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

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 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.” is available online and optimized for smartphones. Road conditions are recorded by plow drivers out in the field and relayed via network to 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

COVID testing siteCHICAGO – In light of the likely rise in positive COVID-19 cases due to holiday travel, State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) is urging residents to take advantage of a newly opened permanent testing site set up at the Bernard Horwich JCC in the Rosenstone Room.  

“We need to continue and improve our testing operations to stay ahead of the virus and prevent a big post-holiday outbreak,” Villivalam said. “This testing site is free, and it’s easy to get a fast test.” 

The testing site will open this Friday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. and is located at 3003 W. Touhy Ave. in Chicago. Testing will be available Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Simple nasal swabs will be used, and there is free parking on site. Anyone can get tested regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms, but appointments are required to avoid overcrowding and to allow for social distancing. The tests are free, and the results will be available within three to five days. Residents should bring their insurance card if they have one, but anyone can still get a test without insurance. 

“If you traveled to celebrate the holidays with friends or family, getting a test is the best way to make sure you aren’t accidentally bringing the virus home to a loved one,” Villivalam said. “We all want to see our loved ones, especially during the holidays, but we also need to make sure we take every possible precaution to remain in good health.” 

Appointments can be booked on the JCC testing website

Category: Press Releases
utility disconnection noticeSPRINGFIELD – Several Illinois state senators are calling on Gov. JB Pritzker to introduce a new moratorium on utility disconnections, as Illinois enters the dangerously cold part of the winter and the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated economic impact continue.
We appreciate that the governor has continued his moratorium on evictions, but in Illinois, a home without heat is not a safe home in the winter,” said State Sen. Laura Fine (D-Glenview). “We need to ensure that everyone continues to have a safe place to live until this crisis has passed.”
Fine, along with her colleagues State Senators Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights), Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove), Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest), Robert Peters (D-Chicago), Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago), and Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), sent the governor a letter urging him to institute a new moratorium on utility shutoffs, to be in effect until the crisis or winter ends.
"Due to the deadly nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we advocate for a much needed stimulus package from the federal government, we need to take every action possible as a state to ensure the safety and health of our residents, including the avoidance of any utility disconnections," Villivalam said. "This will be among the most difficult holiday seasons that our families and our children will experience. Let us take one large burden and uncertainty off the table for our constituents."
Though the senators acknowledged that many utility companies have already voluntarily increased protections against shut-offs this winter, they believe that the rule needs to include all utility companies, and that this is too big of an issue to rely on voluntary compliance.
Were seeing people struggling, especially in Black and Brown communities, and especially employees of restaurants, bars, and other service industries,” Villanueva said. While we appreciate that some companies have already stepped forward to offer more protections, we need to ensure that no Illinois family has to worry about losing access electricity or gas this winter.”
The full text of the letter is available here.
Category: Press Releases

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