102523CM1056 rSPRINGFIELD – In an attempt to ensure small contractors and firms have access to bid opportunities with the state, an amended version of State Senator Ram Villivalam’s bill, Senate Bill 157, that reforms the bond process and paves the way for more diversity in state contracting was included in a legislative package.

“Leveling the playing field so smaller bidders can do business with the state is an important part of the commerce process,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “This legislation is a significant step toward diversifying the field so the public works bid process is more equitable for smaller contractors in Illinois.”

House Bill 2878 raises the surety bond threshold for the next five years so bidders on projects under $150,000 have an easier time gaining contracts. The measure gives local governments the ability to contract on the smaller projects without a surety bond, but it also gives them the tools to require a bond for a project under $150,000 if it is passed by ordinance or resolution.

House Bill 2878 passed both chambers of the General Assembly on Wednesday.


Category: Press Releases

kelly sikkema QlYMPCOwvcs unsplash1SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam passed a measure Wednesday supporting water safety instruction incorporated into school curriculum from preschool through sixth-grade following a recent tragedy that occurred in the 8th District.

“With water safety instruction, more of our youth and families will be equipped with the tools to protect themselves and others,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “This legislation is an important step toward saving lives and ensuring better water safety education across the state.”

Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children age 5-14 after car accidents, and at age 15, drowning rates triple. For every fatal child drowning, another eight children receive emergency care for non-fatal drowning injuries. Villivalam’s measure seeks to prevent as many of these deaths as possible by beginning water safety instruction in preschool.

“Drowning is the number one reason a child will die before kindergarten and the number two killer for all of childhood,” said Halle Quezada, a teacher and mother who lives in the district Villivalam represents. “When my four-year-old had fire safety in school, she was eager to make sure our whole family knew how to survive a fire. With this bill, we hope Illinois families will have water safety plans too and we can finally reverse these terrifying statistics.”

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Category: Press Releases

MORTON GROVE – State Senator Ram Villivalam joined Pace and local officials Friday to celebrate the launch of the newest addition to Pace’s growing rapid transit network, the Pulse Dempster Line, which offers passengers a fast and reliable service. The service began daily operations on Sunday, Oct. 29.

“Our public transit system is the lifeblood of our economy, from the suburbs to the city, and beyond,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “I am grateful to the leadership and staff of Pace for their work in taking another major step to ensure that our public transit system is reliable, accessible, affordable, and environmentally conscious for all our residents.”

“Ridership is already up approximately 7% compared to last year, a promising statistic which shows that faster, more frequent service is a key part of bringing riders back to transit and attracting new passengers,” said Pace Chairman Rick Kwasneski.

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Category: News

CHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam applauded news Monday that the Regional Transportation Authority has provided 25,000 transit passes loaded with $20 each to The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence, an Illinois membership organization advocating to end domestic violence through training, education and policy advocacy.

“Access to safe and reliable transportation is one barrier that victims and survivors of domestic violence face on a day-to-day basis. This program will provide access and allow them to safely travel throughout the region to access essential services and opportunities to move forward,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “As Chair of the Senate Transportation committee, ensuring that public transportation is accessible, equitable and reliable for all riders is one of my top priorities, and this program helps us achieve those goals.”

This initiative is the result of House Bill 1342, Villivalam’s public transportation package that was signed into law earlier this year and includes several initiatives aimed at addressing some of transit’s most pressing challenges. Villivalam and Buckner worked closely with The Network and the RTA along with transit operators CTA, Metra and Pace to craft the legislation.

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Category: News

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