CHICAGO –To help individuals enroll in health care following a law expanding health care access, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas and other local officials are hosting an enrollment event to answer questions about eligibility and offer assistance.

“Before this expansion, many people in my community were unable to access safe, affordable health care, which was detrimental to their physical health and quality of life,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “I am thrilled that Medicaid-like health care coverage is now accessible to all folks who qualify under the poverty guidelines, regardless of immigration status, because healthcare is and should be treated as a basic human right.”

Thanks to a new law supported by Senator Pacione-Zayas, HBIA, or Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults, enrollment is now available to anyone in Illinois age 42 or older who earns under 138 percent of the federal poverty guideline—regardless of immigration status. This measure will have an enormous impact on many immigrant families who have struggled to access health care in the past, or even avoided necessary treatment because of their immigration status or financial resources. Sen. Pacione-Zayas is looking forward to how this initiative will improve health care access for families in her community.

“In a medical crisis, the last thing folks should have to worry about is if they should risk not seeking medical attention because the costs are too high—they should only have to worry about getting themselves or their loved ones better,” Pacione-Zayas said. “This law is the first step to making health care more financially accessible. I look forward to seeing the impact on this enrollment drive in my community, and making sure families can focus on nursing their loved ones back to health instead of how they can afford to pay for health care out-of-pocket.”

The health care enrollment event will take place on Aug. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northeastern University’s El Centro campus. Attendees should also bring their identification, proof of income, and proof of household size.

Walk-in appointments will be available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to availability. However, those wishing to attend the event are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance by calling 312-620-7592.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Building upon the smart infrastructure investments supported by Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced an investment of $219.6 million in road and bridge improvement projects. Sen. Pacione-Zayas looks forward to the investment’s impact on roadways in her community.

“Our infrastructure is essential to keeping our community connected and ensuring people can commute to work safely,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “We need to continue to improve our state’s aging infrastructure by making our roadways more accessible for commuters and maintain high standards of safety.”

As part of IDOT’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, the district Pacione-Zayas represents will see 26 infrastructure projects totaling more than $219.6 million over the next six years.

Some of the vital projects coming to the area include:

  • Bridge restoration and pavement maintenance on I-94, I-90, and the Kennedy Expressway
  • Rehabilitation of expressway lane on Kennedy Expressway

These projects are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, a $34.6 billion investment in construction projects for the next six fiscal years.  

The $34.6 billion will go to highway reconstruction and preservation, bridge improvements, strategic expansion, system support such as engineering and land acquisition, and safety and system modernizations. Over six years, the funding will be dispersed to improve more than 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of bridges.

“This investment will be transformative for our communities, and will keep our economy moving forward,” Pacione-Zayas said.  “I am eager to see the results of this investment in the coming months and years.”

To find a full list of projects slated for the 20th Senate District, visit IDOT’s website.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO –State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the Inflation Reduction Act, which the U.S. Senate successfully passed and will now move for consideration to the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The Inflation Reduction Act, should it pass and be signed into law, would be a huge step forward for our country. By addressing climate change and health care, it will bring our nation into a more sustainable, stable future.

“While these achievements deserve celebration, the legislation falls short of addressing the ongoing struggles many families face—affordable access to child care.

“We know our children will be the ones to live with the consequences of the actions we take today, and it’s essential that we make sure each and every child is set on a path to thrive through affordable access to high quality early childhood care and education, early intervention services and more.

“Here in Illinois, with the assistance of federal relief funds, we’ve increased the budget for early childhood education, extended support for families searching for employment by subsidizing child care, incentivized higher rates of pay for care providers, reduced co-pays for providers who also have children, increased funding for non-traditional hours of care for first responders, and increased access for child care and early intervention for families in care.

“At the end of the day, Illinois cannot fight the fight for equitable, affordable child care alone—we need federal action to ensure a sustainable path forward for our youngest children. I celebrate victories on other fronts at the federal level, but I also call on Congress to consider commensurate investments in our children as they continue to negotiate the IRA.”

Category: Press Releases

YouthCouncil2CHICAGO – To prioritize leadership and community engagement opportunities for high school students who live in the 20th Senate district, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas recently facilitated multiple experiences for members of her office’s Youth Advisory Council throughout the city.

The group joined Palenque LSNA for a tour of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and helped host a table providing information on state and local resources at the Art in the Park event in Unity Park.

“It’s been incredibly inspiring to see this group of young people pour into our community over the last couple months,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “The Youth Advisory Council gives them space to build relationships amongst each other and other community mentors as they enhance leadership skills, while also advising me on how I can lift up issues and priorities informed by a youth lens.”YouthCouncil8

In addition to volunteering in community events, the Youth Council has also been hard at work on two research projects. Together with members of Pacione-Zayas’ office, the students are creating a policy proposal on two issues: reducing recidivism and addressing the lack of mental health resources in schools.

The other project explores ways Latine voices are represented in the policymaking process and is led by Oswaldo Alvarez, executive director of the Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation.

“The Youth Advisory Council is a great way for students in our community to learn the ins and outs of state government while also being a voice for their generation,” said Stefani Scott, the 20th District Youth Employment Coordinator. “I am excited to see what this cohort goes on to achieve as they return to school this fall and beyond.”

The work of the Youth Council culmiated in their participation in the ASPIRA Club Youth Leadership Summit on Aug. 5, where young people across the state came together to bring awareness to issues like gun violence, homelessness, economic development and more.

YouthCouncil10“I’m not able to vote yet but the issues in my community impact me,” said one participant of the council. “The most impactful takeaway from this experience is that it has strengthened my political efficacy, allowing me to be civically engaged in meaningful ways that aren't voting and inspiring me to continue staying engaged.”

More information on the 20th District Youth Advisory Council including pictures and an interest form can be found on Sen. Pacione-Zayas’ website.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Information

Springfield Office:
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8191
District Office:
3140 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 278-2020