SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura passed a new measure that would expedite the process from 15 days to three days for nonviolent offenders entering a work release facility.

“We have had great conversations with the Department of Corrections and the Association of Sheriffs on this measure to ensure that these nonviolent incarcerated individuals will not be penalized by waiting behind bars for an unnecessarily long time period,” said Ventura (D-Joliet).

Within House Bill 3779, DOC must provide notice "as soon as reasonably practicable" to incarcerated individuals near the end of their sentence who are eligible for home confinement or other confinement outside a DOC facility.

Under this measure, the Department needs to provide electronic notification concerning the committed person to the state's attorney and sheriff of the county in which the work release facility is located within three days of a committed person being placed in the facility. This information includes, but isn't limited to: the offender's name, age, physical description, photograph, offense, and sentence for which they are serving time in the Department of Corrections.

“About 95% of incarcerated individuals are eventually released to Illinois communities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make their transition successful. Work release programs like those promoted by Sen. Ventura and Rep. Ammons’ HB3779 have a proven track record of making those transitions successful. Participants in those programs are 50% less likely to recidivate than those who do not. HB3779 is an important step toward making Illinois the Second Chance State,” said Marc McCombs, the Public Analyst for Safer Foundation.

House Bill 3779 passed through the Senate on Wednesday and now heads to Governor.


Joliet Library

JOLIET– Children and families will soon be able to take advantage of more books and other materials at the Joliet Public Library following a grant of $221,784 to expand their collection, State Senator Rachel Ventura announced Tuesday.

"Libraries offer communities a multitude of opportunities – from leisurely reading materials to resources to learn and grow," said Ventura (D-Joliet). "I myself enjoy frequenting the library with my daughters and enjoy taking the classes they offer. This grant continues to make the library a safe, well-equipped place for everyone."

These grants, awarded once every fiscal year, will help provide library services to nearly 12 million patrons statewide and approximately 150,000 Joliet residents. The Joliet Public library intends to use this funding to increase their collection of local-history and Spanish-language materials and for the purchase of e-books.

The Public Library Per Capita Grants are authorized under Illinois library law for public libraries. Each year it allocates money for books and learning materials, staff, equipment, digital access and new technology.

"We are so thankful to the Illinois General Assembly and the Illinois Secretary of State for this supplement to our budget," said Executive Director of the Joliet Public Library Megan Millen. "This annual grant helps the Joliet Public Library continue to provide materials and fantastic customer service to our community."

“Our public libraries play a vital role and serve as the cornerstones of Illinois communities,” Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said. “I’m thrilled to be able to support libraries statewide, including the Joliet Public Library in their ongoing efforts to best serve the community.”

More information about the Public Library Per Capita grant program can be found here.


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura passed a measure through the Senate that mandates all vehicles owned by the state, a state agency, a unit of local government or any other political subdivision either be a manufactured zero-emission vehicle or converted into a zero-emission vehicle.

“By complying with The Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) to have one million electric cars by 2030, we can begin to position Illinois to save money in the long run and protect the environment,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Our state set forth bold carbon-reduction goals in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, and by passing this measure we can work towards achieving those goals.”

Ventura’s measure aims to lower the state’s overall emissions by addressing the pollutants released into the air by vehicle emissions, which have a direct impact on the environment. Illinois is poised to become a national hub for electric vehicle and battery production. Electric school buses have already started rolling off the line at Lion Electric's Joliet factory. State and local governments would be supporting this emerging industry by transitioning vehicles to electric or zero-emissions under Senate Bill 1769.

Highway vehicles release about 1.4 billion tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere each year — mostly in the form of carbon dioxide — which contribute to the global climate crisis. Roughly five to nine tons of greenhouse gases are burned each year for a typical vehicle according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

“We cannot afford to waste time on pressing issues like emissions,” said Ventura. “We want government to do their part and meet these goals, and this would begin to fulfill them.”

Senate Bill 1769 passed through the Senate on Thursday and heads to the House for consideration.


SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Rachel Ventura is spearheading a new measure to expand greater access to broadband at all public schools and libraries in the state.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the crucial need for all Illinoisans to have access to broadband,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “High-speed internet is at the forefront of all parts of life – from work to school, and everything in between.”

Senate Bill 851 would require the Broadband Advisory Council to conduct a feasibility study to determine best practices for expanding connection to all public schools, public libraries and state-owned correctional facilities, as well as how to connect to all remaining anchor institutions to the Illinois Century Network. The study will be due Jan. 1, 2024, with a goal of implementing the findings by 2030 and would increase speeds up to 1 gig.

The Illinois Century Network is a state-owned and operated broadband network that provides Internet connectivity for thousands of sites statewide, ensuring high availability for cloud-based content, disaster recovery services, data, video and audio communications.

“We must mend the digital divide facing far too many communities in Illinois,” said Ventura. “Our goal is to move the state forward toward greater inclusivity and accessibility.”

Senate Bill 851 passed through the Senate on Thursday and moves to House for further consideration.

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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