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JOLIET – To emphasize the importance of learning throughout the summer, State Senator Rachel Ventura is hosting a Summer Book Club.

“By reading throughout the summer, students can improve their reading level while not in school,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “This is a great way to keep kids actively learning. Developing a love of reading at a young age is key to a child's development and to increase their desire to read.”

The Summer Book Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books on a form and return the form to Senator Ventura’s office by Aug. 18.

Every child who completes the Summer Book Club will receive a gift card and a certificate from Senator Ventura.

Ventura encourages residents of the 43rd District to participate in the program and visit their local library. Summer Book Club forms are available at the following participating libraries: Woodridge Public Library,Fountaindale Public Library District, Joliet Public Library District, Three Rivers Public Library District, Manhattan-Elwood Public Library, White Oak Library District and Shorewood-Troy Public Library.

Summer Book Club forms are also available to download at as well as contact information for the libraries. People with questions can reach out to Ventura’s office at (331) 290-0443.



SPRINGFIELD – To promote standardization on food labels and reduce food waste across the state, State Senator Rachel Ventura sponsored House Bill 3849, which was signed into law today.

“By providing more guidance on food labels, we can reduce the amount of food ending up in the garbage and help feed more community members struggling to get by,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “As inflation continues to impact the rising cost of grocery bills, some families might extend the shelf life of their food purchases.”

According to ReFED, a national nonprofit working in conjunction with Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic, a national food-labeling standard could divert 582,000 tons of food waste per year and provide $2.41 billion in annual economic value. Illinois does not currently have any food labeling laws; however, if labeled, eggs cannot be sold past the label date.

House Bill 3849 defines "quality date," "safety date" and "sell by date" and requires the Illinois Departments of Agriculture and Public Health to publish information to encourage food manufacturers, processors and retailers to voluntarily use uniform terms on food product labels to communicate quality and safety dates.

Under the law, the definition of "quality date" means a date on a label which informs consumers the date after which the food quality may begin to deteriorate but the food may still be acceptable for consumption.

"Safety date" means a date when the food should be consumed or frozen by the date listed on the package that applies to perishable products with potential safety implications over time. Lastly, "sell by date" means a date which is intended to communicate primarily to a distributor or retailer for purposes of stock rotation.

“This will provide accurate information for consumers about their food and help clear up confusion surrounding expiration dates,” said Ventura. “Not only will this legislation help with food waste, but it will also alleviate food insecurities in some communities.”

House Bill 3849 was signed into law today and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.


SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to alleviate truck collisions with underpasses or viaducts, State Senator Rachel Ventura championed legislation to create a low-clearance early warning device pilot program, which was signed into law Friday.

“Joliet is one of the largest transportation hubs in the state,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Trucks are constantly driving through the city, and far too often, we have seen accidents occur where they hit viaducts or bridges, which becomes dangerous for everyone around them. By creating this program, we can begin to tackle this issue and make our roads safer.”

This legislation requires IDOT to establish a program to put early warning devices on or near bridges or viaducts. Early warning devices may include LiDAR, radar, visual signals or additional signage. LiDAR, or "light detection and ranging,” is a method for determining ranges by targeting an object with a laser and measuring the time for the reflected light to return to the receiver. These various warning devices would be tested within the pilot program.

Additionally, the pilot program will evaluate the effectiveness of an early warning device, design specifications and estimated costs. IDOT will consult with the University of Illinois on the pilot program to brainstorm potential ideas on how to engineer these hazard bars.

“This is a great example of taking a local issue and turning it into a law that can benefit all corners of the state,” said Ventura. “Truck collisions are happening far too often in the 43rd District and across the state, and it’s time we start thinking of effective ways to solve the issue at hand.”

Senate Bill 1653 goes into effect January 1, 2024.



SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has a new law on the books to put a stop to misleading fake “final notices” sent in the mail, thanks to State Senator Rachel Ventura.

“Far too often, new homeowners and seniors are the victims of fake final notices,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “We must end this dishonest business practice so that no one is tricked into purchasing goods or services they don’t need. People shouldn’t have to deal with anxiety-inducing scam letters like these.”

When someone buys a car or home in Illinois, “final notice” letters regarding warranties, protection plans and insurance are often mailed out by third parties to scam recipients into providing information or buying products under the guise of maintaining their home or vehicle.

Ventura’s legislation amends the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to require that senders clearly state that their mailing is not a bill but rather a solicitation of services.

“Vulnerable members in our communities should not have to deal with these types of mail scams,” said Ventura. “My hope is that by Illinois taking the lead in ending this practice, more states will follow.”

Senate Bill 1440 was signed into law today and go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

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Office Info

District Office:
221 Springfield Ave., Unit 3
Joliet, IL 60435
(331) 290-0443

Springfield Office:
119B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8800