051923CM0143rSPRINGFIELD – To provide better health care treatment to diverse communities, State Senator Ram Villivalam passed legislation to establish provisions on cultural competency training for licensed health care professionals.

“Many studies have shown the difference in care people from different backgrounds receive when seeking health care, and this legislation aims to address those gaps,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Cultural competency training is an important tool to make sure doctors and health care professionals are providing equitable care to all communities they serve.”

The legislation, House Bill 2450, establishes provisions on cultural competency training for licensed health care professionals and sets limitations for the training requirements. For individuals whose renewal occurs every two years, they must complete all statutorily mandated topics within three renewal periods. For individuals whose renewal occurs every three years, they must complete all topics within two renewal periods if statutorily mandated.

The legislation will also require Alzheimer’s training to be completed prior to the end of the first renewal period.

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Category: Press Releases

051023CM0800SPRINGFIELD – To provide more food options for all faiths in Illinois, State Senator Ram Villivalam is sponsoring legislation that would provide kosher and halal food options in public schools and state facilities.

“We are recognizing the cultural needs of our community and this is a big step for families who eat kosher or halal,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “Everyone deserves to have an option that fits their needs. With this legislation, those who seek Halal or Kosher food options will have a path to receive them.”

The new legislation, House Bill 3643, would require all public schools, the University of Illinois Hospital and state correctional facilities to offer a kosher and halal food option upon request.

Specifically in schools, the bill would require the State Board of Education to enter into a statewide master contract with a vendor and provide districts access to the contract to more efficiently provide the meals to students. The prepackaged meals for schools would be required to meet both the state and federal nutritional guidelines for school lunch programs.

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Category: Press Releases

051723CM0474rSPRINGFIELD – To make public transit safer, stronger and more affordable, State Senator Ram Villivalam led a comprehensive public transit plan through the Senate.

“Public transportation is used by hundreds of thousands of Illinois residents every day,” said Villivalam (D-Chicago). “We are building a transit plan that includes all communities and creates a more equitable future for residents who rely on our transportation system.”

The measure – House Bill 1342 – would allow public transit agencies to suspend riders if the rider commits or provides a reasonable apprehension of assault, battery, sexual assault, or violations of public indecency toward an employee or another commuter.

To help survivors of domestic violence seek the services they need and deserve, House Bill 1342 would also require the Regional Transportation Authority to distribute 25,000 pre-loaded $20 fare cards to domestic violence service providers. Additionally, this legislation would provide for reduced fares for our youth as they travel to and from their place of employment.

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Category: Press Releases

051623SC6022SPRINGFIELD – From making public transit safer and more environmentally friendly to providing reduced fares and financial assistance for at-risk communities, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus are leading a comprehensive public transit plan, which they outlined at a press conference Tuesday.

“Public transit is essential to people’s lives and livelihoods,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago), Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “Illinois must build an equitable future for public transportation that prioritizes all of our neighbors.”                                

The measure – spearheaded by Villivalam – would allow public transit agencies to suspend problematic riders if the rider commits or provides a reasonable apprehension of assault, battery, sexual assault, or violations of public indecency.

“HB1342 is a significant step to get our public transportation systems on the right track,” said Frances Orenic, Illinois AFL-CIO Coalitions Director. “Transportation operators have been under assault and are asking for solutions. This legislation provides operators with the resources they need to care for themselves, and to guarantee optimal conditions for riders by putting public safety first.”

To help survivors of domestic violence reclaim their autonomy, House Bill 1342 would also require RTA to distribute 25,000 pre-loaded $20 fare cards to domestic violence providers to assist victims and their dependents.

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Category: Press Releases

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