Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus discusses priorities as session ends


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus highlighted several bills they hope to push through the General Assembly before the end of session.

The proposals aim towards protecting immigrant families with housing security, proper education, greater access, and representation. Sen. Celina Villanueva (D-Summit) explained how much minority communities have struggled, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Villanueva argued lawmakers want these bills to pass so that Latino communities have equal opportunities in Illinois.

“We push for representation because we know that there was a time when there weren’t very many of us here,” said Villanueva. “But I want to reiterate, we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.”

Villanueva stressed although there are only four days left in this legislative session, there’s plenty of time to pass these bills. Caucus members said advocating for policy changes in these communities can create a stronger, more equitable Illinois.

Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-Aurora) explained Senate Bill 265 could provide energy assistance to Latino families that live in minority communities. She said several families weren’t able to pay their bills during the pandemic, which left them without any electricity.

“This bill will allow the undocumented population to be able to have access to those programs,” said Hernandez. “And also prioritize the families who have children under six in their household.”

Hernandez also feels this bill has the ability to save lives. She said they will no longer have to live in a cold home.

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