Bingo1CHICAGO – To get to know older residents in the districts they represent, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) and State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) visited two local residential buildings to enjoy lunch, meet residents and play bingo.

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Category: Press Releases

PACIONE ZAYAS HB 4243 SB 3032CHICAGO – During the spring legislative session, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas was proud to support two pieces of legislation to help high school and college students access their transcripts without having to worry about unpaid debts.

“When a student works hard to make their grades, they deserve access to those records to assist them in applying for further education or jobs,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “High schoolers especially might struggle with paying fees if they come from a financially insecure household, but that shouldn’t prevent them from accessing their transcripts.”

Pacione-Zayas co-sponsored House Bill 4243, which prohibits public high schools from withholding a student’s grades, transcripts or diploma due to unpaid balances on the student’s account. The new law aims to grant students access to these documents and not rely on their or their family’s ability to pay balances.

Additionally, Pacione-Zayas supported Senate Bill 3032, which similarly prohibits universities from withholding students’ transcripts from employers as a means of debt collection. The measure also requires colleges to create a hardship policy to help students that have to withdraw for financial reasons to leave with as little debt as possible and prevents unpaid fees from being sent to a collection agency to be used against a student’s credit score.

“The rising cost of higher education is a barrier to many students,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Withholding transcripts containing a student’s hard-earned grades because of unpaid fees is an issue of equity, and these measures will combat that.”

Both measures have been signed into law. Both laws are now in effect.

Category: Press Releases

04292021CM0488CHICAGO – An avid supporter of uplifting the diverse cultures within Illinois, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas was recently appointed to the State-Designated Cultural Districts Advisory Committee.

“Illinois is home to hundreds of different communities with unique, distinct cultures,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “I am excited to serve on this committee as a voice of the people who will now have an opportunity to receive tangible recognition at the state level through designated cultural districts.”

The committee was created under a law sponsored in the Senate by Senator Pacione-Zayas, which allows the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to establish the necessary criteria and guidelines for designating such cultural districts. Five such districts can be designated per year, up to a total of 15.

“These designations are a way for our communities to proudly reflect the identity, contributions and history of the people who have helped shape them,” said Pacione-Zayas on the law that was signed last year. “This law gives Illinois communities the chance to pursue community-driven economic opportunity initiatives that ensure our neighborhoods preserve their unique cultures and continue to build legacies.”

Her appointment to the committee is effective immediately and expires on Jan. 11, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Following news of a tragic shooting at a Texas elementary school, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“Words cannot describe the devastation felt across the country right now. As information is released in the coming hours and days, one thing is clear—the lives of nineteen children were taken entirely too soon, along with the life of two teachers, while they were engaged in learning.

“As a mother, I cannot fathom the feeling of sending my child to a place where they are supposed to be safe, gaining knowledge and skills, but having the constant worry if they’ll return home alive and well. In the wake of a mass shooting just 10 days ago motivated by white supremacy in Buffalo, NY, gun violence is too often a common happening in our communities throughout Chicago and across the country.

“Not only am I heartbroken—I am angry. How much longer are we as a country going to allow the proliferation of gun violence? How many more lives will be taken before far-reaching, legitimate change is enacted?

“Right now, as we continue to learn more about the developing situation, I can only offer my deepest condolences. My heart breaks, and I stand in solidarity with all the families affected.”

Category: Press Releases

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