SPRINGFIELD – During her first legislative session in the Illinois Senate, State Senator Karina Villa (D-West Chicago) championed landmark legislation to help families in every corner of Illinois.
“One of the greatest joys of my time as a legislator has been meeting with my various advisory committees to listen to community members and gather input to inform meaningful legislation,” Villa said. “From issues affecting students to mental health initiatives, I’m grateful for everyone who helped push for these important laws.”
Villa passed House Bill 155, which will allow Illinoisans receiving aid through federal and state food assistance programs to use their benefits to purchase menstrual hygiene products or diapers. The measure ensures benefits programs cover necessary menstrual hygiene products, which Villa said are as essential to a woman’s well-being as food and water.
Villa went on to continue her fight to end period poverty on Illinois college campuses with the passage of House Bill 641. Public universities and community college districts are now required to make menstrual hygiene products available to students at no cost in campus bathrooms under the legislation.
In an effort to reduce drug waste and help families struggling to afford prescription drugs, Villa championed House Bill 119, which will create the Illinois Prescription Drug Repository Program – or I-DROP – to redistribute unused prescription drugs to Illinoisans who need them. Under Villa’s I-DROP program, unused prescription drugs that may have otherwise been thrown out could be redistributed to families who are struggling to afford critical prescription medications.
Undocumented college students can find tailored support on campus under Villa’s House Bill 3438. The legislation requires public universities and community colleges in Illinois to designate an employee as an Undocumented Student Resource Liaison, as well as encourages schools to establish an Undocumented Student Resource Center on campus to assist undocumented students.
“I’m incredibly proud of the work I accomplished with the General Assembly this spring to pass laws to help students, women and working families across our great state,” Villa said. “As we approach the next legislative session, I look forward to continuing to prioritize health care, education and workplace safety.”
A full list of legislation sponsored by Villa can be found on the Illinois General Assembly’s website.