Senator BeltEAST ST. LOUIS – Metro East working families and teachers will see lower back-to-school shopping costs this fall under a new law supported by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea).

“Families are often burdened with back-to-school shopping as students head back to the classroom,” Belt said. “I’ve been a supporter of a tax holiday for years, especially since people cross the Mississippi to take advantage of Missouri’s tax holiday weekend. This ten day tax break will help support Illinois communities, small businesses and working families.”

Belt serves as a chief-cosponsor of Senate Bill 157, which lowers the state tax rate on clothes and school supplies from 6.25% down to 1.25% for 10 days from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14, 2022.

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Category: Press Releases

EAST ST. LOUIS – Three St. Clair County fire districts are set to receive grant funding for equipment totaling more than $75,000, thanks to support for State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea). Senator Belt

“The men and women who work at our local fire departments risk their lives to keep our communities safe,” Belt said. “They are the first people we call in a crisis.”

Grants were awarded to over 100 fire departments and districts across Illinois totaling $2.5 million to purchase small firefighting and ambulance equipment. The initiative derives from fire departments and not-for profit ambulance services in Illinois that have struggled financially to buy small equipment.

The following fire districts in the 57th District will receive funding:

  • Church Road Fire Protection District: $25,908
  • Midway Fire Protection District: $26,000
  • Millstadt Fire Protection District : $26,000

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Category: Press Releases

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

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