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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 was signed into law today.

“Older members of the LGBTQ community face difficulty and discrimination,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “It is crucial that we protect LGBTQ elders’ right to age with dignity, and to access resources without fear. I am proud to say that SB 1319 does just that.”

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Sometimes, 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 the charge on SB 1319 in the State Senate.”

Senate Bill 1319 helps cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults and people living with HIV by recognizing them for aging programs funded through the federal Older Americans Act.  In such facilities, SB 1319 also protects ALL Illinoisans in Assisted Living and Shared Housing Facilities from discrimination for all of the protected categories in the Illinois Human Rights Act, including race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

Governor Pritzker signed this legislation into law on Friday, 8/9 and is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

05012019CM1268SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam’s legislation to streamline the process of appointing a guardian for those children whose parents have been taken into federal immigration custody was signed into law today.

“Now more than ever, it is our duty at the state level to support immigrant families impacted by Donald Trump's horrendous immigration policies," Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. "We need to do whatever is in our power to give parents and guardians at risk of detainment or deportation some peace of mind. That starts with giving them the opportunity to choose who will care for their children should they be forcibly separated, ensuring their children are being taken care of in a safe, nurturing environment. It's the least we can do. Additionally, I want to thank Representative Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz for bringing this issue to the fore and for her tireless dedication.”

House Bill 836 will allow a court to proceed on an appointment of a guardian of a minor if the parents are unable to give consent to the appointment. The appointee will be allowed to extend their guardianship for 365 days if the administrative separation is ongoing. The petition for the appointment must include information about the case, including the time of separation and the known location of the parents.

This legislation takes effect immediately.

 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam issued the following statement following the signing of legislation that would modernize Illinois’ infrastructure:

“For far too long we have let our state's transportation and infrastructure system fall by the wayside,” State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Skokie) said. “By passing this capital plan we’ve begun to address the serious need for investment.”

Since February, the Subcommittee on Capital traveled the state to learn about our construction needs directly from constituents. A wide range of municipalities, non-profits, advocacy groups, and more presented testimony at eight subcommittee hearings in Springfield, Edwardsville, Decatur, Peoria, Chicago, Elgin, and Grayslake.

“Over the course of the past few months I was fortunate to travel the state with my colleagues listening to different constituencies and what their infrastructure needs would look like,” Villivalam said. “The message was clear: our roads and bridges are crumbling, our trains need upgrading, and buildings across the state need repair. I am proud of the work we've done to address these challenges, cementing Illinois as a transportation hub and ensuring our roads are safe for residents.”

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation supported by State Senator Ram Villivalam that would allow for the legal purchase, possession, and taxation of cannabis was signed into law today.

“I am proud to have supported recreational cannabis legislation that has strong social and economic justice provisions,” Villivalam said. “From the research that undeniably illustrates that this is good public policy to the polling that shows that there is broad base of support from residents in the state of Illinois, legalizing cannabis makes sense for our state.”

House Bill 1438:
• Provides law enforcement with the funding and tools to oversee usage.
• Creates a legal industry that ensures minority participation with regard to both equity in ownership and quality employment.
• Expunges minor cannabis offenses to end the vicious cycle of the criminal justice system.
• Provides revenue to the state of Illinois.

The use and possession of cannabis in Illinois become legal Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: Press Releases

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