SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A smart state budget that helps families meet rising costs, stronger youth employment protections, and better access to menstrual hygine products are among the major accomplishments state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, is highlighting from the spring legislative session.

“Aurorans have sent me to Springfield to advocate for their interests, and once again, this year showed a lot of progress, including an efficient budget that works for families,” Hernandez said. “Illinois is building the best eduation system in the country, and that starts with hundreds of millions of dollars for expansions to high-quality early childhood education with hundreds of millions more to K-12 schools. A new child tax credit, investments in early childhood education, maternal health and cutting over $1 billion in medical debt will lend a hand to many families who need it.”

The fiscally and socially responsible state budget Hernandez helped craft creates a new $50 million child tax credit that will put more money in the pockets of modest-income families raising children under 12—helping working families who are struggling with rising costs at the grocery store. Hernandez also worked to put $350 million in evidence-based funding into public school classrooms, on top of the over $1 billion in the past four years. 

“New financial protections for temporary workers and children in the workplace will help keep vulnerable people safe from economic exploitation,” Hernandez said. “Whether fathers on a temporary visa working to feed their families, or kids working an afterschool job, far too often, families pay when people in positions of power decide to take advantage. Everyone deserves equal pay for equal work, and this measure brings us closer to that goal.”

Hernandez’s Senate Bill 3646 creates a new child labor law to keep children safe and free from exploitation in the workplace. In addition to reorganizing old regulations for clarity, it adds many new requirements, such as limitations on how many hours minors can work during a school week. She also put her support behind Senate Bill 3650, which brought in a number of new policies to support temporary workers and ensure they are compensated fairly for their hours.

“Another substantial step forward in healthcare was the progress we made expanding access to menstrual hygiene products,” Hernandez said. “Nonprofits need to be able to distribute these products to underserved communities without fear of a rare negative reaction bringing serious legal consequences. As long as best practices are followed, unlucky complications shouldn’t put a stop to the great work charities are doing in this area.”

Hernandez passed the Menstrual Hygeine Products Donor Immunity Act, House Bill 4264, which was carefully written to protect people and organizations who donate menstrual hygiene products in the unlikely event  of a negative reaction from someone using a donated product. 

Rep. Barbara HernandezRep. Barbara Hernandez

50th District

Springfield Office:
519-C Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 558-1002

District Office:
540 W. Galena Blvd.
Aurora, IL 60506
(630) 270-1848