Belt BudgetAddressSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) released the following statement regarding the governor’s budget address this afternoon:

“I was extremely grateful to see education be a major priority in the proposed budget. As a past school board member and a member of the Senate Education Committee, I have witnessed how important it is for continued investment in our state’s education system. Children and young adults are the future of Illinois and increased funding for early childhood, K-12 and higher education will help the students of Illinois thrive and will certainly be beneficial in the long-run.

“Alongside this, we have worked to propel Illinois’ infrastructure and economic development in the    past and will continue to do so by focusing on these priorities in the upcoming year. As the current chair of the Senate Appropriations- Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee, I’m looking forward to having further negotiations regarding economic development for the Metro East, as well as all communities across the state.

“I believe the proposed budget is a good starting point to put the state on the right track and I’m eager to work with my colleagues and the governor to ensure a budget is passed that will benefit the people of this state.”

Category: Press Releases

EAST ST. LOUIS – With the strong support of State Senator Christopher Belt, St. Clair and Madison Counties will receive over $14.6 million to improve transportation as part of the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program. freeway construction

“Key investments in downstate transportation will help our communities continue to grow and increase accessibility for residents,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “There’s nothing like driving on a newly paved road. We have to make sure our roads and bridges are safe, reliable and easy to travel.”

The third round of Rebuild Illinois grants provides $113.8 million for Downstate transit providers as part of the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program. Awards are supporting projects that include the purchase of new vehicles as well as the construction of stations and maintenance facilities that improve service.

St. Clair County Transit District will receive $10.8 million for the electrification of transit vehicles with supporting charging stations. Madison County will receive $3.75 million for transit communications and infrastructure upgrades.

To find a full list of projects, visit IDOT’s website.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Belt

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt will serve as chair of the Senate Appropriations-Public Safety and Infrastructure Committee in the 103rd General Assembly.

“In my new role I want to ensure taxpayer dollars are being used wisely during budget negotiations,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “As the southernmost Democrat, it’s important that downstate Illinois is not forgotten. I look forward to being a voice for downstate Illinois and increasing government transparency through the budgeting process.”

Prior to serving in the Illinois Senate, Belt had an 18-year career as a law enforcement officer. He spent 16 years with the St. Clair County Probation and Detention Center and two years as the regional deputy administrator of aftercare for the central and southern regions of Illinois.

Belt previously served as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee and will continue serving on that committee in a new role as vice chair.

“We have seen remarkable investments in our infrastructure,” Belt said. “I want to continue seeing funds being spent on the roads we travel daily, expanding access to transportation and ensuring our law enforcement agencies are adequately funded.”

To see a full list of Belt’s committee assignments, click here.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Belt

EAST ST. LOUIS – Construction and building trades will be expanded in the Metro East thanks to a nearly $700,000 investment secured by State Senator Christopher Belt.

“Expanding the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship programs will bring more opportunities and jobs to Metro East residents looking for a new career,” said Belt (D- Swansea). “By providing people with support and training, we’re opening the door for Illinoisans to secure stable, good-paying careers in a high-demand industry.”

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship was created to promote diversity, inclusion and use of apprentices in state-funded capital projects. Comprehensive pre-apprenticeship programs help participants gain admission to apprenticeship programs, which provide a greater opportunity to obtain employment in the construction trades and secure long-term employment.

A total of $13 million for the program’s second year will expand access to the program across the state and will serve up to 1,400 pre-apprentices – a 40% increase from the program’s inaugural year. With the support of Belt, a total of nearly $700,000 will be coming to Teens Against Killing Everywhere and Southwestern Illinois College in the Metro East.

“College isn’t for everyone — there’s other options for successful careers paths out there,” Belt said. “Uplifting the trades industry, especially in underserved communities, is a win for all. This key investment will expand access for residents interested in starting a career in the trades.”

Participants of the program attend tuition-free and receive a stipend and other supportive, barrier reduction services to help enter the construction industry. Upon completion of the program, pre-apprentices receive industry aligned certifications to prepare and qualify them to continue to a registered apprenticeship program in one of the trades.

Information on the Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

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