Pottawatomie Park in St. CharlesST. CHARLES – The City of St. Charles will receive over $8,000 in grant funding for historic preservation projects through the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Fund, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) announced Wednesday.

“Families in the 25th District have long been able to enjoy the rich history throughout the district, especially in St. Charles,” Villa said. “I’m eager to see the results of the architectural survey, and I hope we can add another historic district to our community.”

More than $131,400 in Certified Local Government grants will be distributed throughout Illinois for nine historic preservation projects that focus on surveys, public education, planning and nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

St. Charles was awarded $8,262 in Federal Historic Preservation Funds, and the City of St. Charles will match $3,057 of that funding to conduct an intensive architectural survey in the Pottawatomie Neighborhood. The survey will identify and document the history and character of structures in the neighborhood for the potential establishment of a fourth historic district in the community.

Information on how to apply for the next round of Certified Local Government grants can be found here.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Schools will have to follow specific trauma-informed guidelines for school shooting lockdown drills under State Senator Karina Villa’s (D-West Chicago) new law.

“We should be doing everything in our power to stop school shootings and avoid the trauma that comes from shooting events — including that caused by involvement in graphic simulations during lockdown drills,” Villa said. “Our students should feel safe at school, and these trauma-informed guidelines will help them prepare for the worst without carrying the weight of a simulated tragedy.”

Villa’s law will tone down law enforcement drills for school shootings to put students’ safety and well-being at the forefront. Any drills will have to be announced in advance and involve school personnel, and they cannot include active shooter simulations.

Parents and guardians will be notified of upcoming lockdown drills and can choose to exempt their child from participation for any reason. School administrators and personnel will also be able to exempt students from participation in lockdown drills, and instead provide alternative safety education and instruction related to an active threat.

House Bill 2400 was signed into law Tuesday and takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

051920210748SPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans will soon be able to donate unused prescription drugs for redistribution through State Senator Karina Villa’s (D-West Chicago) Prescription Drug Repository Program.

“As we fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs, it’s imperative that we work to provide alternatives to buying medication at the costly market value,” Villa said. “I-DROP will help ensure families are not forced to make the tough decision between paying bills or buying food and purchasing necessary prescription medication.” 

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

"Until now, the only thing Illinoisans could do with unused prescription drugs was destroy them," said State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago), who sponsored the bill in the House. "Thanks to this new law, we'll be able to donate safe, unexpired drugs and get them into the hands of people who need them. It's a win-win for Illinois."

House Bill 119 was signed into law Monday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Karina VillaSPRINGFIELD – Illinoisans will be able to purchase menstrual hygiene products with federal and state food assistance program benefits under a new law sponsored by State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago).

“Benefits programs aren’t living up to their full potential until they cover necessary menstrual hygiene products,” Villa said. “Increasing the accessibility of menstrual hygiene products for low-income Illinoisans is essential to combatting period poverty across our state.”

Villa’s measure will require the Department of Human Services to apply for a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service 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 and menstrual hygiene products.

"Menstrual hygiene products are essential for millions of women in communities across Illinois and they should be widely-available at little to no cost," said State Representative Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora), who sponsored the bill in the House. "Far too many working class women are being forced to put their health at risk to save money, and it's past time we put an end to that. This legislation is a good first step to ensure that no woman will ever have to see menstrual hygiene as a financial burden again. For the health of women everywhere, we need to make this necessity accessible to all those who need it."

House Bill 155 was signed into law Thursday and will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

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