02072018CM0131 RSMANTENO— State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is praising Gov. JB Pritzker’s move to protect Illinois’ veterans.

On Friday, Pritzker issued an executive order to examine and get to the bottom of the Legionnaires’ crisis in the state’s veterans’ homes.

Pritzker’s administration is directing the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to issue a report  within 120 days that will provide a comprehensive review of weaknesses, strengths and opportunities for improvement of policies, protocols and procedures related to ensuring the health and safety of residents and employees at Illinois veterans’ homes.

“This report will help move us in the right direction. It’s about time that we get a comprehensive review of the Legionnaires’ crisis in our state veterans’ homes,” Cullerton said. “The last administration focused on playing political games instead of providing real answers to help alleviate this catastrophe. I look forward to reviewing the report and coming up with long-term solutions to protect the health and safety of our veterans for generations to come.”

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman and has been a staunch advocate for Illinois’ veterans, especially those at the Quincy home greatly impacted by continuous cases of Legionnaires’ disease during the last governor’s watch.

“Our nation’s heroes have survived foreign conflict zones – the greatest danger they face should not be living in a state facility,” Cullerton said. “We need to work together in a bipartisan manner to take care of our veterans, like they took care of us.”

cullerton tom2014VILLA PARK — State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is wishing residents of the 23rd Senate District a safe holiday season and making sure they are aware of the new laws that will hit the books Jan. 1.

“I’m proud to represent the residents of the 23rd senate district in Springfield,” Cullerton said. “I hope everyone has the opportunity to visit family and loved ones. Travel safety is also important, and there are many new rules we should be aware of as we approach the new year.”

Cullerton supported a number of measures such as House Bill 4377, which will require children under the age of two to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is more than 40 inches tall. 

“Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13,” Cullerton said. “It is important that we take every precaution to save lives.”

College Affordability

Cullerton has worked to increase college affordability in Illinois, passing two laws to help in that effort. Thanks to his efforts, public universities and community colleges are now required to work with local high schools to ensure students are credited for their dual-credit courses taken in high school. Another law prohibits schools from limiting the number of credits a student may receive from dual-credit courses.

“As college tuition continues to rise, dual-credit courses provide numerous economic and educational benefits for students and families,” Cullerton said. “As the father of three boys, I know what parents are experiencing. As parents, we want our children to graduate from college with an endless opportunities, not endless student loan debt.”

Good Government

Illinois will also have a new law on the books to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

The law championed by Cullerton will eliminate severance packages for employees that have been fired for misconduct and limit government-paid severance packages to an amount no greater than 20 weeks of compensation.

“This commonsense law will protect Illinois taxpayers from being on the hook for the actions of disgraced public officials,” Cullerton said. “This will help put a stop to the state handing out blank checks to those who fail to do their jobs.”

Cullerton urges residents to click here to view a complete list of laws that will go into effect in the New Year.

resizeVILLA PARK— Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois residents will have a faster method to speed up the government consolidation process, thanks to Villa Park Democrat State Senator Tom Cullerton.

The new law will accomplish this by decreasing the waiting period from 150 to 60 days after the first mandated county audit is performed.

“Consolidating government the right way will help lower property taxes for DuPage County residents,” Cullerton said. “Speeding up the process will help residents experience government savings sooner rather than later.”

Previously, it could take over two and a half years for some Illinois counties to consolidate local government entities.
In 2013, Cullerton worked with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin to implement an effective government consolidation model to eliminate redundant forms of government. Last year, Cullerton continued to advance his mission of making sure government is working in tune with the needs of Illinois’ residents.

“Government should change to fit the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “Outdated and ineffective government entities are a blatant disservice to the public. This commonsense change will ensure government works more efficiently and effectively to serve the citizens of Illinois.”

When the original DuPage pilot program was created in 2013, Cullerton agreed to a number of provisions, including a 150-day waiting period after the first audit was performed. House Bill 5777 reduces that waiting period from 150 to 60 days to speed up the process and help counties receive results more promptly.

“DuPage County is proof government consolidation works,” Cullerton said. “Saving vital taxpayer money while working toward effective government is a win for everyone involved.”

05032017AM5839VILLA PARK – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois will have a new law on the books to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

The law sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton will eliminate severance packages for employees that have been fired for misconduct and limit government-paid severance packages to an amount no greater than 20 weeks of compensation.

“This commonsense law will protect Illinois taxpayers from being on the hook for the actions of discredited public officials,” Cullerton said. “This will help put a stop to the state handing out blank checks to those who fail to do their jobs.”

The law was brought forward by Cullerton in partnership with the Better Government Association.

The Daily Herald reported that suburban taxpayers are often hit the hardest by this practice. Government administrators are frequently advised to grant rich severances in an attempt to head off employment litigation, so the law is aimed at counteracting these actions.

Some of the employees who were fired for misconduct have received severance pay packages.
Cullerton’s new law will be known as the Government Severance Pay Act and is expected to save taxpayers millions of dollars over the next decade.

“The days of handing out bloated severance packages to disgraced public officials are coming to an end,” Cullerton said. “Our state cannot afford to waste a single penny, especially to help folks who treat taxpayers like their own personal piggy bank.”

Senate Bill 3604 passed the Senate and House with unanimous support. Cullerton will continue to work to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in the 101st General Assembly which is scheduled to start at the beginning of the new year.

 

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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