Villanueva action maySPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva championed legislation to allow businesses to create gender-neutral multi-occupancy restrooms.

“Businesses deserve the freedom to make their own decisions about how they want to be more inclusive to the community,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Inclusion and equality is at the heart of this measure.”

In January 2020, it became law that all single occupancy public bathrooms in Illinois become gender neutral.

House Bill 1286 simply expands on that law. However, the legislation is permissive – gender specific multiple-occupancy restrooms are still allowed. Moreover, multiple-occupancy all-gender restrooms will have to meet additional privacy safeguards. Any restroom designated for all genders must have specified signage and stall dividers.

“People who have disabilities, older adults, or anyone else who needs the help of someone of another gender can receive the assistance they need without having to search for a single occupancy restroom,” Villanueva said. “Or, think about the moms accompanying young boys, dads with young girls and parents with multiple kids. It’s easy to be unsure which restroom they should use.”

House Bill 1286 has passed in the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday.

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Category: News

Villanueva april 26SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva brought forth legislation that would allow charter schools to unionize without being penalized by management of the charter school.

“Employees of charter schools deserve the same rights and protections as those who work at public schools,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Their voices matter and must be uplifted.”

House Bill 1120 is an initiative of the Chicago Teachers' Union that seeks to ensure that if the staff at a charter school chooses to form a union, the management of the charter school would not interfere. 

 “By implementing this legislation, we are strengthening the respect and relationship between charter schools and its employees,” said Villanueva. “The best way to retain high quality teachers is through allowing them the rights they deserve.”

House Bill 1120 passed in the Senate Labor Committee and is headed to the Senate for further consideration.

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Category: News

Villanueva March sessionSPRINGFIELD – Senator Villanueva championed legislation to bring more qualified computer science and art teachers to Chicago Public Schools, creating better learning opportunities throughout the district.  

“CPS – like many school districts across the state – are facing a workforce shortage,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “Unfortunately, the first classes to be sacrificed are often electives like the arts. We need to uplift our educators in order to uplift our students.”

House Bill 2442 would increase the amount of computer science and art teachers in CPS. CPS says there are not enough teachers endorsed to teach these classes to meet district needs. To tackle this issue, Villanueva’s measure would allow licensed employees to receive additional training – or endorsements – through a pilot program within the district, allowing them to teach other classes, such as computer science and art classes.

 “By implementing this legislation, we are improving the quality of education CPS students receive,” said Villanueva. “In order to determine a better future for our students, we have to make sure educators have the professional development tools they need.”

House Bill 2442 passed in the Senate Education Committee and is headed to the Senate for further consideration.

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Category: News

Reproductive Healthcare Bill March 29SPRINGFIELD – In continuing the fight for reproductive rights for women, State Senator Celina Villanueva passed legislation that prevents crisis pregnancy centers from using deceptive practices that interfere with women’s health care decisions.

“We must ensure that women who are seeking reproductive health care are protected from deceptive and misleading practices,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). “At a time when they are already vulnerable, they must have peace of mind that they won’t be taken advantage of. Health care – in all forms – should be safe and transparent.”

Senate Bill 1909 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.

While crisis pregnancy centers may advertise themselves as health care clinics, many of these facilities provide very limited services, such as basic ultrasounds and counseling intended to discourage and limit access to abortion. Some centers are located near clinics that provide comprehensive reproductive health care and use names similar to these clinics in order to misdirect patients. Many provide misleading information overstating the risks associated with abortion, including conveying false claims that abortion causes cancer or infertility.

“Deceptive practices at crisis pregnancy centers –such as delayed prenatal care – can lead to severe health conditions that women may have to live with for the rest of their lives,” said Villanueva. “As Illinois has become an oasis for reproductive health care since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, it is our responsibility to keep fighting for residents to have access to choice without consequence.”

Senate Bill 1909 passed the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday and heads to the Senate floor for further consideration.

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Category: News

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Office Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 12th District
623 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5304

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