Aquino’s RISE Act signed by Pritzker

graduates 062119CHICAGO – Undocumented and transgender students in Illinois will now be eligible to receive state financial aid for higher education as Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity (RISE) Act into law today. State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) sponsored the legislation in the Senate.

“Every student, regardless of their immigration status or gender identity, deserves full access to higher education,” said Aquino. “Now that we will provide these students with the means to attend an institution of higher education, we will see a massive return on investment when they graduate and enter the workforce as productive employees.”

The RISE Act, filed under House Bill 2691, allows transgender students who have not registered for selective service and undocumented Illinois residents to apply for state financial aid such as the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grant.

Aquino worked with students and immigration activists to develop the bill with Representative Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero).

House Bill 2691 takes effect immediately.

Sen. Omar Aquino

Senator Omar Aquino

2nd Senate District
Majority Caucus Whip

Years served: 2016 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I (Vice-Chairperson); Appropriations II; Education; Government Accountability/Pensions; Higher Education; Licensed Activities; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Subcommittee on Charter Schools; Labor (Chairperson); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Biography: Born and raised on the Northwest Side of Chicago; B.A. in Criminal Justice and Sociology, Loyola University Chicago; Bilingual Case Manager at Central West Case Management Unit at the Jane Addams School of Social Work; Legislative Assistant in the Illinois House of Representatives; Outreach Coordinator for Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth; Devoted to improving education, aging services and human services.

Associated Representatives::
Luis Arroyo
Delia C. Ramirez