State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate supported an effort led by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to declare October Manufacturing Month in Illinois.

“More than 550,000 manufacturers across our state deserve thanks and recognition this Manufacturing Month for the work they do to produce billions of dollars in output,” Villa said. “This year in particular, our manufacturing industry has saved lives by producing medical supplies to protect our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic, and I could not be more grateful for their hard work.”

Recognizing Manufacturing Month in Illinois will bring much-needed awareness to challenges the industry faces by encouraging manufacturers and organizations to address current shortcomings and prepare for its development. Manufacturing careers will continue to be rewarding and attractive options for young workers, non-traditional students and other previously underrepresented groups with the encouragement of educators across Illinois.

“The promise of American manufacturing led the way forward and continues today as we rebuild and recover from the greatest health and economic crisis in generations. Amazing and innovative manufacturers have answered our nation’s call during every major challenge and they stepped up again during the global pandemic by creating life saving medicines, supplying our health care workers and first responders with protective equipment, and stocking our stores with safe and nutritious food,” said Mark Denzler, president & CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Manufacturers are an economic engine that is reshaping the world around us while working to create a better tomorrow. Today’s facilities are clean, diverse, sustainable, and high tech and the IMA appreciates the support of Senator Villa and other manufacturing advocates during Manufacturing Month.”

Senate Resolution 581 was adopted with bipartisan support in the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview) led a hearing of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Friday to listen to testimony regarding mental and behavioral health workforce shortages.

“It’s critical that we find a way to ensure the number of mental health professionals can keep up with the ever increasing demand of people seeking treatment,” Senator Villa said. “We must address this issue before it drastically affects our neighbors, friends, family or even ourselves.”

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges, resulting in labor shortages that are affecting the mental and behavioral health workforce. These shortages could significantly impact both patients and providers as demand for mental health services continues to grow.

Advocates from the Illinois Department of Human Services, the Illinois Association of Behavioral Health, the Community Behavioral Healthcare Association of Illinois, Illinois Partners for Human Services, the Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities and Thresholds testified at the hearing.

“Finding a solution to labor shortages in the mental and behavioral health community is imperative to protecting people who rely on their services,” Senator Fine said. “Mental health care is health care, and it’s important that we find a way for patients across Illinois to receive the timely, accessible treatment they deserve.”

Community members and professionals on Villa’s Mental Health Advisory Committee have also been working to solve the ongoing behavioral and mental health workforce shortages at their monthly meetings. Interested individuals can sign up to join the meetings, which are held from 6-7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month, by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Committee proceedings are streamed live and can be viewed at

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina Villa on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – The General Assembly has been working for decades to pass legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to create licensure requirements for midwives in an effort to protect pregnant women.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many women to explore birthing styles outside of a hospital setting,” Villa said. “Expecting mothers should be able to have full confidence in their home birth with the knowledge that their midwife is a certified professional.”

Under current law, certified professional midwives without nursing degrees are not recognized as health care professionals who can assist with home births. More than 30 states recognize CPMs without additional degrees, but Illinois only recognizes the professionals who are advanced-practice registered nurses.

This landmark legislation would create the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which contains education, training and experience requirements for midwives.

“Midwives have been helping bring babies into this world from a safe home setting for centuries,” Villa said. “This legislation has been in the works since 1979, and I’m pleased to see our state taking action to move one step closer to certifying professional midwives.”

House Bill 3401 passed the Senate Wednesday with bipartisan support and now goes to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina Villa on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate backed an effort co-sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to declare Oct. 28, 2021 as First Responders Day in Illinois.

“The first responders who serve Illinois deserve our endless gratitude, but declaring Oct. 28 as First Responders Day is a good start to celebrating our heroes,” Villa said. “These brave men and women wake up every day ready to put their lives on the line to save lives and make our communities safe.”

The proposal thanks 911 dispatchers, as well as firefighters, police offers, emergency medical technicians and paramedics for their commitment to public safety across Illinois.

“I’m pleased to see support from the Illinois Senate to honor and celebrate our brave first responders,” Villa said. “Let us take this First Responders Day to thank the hardworking heroes who serve our neighborhoods.”

Senate Resolution 534 was adopted with bipartisan support in the Senate on Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

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