SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) is supporting measures to ensure that Direct Support Personnel are fairly compensated for the assistance they provide to individuals with developmental disabilities.Senator Belt

“Support workers are essential workers,” Belt said. “These individuals care for residents who rely on them to do basic day-to-day tasks that many of us do without thinking. It’s vital that these workers are taken care of and paid a fair wage.”

DSPs are vital in community residential settings, where they help residents with daily personal care like eating and hygiene as well as teaching life skills and attending to complex medical needs. While funding for these services has increased over recent years, starting wages remain barely above minimum wage, and vacancies remain high. This disparity is because the state does not always require community agencies to pass wage increases through to the workers.

Belt joined State Senators Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) in a press conference Wednesday announcing legislation to raise worker wages. Senate Bill 3607 would raise the reimbursement rate for DSPs by $3.50 an hour to ensure these employees are the ones seeing a wage increase.

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Category: Press Releases

Senator BeltSPRINGFIELD – To address the teacher shortage, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) supported the passage of a package of legislative measures to help recruit substitute teachers, teacher assistants and support educators in the classroom.

According to the Illinois State Board of Education, there are more than 4,000 unfilled positions in schools.

“As chair of the Senate Education Committee and a former school board member, I know how essential it is that we address the shortage head-on,” Belt said. “My colleagues and I have been working to combat the teacher shortage to ensure our children are getting the best educational experience and opportunities for their futures.”

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Category: Press Releases

Belt AwardBELLEVILLE – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) accepted an award for his sustained support and meritorious service to Illinois fire services from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Foundation on Wednesday.

“Firefighters risk their lives every day,” Belt said. “I’m honored to receive this award and I will continue to support measures that benefit all Illinois firefighters.”

The award comes in response to Belt’s support of legislation that would assist fire protection agencies and statewide associations, like Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, in pursuing donations designed to build a stronger and more sustainable fire, EMS and special team statewide intergovernmental cooperative system serving all municipalities during crisis and disaster level events. 

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Category: Press Releases

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