Senator VillivalamCHICAGO – To set a standard of dignified working conditions in new industries, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) passed the Future of Work Act in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

“Our economy is changing dramatically to adapt to the pandemic, new industries and technology,” Villivalam said. “Illinois must be a leader in building an equitable future for working families by establishing clear and dignified standards of work.”

The Future of Work Act would establish the Future of Work Task Force to assess new and emerging technologies that have the potential to impact employment and wages, develop a baseline of job standards and working conditions, facilitate workforce development and research best practices on how to deploy technology to benefit working people.

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Category: Press Releases

Originally published on Law360, January 5, 2021.

Illinois would provide income tax credits to businesses for each employee hired who had previously been unemployed because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, under three separate but related bills introduced in the state Senate.

S.B. 4006, S.B. 4010 and S.B 4020, which were introduced Monday and sponsored or co-sponsored by Sen. Ram Villivalam, D-Chicago, would allow credits for businesses that hire employees who are unemployed as a result of the pandemic immediately prior to their hiring.

S.B. 4010 and S.B. 4020 would both provide credits to employers that hire a qualified resident to a new full-time job for taxable years between Jan. 1, 2020, and Jan. 1, 2025. The bills would provide $2,500 per hire for businesses with 100 to 500 employees and $5,000 for businesses with up to 100 employees. S.B. 4010 would also establish a $1,500 credit for businesses with over 500 employees.

Both bills would also increase credit amounts by $500 per hire if the employee resided in designated areas meeting a threshold poverty rate, unemployment rate or participation rate in free child lunch or nutrition assistance programs.

S.B. 4006 provides credits similar to S.B. 4020's but would not limit them to employees that are hired to a new full-time job and does not offer additional amounts for hires from designated areas.

The bills have been referred to the Senate Assignments Committee for review.

Category: In The News

Car stuck in snowCHICAGO – As Chairperson of the Senate Transportation Committee, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging drivers to visit the Department of Transportation’s GettingAroundIllinois.com to track winter road conditions.

“With winter weather and the pandemic, staying home this holiday season is the safest option,” Villivalam said. “If you have to travel, though, make sure your path is safe by visiting Getting Around Illinois for instant updates.”

GettingAroundIllinois.com is available online and optimized for smartphones. Road conditions are recorded by plow drivers out in the field and relayed via network to GettingAroundIllinois.com to provide an up-to-date general overview on IDOT-maintained highways.

Holiday travelers should also make sure they have emergency items in their vehicle in case of a weather emergency or breakdown. The National Safety Council recommends every vehicle have a blanket, first aid kit, spare tire and tools, jumper cables and a flashlight with extra batteries in case of emergency.

Category: Press Releases

Originally published in Chicago Tribune, December 15, 2020.

Residents seeking COVID-19 tests have a new free option from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Appointments must be made online, and the tests are given indoors at the Bernard Horwich JCC, 3003 W. Touhy Ave., Chicago, which is close to Lincolnwood and Skokie. The site has a free parking lot.

On a recent Wednesday in the 11 a.m. time slot, only about seven people arrived for the tests, though the room can hold many more. Most people were in and out within 30 minutes. Chairs are set up in a socially-distanced fashion, and test-takers check in at a desk, then wait to be called to the testing area, where a medical worker inserts a swab part way into their nostrils in a PCR test.

State Sen. Ram Villivalam, a Democrat from the 8th district, said his office worked with others to set up three previous testing sites before this one. At an outdoor, drive-up testing site in Lincolnwood in November, wait times grew to more than two hours, and one day of testing had to be cancelled due to bad weather.

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Category: In The News

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