State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans receiving aid through federal and state food assistance programs could use their benefits to purchase feminine hygiene products under legislation led by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago), which passed out of committee Tuesday.

“Period poverty is a public health crisis that requires immediate action,” Villa said. “Women of all ages deserve to live their lives to the fullest, but that is often not possible, as the cost of menstrual hygiene products puts them out of reach for many members in our community.”

Villa’s measure would require the Department of Human Services to apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services permitting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefit recipients to use their benefits to purchase diapers or menstrual hygiene products.

“Menstrual hygiene products are as essential to a woman’s well-being as food and water, yet benefits programs do not cover these necessary health care items,” Villa said. “It’s time to make a change to help low-income women and women experiencing homelessness afford period products.”

House Bill 155 passed the Senate Health Committee and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has backed an effort led by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) to urge the federal government to grant residency to nonresidents who have put their lives on the line during the pandemic as essential workers in the farming, agriculture and manufacturing industries.

“We have not had comprehensive immigration reform in decades. It’s time we lend our support to the workers serving our state and nation, no matter where they’re from,” Villa said. “Our essential workers should not have to worry about deportation when they’re already putting their health at risk to keep our communities fed and our economy moving.”

Villa’s proposal urges U.S. Congress and President Joe Biden to grant residency to all farm, agricultural and manufacturing workers who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic and to grant their employers and agents immunity against any adverse action. Nearly half of these workers have been labeled as essential and have continued to work on the front lines throughout the pandemic, despite danger to their own health and safety.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, who are more often employed as essential workers,” Villa said. “I urge Congress and President Biden to do what’s right and grant residency to our essential workers.”

Senate Resolution 100 was adopted in the Senate Executive Committee Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

High school studentsAURORA – State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) recently honored 306 Kane County high school students in the 25th legislative district who were named 2021-22 Illinois State Scholars by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Illinois State Scholar winners rank in approximately the top 10% of the state’s high school seniors from 676 high schools in all 102 counties. Selection is based on a combination of standardized test scores and class rank or unweighted GPA at the end of the student’s junior year. ISAC works in conjunction with the students’ high school guidance counselors to determine the winners.

“I want to extend my congratulations to the students in the 25th District who worked tirelessly to earn the prestigious title of Illinois State Scholar,” Villa said. “All of the early mornings and late nights studying paid off—the honor could help these scholars gain admission to the colleges of their choice and secure financial assistance.”

The Scholars from Kane County include students from five area high schools, including Batavia Senior High School, Marmion Academy, South Elgin, St. Charles East and West Aurora high schools.

Recipients of the award will receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, and a Certificate of Achievement will be sent to their high school. State Scholars will also receive a digital badge issued by ISAC that can be displayed on online profiles, exhibited on social media, and shared with prospective colleges and employers.

“Our students’ outstanding academic achievement in the midst of a global pandemic is inspiring,” Villa said. “I look forward to keeping up with the future successes of our local scholars.”

More information about the State Scholar program can be found at ISAC’s website.

Category: Press Releases

Memorial site for Adam ToledoWEST CHICAGO – State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) issued the following statement following the fatal shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo:

“As a former middle school social worker, I can’t imagine the pain Adam’s family, community and school are going through after watching the horrific video of his senseless killing.

“A system in which children are shot with their hands raised is a broken system that needs major reform. My heart goes out to the Toledo family as they seek justice and mourn the loss of their child.”

Category: Press Releases

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