03272019CM0057SPRINGFIELD – Service members and their spouses would have a designated liaison from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to ensure their licensure applications are managed efficiently under a measure from State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia).

Currently, there is no 60-day expedited requirement for military members and their spouses, nor is there a military liaison position at the department. House Bill 1652 requires the department to expedite an application for a license from a service member or their spouse within 60 days after the date of application.

“House Bill 1652 simply creates a smoother process for military personnel and expedites applications if they provide all the necessary documents,” Belt said. “Anything we can do to remove red tape and make the lives of our servicemen and women easier is worth doing.”

HB 1652 passed the Senate Licensed Activities Committee this afternoon and is scheduled to head to the Senate floor for further debate.

Category: Press Releases

file 12SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) is the sponsor of a measure that would provide feminine hygiene products free of charge at all homeless shelters that provide temporary housing assistance to women and girls.

“Homeless women and girls face many challenges, but access to basic hygiene products shouldn’t be one of them,” Belt said, noting that these products are not covered by SNAP or other assistance programs. “It’s impossible to work toward self-sufficiency when you have to worry about basic hygiene. Many of us take that for granted.”

House Bill 2656 creates the Feminine Hygiene Products for the Homeless Act. Under the proposal, homeless women and girls would have access to feminine products free of charge.

HB 2656 passed the Senate Human Services Committee and is scheduled to go to the Senate floor for further debate.

Category: Press Releases

04102019CM0728SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) voted Wednesday for a tax reform package that, if approved by voters, would implement a fair income tax system in Illinois.

Illinoisan will have the ability to vote for a fair tax system, which offers them the opportunity to discard an outdated and inflexible tax system and replace it with one that corresponds with their income.   

“We are one of the few states in the country to still have a flat tax. We’re losing residents every year and they’re going to neighboring states that have a fair tax system,” Belt said. “If we want to keep our residents in Illinois, we must adopt a fair tax or they are going to move to Minnesota, which is a leader in job creation because they have fair tax. It’s time for the wealthy in Illinois start paying their fair share and taxes be cut for working families’.”

Read more: Belt: The wealthy need to pay their fair share

Category: Press Releases

01302019CM0491SPRINGFIELD – Impoverished school districts will be able to issue more bonds under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia).

To calculate their ability to issue bonds, a school district factors in 85 percent of the Equalized Assessed Valuations plus the district’s Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax. Belt’s proposal, Senate Bill 1746, would count state aid as part of the baseline on which a district can base that 85 percent EAV calculation.

“High-poverty school districts have to deal with a variety of problems all year long,” Belt said. “Factoring state aid into the bond calculation process will provide them with additional cash flow to help with the student’s school experience and education.

“If we do not help neglected school districts more, how can we expect things like the achievement gap to close or high graduation rates to rise?” Belt said. “It’s time that we make greater accommodations for the school districts that most need financial assistance.”

The Senate approved the measure today. The bill moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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