02072019CW0835

CENTREVILLE – A new law co-sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that will protect consumers from alternate electric providers who prey on the vulnerable was signed into law yesterday by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“We want to protect people from being deceived and misled into thinking their electric bills will drop with alternative providers,” Belt said. “I want to thank Attorney General Kwame Raoul for pushing this initiative and ensuring that our senior citizens and low-income families are protected from deceptive practices.”

Senate Bill 651 increases oversight of alternative electric and gas suppliers by mandating the suppliers list their prices on all materials to allow consumers to make informed price comparisons. The new law also protects consumers who rely upon the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) from being enrolled by an alternative retail electric supplier.

The new law comes after several high-profile aggressive sales practice complaints against alternative electric suppliers.

Senate Bill 651 also:

  • requires all marketing materials and customer bills to contain the utility supply rates;
  • eliminates early termination fees and penalties;
  • prevents suppliers from renewing a consumer's contract without notifying the consumer of the new rate;
  • stops the practice of switching consumers from a fixed rate to variable rates without their consent;
  • and requires suppliers to report their rates to the Illinois Commerce Commission and Attorney General.

Senate Bill 651 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt’s legislation that will increase minority representation on corporate boards was signed into law today.

Under the legislation, all publicly held corporations whose principal executive offices are located in Illinois will be required to submit information with their annual report regarding the gender and racial/ethnic make-up of their board of directors. 

The University of Illinois would then conduct a study to make recommendations on how to improve minority and female representation.

“With this new law, we will be able to pinpoint the corporations who aren’t diversifying,” said Belt (D-Centreville). “Illinois is a very diverse state, and boards should reflect the diversity of its employees, consumers and community.”

Currently, only eight percent of the 77 Illinois Fortune 1000 companies have corporate boards composed of 20 percent or more women. Nationwide, black professionals make up only 6.3 percent of corporate boards. Asian Americans and Latinos make up 3.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

House Bill 3394 takes effect immediately.   

Category: Press Releases

MetroLinkBike TrailSt. Clair County – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) recently announced a $200,000 grant to construct a 1-mile bike path that will provide accessibility for St. Clair County bikers.

“This bike path will not only provide great recreational opportunities for residents, but it will also increase the eco-friendly transportation options in our district,” Belt said. “I am glad to see the state investing in the Metro East area.”

The bike path will run along Old Collinsville Road and connect to the bike trail from Lebanon Avenue to Rand Lane.

“Bike path projects are excellent investments in safe transportation, creating jobs, boosting local economic development efforts, and improving local and regional recreation opportunities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Trails are great places for bike riders, hikers, joggers and families to enjoy spending time outdoors in our beautiful state.”

Read more: Belt Announces $200K Grant for St. Clair County Transit District Trail

Category: Press Releases

05222019CW0374

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) that will allow impoverished school districts to issue more bonds to receive additional revenue was recently signed into law.

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

“With this legislation becoming effective, neglected school districts will now have the ability to improve their student’s future,” Belt said. “Making the accommodation of factoring state aid into the formula will help these school districts flourish and provide a better path to closing their achievement gaps.”

Senate Bill 1746 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.   

Category: Press Releases

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