Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to the work of State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago), a measure to inform college students who are parents or have dependents of child care and other assistance programs passed the Senate Wednesday.

“Being a parent requires an enormous amount of time and mindfulness, and it has the potential to make other areas of life far more challenging,” Villanueva said. “The demands of receiving an education on top of being a student make balancing the two lifestyles extremely difficult, which is why we should do what we can to support our most vulnerable students.”

Senate Bill 3149 will help student parents focus on their education by ensuring they are notified of child care assistance available to them. It also gives higher learning institutions the ability to create a student-parent liaison to assist with applying for public benefits programs. The idea behind the measure was brought to Senator Villanueva by Young Invincibles, an organization working to bring equity to the political, educational, social and economic structures in the country.

Because nearly 100,000 students in Illinois are parents or have dependents, Senator Villanueva is working to combat the nationwide decline in child care availability on college campuses to preserve students’ opportunity to pursue an education and fortify their future.

“Without access to child care and other assistance programs, Illinois fails to build up generations of workers, leaders and active community members,” Villanueva said. “We have an obligation to make known all resources that will help our students prosper.”

Senate Bill 3149 passed the Senate and moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: News

Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) is aiming to exempt breast pumps and related supplies from all sales taxes with a measure that passed the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday.

“Tax exemptions on breast pump supplies will empower mothers to prioritize their nursing without having to forsake their economic needs,” Villanueva said. “Breast feeding is a natural part of child care, and reducing the financial obstacles mothers face helps them make healthy decisions that benefit both them and their babies.”

Senate Bill 3634 will help mothers afford important breastfeeding supplies, avoid supplementing feedings with formula and maintain their milk supply by removing the sales tax on these products.

The initiative would align Illinois practices with those of eight other states including New York, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Infant formula is already exempt from sales tax in nearly every state, and Illinois will provide more equitable feeding options to mothers by adding breast pumps and other nursing tools to the list of exemptions.

This issue was brought to Villanueva’s attention by Parity for Pumps, a coalition working to improve access to breast feeding across the nation through advocacy and legislation. Mothers use pumps and supplies to generate and collect breast milk for a variety of reasons. These supplies offer important benefits to mother and child health, a mother’s ability to produce milk and her ability to return to work.

“There is a large number of supplies associated with breastfeeding, and the taxes associated with them poses an unnecessary barrier to mothers,” Villanueva said. “Breast pumps, like infant formula, are a basic necessity that should be easily available to mothers.”

SB 3634 awaits consideration before the full Senate.

Category: News

VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD – To help student parents focus more time on their education, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) advanced a measure from the Senate Higher Education Committee to inform student parents of child care and other assistance programs available to them.

“Student parents must have access to child care to graduate on time and build a better life for their children,” Villanueva said. “Making child care and other assistance programs readily available will ensure that our most vulnerable students have the resources needed to have a fulfilling educational experience.”

Senate Bill 3149 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to notify student parents of the Child Care Assistance Program when disbursing information on Monetary Award Program grants. The measure also gives institutions of higher learning the ability to create a student parent liaison to assist with applying for public benefits programs.

Nearly 100,000 students in Illinois are parents or have dependents, however child care availability on college campuses has declined nationwide. The Child Care Assistance Program is available to student parents that meet income requirement and are actively enrolled in a high school, trade school or undergraduate college.

Senate Bill 3149 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee and awaits further consideration before the full Senate.

Category: News

Senator VillanuevaSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) argued for stronger penalties against employers in violation of the One Day Rest in Seven Act by introducing Senate Bill 3146 in the Senate Labor Committee Wednesday.

“The One Day Rest in Seven Act is one of many invaluable protections for workers in the state,” Villanueva said. “We have to make sure the expectations of employers everywhere are standard at all levels of operation.”

The One Day Rest in Seven Act is an existing law that protects workers’ right to one 24-hour period of rest in each week and one 20-minute meal break per 7.5 hour shift. Villanueva is the chief sponsor of SB 3146, which would update existing penalties to be more consistent with other labor and employment laws. Certain sections of the One Day Rest in Seven Act have not been updated since 1972, which spurred the changes in the measure.

The initiative came from the Illinois Department of Labor and Arise Chicago, a community-based organization that fights workplace injustice through organizing and advocating for public policy changes. The collaboration of these two agencies will be vital as the measure moves forward in the legislative process.

“Increasing the penalties makes labor violations consistent with Illinois law,” Villanueva said. “Enforcing these provisions becomes easier when there isn’t conflicting law, which in turn makes it easier to protect the hard workers of our state.”

SB 3146 passed the Senate Labor Committee and awaits consideration before the full Senate.

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