Senator VillivalamCHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) has been appointed Chair of the Special Committee on Supplier Diversity in the Illinois Senate.

Villivalam will work with members of the committee, the Pritzker administration, and stakeholders to evaluate and propose solutions to improve the diversity of the transportation and infrastructure work that is done in the state of Illinois. The committee is primarily responsible for overseeing public and private sector organizations and ensuring that they offer diverse opportunities to small businesses and job growth for minority, women, and veteran-owned businesses.

“I look forward to expanding opportunities for women, minority, and veteran owned businesses around the state,” Villivalam said. “Supplier diversity is an issue I’ve been working on in the legislature and in my district. My work will prioritize equity while strengthening our economy, two critically important jobs of our state government.”

 

Category: Press Releases

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Ram Villivalam has been appointed to the Senate Special Committee on Pension Investments by Senate President John J. Cullerton to fill the vacancy created by the departure of former State Senator Toi Hutchinson.

“I’m committed to ensuring the state upholds its promise to compensate our hardworking employees upon their retirement and to make sure these investments are indeed smart ones for taxpayers,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “It is our responsibility to ensure that all Illinoisans who dedicate their lives to serving the state are not left without the means to support themselves and to provide fair opportunities for minority-owned businesses that have long struggled to break into the investment industry.”

For over ten years, the Senate Special Committee on State and Pension Fund Investments has made it a priority to monitor the use of minority and female-owned asset management firms and brokerages by public pension systems.

The committee is expected to meet in March.

Category: News

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) voted to advance a pension fund consolidation bill from the Illinois Senate yesterday. The measure would consolidate all local police and fire pension systems outside of Chicago into two larger funds.

“We have 649 pension funds that are getting a wide range of returns on our investments,” Villivalam said. “We need to consolidate and use a more strategic approach so that taxpayers are getting the best returns they can. While this plan isn’t perfect, we’re doing it in a way that protects benefits for our first responders.”

The legislation allows local pension funds to keep their authority to rule on benefits, but transfers all assets and investment authority to the newly consolidated funds over a 30-month transition period.

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget estimates that this consolidation would save $160 million per year. This plan is supported by the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois and the Illinois Municipal League.

“I am committed to working with municipalities so that they are able to continue to make their pension obligations,” Villivalam said. “State and local governments can work together to address the challenges we face.”

Senate Bill 1300 awaits the governor’s signature.

Category: News

Consul General of IndiaSPRINGFIELD – Indian Consul General Sudhakar Dalela was welcomed to Springfield thanks to efforts lead by State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). Villivalam facilitated various meetings between Consul General Dalela, Governor Pritzker and other Illinois leaders before Consul General Dalela addressed the Illinois House and Senate.

Villivalam, the first elected Indian-American legislator in Illinois, highlighted the importance of our state’s relationship with India.

“India is the largest democracy in the world, and with democracies in decline across the globe, it is more important than ever to preserve our relationship,” Villivalam said. “India contributes so much to our county – and to Illinois in particular. I’m very grateful that the Consul General came to Springfield and showed his commitment to our state.”

In his address, Dalela touched on the United States’ and India’s shared democratic values.

“As vibrant democracies, India and the U.S. share many common values and aspirations,” Dalela said. “Our partnership is based on our shared values, such as respect for rule of law, human freedom, free and independent media, and a strong civil society.”

Upholding mutually beneficial economic relations and trade agreements, though, were Dalela’s primary focuses. As the economic hub of the Midwest, Chicago and Illinois enjoy wide-ranging partnerships with India in areas such as trade, education, business and technology. Over 100 Illinois-based companies have locations in India, and Illinois exports roughly $723 million in goods to India.

Sudhakar Dalela has served in the Indian Foreign Service since 1993 and has been stationed in Israel, Brazil, Switzerland, Bangladesh and Washington, D.C. before serving the Midwest in Chicago. Before his work in the Indian Foreign Service, Dalela was a representative for the Permanent Mission of India to the World Trade Organization, a Director in the Prime Minister’s Office and a Joint Secretary overseeing India’s relations with Bhutan and Nepal.

Category: News

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