03282019CM0419

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to protect immigration status in a civil case passed the Senate today.

State Senator Ram Villivalam is the chief sponsor of this initiative.

“In spite and especially because of what Donald Trump says and does at the national level as it relates to immigrants, SB 1429 cements the fact that the state of Illinois is a welcoming state to all immigrants,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “People are clearly afraid that their immigration status will be used against them should they even make it to a civil proceeding. This legislation will ensure that immigration status remains confidential and cannot be used against them.”

SB 1429 would make a person's immigration status generally inadmissible in civil proceedings unless it is essential to prove the element of a case or an affirmative defense. If enacted, Illinois would be following the lead of Washington and California, both of which have enacted a similar policy.

“No immigrant should be fearful of coming forward to report an injustice, whether it be a workers' compensation issue or an instance of sexual assault,” Villivalam said. “If it’s not relevant to the case, it should be off limits.”
This legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

03072019CM0765

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam, an advocate for social workers statewide, is proposing that March be declared Social Work Month in Illinois:

“I’m thrilled SR 59 was adopted by the Senate today,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “Social workers dedicate their lives to enhancing the well-being of those they serve. It is encouraging to me that this profession is one of the fastest growing nationwide.”

The social work profession is expected to grow faster than average over the next seven years, with more than 682,000 people nationwide expected to be employed as social workers by 2026. Social workers elevate and empower people, giving them the ability to solve problems, cope with personal roadblocks and get resources they need to succeed.

“Ensuring that March is dedicated to paying homage to the profession of social work is the least we can do,” Villivalam said. “They are ready and willing to help solve pressing issues, most notably the availability and quality of mental health services. Thank you to those who have dedicated themselves to helping others in this capacity.”

Category: Press Releases

03192019CM08711
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to improve the safety of hotel and casino employees passed the Senate Labor Committee today.
“I’m proud that the first piece of legislation I filed in Springfield proactively ensures that workers at hotels and casinos are protected against sexual assault and sexual harassment,” Senator Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “One of my top legislative priorities is furthering protections for working people in Illinois, and this bill protect some of the hardest working people in the hospitality industries.”

Senate Bill 75 calls for hotels and casinos to ensure that a sexual harassment policy is in place to protect their employees. In addition, it requires that employees who work in closed spaces have access to a safety button or notification device that would alert security to the presence of assailants.

Similar measures have been adopted in Chicago, Seattle, New York City, and Miami Beach. In the wake of this movement, a number of prominent hotel operators have voluntarily pledged to roll out safety buttons by 2020, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, and InterContinental Hotels Group.

“No one deserves to feel unsafe in their work environment,” Villivalam said. “By following the example of some of the nation’s most populous cities, we will provide a safer and more productive workplace to those who work at these facilities. I also want to thank UNITE HERE, the Hotel and Motel Association and Caesars Entertainment for their advocacy on this legislation.”
The legislation is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

01082019CM0166

SPRINGFIELD - Legislation to assist Alzheimer’s patients seeking care passed the Senate Human Services Committee this afternoon.

State Senator Ram Villivalam is the chief sponsor of the initiative.

“People with early onset Alzheimer's and dementia and their caregivers often don't know where to start when looking for helpful resources,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “This bill will make it clear which services are available and how to access them.”

SB 187 would require the Illinois Department on Aging to develop educational materials, including a website, that indicate the services that are available to all diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or a related disorder as defined under the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Act, regardless of age.

“Alzheimer's and dementia are both extremely hard for patients and their caregivers to manage, no matter the onset age,” Villivalam said. “We need to ensure all who need it have access to care.”

Category: Press Releases

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