SPRINGFIELD – To improve public safety and cost efficiency by coordinating excavations for the installation and maintenance of broadband infrastructure, State Senator Rachel Ventura proudly put forth the Illinois Dig Once Act, which was signed into law Friday.

“The Illinois Dig Once Act will achieve necessary changes needed to improve broadband infrastructure,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “By minimizing trenching and other construction projects in public rights of way, we can alleviate traffic jams and accidents all while improving our state’s broadband accessibility.”

Under Senate Bill 1438, the Department of Transportation, the Illinois Commerce Commission the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will be required to establish rules to reduce the number of road excavations for the installation and maintenance of broadband infrastructure and underground utility facilities.

In addition to rules being established, the measure creates the role of a Dig Once Coordinator within DCEO to facilitate broadband infrastructure and facilities of underground utility projects in public right of ways. Senate Bill 1438 also encourages electric lines to be buried underground so future storms won’t impact electricity.

“We fought hard to ensure that this bill would be signed so that we can begin to work on expanding our broadband to libraries, schools and public spaces,” said Ventura. “Illinois needs to continue working to be technologically up-to-date and by only digging once we can save time, effort and money. This bill will not only save us tax dollars but also coordinating infrastructure improvements.”

Senate Bill 1438 was signed Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


JOLIET – Building upon the smart infrastructure investments supported by State Senator Rachel Ventura, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced an investment of $1.5 billion in road and bridge improvement projects coming to the area.

“Transportation infrastructure is essential to our community as we offer so much to the state in terms of trucking and warehouse operations,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Commuters, visitors and truckers alike will all benefit from this massive investment into our community.”

As part of IDOT’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, the district Ventura represents will see 128 infrastructure projects totaling more than $1.5 billion over the next six years.

Some of the most vital projects coming to the area include:
• I-55 - $123.7 million to replace a bridge at ILL 129 and reconstruction at Lorenzo Road
• I-80 - $1.1 billion for land acquisition in Joliet, New Lenox and Minooka as well as construction engineering and a new bikeway on Ridge Road to US 30
• Route 6 - $9.2 million for pavement preservation in Joliet and Channahon and other various road improvements
• US 52 - $131.9 million for a new bridge replacement at Des Plaines River and Sanitary and Ship Canal as well as major various construction projects in Shorewood and Joliet on River Road to Houbolt Road
These projects are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, a $40 billion investment in construction projects for the next six fiscal years. The plan invests in all modes of transportation: roads and bridges, aviation, transit, freight and passenger rail, waterways, as well as bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

“Joliet is a major transportation hub in Illinois, and investments in our roads will help it flourish even farther,” Ventura said. “This significant investment will help us enhance our state’s infrastructure and also equip our economy for the future.”

To find a full list of projects slated for the 43rd Senate District, visit IDOT’s website.


JOLIET – State Senator Rachel Ventura, who has had a long history of standing with health care workers to ensure that their voices are heard, will speak at a picketing event and press conference Thursday, in support of St. Joseph Medical Center nurses.

“Health care workers should have a viable and transparent relationship with their employers. I encourage residents to show their support with those who take care of us when we are in need of medical care,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “My office has corresponded with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on investigating reports of repeated violations of Illinois staffing laws, and I am pushing for answers.”

In addition to working with IDPH, Ventura attended a rally to support nurses last week, and she previously sat in on negotiations with hospital officials. Ventura will be a featured speaker at an informational picket and press conference held Thursday, July 20 at the St. Joseph Medical Center.  The picket will take place at the Madison entrance of Ascension Saint Joseph starting at 3 p.m., followed by a press conference at 5:30 p.m. 

St. Joe’s Nurses Association has been in negotiations with Ascension representatives since May and many of the union’s proposals have remained virtually untouched in the intervening months. Nurses say the future of the only hospital in Joliet depends on this contract. The current union contract expires on July 19, 2023.

“St. Joe’s nurses deserve to work in an environment with safe staffing levels and they shouldn’t be made to feel taken advantage of,” said Ventura. “Our health care workers are a critical part of our communities and I will continue to be a voice for them in-district, and in Springfield.”

For additional questions about this event, contact Sarah Hurd with the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



ROMEOVILLE – State Senator Rachel Ventura along with Will County Board Member Destinee Ortiz have raised concerns about a zoning map amendment and five variances for a proposed heavy crude oil pipeline and barge terminal currently being considered by the Will County Board.

“We have the largest inland port in the state,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “If there was an oil spill, we’d have to shut down the locks to drain it out. It would be devastating for our local economy.”

The Will County Board is taking up a proposal on Wednesday that would allow Ducere to open an oil pipeline terminal next to the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve. If approved, the port would see oil exporters from Canada ship their cargo through Illinois to other states.

There has been a history of oil spills in Romeoville and in 2010, the Will County State's Attorney was forced to sue Enbridge — the pipeline company where Ducere will get their oil from — for cleanup costs associated with the Romeoville oil spill that devastated the community.

“Expanding pollution projects in this area is counterproductive to the state's goals,” said Ventura. “Bringing crude oil onto an Illinois waterway just to get to another state puts all Illinoisans at risk.”

The Ducere project is a barge petroleum loading terminal over the Des Plaines River that will allow oil from Enbridge to split off before CITGO's local refinery and send to Louisiana where companies like Shell use cheaper labor and do not pay union wages.

The map amendment will come before the full board for a vote on Wednesday, July 19 at 9 a.m. at the Will County Office Building in Joliet. Ventura and Ortiz are encouraging residents to contact their board members before the meeting to urge them to vote no on this proposal.

Ventura and Ortiz additionally went on WJOL, a local radio station to call for a public hearing on the issue before a vote is considered, interview which you can listen here.

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Office Info

District Office:
221 Springfield Ave., Unit 3
Joliet, IL 60435
(331) 290-0443
(815) 240-9057 [TEXT]

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