Villanueva speaking at a conferenceCHICAGO – State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago), enraged at yesterday’s mass shooting at a Texas elementary school, issued the following statement demanding that state and national leaders put a stop to gun tragedies:

“Again, we stand at the cross-roads of a senselessly politicized debate over the right to human life. Another school shooting has incessantly taken the lives of young children –sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins and friends. The perpetrator of yesterday’s mass shooting had a mission: he set out to murder, and because of his access to a deadly firearm, he was able to shoot and kill nineteen students and two teachers in a facility that predominantly served Latino students.

“The terror of not having a safe space to exist because a nation’s rifles are poised against you is a pandemic in itself, yet leaders on the state and national level refuse to hold each other accountable and address the violence happening across the country. There can be no debate on constitutional rights when human rights are not respected, but still our country needlessly talks in circles, skipping over the issue at hand while hundreds continue to lose their life prematurely and without reason.

“America is in crisis. Our condolences are not enough. Statements mean nothing if there is no action behind them. Our country is in a state of emergency, and we cannot allow ourselves to become complacent to the issue at hand while innocent lives are at stake.”

Category: News

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

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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