021622CM0860SPRINGFIELD – To offer students more options following graduation from high school, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) advanced two measures out of the Senate Wednesday.

“Many students are pushed toward college from a young age, but it’s important for them to know that there are other options if that’s not what they want to do,” Pacione-Zayas said. “From furthering education in the trades or going straight into a career, these young adults deserve to know what else is out there.”

Senate Bill 3990 requires school counseling services to include Career and Technical Education to help students consider secondary education plans following high school. Notably, provisions in Illinois’ Clean and Equitable Job Act will create new opportunities for technical jobs in the clean energy sector.

Additionally, Senate Bill 3988 passed the Senate, which lowers the age for paraprofessionals in Pre-K through eighth grade classrooms to 18 years old, rather than 19. There are currently 1,242 unfilled paraprofessional positions in school districts across the state, and this legislation would open the door to filling those positions with additional qualified candidates.

“Addressing the teacher and teacher aid shortage is crucial to getting students the individualized support they need,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Aside from giving recent graduates additional options for careers right out of school, this measure will help get more educators into classrooms.”

SB 3990 and SB 3988 passed the Senate Wednesday and moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

04292021CM0488SPRINGFIELD – To increase accessibility for higher education, State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) has advanced a measure to allow the state treasurer’s office to make payments to Children’s Savings Accounts specifically for students from financially insecure households.

“Historically, Black and Latine families have faced systemic barriers to higher education including affordability, and we need to make sure the programs we have in place to help children are as equitable as possible,” Pacione-Zayas said. “Children’s Savings Accounts are a great mechanism for helping students afford education expenses, but we need to make sure families who need help get assistance.”

The Illinois Children’s Savings Account program will go into effect in 2023. Under the current program, applicable families will receive a seed deposit of $50. Senate Bill 3991 allows the state treasurer’s office to supplement CSA’s for financially insecure households with additional funds.

“As a parent of three children, I have spent years advocating for a statewide children’s savings account program. I didn’t go to college, but my son was lucky enough to receive a scholarship,” said Liliana Olayo, Co-President POWER-PAC IL and member of the Steering Committee of Financial Inclusion for All Illinois. “With a statewide CSA program that promotes equity, more families like mine will have hope for the future and an investment in their children’s potential early on.”

Additionally, the legislation also requires the treasurer’s office to collect more data on program participants to keep track of the community’s social and geographic makeup. This will help further ensure equitable roll out of the program.

“When kids know that their state and their parents are investing in a Children’s Savings Account, they are more likely to believe in themselves and their future. Through Illinois’ CSA program, we can restore students’ hope that has waned over the last two years,” said Amy Eisenstein, Coalition Manager for Financial Inclusion for All Illinois. “Now is the time to fund and implement Illinois’ CSA program with the equity measures included in SB3991, which we are thrilled has passed the Senate.” 

SB 3991 passed the Senate Wednesday and goes to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Estimado amigo,

Los comités están trabajando en toda su capacidad y las legislaciones van avanzando en Springfield. Estoy trabajando duro con otros líderes y grupos en iniciativas para apoyar a nuestros estudiantes. Continúe leyendo para saber más sobre mi legislación, así como para informarse sobre próximos eventos y más.

Adicionalmente, la semana pasada el gobernador anunció el retiro de la orden sobre el uso de cubrebocas en interiores -que ocurrirá este 28 de febrero. A pesar de que esta disposición será retirada, usar el cubrebocas en un espacio interior donde hay congregaciones de gente sigue siendo recomendado, y vacunarse sigue siendo nuestra mejor forma de combatir esta pandemia.

Como siempre, siéntase en libertad de comunicarse con mi oficina para recibir asistencia llamando al 773-278-2020, enviando un mensaje de texto al 773-207-7838, en mandando un mensaje a través de www.senatorpacionezayas.com/contact-us.


Senadora Estatal, Cristina Pacione-Zayas |Distrito 20

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Category: Newsletters

Para leer en español, haz click aqui

Dear friend,

Committees are fully underway and legislation is moving down in Springfield, and I’ve been working hard with stakeholders on legislation to support our students. Read on to learn more about my legislation as well as upcoming events and more.

Additionally, last week the governor announced plans to lift state’s mask mandate on Feb. 28. While the mandate will be lifted, wearing a mask in indoor or crowded settings is still recommended, and getting vaccinated is our best chance at combatting this pandemic.

As always, feel free reach out to my office for assistance by calling 773-278-2020, sending a text message to 773-207-7838, or sending us a note at www.senatorpacionezayas.com/contact-us.


State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas | 20th District

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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