CPZ SB 1833CHICAGO – A plan introduced by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) to allow for the designation of cultural districts in Illinois was signed into law today in an effort to help affirm the identity of communities in Illinois and preserve their distinct legacies.

“These designations are a way for our communities to proudly reflect the identity, contributions and history of the people who have helped build them,” Pacione-Zayas said. “I thank the governor for signing this into law and giving Illinois communities the chance to pursue community-driven economic opportunity initiatives that ensure our neighborhoods preserve their unique cultures and continue to build legacies.”

An initiative of the Puerto Rican Agenda, the new law 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. The process will be overseen by an advisory board, which the legislation specifies must be made up of a diverse group of board members along racial, ethnic, and geographic lines.

“As we move into economic recovery from the pandemic, it is imperative that we recognize and invest in the rich cultural heritage of Illinois’ diverse communities,” said House Assistant Majority Leader Delia Ramirez, who sponsored the measure in the House. “This initiative will allow DCEO to help communities foster and preserve their distinct cultural legacies.”

Senate Bill 1833 was signed on Friday. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2022.

Category: Press Releases

CPZ 3620CHICAGO – An expansion of child care benefits will be made permanent under a measure sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago).

“Living has become more expensive for families while wages and the federal poverty level have stubbornly remained at the same inadequate levels, and today we have acknowledged that reality,” Pacione-Zayas said. “I applaud everyone who stepped up to demand this permanent adjustment, and I want to thank Governor Pritzker for being on the right side of this issue.”

Earlier this summer, Pritzker announced an expansion of the Child Care Assistance Program that would allow the Illinois Department of Human Services to facilitate improvements including reducing family payments, preserving co-pay percentage limits, updating income thresholds for eligibility for assistance and more.

In 2015, cuts to child care funding prevented many families from accessing assistance, with about 90%of parents losing eligibility after the budget cuts were implemented. House Bill 3620 and the new improvements at DHS clarify and expand the existing Child Care Assistance Program to ensure that families are able to access the support they need to pay for child care so the budget cuts that hurt so many families cannot happen again. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has showed us that child care is essential both to working families and to the growth of our state,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Children will one day grow into the future leaders of our society, and they deserve quality child care to help them reach their potential, regardless of how much money their parents make.”

HB 3620 is in effect now.

Category: Press Releases

CPZ HB 3595CHICAGO – To help clarify the Department of Children and Family Services’ role in assessing the living situations of children placed with parents out of state, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) spearheaded a law signed Friday that lays out clear guidelines for when DCFS can assess these living arrangements.  

“We have a clear duty to children who are or have been in state care, and it can’t be hindered by confusion over geographical lines,” Pacione-Zayas said. “This legislation will fill help fill in the gaps in current policy and make it easier for DCFS to do its job and protect our state’s children.”

Currently, the Interstate Compact of Placement, which is a statutory agreement between every state that governs the placement of children from one state into another state, is unclear regarding two specific situations in which a child is placed in care in a different state: situations where a child is being placed back with parents living outside Illinois, and situations where the department must assess a child’s well-being with a guardian who lives out of state when another party (usually the child’s parent) seeks to vacate the guardianship order.

In the event that the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children declines to assess a child's living arrangement for either of these matters, the law allows Illinois courts to order DCFS to assess a child's living arrangement.

House Bill 3595 was signed Friday and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

Pacione Zayas Guzzardi Back2School

CHICAGO – State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D- Chicago) along with State Rep. Will Guzzardi, the Kelvyn Park Advisory Council and other community partners hosted a Back-to-School Fair Saturday, featuring free school supplies, COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, dental exams and more.

“It was a beautiful day, and I was so excited to see all the families come out to participate in our Back-to-School fair,” Pacione-Zayas said. “The event was a testament to the importance of coming together as a community to make sure our kids have the resources they need to start the school year off strong.”

Over 700 backpacks full of school supplies were distributed at the event. Additionally, the event saw the launch of a Mercado that hosted various vendors selling new and used goods and yard sale items, as well as an area with food trucks.

Pacione-Zayas and other stakeholders also came together to provide the community with resources for rental and housing assistance, child care options, youth programs and more.

“It takes a village, and this weekend the village came out in full swing to help families and students get ready to start the school year,” Pacione-Zayas said. “I am so proud of all the hard work our volunteers and vendors put in to help this event succeed. I can’t wait to see how this event evolves and grows in the coming years.”

To see more pictures, videos and resources from this weekend’s event, visit the Kelvyn Park Advisory Council’s Facebook page. Chicago Public School students and families can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments or find vaccinations sites on the CPS website.

Category: Press Releases

Follow Sen. Pacione-Zayas

facebooktwitterinstagram

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Office Information

Springfield Office:

Stratton Office Building
Section F, Room H
Springfield, IL 62706

 

District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020