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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) older adults passed the Senate on Wednesday.

“It is important to protect our LGBTQ population at all ages. The older members of this community face very specific challenges as they age,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “We need to ensure that aging programming by service providers and the environments in assisted living facilities are welcoming and inclusive, and I’m proud to say this legislation does just that.”

Senate Bill 1319 would both highlight to service providers the need to develop aging programming that includes LGBTQ people and help cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults.

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois said. “Sometimes, many LGBTQ older adults are forced by circumstances to go back into the closet as they age because of the absence of inclusive programming by service providers and a lack of affirming care in long-term care facilities. As they age, we must ensure laws and programming support and affirm them. Thank you, Sen. Villivalam, for leading this charge.”

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) released a statement following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address this afternoon.

"It is a relief to serve with a governor who shares our values,” Villivalam said. “We have difficult choices ahead of us. This budget won’t be a solution to all of the problems we face in Illinois, but it's a start.”

The budget proposed by Pritzker, which covers July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, calls for increased funding for education paid for by revenues that will be primarily created with the legalization of recreational marijuana and sports gambling.

“Investing in education is one of the most important things we can do as legislators. To keep our young people in Illinois we need to provide quality higher education opportunities in our state so they go to school here, get jobs here and choose to raise their families here,” Villivalam said. “By no means will these new revenue sources solve every problem we face, but ensuring that all students in Illinois in K-12 and beyond have the tools to succeed is a good start.”

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – A bill was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker today that will gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour.

“Today's historic minimum wage success is thanks to a broad coalition of labor, business, advocates, members of the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker,"Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. "At long last working people will be provided with a sense of dignity, fairness and stability in everyday life while also allowing them to spend money on things they need, resulting in a boost to our local economies."

This legislation is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders. Labor and business organizations such as Tom Balanoff, Greg Kelley, Diane Palmer and SEIU Healthcare, as well as Sam Toia and the Illinois Restaurant Association, were instrumental in putting 1.4 million Illinoisans on the path to a living wage. The new law also includes tax credits for small businesses.

Senate Bill 1 will be phased in over six years to provide businesses time to adapt to a new minimum wage in Illinois. SB 1 will raise the minimum wage to:
• $9.25 per hour from Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020
• $10 per hour from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
• $11 per hour from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021
• $12 per hour from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022
• $13 per hour from Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023
• $14 per hour from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024
• $15 per hour on and after Jan. 1, 2025

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House today approved a measure that will gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour.

“I’m thankful that the House followed the Senate's lead in moving this vital legislation forward," said Villivalam (D-Chicago). "This legislation will provide working people with a sense of dignity, fairness, and stability in everyday life. Furthermore, it will allow working families to spend money on things they need, which results in a boost to our local economies."

This legislation is the result of the hard work and collaboration of a wide range of stakeholders. It includes tax credits for small businesses while putting 1.4 million workers on a path to a living wage. Labor organizations and business groups, such the Illinois Restaurant Association, are in support.

Senate Bill 1 will be phased in over six years to provide businesses time to adapt to a new minimum wage in Illinois. SB 1 will raise the minimum wage to:
• $9.25 per hour from Jan. 1, 2020, to June 30, 2020
• $10 per hour from July 1, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020
• $11 per hour from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021
• $12 per hour from Jan. 1, 2022, to Dec. 31, 2022
• $13 per hour from Jan. 1, 2023, to Dec. 31, 2023
• $14 per hour from Jan. 1, 2024, to Dec. 31, 2024
• $15 per hour on and after Jan. 1, 2025

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed.

Category: Press Releases

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