JOLIET – State Senator Rachel Ventura took part in the Illinois Girls Lead Program by welcoming Lockport Township student Sofia Reyes to shadow her earlier this month. The program was launched by Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton for girls in 5th-12th grades interested in policy and government affairs.

“Programs like the Illinois Girls Lead Program are crucial to our state to keep future generations engaged and involved in their communities,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Having a shadow like Sofia gave me the opportunity to showcase all the hard work that legislators do to ensure that residents’ concerns are heard.”

The Illinois Girls Lead Program is centered on imparting social and leadership skills, as well as aiming to open opportunities for career exploration and discussions around education pathways.

“As leaders, we can build the pathways to uplift young girls in achieving their dreams and reaching their goals. The Girls Lead Program is an opportunity for girls in middle school and high school from across our state to learn first-hand what it is like to work in government and policy, and how civic engagement can make a positive impact on so many lives," said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. “This educational experience through the Girls Lead Program not only teaches young girls the hard work and dedication needed for this work, but also provides the support and inspiration that will create the women leaders of tomorrow.”

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura championed a new measure that will protect vulnerable individuals from deceitful tactics in legal proceedings.

“Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect when being interrogated, but too often, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are not afforded these same basic human rights,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Every Illinoisan has the right to be treated as humanely as possible in the interrogation room. Under this law, these vulnerable communities will be rightfully protected.”

Currently, a confession by a minor during a custodial interrogation is presumed to be inadmissible if the law enforcement or juvenile officer knowingly engages in deception. Ventura’s measure expands the definition of a “protected person” in these instances to include both minors and people with severe or profound intellectual disabilities.

“For far too long there were not enough protections in place for people with disabilities in police proceedings,” said Ventura. “We need to build trust with our police and move toward safe and practical measures that don’t prey on vulnerable members of society and penalize them for not understanding interrogation tactics.”

House Bill 3253 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachel Ventura spearheaded a new law that will incentivize the use of renewable hydropower electricity across the state.

“Lifting the limits on these essential hydropower plants will increase jobs, support the green energy economy and make Illinois self-sustainable,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “This will clearly address the ongoing energy problem across the state with real solutions and move Illinois closer to reaching our renewable energy goals.”

Illinois is currently ranked 46th in the nation when it comes to hydropower. With Senate Bill 1474 becoming law, Ventura hopes to advance Illinois’ renewable energy sector.

Under Ventura’s measure, the Illinois Power Agency will procure a percentage of its renewable energy credits from hydropower dams to help increase the use of this renewable energy source. The measure promotes environmental conservation by using dams that already exist, such as the Kankakee Hydropower Dam, the Wilmington Dam, and the Brandon Road Lock and Dam.

“I often hear from constituents who are concerned about their power bill and their utilities being too costly, and this measure will help mitigate it,” said Ventura. “Expanding renewable energy, especially base load capacity, through clean and affordable hydropower is crucial for Illinois to meet the demands of the future. Supporting hydropower today will allow Illinoisans to reapeconomic and environmental benefits for decades to come.”

Senate Bill 1474 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to State Senator Rachel Ventura, a new measure expediting the process for nonviolent offenders entering a work release facility was signed into law Friday.

“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). “This is a great step in the right direction to update the current system in place.”

Within 15 days of a committed person being placed in a work release facility, the Department needs to provide information about the committed person to the state's attorney and sheriff of the county in which the work release facility is located. This information includes, but not limited to: the offender's name, age, physical description, photograph, offense, and sentence for which they are serving time in the Department of Corrections.

Under this new law, 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.

“About 95% of incarcerated individuals are eventually released to Illinois communities. It’s in everyone’s best interest to make their transition successful,” said Mark McCombs, public analyst for Safer Foundation. “Work release programs like those promoted by Senator Ventura and Representative Ammons’

House Bill 3779 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.”

House Bill 3779 was signed into law Friday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

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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