SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to alleviate truck collisions with underpasses or viaducts, State Senator Rachel Ventura championed legislation to create a low-clearance early warning device pilot program, which was signed into law Friday.

“Joliet is one of the largest transportation hubs in the state,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Trucks are constantly driving through the city, and far too often, we have seen accidents occur where they hit viaducts or bridges, which becomes dangerous for everyone around them. By creating this program, we can begin to tackle this issue and make our roads safer.”

This legislation requires IDOT to establish a program to put early warning devices on or near bridges or viaducts. Early warning devices may include LiDAR, radar, visual signals or additional signage. LiDAR, or "light detection and ranging,” is a method for determining ranges by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. These various warning devices would be tested within the pilot program.

Additionally, the pilot program will evaluate the effectiveness of an early warning device, design specifications and estimated costs. IDOT will consult with the University of Illinois on the pilot program to brainstorm potential ideas on how to engineer these hazard bars.

“This is a great example of taking a local issue and turning it into a law that can benefit all corners of the state,” said Ventura. “Truck collisions are happening far too often in the 43rd District and across the state, and it’s time we start thinking of effective ways to solve the issue at hand.”

Senate Bill 1653 goes into effect January 1, 2024.



SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has a new law on the books to put a stop to misleading fake “final notices” sent in the mail, thanks to State Senator Rachel Ventura.

“Far too often, new homeowners and seniors are the victims of fake final notices,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “We must end this dishonest business practice so that no one is tricked into purchasing goods or services they don’t need. People shouldn’t have to deal with anxiety-inducing scam letters like these.”

When someone buys a car or home in Illinois, “final notice” letters regarding warranties, protection plans and insurance are often mailed out by third parties to scam recipients into providing information or buying products under the guise of maintaining their home or vehicle.

Ventura’s legislation amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to require that senders clearly state that their mailing is not a bill but rather a solicitation of services.

“Vulnerable members in our communities should not have to deal with these types of mail scams,” said Ventura. “My hope is that by Illinois taking the lead in ending this practice, more states will follow.”

Senate Bill 1440 was signed into law today and go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Corrections will be required to digitize all master record files thanks to State Senator Rachel Ventura’s measure that was signed into law today.

“We cannot rely on the old paper filing system that is still in place. Papers can go missing, making the outdated release process unnecessarily long,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “In the long run, having digital access to these records will not only save the state money, but also ensure that those who have been waiting to be released and go back into their communities are not idly waiting for months on end simply because Illinois didn’t have an updated records system.”

The digitization of the records system will include medical and dental records and all other information IDOC maintains concerning its institutions and facilities by July 1, 2029. Additionally, IDOC, in consultation with the Department of Information Technology, will be required to conduct an impact study on or before Jan. 1, 2024.

With a lack of information transfer between correctional and community health care providers, this can lead to disrupted care and augment health risks for individuals leaving prison.
According to the Journal of General Internal Medicine, in “Accessing Prison Medical Records in the United States: a National Analysis,” incarcerated individuals can face extended periods of time waiting for their medical records, prohibiting some from getting proper health care following release.

“When transferring or releasing incarcerated persons, their records must be present at the time of transfer or release to complete the process, and that can take some time. I’m encouraged to see Illinois taking the initiative to streamline and digitize their process,” said Ventura. “The signage of this measure will expedite that process so an incarcerated person is not waiting to be processed and ultimately save the state money as well as getting the person back into their community.”

Senate Bill 442 was signed into law today and is effective immediately.


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura was encouraged by the funding for education and local initiatives in the state’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget.

“It’s critical to have a good education at an early age,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Not only are there major investments for early education, but also higher education. Investing in resources that afford everyone with the opportunity to receive a quality education, regardless of their ZIP Code, is vital to ensure our youth is prepared for what comes after school.”

The budget includes investments for Smart Start IL, a $250 million investment to fund the childcare workforce, expand the Early Intervention Program and Home Visiting Programs, plus funding to begin the overhaul of the childcare payment management system.

Additionally, the budget includes $100 million in additional MAP grant funding, which ensures everyone at or below the median income can go to community college for free and an increase for public universities and community colleges – the highest increases in more than two decades.

Ventura, however, expressed concerns over the lack of new revenue streams that would relieve the tax burden for working families, and ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. Ventura sponsored SB 2351, a proposal that would generate additional revenue on financial transactions typically only available to the wealthy.

“While the budget is a positive step forward for many working class families, we also need to take a serious look at how we prioritize what we allocate and how we allocate it,” said Ventura. “We can’t tout smart spending decisions when we are failing to fully fund our schools, we don’t meet the actuarial calculations on pensions, and we aren’t properly funding our local governments. I have been steadfast in my leadership to find new revenue streams to fund the child tax credit and will continue to fight for those in my district.”

“The budget passed today takes positive steps toward increasing workforce development, job creation and accessibility to higher education,” said Ventura. “I remain committed to making Illinois the most inclusive and prosperous state in the nation.”

Ventura stands firm in her belief that the state must add additional ways to increase revenue, which would in turn provide financial assistance to all sectors – from increasing pay for direct support professionals and in-home providers to expanding funds for planting trees.

While Ventura was discouraged that a number of her legislative priorities did not make it into the final budget – despite her tireless efforts and willingness to fight for a seat at the table – a number of local projects she led efforts to fund received a total of $250,000 respectfully:

  • Stepping Stones (Substance Abuse Treatment)
  • Will County Habitat for Humanities (Housing)
  • Will Grundy Medical Clinic (Medical services, and housing for homeless)
  • Holsten Human Capital Development (Food Pantry and Housing)
  • Spanish Community Center (Food pantry and immigrant services)

The budget passed the Senate Thursday.


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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