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Villivalam seeks to ensure LGBTQ elders will not face discrimination

Published: Friday, April 12, 2019 01:13 PM

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – Legislation Sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) older adults passed Senate on Wednesday.

“It is important to protect our LGTBQ population at all ages. The older members of this community face very specific challenges as they age,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “We need to ensure that aging programming by service providers and the environments in assisted living facilities are welcoming and inclusive, and I’m proud to say this legislation does just that.”

Senate Bill 1319 would both highlight to service providers the need to develop aging programming that includes LGBTQ people and help cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults.

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois said. “Sometimes, many LGBTQ older adults are forced by circumstances to go back into the closet as they age because of the absence of inclusive programming by service providers and a lack of affirming care in long-term care facilities. As they age, we must ensure laws and programming support and affirm them. Thank you, Sen. Villivalam, for leading this charge.”

The bill now moves to the House for consideration.

Villivalam moves to crack down on assault and harassment against hotel and casino employees

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2019 10:30 AM

Hotel EmployeeSPRINGFIELD – Legislation to improve the safety of hotel and casino employees passed the Senate 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 now moves to the House for consideration.

Villivalam presents legislation to protect immigration status in civil cases

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2019 09:46 AM

Senator VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – 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.”

Villivalam presents legislation to protect immigration status in civil cases

Published: Thursday, April 11, 2019 08:59 AM

Sen. VillivalamSPRINGFIELD – Legislation to protect immigration status in a civil case passed the Senate Wednesday.

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.”

Sen. Ram Villivalam

Sen. Ram Villivalam

8th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Education; Human Services; Labor; Transportation (Vice-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Capital.

Associated Representatives:
John C. D'Amico
Yehiel M. Kalish