To continue our progress in containing the novel Coronavirus pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker announced he will extend and modify the Stay at Home Order from May 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020.
 
This modification is an effort to give Illinoisans more flexibility while maintaining social distancing--under the new Stay at Home Order, you may be able to spend more time outside, reopen your business, or even return to work. 
 
Here are some changes you can expect to see beginning May 1:
 
  • Face coverings will be required in public indoor spaces. Beginning May 1, individuals over the age of 2 will be required to wear face coverings in public indoor spaces where they can't maintain six feet of social distance, including grocery stores. The modified order will also include occupancy limits for essential businesses. 
  • You will have more options for outdoor activities. State parks will begin a phased reopening in May, and fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Website. Golf will also be permitted, as long as golfers respect strict safety guidelines and social distancing measures. 
  • Some businesses will reopen. Greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries, as well as animal grooming services, will be allowed to reopen as essential businesses. Non-essential retail stores may reopen to fulfill curbside pickup and delivery orders. However, these businesses must follow social distancing guidelines and require customers and employees to wear face coverings.
  • If you return to work you'll be safer. Manufacturers will be required to provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six feet of social distance. The order will also require manufacturers to adopt new practices to protect customers and employees, including staggering shifts and operating only essential lines.
  • Navigating unexpected effects of the outbreak. Schools with dormitories will be given direction on allowing students to pick up belongings, and surgical centers and hospitals that meet strict safety criteria may be able to resume certain elective surgeries. 

Find more details on the modified Stay at Home Order here.

Staying home isn't easy, but it's the best tool we have to fight COVID-19. According to data from top academic institutions and researchers across Illinois, the Stay at Home Order has saved thousands of Illinoisans, if not more--without these restrictions in place, we may have seen up to 20 times as many deaths as we are currently experiencing. 

But, the fight isn't over. The data also suggests the state will see a second wave of the virus if social distancing requirements are lifted now, which could claim tens of thousands more lives.


So, for the health and safety of our friends, families, neighbors, and front line workers, we must continue our efforts to contain the spread of the virus. We know many people are eager to return to their jobs, social lives, and daily routines--we're hoping that this modified order will help ease some of that restlessness. 

If you have questions, are in need of resources, or otherwise need assistance during this difficult time, please don't hesitate to reach out by calling 872-208-5188 or visiting www.senatorram.com/contact-us.

Together, we can finish the job and put a stop to COVID-19. 

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay home. 

Category: News

CHICAGO – State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) has worked closely with members of the communities he represents to support people in need during the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To date, his office has provided and participated in:

  • Calls to more than 100,000 constituents to offer assistance and to answer questions,
  • Regular newsletter updates, FAQs, and resource guides with the latest information,
  • Wellness check calls made to 6,139 seniors, speaking with 855 of them to connect them to vital federal, state, and local services,
  • Assisting on 122 COVID-19 related constituent cases, having resolved 64 of them,
  • 59 food pantry/grocery deliveries,
  • Creation of a GoFundMe that raised approximately $15,000 in support of local food pantries,
  • Coordination of constituent services with other governmental offices and,
  • Several online presentations and briefings with fellow local lawmakers and community leaders, including town halls on resources for small businesses, first responders, and schools. 

“People need the support of their elected officials more than ever during this unsettling time,” Villivalam said. “I encourage anyone in the 8th District who needs help and/or has suggestions on how we can help to reach out to my office.” 

To contact Villivalam and his staff, call (872) 208-5188 or visit his website, www.senatorram.com, to send an email.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Dick Durbin and State Senator Ram VillivalamOn Friday, February 7, 2020, State Sen. Ram Villivalam and Dinkar Karumuri, a local Technology entrepreneur and a community leader, met U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, along with a few immigrant family members from various backgrounds, all of them waiting for more than a decade in the green card approval queue.

Sen. Durbin took the time to hear their stories and explain the improvements he negotiated to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (S. 386). Dinkar Karumuri thanked the senator for his advocacy and support of immigrants throughout his career in public service, while also indicating the desperate nature of the immigrant community’s situation, that there are several stories to share, and that, at the meeting, they had representatives reflective of the population. Sen. Durbin was interested in hearing the stories.

Tanmayi Achanti, a recent graduate of UIC, explained her plight of having to convert her immigration status to an international student visa during her finals and how aging out hindered the opportunities in her job hunt. “I came here along with my parents in the year 2000, as a 3-year-old kid. Chicago is my home, but I am and feel like an alien in my own home now. I moved to a student visa, and it was devastating for my parents and me. At the same time, we see the job offers get rejected even after I am qualified and for the sole reason of companies not being able to sponsor for my work visa per their policy. I stayed strong to console my parent's pain," she said.

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Ram VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) and Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) recently announced new legislation to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s with their expenses.

Senate Bill 3224 creates a $500 tax credit that qualifying volunteer firefighters and EMTs can claim when they file their Illinois income taxes. It is designed to help volunteer firefighters and EMTs pay for expenses, such as medical and fire equipment, training, licensure, and even insurance. Villivalam and Barickman hope that reducing the financial burden of volunteering can help local fire departments to recruit new volunteers to bolster their efforts to protect the public.

"Volunteer EMS and fire services, like Hatzalah in the district I represent, supplement and boost the critical work of our firefighters throughout the entire state," said Senator Villivalam. "This tax credit will enable volunteer services to boost recruitment and continue providing lifesaving, high quality assistance."

“Volunteer firefighters and EMTs put their lives on the line for us with little or no pay of any kind, even though they have to pay equipment and training costs,” said Sen. Barickman. “This legislation will help offset some of their costs and hopefully make it easier to do their job, which is to protect all of us.”

Senate Bill 3224 has been assigned to the subcommittee on tax exemptions and credits.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office
3851 W Devon Ave
Chicago, IL 60659
(872) 240-2169

Springfield Office
M120 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5500

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