal requiring people to keep record of the sale of catalytic converters that was signed into law Friday.Senator Belt

“Catalytic converter thefts have skyrocketed, leaving far too many working people without a reliable vehicle,” said Belt (D-Swansea).

House Bill 107 adds catalytic converters to the definition of recyclable metal, requiring record keeping on the purchase of catalytic converters. The license plate number of the vehicle, photographs or video of the seller, a verified name and address of the seller, and a signed declaration by the seller stating that the catalytic converter was not stolen will be required.

In addition, the new law prohibits a recyclable metal dealer from purchasing a catalytic converter with a value over $100 with cash.

According to a recent State Farm study, Illinois ranks in the top five states in the nation for catalytic converter thefts.

“Addressing the increase in stolen car parts is vital now more than ever,” Belt said. “This proposal tightens the law that people are finding a way around.”

The new law takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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