Preston ValentinesDayCardsforSeniors 2024 TWCHICAGO – To express love and lift the spirits of local seniors, State Senator Willie Preston is collecting store-bought or handmade cards to deliver to senior facilities on Valentine’s Day.

“Our older residents are the pillars of our communities,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “I encourage families, students, community members and anyone able to send in or make a valentine to help spread love to our older neighbors.”

Preston’s office will collect Valentine’s Day cards from now until Friday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. The cards will then be donated to local senior facilities across the 16th Senate District.

People wishing to participate can drop off cards at Preston’s district office or mail them to 8500 Pulaski Rd., Chicago, IL 60652.

For questions, people can call Preston’s office at 773-912-6255.

Category: Press Releases

Sen. Willie PrestonCHICAGO – With support from State Senator Willie Preston, Indian Springs School District 109 in Justice received $2,000 for resources to libraries through books, e-books, audiobooks, periodicals, multilingual materials, technology and programs.

“Funding our school libraries is key to providing our students with a quality education,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “Equipping our schools with these necessary resources will help our schools prepare each and every student for a better tomorrow.”

Based on a statutory formula, school districts receive $0.885 per student enrolled at each school with a qualified library. Funding for the School District Library Grant Program originates from the General Reserve Fund and is appropriated for this purpose by the Illinois General Assembly.

The grants, awarded once every fiscal year, support school library services for over 1 million students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade across the state.

“Illinois is upholding their responsibility to ensure we create opportunistic learning environments for our students,” Preston said. “This funding echoes our schools’ commitment to students, parents, staff and community members.”

For a full list of libraries that received funding, visit the Secretary of State’s website.

Category: Press Releases

correctional facilitySPRINGFIELD – Taking a step forward to ensure the safety and well-being of employees and incarcerated individuals, State Senator Willie Preston’s law addressing indecent exposure in correctional facilities goes into effect Monday, Jan. 1.

“We must ensure a safe and respectful environment for every individual held or employed in correctional facilities,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “Indecent exposure within these facilities is a violation of human dignity and a blight on our justice system. Women, especially, are targets of this inappropriate behavior. Through this law, we will be able to address and eradicate these gender targeted incidents, fostering a secure environment for employees and individuals in the state’s care.”

This law amends the Criminal Code of 2012 to create the offense of “lewd sexual display in a penal institution,” making it a Class A misdemeanor for incarcerated individuals to expose themselves with the purpose or effect of intimidating, harassing or threatening someone. Repeat offenders face more severe penalties, with subsequent violations being considered Class 4 felonies. The provisions will also allow for thorough review of annual reports provided by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority in 2028.

Brought forth by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, the new law mirrors penalties for public indecency but changes the penalties given the context and motivation of the crime. It excludes juvenile detention facilities, individuals under the age of 18 and those living with a behavioral health issue.

House Bill 1399 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases

preston 022223CM0339SPRINGFIELD – A law championed by State Senator Willie Preston requiring the Secretary of State to provide previously incarcerated individuals with an Illinois ID upon their release goes into effect Monday, Jan. 1, 2024.

“We are offering a lifeline to individuals who have paid their debt to society,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “Access to valid identification isn’t just about a card; it’s a key to unlocking opportunities, restoring dignity and rebuilding lives. This law ensures individuals aren’t faced with unfair barriers while reentering our communities.”

The new law requires the Secretary of State to provide individuals committed to the Illinois Department of Corrections or the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice with a valid ID after receiving the individual’s birth certificate, social security card, photograph and proof of residency upon discharge.

The corrections agencies are required to help the individual obtain a certified copy of their birth certificate and social security card. If, for any reason, an individual does not receive an ID, they must be provided with information on how to obtain an ID at least 45 days prior to their discharge.

“This important legislation ensures everyone leaving Illinois correctional facilities will have a state ID to help them reintegrate into the community,” said Reverend Lindsey Hammond, Restore Justice Policy Director. “Restore Justice has heard far too many stories, including from our staff members, about the difficulty of obtaining an ID. This is frustrating for people who are eager to restart their lives and contribute to their communities. Thank you, Senator Willie Preston, Representative Cyril Nichols and all of the bill’s co-sponsors for supporting people coming home and their families.”

The Policy Manager at Restore Justice, James Swansey, returned home from prison three years ago and knows how important it is for Illinois to prioritize re-entry services and resources.

“Coming home after prison, whether someone spent decades or years incarcerated, is an incredibly difficult process,” said Swansey. “You are starting over. It can be difficult to find a job and a place to live, and it is challenging to navigate a changed world. By making it easier for people to secure IDs and start the process of adjusting to life at home, Illinois is helping people be successful.”

House Bill 3345 goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases
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Office Info

District Office:
8500 Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60652
(773) 912-6255

Springfield Office:
Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring St.
Section C, Room N
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607