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Villivalam appointed to serve on Senate Special Committee on Pension Investments

Published: Friday, December 20, 2019 11:38 AM

villivalam 051619SPRINGFIELD - 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.

Morrison: Individuals with disabilities have a valued role in contributing to our state

Published: Friday, December 20, 2019 09:47 AM

morrison 122019SPRINGFIELD – People with disabilities can often face barriers when looking for employment. However, Illinois continues to lead by example to break down those barriers.

Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) passed legislation that will require the state to facilitate the hiring of individuals with disabilities.

“Having a job means having dignity, independence and purpose, regardless of whether an individual has a disability,” Morrison said. “The state of Illinois should be a leader in showing that individuals with disabilities are just as capable in the workplace and have a valued role in contributing to our state and our economy.”

The measure – which passed without opposition in the spring – aims to make state jobs more accessible for individuals with disabilities. The Department of Central Management Services will be required to send the Successful Disability Opportunities List to any agency that is hiring.

The Successful Disability Opportunities Program helps guide people with disabilities through the Illinois hiring process. Once a person qualifies for the program and successfully passes a test, they will be on the SDO list for a year. The list will now be distributed to hiring agencies when a list of potential hires is requested.

Senate Bill 190 takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Pritzker announces major investment in downstate child care centers

Published: Friday, December 20, 2019 09:31 AM

childcare 122019CHICAGO – Child care providers in certain downstate Illinois counties will see their reimbursement rates increase by 20% under the Child Care Assistance Program, Governor J.B. Pritzker announced this week.

In order to address Illinois’ early childhood workforce crisis, child care reimbursement base rates for all child care centers and home-based providers are increasing by 5% statewide, with an additional 15% increase for providers in counties that are categorized as predominately rural, including Macon County.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said the move will improve access to child care in Central and Southern Illinois communities and boost wages of child care workers.

Castro responds to controversial Trump administration energy ruling

Published: Thursday, December 19, 2019 03:45 PM

castro 013019SPRINGFIELD – A ruling by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could result in Illinois residents paying nearly $1 billion more in electricity bills. In a 2-1 vote split along party lines, the Trump-appointed majority imposed new rules that could prevent clean energy sources from competing in the energy market.

Upon hearing about the ruling, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), a sponsor of the Clean Energy Jobs Act, issued the following statement:

“If the Trump administration is going to continue its attack on clean energy, then it is imperative we act with urgency. We must work on the Clean Energy Jobs Act and ensure it passes through the General Assembly during the upcoming session, allowing us to take matters into our own hands and prevent utility bills from skyrocketing.”

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