032923CM1808SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva championed a newly signed law to allow gender-neutral, multi-occupancy restrooms to be installed in private and public businesses.

“Businesses now have the autonomy to decide how to best show up for their communities,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “The inclusivity of this law not only benefits members of the LBGTQ community, but also those with disabilities, the elderly, and people with young children.”

A 2020 law, required that all single occupancy public bathrooms in Illinois become gender neutral.

House Bill 1286 expands on that law, allowing businesses to create gender-neutral multi-occupancy restrooms. However, the legislation is permissive – gender specific multiple-occupancy restrooms are still allowed.

Gender-neutral, multi-occupancy restrooms would be required to include inclusive signage, floor to ceiling stall dividers with locking mechanisms, trash receptacles in each stall, a menstruation supplies vending device, a baby changing station, and be ADA compliant. 

“Today we have taken a monumental step to promote privacy, safety and gender inclusivity,” said Villanueva. “We are signaling to parents, caregivers and many other people across the state that their voice matters.”

House Bill 1286 was signed into law Friday.

Category: News

051023CM0592SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Celina Villanueva championed a newly signed law to prevent students from taking advantage of loopholes to qualify for need-based financial aid for college.

“Students who are legitimately eligible for financial aid fear not receiving such assistance at the hands of others taking part of a guardianship change scam,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “It’s disheartening that people are using this tactic to essentially take away aid from students who need it.”

Senate Bill 195 is a direct response to previous public reports that Illinois students became eligible for need-based education financial assistance through the practice of "opportunity hoarding." Opportunity hoarding is the practice of exploiting a loophole in the Probate Act by transferring legal guardianship from a parent to a relative or friend in lower income brackets or by declaring financial independence.

In 2019 alone, approximately 82,000 students eligible for a state grant for low-income students didn’t receive it because there wasn’t enough money. Many higher education officials believe the increase in guardianship change is at fault.

Villanueva’s law will prevent guardianship changes if the primary purpose is to reduce the financial resources available for them to qualify for need-based financial aid.

“The students of tomorrow need our help today,” said Villanueva. “I will continue to fight for more equitable educational resources and stand up for the disadvantaged students who have fallen victim to a lack of assistance because of this loophole.”

Senate Bill 195 was signed into law Friday.

Category: News

030923CM0154SPRINGFIELD – A steadfast advocate for expanding reproductive health care, State Senator Celina Villanueva championed a newly signed law to require colleges and universities to have emergency contraceptives readily available for students.

“High costs and a feeling of shame should not restrict college students from the time-sensitive medication they are seeking,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Wellness kiosks give students another point of access to prevent a pregnancy that is unattended.”

Villanueva’s law will require all public colleges and universities – including community colleges – to offer emergency contraception at a reduced price in at least one wellness kiosk on campus. The wellness kiosk – which is similar to a vending machine – could also offer non-prescription items such as menstrual products, pregnancy tests and more.

“We must support students and provide them with the most amount of resources possible,” said Villanueva. “Today, Illinois has taken another step forward to empower people to make their own safe, responsible health care decisions.”

Senate Bill 1907 was signed into law Friday and takes immediate effect. 

Category: News

State Senator Celina VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – People seeking reproductive care in Illinois will no longer be confronted with the deceptive tactics often employed by crisis pregnancy centers, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Celina Villanueva.

“As a safe haven for those seeking reproductive care in the Midwest, it is our responsibility to ensure people are not being misled by the information and practices provided by crisis pregnancy centers,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Crisis pregnancy centers are present nearly every community and pose a threat to people seeking and receiving legitimate care, even in a state like Illinois where abortion access is enshrined in law.”

The Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act prohibits the use of deceptive practices to interfere with an individual seeking to gain entry or access to the provider of an abortion or emergency contraceptives, induce an individual to enter a limited services pregnancy center, in advertising, soliciting, or otherwise offering pregnancy-related services, or in providing pregnancy-related services. Villanueva worked in tandem with Attorney General Kwame Y. Raoul to prevent such deceptive practices at crisis pregnancy centers.

“This law sees that vulnerable people are protected against false and misleading advertisement and practices that could potentially harm them,” said Villanueva. “It ensures that there is no interference with a person’s ability to seek timely and accurate reproductive health care and information.”

Senate Bill 1909 was signed into law Thursday and takes effect immediately.

 

Category: News

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 11th District
623 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

District Office:
2501 S. Central Park Ave.
Chicago, IL 60623
773-565-4661