Originally publish in The Daily Line on April 5, 2021.

Mass transit became an immediate casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, as nationwide stay-at-home orders and crowding concerns drove Americans away from trains and buses.

The drop-off did not spare Chicago-area transit networks, which saw a freefall in ridership in April and May 2020, according to a March 25 report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. Even as the region began to partially reopen in June, CTA buses saw a 50 percent decline in trips compared to 2019, while CTA trains suffered a loss of 77 percent and Metra lost 89 percent of its riders.

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Category: In The News

School busesCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is announcing that school districts in the 8th Senate District will receive over $23 million in additional funding to help address the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I want to thank our local teachers, parents and students for their work during the pandemic and our state and national leaders for making this happen,” Villivalam said. “This year posed challenges on our educators, and I am confident that these extra funds will help them succeed in the upcoming school year.”

The funding comes as part of the most recent federal COVID-19 relief packages. Schools, students and parents have overcome challenges that no one could have imagined before the pandemic began, including remote and hybrid learning, digital connection issues, new processes for receiving state and federal aid that normally flow through schools, and more.

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Category: Press Releases

Originally published in CBS News on March 26, 2021.

CHICAGO (CBS)– A bill to stop illegal gun ownership in Illinois could be closer to becoming law.

Just a few hours ago, its sponsor explained the bill does four important things.

“It insures we do background checks, it ensure we obtain finger prints, it ensures were are giving the Illinois State Police the ability to take the guns of folks that shouldn’t have them and it makes sure that we’re getting funding, life-saving mental health funding, to the communities that have been most impacted by gun violence ,” Sen. Ram Villivalam said. “The time to act is now.”

The senator says he has 25 co-sponsors in the state Senate and needs five more to sign on.

Category: In The News

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – Twenty-four Illinois Senate Democrats signed on to State Senator Ram Villivalam’s (D-Chicago) legislation to block the illegal ownership of firearms on Thursday following a series of shootings across the country. 

“We must take bold action now to protect our communities,” Villivalam said. “Reasonable gun safety measures that a majority of Americans support, like background checks, must be a part of the process to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals.”

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Category: Press Releases

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