Belt HB 2776

SPRINGFIELD – Service members and their spouses will receive professional licenses faster in Illinois thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that passed the General Assembly Monday.

The measure is intended to make transitions easier for those whose jobs depend on having a professional license and whose living arrangements are often changed by a deployment or cross-country transfer. An airman's spouse who works as an optometrist, for instance, would have an easier time receiving their license to practice in Illinois after transferring to Scott Airforce Base under the plan.

“For those who serve at Scott Airforce Base, it’s essential that the members and their spouses have their professional licenses reviewed in a timely manner when coming from another state,” Belt said. “This measure makes it quicker and easier for service members and their spouses to get licensure in Illinois and practice their professions.”

House Bill 2776 requires state agencies that issue occupational or professional licenses to review applications for expedited licensure for service members and their spouses within 30 days. Currently, the measure must be reviewed within 60 days. The measure also clarifies that applicants must meet standards for licensure through endorsement or reciprocity.

“Service members and spouses who come to Illinois, but are licensed in another state, should not have to face lengthy delays when trying to continue in their profession,” Belt said. “This legislation is crucial for the men and women who serve our country.”

House Bill 2776 passed the General Assembly and awaits the governor’s signature.


Category: Press Releases

HB 3940

SPRINGFIELD – Technicians will be entitled to fairer compensation thanks to a measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that passed the General Assembly Sunday.

“This measure addresses the unjust approach many manufacturers take toward paying technicians,” Belt said. “Technicians are often treated unfairly, and this ensures they'll be properly compensated for their hard work and expertise.”

Under House Bill 3940, manufacturers must pay dealerships the same effective labor rate as the dealership receives for customer-pay repairs. Currently, that's often not the case, even as technicians are using the same skills and expertise to perform what is effectively the same type of work.

The measure also states that manufacturers reimburse dealerships for parts at the same rate retail customers are charged. Further, manufactures cannot impose any type of cost recovery fee or surcharge against a dealership for payments made under this law.

“This really comes down to a David and Goliath narrative. Manufacturers take advantage of the technicians who are doing the hard work, yet pay them less,” Belt said. “We should not allow larger companies to use their positions to demand discounted work.”

House Bill 3940 passed the Senate with a vote 58-0-1 and now heads to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

Belt 3914 Senate Pass

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that would allow water and sewer utilities to provide an additional financial assistance program passed the Senate on Friday.

“Financial assistance policies for electric and gas services exist in Illinois, but not for water and sewer services,” Belt said. “Many families spend a large percent of their monthly income on utility services. It’s important we extend the policies to include water and sewer, especially for those who struggle to pay their bills.”

The legislation would create the Water and Sewer Low-Income Assistance Fund, authorizing the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to make payments directly to the utility providers on behalf of qualified customers. The fund is financed through the opt-in program. One-third of the available funds will go to the households with the lowest incomes. Older adults and people with disabilities will also be prioritized.

Utility providers can choose to opt in to the program, managed by DCEO, to ensure low-income residents’ water and sewer services are available and affordable.

“Utility services, like water and sewer, are the least people should be able to count on if they’re living in a home, but low-income customers often face the burden of not being able to afford their monthly utility bills,” Belt said. “This measure provides stability to those who need it.”

House Bill 414 passed the Senate with a vote of 57-0. It awaits a concurrence vote in the House.

Category: Press Releases

Belt 3914

SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that seeks to remove barriers to getting hired by the state of Illinois for minorities and marginalized people passed the Senate on Thursday.

“Women, people with disabilities, African American and Latino individuals, and all minorities have the right to the same opportunities that other people have in the workforce,” Belt said. “This legislation identifies the issues minorities face when applying to work for the state, and breaks down the barriers to fair hiring.”

The measure would require the Illinois Department of Central Management Services to identify policies that make it harder for minorities and marginalized people to get hired by the state of Illinois and to seek legislation to address systemic racism in the state’s hiring practices. Each state agency would also increase diversity on interview panels in order to better employment opportunities for women and minorities. In addition, the legislation encourages CMS and other state agencies to review current personnel policies to remove any and all language that is discriminatory from their books.

“Diversity is essential to ending systemic racism, and this is a necessary step in the right direction,” Belt said. “The measure addresses the issues minorities and marginalized people face during the state hiring process.”

House Bill 3914 passed the Senate with a vote of 53-0.

Category: Press Releases

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