State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Following a decades-long fight to protect expecting mothers, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) is proud of the advancements signed into law Tuesday that will set standards for qualifications and certifications of midwives.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of safe home births, and midwives play a critical role in guaranteeing that mothers and babies are safe at all stages of pregnancy,” Villa said. “Pregnancy is a long, physically and mentally demanding process, and our mothers deserve the highest level of care that our providers can offer.”

Certified professional midwives without nursing degrees were previously not recognized as health care professionals who can assist with home births. More than 30 states recognize CPMs without additional degrees, but Illinois only recognized the professionals with advanced-practice registered nurse status. The new law ensures pregnant women have access to competent health care providers before, during and after pregnancy.

This landmark legislation creates the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, which contains education, training and experience requirements for midwives. These requirements allow midwives without nursing degrees to gain meaningful instruction so they can provide the best care possible to women in need of their services.

“Today with the signing of the Licensed Certified Professional Midwife Practice Act, we aren’t just prioritizing the contributions of workers and health care providers — we are prioritizing mothers and their babies,” Villa said.

House Bill 3401, which was co-sponsored by Villa, was signed into law Tuesday.

Category: Press Releases

Airplane at Aurora Municipal AirportAURORA – The Aurora Municipal Airport and DuPage Airport will receive a combined $2.5 million in state funding for maintenance and upgrades, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) announced Monday.

“Our local airports help bring tourists to our communities and increase travel opportunities for families across the region,” Villa said. “An investment in our airports is an investment to keep and bring more good-paying jobs for working families across the 25th District.”

The 96 projects selected for funding will help meet the needs of airports large and small in both urban and rural communities. Projects will include planning, construction, reconstruction, development and improvement of public airports to increase safety and efficiency. Communities will also benefit from increased aviation access, good-paying jobs during construction and long-term opportunities for workforce expansion.

Among the projects to receive funding, the Aurora Municipal Airport is set to receive $1.3 million to rehabilitate parking lots and the entrance road as well as $279,000 for airport perimeter roadway construction. The DuPage Airport will receive $594,000 for airport perimeter road resurfacing as well as $405,000 to construct a new parking lot.

A full list of recipients can be viewed by going to idot.click/rbi-airport-program-awards.

“These monumental investments in our aviation system will help solidify Illinois’ role as a transportation hub for our country,” Villa said. “Maintenance and upgrades to the Aurora Municipal Airport and DuPage Airport are critical to the collective aviation success of our state.”

The Illinois aviation system is one of the largest in the nation, made up of more than 850 individual landing facilities. Illinois is home to everything from O’Hare International Airport to municipal airports and private grass strips, contributing more than $95 billion annually to the state’s economy.

Category: Press Releases

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 ILGA.gov.

Category: Press Releases

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