JOLIET – State Senator Rachel Ventura joined Governor JB Pritzker to announce the expansion of I-80, a move that will lead to safer commutes, more jobs and greater economic development, at a press conference Wednesday morning in Joliet.

“Unchecked warehouse expansion in and around Joliet has made our interstates unsafe. The governor's proposed interstate expansion will decrease traffic congestion and improve safety issues on I-80,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Locally, this stretch of I-80 is known as ‘the death highway.’ I hope this expansion improves traffic safety so we can move on from the stretch of the highway's dangerous past.”

Project improvements include:

  • Pavement reconstruction with full shoulders throughout the 16-mile corridor
  • Addition of auxiliary lanes between the busiest interchanges to allow more length for drivers to enter and exit the travel lanes
  • Wider shoulders to better accommodate vehicle breakdowns and first responders
  • More than 35 bridge rehabilitations and replacements, including replacement of the Des Plaines River bridges

“The excessive truck traffic in and out of the inland port also deteriorates local roadways and forces local taxpayers to pay for perpetual repairs,” said Ventura. “I will continue to push legislation that creates a permanent infrastructure budget around inland ports as we continue to see the rise of internet sales and a decrease in local brick-and-mortar sales revenues.”

For additional information on the I-80 expansion, visit


BOLINGBROOK – State Senator Rachel Ventura released the following statement after the tentative agreement between United Auto Workers and General Motors, ending a seven week strike that took part in Bolingbrook:

“The deal struck will not only increase pay for employees, but also solidify that temporary workers would be made permanent full-time workers after a few months on the job. Further, it calls for better retirement benefits for all.

“I have been a staunch advocate for unions and will continue to fight for our working class, as they are the backbone of what makes our country succeed. This strike was hard fought and one of the longest U.S. auto strikes in the past 25 years, showcasing UAW’s determination for better benefits and pay.

“I am from a proud union family and seeing this tentative agreement one step closer to being finalized is a victory for hardworking middle class families across the district, state and country.”


JOLIET – To mark Illinois becoming the first state to eliminate the use of money bond, State Senator Rachel Ventura, alongside the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice and numerous Joliet officials and organizers, held a press conference at the Will County Courthouse Monday. Ventura made the following comments during her speech.

“For two years, Illinois has been preparing to implement the Pretrial Fairness Act,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “Judges, prosecutors, law enforcement and public defenders from across the state all played a role in creating the framework for the end of money bond and worked together to guide implementation. There should be no excuses when it comes to properly implementing this law.”

Under the old pretrial system, the amount of money someone had determined whether they were released — not whether they pose a threat to someone else or are likely to flee prosecution. On Sept. 18, Illinois’ outdated system — which allowed anyone in jail who could afford to make bail to be released pending trial — came to an end.

The Pretrial Fairness Act was upheld as constitutional by the state’s highest court on July 18, ensuring the end of money bond and implementation of a fairer legal system based on safety, not wealth, won’t be delayed any further.

“Being poor is not a crime and should never be the sole reason a person remains incarcerated as they await their trial,” said Ventura. “Today is a positive step forward, yet there are many more fights that must happen to close the wealth gap – and that starts with investing in root causes of crime.”

To learn more about cash bail ending, visit and to watch the press conference live watch here.



JOLIET — State Senator Rachel Ventura is encouraging all eligible people to apply to this year’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to help with utility costs. Applications will be accepted starting Oct. 2 through Aug. 15, 2024.

“Everyone deserves to live in a habitable environment, regardless of their income,” said Ventura (D-Joliet). “With rising energy costs, programs like LIHEAP are essential to reducing health and safety issues that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices.”

The energy bill assistance program offered through the Help Illinois Families Program in program year 2023 will provide $237 million to eligible families to assist with natural gas, propane and electricity bills. Last year's LIHEAP funding provided assistance to a record number of 311,214 households.

Beginning Oct. 2, eligible families can apply to this year’s program by visiting or by visiting their local agency (a list of partners throughout the state can be found here). Families can also call 1-833-711-0374 for assistance in 30 languages.

“LIHEAP is one of the most critical components of the social safety net that helps residents from all walks of life,” said Ventura. “As winter nears, I want to urge all Illinoisans who are eligible to apply for this life saving assistance.”

All families who meet the qualifications and provide proper documentation will receive support until funding is exhausted. Families who earn up to two times the federal poverty level are eligible to receive support through LIHEAP.

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Office Info

District Office:
221 Springfield Ave., Unit 3
Joliet, IL 60435
(331) 290-0443
(815) 240-9057 [TEXT]

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