SPRINGFIELD –Villanueva After listening to Governor JB Pritzker’s Budget Address, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) praised the governor’s proposals for large increases to early childhood education and need-based financial aid for college students.

“We need to make Illinois a state that treats early childhood development with the importance it deserves. That’s why I strongly support the governor’s proposal to increase the early childhood education funding by $50 million,” Villanueva said.

The governor’s higher education proposal includes a large increase to the Monetary Awards Program – the state’s main program providing need-based financial aid, as well as possible funding increases for community colleges and universities.

“As the Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee, I applaud the proposal to increase need-based financial aid,” Villanueva said. “There is no reason why Illinois should trail behind any other state in higher education.”

Although, Villanueva largely agrees with the governor’s budget priorities, she felt the governor didn’t speak enough about other important issues, such as more funding for mental health.

“I look forward to working with the governor to ensure that mental health receives adequate funding,” Villanueva said.