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Dear Friend,

First and foremost, happy holidays from my family to yours!

As we celebrate, it’s important that we stay updated on the latest COVID-19 information to protect ourselves and our loved ones. The newly emergent Omicron variant is further proof of the importance of following the advice of experts and getting vaccinated to help end this pandemic.

Read on for information about upcoming deadlines for rental, energy and loan assistance this winter and updates on booster dose expansion, getting health insurance coverage and more.

You can also reach out to my office by calling 773-278-2020, sending a text message to 773-207-7838, or sending us a note at to set up an appointment in our district office at 3140 W. Montrose Ave.


Cristina Pacione-Zayas

State Senator | 20th District


COVID-19 booster doses open to all 18 and older

The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending anyone 18 years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose six months after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The best protection against the recently emerged Omicron variant is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot. Visit to find a safe, free and convenient COVID-19 booster vaccine near you.  

Additionally, you can come out to a vaccination clinic at 4432 N. Troy St. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 19 for free vaccines, boosters, COVID tests and more!

Rental assistance available now

The Illinois Rental Payment Program provides financial assistance for rent up to $25,000 to income-eligible Illinois renters and their landlords who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both renters and landlords can apply for assistance beginning Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 through Jan. 9, 2022. Learn more about the program and how to start your application at

Still have questions? Check out a video from Rep. Delia Ramirez here.

The ACA Health Insurance Marketplace is open

Open Enrollment for the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace started on Nov. 1, 2021. Don’t forget to review and compare your health plan options before you choose or renew for 2022. Free assistance is available to help you enroll and you may qualify for financial help. Enroll by Jan. 15, 2022. Visit:




Energy assistance for winter

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Citizens Utility Board are reminding residents to apply for $200 million remaining in utility assistance under Gov. JB Pritzker’s Help Illinois Families initiative – an expansion of the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program under the American Rescue Plan.  

Designed to support Illinois’ most vulnerable families, the program will help cover the cost of heating and energy bills, including expanded benefits provided this year from $750 to $1,000, on average per household.

To learn more and to fill out a new remote application, visit

Reminder: COVID-19 EIDL applications due before Dec. 31

The COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program ends on Dec. 31. Business owners, non-profits and other eligible entities must apply or request an increase by 10:59 p.m. CT that day to be considered for the program. For more information about COVID EIDL, visit the SBA website.

Job opportunities

The Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation is hiring a new Executive Director. The opportunity closes on Dec. 31.

In the community

I was thrilled to be in community last week for the 19th Annual Illinois Legislative Latino Caucus Foundation conference and scholarship award ceremony! Aside from chronicling our legislative wins, our collective response to COVID in and with the community, and celebrating the resilience of 30 scholarship recipients, we also hosted a job fair with 20+ employers. Check out pictures below and Peep our video montage.

Additionally, check out this video from Univison covering the conference.




District announcement

As we celebrate the last holidays of the year and gear up for the upcoming spring session in Springfield, my office will be closed from Dec. 20 through Jan. 2. Please reach out on my website with any concerns or questions and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

Category: Newsletters

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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