New Villa law increases oxygen tank supplies in schools

SPRINGFIELD – Schools that provide special educational facilities for students with disabilities will have an increased oxygen tank supply thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Karina Villa.

“Sending a child with a disability to school can be nerve-racking for parents — especially when hoping the school has everything they need to serve and protect your child,” said Villa (D-West Chicago). “This law will ensure enough oxygen tanks are in supply in case of an emergency.”

The new law allows school districts that provide special educational facilities for children with disabilities to maintain a supply of undesignated oxygen tanks. These tanks are to be accessible before, during and after school in classrooms or lunchrooms where a person with a developmental disability is most at risk.

Currently, the School Code allows school districts and public, charter or nonpublic schools to keep an undesignated supply of epinephrine injectors (EpiPens) or asthma medication. This law will add oxygen tanks to that list of items on hand in case of an emergency.

“When the unexpected happens, it is better to be over-prepared than caught off guard,” said Villa. “This law will help save students’ lives if such a situation were to occur.”

House Bill 3613 was signed into law on Friday, June 30 and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.