Teacher standing in front of her classCHICAGO – State Senator Celina Villanueva advocated for teacher wellness by supporting a law allowing teachers to take mental health days.

“Our teachers’ service to our students is ongoing both inside and outside the classroom,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Now that our society has recognized the importance of mental health and allows our students to be excused, the same care should be given to our educators.”

Under the new law, school districts in areas with fewer than 500,000 residents are required to include mental health absences as part of the sick days made available to full-time employees. Senator Villanueva prioritizes supporting teachers and has worked in the legislature to ensure their lasting influence on the state’s youth is celebrated and can continue.

“The people that educate and oversee our children are under intense pressure to guide future generations of community members, activists and more,” Villanueva said. “It is especially important that our instructors’ performance and ability not be affected by the challenges brought on by such a tumultuous world.”

The law, previously Senate Bill 3914, was signed into law Friday.

Category: News

Inside a business with patron at deskSPRINGFIELD–State Senator Celina Villanueva spearheaded an initiative to increase worker protections during the work week that was signed into law Monday.

“We humans perform at our best when we are well-rested and taken care of,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “This law helps ensure that employers respect the rights of workers so that they are both safe and productive in their work environments.”

The new law was brought to Senator Villanueva by the Illinois Department of Labor and Arise Chicago, a community-based organization fighting workplace injustice through advocacy and public policy. Thanks to the cooperation of businesses, agencies and community organizations, Senator Villanueva led the Senate in passing Senate Bill 3146, which modernizes the language of the One Day Rest in Seven Act –an existing law that details the duration and amount of breaks workers are entitled to in a work week. Villanueva’s measure also increases the penalties employers receive for violating this law and adjusts the cost of the penalty based on the size of the workforce where the violation occurred.

“Labor laws protect an extremely important component of all workforces: the worker,” Villanueva said. “Without the worker, no business can stand on its own, which is why we have to do all we can to make sure Illinois’ hardworking populations are neither taken advantage of nor deprived of the conditions and treatment they deserve in the workplace.”

The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: News

Mother and her childSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) championed a new law to bring awareness to child care assistance opportunities for college students with dependents.

“A lack of resources and support systems can shut out parents from pursuing higher education,” Villanueva said. “Education is a fundamental right, and our state’s student-parent population should not be barred from exercising their right to building a better life for themselves and their children.”

The new law, previously Senate Bill 3149, enhances the effectiveness of assistance programs for students with dependents. It requires that students with dependents be notified of resources that aid them with parenthood, higher education and balancing the two. Senator Villanueva sponsored the measure in the state legislature to bring equity to students whose parenthood might put them at a financial and social disadvantage in higher education institutions.

“This law will help these students focus on their education by helping them achieve independence and stability,” Villanueva said. “Setting them up for success at home increases their chances at succeeding in school and beyond.”

This measure was signed into law Friday.

Category: News

Senator Villanueva on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) championed an initiative to bring additional training requirements on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias for emergency medical service providers that became law Friday.

“Attending to patients with dementia requires heightened analysis of the current state of the individual and careful consideration for appropriate care,” Villanueva said. “An impaired ability to recall information, make decisions and think critically is common among the many types of dementias, making it imperative that our medical services personnel are well-equipped to approach and handle these situations.”

This spring session with the help of the Alzheimer’s Association Illinois Chapter, Senator Villanueva introduced House Bill 4388, which sets training guidelines for emergency medical services personnel to help them better serve patients with dementia. The new law requires training on the assessment, diagnosis and care of dementia after each renewal of one’s EMS license. This training will also include dementia-effective communication strategies for the betterment of interactions between EMS personnel and people with dementia.

“For our medical services workers, responding to emergency situations doesn’t always mean performing life-saving measures and transporting injured people to proper medical facilities,” Villanueva said. “Sometimes their service takes the form of caregiving to remove the dangers a person’s condition poses to them in the moment, which takes quality training on the evaluation of a variety of diseases and conditions.”

The law takes effect immediately.

Category: News

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 11th District
623 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706

District Office:
2501 S. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623