081915CM0995RTrsVILLA PARK— Illinois is currently paying $2.4 million to rent space in Springfield to store Department of Human Services’ records in a warehouse that could have been bought for $750,000.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged at Governor Rauner’s irresponsible use of state funds.

“The governor prioritizes paper over people,” Cullerton said. “Meals on Wheels, rape crisis centers and mental health facilities are surviving on bare-bones budgets while state files are living the high life. It may be difficult for a big-time businessman to get this, but the state doesn’t have $1.65 million to waste on careless expenses.”

The Springfield warehouse was a former showroom of Barney’s Furniture before the store moved to a new location last year. Climate Controlled Holdings LLC bought the building from Barney’s. Climate Controlled then leased the building to the state for five years at a cost of $478,256 annually for the first two years, and $487,881 for years three and four, and $497,507 for the final year.

“Maybe this is a good deal for his insider friends, but it’s a horrible deal for the people of Illinois,” Cullerton said.

The latest Sangamon County assessment shows the building has a fair market value of $1.2 million. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee found the building could have been purchased for $750,000. Cullerton is calling for the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission to conduct a statewide audit of state facilities to explore savings and root out irresponsible leasing agreements.

“The governor may not be aware, but we are in the middle of a state budget impasse,” Cullerton said. “As Illinois social agencies continue to struggle, we are asking the governor to lead. Be part of the solution. Don’t continue to waste valuable taxpayer dollars with reckless decisions.”

Cullerton sits on the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission Committee, a bipartisan and bicameral group of 12 legislators who are responsible for the oversight of the State Audit Program, review of the stewardship of public funds and the monitoring action to correct weaknesses disclosed by the audits of state agencies.

“The time for the governor to act is now. Illinois cannot afford to waste a single cent,” Cullerton said. “The Legislative Audit Commission should call for an immediate investigation into how the governor’s handpicked department head could abuse taxpayer funds and trust. I’m here to represent the people of the 23rd Senate District and ensure we make sound financial decisions to protect the future of our children and this great state.”

Category: Press Releases

PHOTO Tom Cullerton honored for protecting mental health fundingSPRINGFIELD – The Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois (ACMHAI) presented an award to Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for his efforts to protect mental health funding.

Cullerton advanced legislation last year to push for greater local government consolidation.

During negotiations, he learned that local health boards could be caught in the crossfire of potential government consolidation plans.

He worked diligently to ensure local mental health dollars were protected by removing Community Mental Health Authorities from potentially disastrous effects.

Cullerton, chief architect of the government consolidation models used in Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 4501, worked with ACMHAI to make sure DuPage County’s vulnerable populations were protected from unintentional consequences.   

“The purpose of government consolidation is to streamline processes to make sure government is working in step with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “Government should be efficient and effective. But when we eliminate services for our most vulnerable residents, our efforts become counterproductive. I simply cannot stand for that.”   

ACMHAI plans to continue working with Cullerton to advocate for state mental health funding.

"Senator Cullerton has shown great leadership in his commitment to protect the $75 million in local mental health grant funding resources generated in local counties, townships and municipalities throughout the state of Illinois,” Debbie Humphrey, ACMHAI President said. “At a time when demand for mental health and substance abuse services is dramatically increasing while funding sources are shrinking, these valuable local funds serve as an important lifeline to those seeking access to treatment."

Category: Press Releases

DSC 5504SPRINGFIELD- In 2016, roughly 6.6 million people were stalking in the United States according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is pushing for Senate Bill 623 which would expand Illinois’ stalking laws to include stalkers who use technological means such as phone tracking applications to pursue their victims.

“Your phone should be a tool to help you feel safe, not make you more vulnerable to potential stalkers,” Cullerton said. “We live in an age where we take our phones everywhere. If a stalker has access to tracking applications on a victim’s cellphone it will accelerate dangerous behavior.”

The Department of Justice reports that 1 in 13 victims were stalked through the use of GPS technology and other forms of electronic monitoring.  With the advancement of technology there is a potential for this figure to dramatically increase.

“It’s important for us to put protections in place to protect victims from technological advances,” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 623 will declare the use of technology as placing a person under surveillance for the purpose of stalking which is a criminal offense.

Senate Bill 623 is currently in the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law.  Cullerton is also the sponsor of House Bill 3251 which is similar to his initiative.

Category: Press Releases

TCullertonCommittee31015SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed a measure to end the Senate’s General Assembly retirement system.

Cullerton advanced Senate Bill 1404, which would mean the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) would no longer accept new senators.

“It’s time to end extravagant perks,” Cullerton said. “Public service means doing what is best for our state, and ending the General Assembly pension system is a step in the right direction.”

Cullerton is one of at least 20 active legislators who do not collect a pension from GARS.  

“I’m in Springfield to do the work of the people of the 23rd District,” Cullerton said. “I didn’t run for office for the lavish perks but to make a difference and be a strong advocate for our communities.”

Senate Bill 1404 passed the Senate’s Committee on Licensed Activities and Pensions with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

Category: Press Releases

Petition: Do Not Tax Retirement Income

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CONTACT SENATOR CULLERTON

Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

Springfield Office
122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463