Issues

Issue 1: Healthcare

Cristina Castro was the primary caregiver for her elderly mother until her mother’s death in 2015. Without the help of home health nurses, Cristina’s mother wouldn’t have been able to continue to live independently in her home like she desired. Cristina will fight to protect women’s healthcare rights. She will protect funding for Planned Parenthood that provides critical services including prenatal services, cancer screenings, and contraception. Cristina believes women deserve proper access to reproductive healthcare and will do the work necessary in Springfield to ensure they do. My goals moving forward are to continue improving healthcare in Illinois. I aim to reintroduce Senate Bill 1909, which requires insurance companies to provide treatment to those with postpartum complications. I am also determined to address the rising costs of prescription drugs via Senate Bill 1908, the Safe Patient Limits Act.

Issue 2: Corporate Tax Loopholes

Eliminating tax loopholes that allow two-thirds of Illinois’ largest corporations to get away with paying no state tax of any kind is a priority for Cristina. When corporations don’t pay their fair share, working families make up the difference and bear the burden of costs to vital services like education and healthcare.

Issue 3: Taxes

Cristina is opposed to increasing taxes on sales and property. In addition, she is opposed to taxes on retirements. She believes we need to look at other options before looking to raise taxes as a solution.

Issue 4: K-12 Education

If we get public education right, everything else will follow. If we get it wrong, not much else will matter. Cristina’s goal is to make every public school great for every child. She believes we must focus on more fair funding without affecting other districts.

Issue 5: State Finances

We must take a balanced approach to addressing these issues. I was the chief sponsor of the Police, Fire Pension Consolidation bill (Senate Bill 1300) that was recently signed into law by Governor Pritzker. The bill consolidates over 649 police and firefighter pensions into two statewide funds, one for fire and one for police, for investment purposes. This new law improves the financial stability of the pension funds, while easing pressure on local governments to raise taxes to fund those pensions. Experts believe this could generate an additional $820 million to $2.5 billion over five years. We need to continue to work on solutions similar to SB 1300. This bill was supported and championed by organized labor. One point I made was that we cannot touch someone’s earned benefits, which remained in tact with this bill. We only consolidated the investment funds to help stabilize and add money to the pension system.

Issue 6: Working Together in a Bipartisan Manner

As a member of the county board, Cristina worked with her colleagues in a bipartisan manner because she knows it should be about the issues affecting her constituents and not partisan politics. Cristina has brought that approach to Springfield to pass bills such as: We all need to work together to compromise and do what’s right for our state. This also means that all parties need to be bold, make tough decisions, and cut spending. We need to put personal and political agendas aside and do what’s right for the citizens of Illinois.