JOLIET – To mark Illinois becoming the first state to eliminate the use of money bond, State Senator Rachel Ventura, alongside the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice and numerous Joliet officials and organizers, held a press conference at the Will County Courthouse Monday. Ventura made the following comments during her speech.

“For two years, Illinois has been preparing to implement the Pretrial Fairness Act,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and public defenders from across the state all played a role in creating the framework for the end of money bond and worked together to guide implementation. There should be no excuses when it comes to properly implementing this law.”

Under the old pretrial system, the amount of money someone had determined whether they were released — not whether they pose a threat to someone else or are likely to flee prosecution. On Sept. 18, Illinois’ outdated system — which allowed anyone in jail who could afford to make bail to be released pending trial — came to an end.

The Pretrial Fairness Act was upheld as constitutional by the state’s highest court on July 18, ensuring the end of money bond and implementation of a fairer legal system based on safety, not wealth, won’t be delayed any further.

“Being poor is not a crime and should never be the sole reason a person remains incarcerated as they await their trial,” said Ventura. “Today is a positive step forward, yet there are many more fights that must happen to close the wealth gap – and that starts with investing in root causes of crime.”

To learn more about cash bail ending, visit and to watch the press conference live watch here.



JOLIET — State Senator Rachel Ventura is encouraging all eligible people to apply to this year’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help with utility costs. Applications will be accepted starting Oct. 2 through Aug. 15, 2024.

“Everyone deserves to live in a habitable environment, regardless of their income,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “With rising energy costs, programs like LIHEAP are essential to reducing health and safety issues that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.”

The energy bill assistance program offered through the Help Illinois Families Program in program year 2023 will provide $237 million to eligible families to assist with natural gas, propane and electricity bills. Last year's LIHEAP funding provided assistance to a record number of 311,214 households.

Beginning Oct. 2, eligible families can apply to this year’s program by visiting or by visiting their local agency (a list of partners throughout the state can be found here). Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.

“LIHEAP is one of the most critical components of the social safety net that helps residents from all walks of life,” said Ventura. “As winter nears, I want to urge all Illinoisans who are eligible to apply for this life saving assistance.”

All families who meet the qualifications and provide proper documentation will receive support until funding is exhausted. Families who earn up to two times the federal poverty level are eligible to receive support through LIHEAP.

New $2 billion electric vehicle battery factory coming to Manteno


MANTENO – State Senator Rachel Ventura joined Illinois leaders today to announce a new $2 billion electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant coming to Manteno.

“Seeing investments like Gotion’s new gigafactory right here in Illinois showcases how serious we are about clean energy advancements,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “This is Gotion’s first manufacturing plant in the United States using American labor and raw materials to ship batteries all over the world — this accomplishment on its own is no small feat and is extremely rewarding to see.”

Gotion’s new state-of-the-art EV battery plant will help bolster the supply chain and meet growing demand for batteries across the EV sector, including Gotion’s partners, as well as additional EV manufacturers across North America. The facility will focus on lithium-ion battery cell, battery pack production and energy storage system integration. The company plans to create 2,600 jobs in Manteno.

As part of Illinois’ commitment to build out comprehensive EV hubs and support Illinois’ workforce, the state will also fund a new manufacturing training academy nearby, as well as award an additional grant to workforce providers to expand training and prepare regional employees for the new jobs.

“As a champion for our environment, I have continually promoted the usage of electric vehicles throughout the state,” said Ventura. “With more investments in factories like Gotion, our state is poised to become a top contender for clean energy production, ushering in good-paying jobs and a sustainable future.”

JOLIET — State Senator Rachel Ventura announced that 18 school districts across the area will receive over $6.6 million in additional funding to help address the financial challenges of recent years.

“Education is the greatest tool we can give our children,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Students in Will County deserve the best educational opportunities, and by using this formula every student will be prepared for the future regardless of ZIP code or financial status.”

The funding comes from the 2017 Illinois Senate Democrat-backed evidence-based funding formula — an overhaul of the way the state funds K-12 education. The law made school funding more equitable by calculating the needs of individual school districts and basing its state revenue on those needs. The formula takes into account a district’s total enrollment, poverty rate and number of special education or English language learners, among other factors.

Local schools set to receive funding through the formula:
• Chaney-Monge School District 88: $368,899
• Channahon School District 17: $989
• Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203: $254
• Fairmont School District 89: $75,107
• Joliet School District 86: $4,337,711
• Joliet Township High school District 204: $609,869
• Laraway Community Consolidated School District 70C: $424
• Lockport School District 91: $24,417
• Lockport Township High school District 205: $133,979
• Rockdale School District 84: $256
• Taft School District 90: $124,647
• Union School District 81: $107
• Valley View Community Unit School District 365U: $857,329
• Will County Alternative Learning Opportunities Program: $32,812
• Will County Alternative School: $3,129
• Will County Safe School: $7,268
• Will County School District 92: $1,212
• Woodridge School District 68: $46,439

The Fiscal Year 2024 budget invested $350 million in new funding into students’ success through the evidence-based funding model.

For more information on the FY 24 evidence-based funding distribution, visit the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

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Office Info

District Office:
221 Springfield Ave., Unit 3
Joliet, IL 60435
(331) 290-0443

Springfield Office:
119B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8800