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

03122019CW0144SPRINGFIELD – Veterans’ families and cemetery associations will be awarded an additional $25 to support the cost of transporting and erecting a veteran’s headstone or memorial marker under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia).

Currently, families and cemeteries are only awarded $100 to pay for the cost of transporting and erecting a veteran headstone or memorial marker.

“Though there is no amount of money we could pay our dedicated veterans equal to the sacrifices they have made for our country, we can acknowledge that funeral costs have gradually increased over the years,” Belt said. “Veterans’ families had to watch their loved ones leave for battle, and it shouldn’t be a problem for us to award them more when they are laying their loved ones to rest.”

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

Category: Press Releases

04042019CW0137EAST ST. LOUIS – American Bottoms Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility (Sauget Sanitary Development & Research Association) is a recipient of a $327,671 grant for energy improvements, State Senator Christopher Belt revealed today.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking advantage of the United States Department of Energy’s State Energy Program to reduce the energy burden for Illinois residents.

“This grant will assist the facility in making energy efficiency upgrades to reduce the energy burden of our residents” Belt said. “Many low-income families suffer from high heating and electric bills and the energy efficiency upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant should reduce the energy cost for St. Clair County families.”

Read more: St. Clair County wastewater treatment plant to receive energy grant

Category: Press Releases


"Legislation creates incentives for businesses who award time off to donors"

SPRINGFIELD – To focus on encouraging more organ donors to step up and save lives, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) has teamed with his colleague State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) on legislation to incentivize businesses who offer paid sick time to any employee who donates an organ or bone marrow.

“As a recipient of a donated organ, I understand first-hand the health challenges faced by the thousands of Illinoisans who are currently waiting for a transplant,” Belt said.

In 2009, Christopher Belt began dialysis due to kidney failure brought on by high blood pressure. Less than a year later, he received a kidney transplant– an operation that would change the course of his life.

The legislation would create the Organ Donation Tax Credit, offering employers a 25 percent credit against their withholding taxes if they provide paid sick time for at least 30 days to an employee as they donate an organ.

“Most of the attention on organ donation is focused on the recipient of the organ – not the donor,” Belt said. “Donors must go through their own set of tests and invasive surgery and must live with post-surgery effects that can often be painful. As a state, we should be making it easier for living donors to transition back into daily life.”

Senate Bill 68 passed the Senate Revenue Committee this afternoon and will head to the Senate floor for further debate.

Category: Press Releases

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