State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Undocumented college students could find tailored support on campus under legislation sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

“Undocumented students on campus may be under an immense amount of stress regarding their immigration status, in addition to the already stressful higher education experience,” Villa said. “A dedicated liaison will help ensure students have equitable and inclusive access to campus programs.”

The legislation would require public universities and community colleges in Illinois to designate an employee as an Undocumented Student Resource Liaison, as well as encourage schools to establish an Undocumented Student Resource Center on campus to assist undocumented students.

Liaisons and resource centers would help undocumented students and mixed-status students navigate financial aid programs, academic and career counseling, retention and matriculation support services, and mental health counseling offered on campus.

“Every college student should have the tools they need to graduate, and these new programs will give marginalized communities the resources to succeed,” Villa said. “I’m eager to see the positive outcomes that will result from this measure.”

House Bill 3438 passed the Senate Executive Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Hospitals across Illinois would be required to participate in the Illinois State Police sexual assault evidence tracking system and explain the tracking process to survivors under legislation sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which passed a Senate committee Wednesday.

“The Illinois State Police sexual assault evidence tracking system can only be used to its full potential if all hospitals participate in the system,” Villa said. “Survivors who are brave enough to submit evidence for a rape kit deserve to have all the information on how to track their evidence through every step of the process.”

In 2020, the Illinois State Police launched an online tracking system for rape kits that allows survivors of sexual assault to track evidence in their cases, but not all hospitals in Illinois opted to participate. Villa’s measure would require hospitals to enter collected sexual assault evidence into the tracking system.

The legislation would also ensure survivors of sexual assault receive information on how to use the tracking system from health care facilities or law enforcement.

“Sexual assault cases can be some of the most personal and emotional cases for survivors, but having ownership of and being able to track their evidence kit can help bring them one step closer to closure,” Villa said. “This legislation will help ensure survivors have the resources they need at their fingertips.”

House Bill 1739 passed the Senate Executive Committee after passing the House unanimously and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to reduce drug waste and help families struggling to afford prescription drugs, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) advanced a measure out of committee Tuesday that would create a Prescription Drug Repository Program to redistribute unused prescription drugs to Illinoisans who need them.

“There’s no reason unused prescription drugs should be thrown out or sit on a shelf past their expiration date when many Illinois families are struggling to afford critical prescription medications,” Villa said. “This legislation would help eligible families access redistributed prescriptions at no additional cost.”

Anyone could donate certain prescription drugs or necessary supplies to administer a prescription drug under Villa’s Illinois Prescription Drug Repository Program (I-DROP). These items would be redistributed to eligible individuals who have been prescribed the medication, but who can’t afford it.

“As the cost of prescription drugs continues to skyrocket, it’s important that we protect Illinois families by working to lower the cost of prescription drugs and finding alternatives to purchasing medication at market value,” Villa said. “Illinoisans should not have to choose between putting food on the table and affording their prescriptions.”

There is no one special interest group behind I-DROP; its advocates are individual physicians, pharmacists and patients from every corner of Illinois. State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) sponsored the I-DROP Act in the House, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and across the state have signed on to co-sponsor the measure.

House Bill 119 passed the Senate Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Family and household members of survivors of sexual assault could file petitions for civil no-contact orders under legislation from State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which was introduced in the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday after passing the House with unanimous support.

“Survivors of sexual assault and harassment deserve to feel safe at home — that means providing protection not just to the survivor, but to their family and loved ones,” Villa said. “Expanding the list of people who can file petitions for no-contact orders is critical to restoring survivors’ peace of mind and helping them move forward.”

Under current law, a petition for a civil no-contact order can be filed by a survivor of non-consensual sexual conduct or by another person on behalf of a survivor who cannot file the petition. Villa’s measure would expand eligibility to offer protections for family or household members of survivors of non-consensual sexual conduct.

In order to qualify for these protections, the person filing the petition must first receive consent from the survivor.

“Survivors can reclaim their power by filing petitions for no-contact orders against their abusers,” Villa said. “I look forward to working with my fellow legislators to give survivors the opportunity to protect their loved ones and those closest to them as well.”

House Bill 1742 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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