parkCHICAGO – With strong support from State Senator Ram Villivalam, the City of Chicago, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, and the Skokie, Niles and Morton Grove Park Districts are set to receive nearly $2.2 million for land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects.

“Parks and green spaces make our communities a great place to call home and keep our youth engaged in safe, constructive activities,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “This investment will ensure that we are keeping our recreation areas modernized and ready to enjoy for generations to come.”

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Category: Press Releases

­Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker delivered his FY24 budget proposal to the Illinois General Assembly:

“As part of our commitment to making Illinois the best place to raise a child, I am encouraged that the governor wishes to expand on our investment in education – from pre-K to university. Our youth need a support system that allows them to achieve long-term success, and $250 million in early childhood education funding will provide a solid foundation for their futures.

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Category: Press Releases

NEIUCHICAGO – Northeastern Illinois University and North Park University are set to receive more than $800,000 for academic and social-emotional learning support through a grant provided by the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

“Student mental health is one of the top priorities for institutions of higher learning in Illinois,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), who represented NEIU and North Park University. “Our local universities will be able to use this new funding to enhance mental health services and build a more equitable learning space.”

This is the second round of GEER grants to Illinois institutions of higher education to help mitigate the effects of the pandemic. More than $10.5 million in grants have been distributed to 21 universities in the state, both public and private institutions. Northeastern Illinois University was awarded $700,856 and North Park University was awarded $115,697.

These funds will help institutions better support students in their journey toward degree completion by improving the accessibility of academic advising and counseling resources and enhancing the quality of learning through digital tools and educator professional development. Grant funds will also help institutions invest in infrastructure for mental health and wellness by addressing gaps in mental health services on campus and improving the availability of counseling services.

For more information about the second round of GEER grants and to see a complete list of grant recipients, visit IBHE’s website.

Category: Press Releases

Senator VillivalamThe development of a plan for a stronger and more financially secure transit system for Chicagoland is now underway.

The outcome will be a set of state legislative recommendations that ensure the long-term financial viability of a comprehensive and coordinated regional public transportation system, as required by state law enacted last year.

With a fiscal cliff facing the region’s transit providers, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor J.B. Pritzker approved Public Act 102-1028. The law requires the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), in collaboration with stakeholders, to submit a report that considers transit system funding, governance, coordinated regional service, and other factors. The Plan of Action for Regional Transit, or PART, report is due to the legislature by January 1, 2024.

Illinois Senator Ram Villivalam (District 8) and Representative Eva-Dina Delgado (District 3) sponsored the legislation.

"Illinois has the opportunity to build a more equitable and accessible future for transit. A reliable public transit network means better access to jobs and essential services for working families,” said Sen. Ram Villivalam. “I am proud to have passed legislation that brings our partners in the industry together for a coordinated effort in addressing the challenges we face. With their recommendations, we will lay the foundation for a more robust and inclusive regional transit network that serves our neighbors in every community.”

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Category: Press Releases

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