06292017CM0261RSVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is calling for a full legislative audit into the mismanagement of the Quincy Veterans’ Home that has resulted in deaths of Illinois veterans.

“Our veterans have survived combat zones and foreign conflicts – the greatest dangers they now face should not be living their golden years in a state facility,” Cullerton said. “I’m calling on my colleagues on the Legislative Audit Commission to launch a full examination into the Quincy Veterans’ Home to give the Illinois General Assembly a clear picture of the problems we have on hand. The sooner we examine this atrocity, the more quickly we can remedy the situation.”

Cullerton will file legislation today to quickly begin the audit. He hopes for cooperation from the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission and sent a letter to Co-Chairmen State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Representative Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) for their assistanceto quickly complete the audit. Cullerton serves on the bipartisan commission.

“I’m outraged veterans have died on the governor’s watch,” Cullerton said. “Our nation’s heroes have laid their lives on the line to protect our great nation.  I cannot believe Governor Rauner’s administration has been thoughtless and ineffective in the care and services our veterans continue to receive.”  

Cullerton describes this as another example from the governor’s administration of mismanagement and ineffective usage of state funds and resources.

“Governor Rauner needs to answer for this ongoing epidemic,” Cullerton said. “Governor Rauner has failed our veterans once again. My hope is this thorough examination will result in our nation’s heroes receiving better services and living conditions. They have given us their very best, now it is our duty to make sure they receive the same from us.”

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman and serves on as the Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee.

He will be calling a hearing soon to address this issue and begin examining the care and services veterans receive at Quincy Veterans' Home.

Category: Press Releases

american flagVILLA PARK- Laws to better serve Illinois veterans will go into effect at the start of the New Year, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton passed a series of new laws to guarantee DuPage County veterans have better access to resources and services they qualify for.

“Our nation’s heroes have served our great country with honor, respect and made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” Cullerton said. “These new laws are a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.”

Cullerton served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993. He continues to use his military experience to champion common-sense legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families.

This year, he passed Senate Bill 866, which will require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to provide information and education on service animals to veterans.

“The DVA should serve as a one-stop shop for our veterans,” Cullerton said. “We haven’t been able to explore the effects of using service dogs as alternative treatments since there is a lack of awareness in the veterans’ community. Service dogs may be the missing link to stop save veterans lives across our nation.”

The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Army state that 10-18 percent of returning veterans are likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they return. Some studies suggest that suicide risk is higher among those who experienced trauma due to the symptoms of PTSD.

Read more: Tom Cullerton announces new laws to help veterans in the New Year

Category: Press Releases

051915 js 0211.resizeVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged that ousted Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will receive another state contract from the university.

A judge ruled last month that the university violated the Open Meetings Act when it approved Baker’s bloated severance package this summer soon after he announced his resignation; therefore the severance package is now null and void. Today the board of trustees met and voted unanimously in favor of a comparable contract for Baker.

“Failed administrators and executives shouldn’t receive golden parachutes for wasting taxpayers’ time and money,” Cullerton said. “Our state universities and community colleges need to stop abusing state funds. These dollars should go toward educating our children, not lining the pockets of ineffective administrators.”

Earlier this year, Cullerton was outraged that NIU had agreed to pay Baker $600,000 plus benefits when he announced his plans to step down this summer in the wake of the Illinois Inspector General’s investigation into illegal hires made by the university.

The Inspector General’s report was publicly released on May 31. The report details hires made by Baker and his administration that were paid contracts over $20,000, which are supposed to be subject to competitive bidding in accordance to state law. The jobs were incorrectly classified to get past the requirement according to the report.

“State funds are not Monopoly money,” Cullerton said. “Our public universities and community colleges cannot collect $200 every time they pass go. We cannot afford to waste a single cent on failed administrators who betrayed the public’s trust and abused their great responsibility of educating the future leaders of our great nation.”

Cullerton has been advocating for reforms to adjust the manner by which public universities and community colleges negotiate severance agreements after reports of abuse at College of DuPage, NIU and the University of Illinois.

This year he is fighting for tougher regulations and transparency at public higher education institutions.

“Our public higher education institutions need to focus on finding ways to make college more affordable for students,” Cullerton said. “State funds are meant to educate our children, not for overpaid administrators to mismanage and waste. This legislative session I plan on tackling and putting an end to this academic culture that perpetuates backroom deals for high paid executives and bloated payouts for those who fail to do their job.”

Cullerton is working on tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from paying out administrators while under investigation or found guilty of university mismanagement.

Category: Press Releases

05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging Northern Illinois University to reject President Doug Baker’s Presidential Transition Agreement.

A judge ruled last month that the university violated the Open Meetings Act when it approved Baker’s deal this summer soon after he announced his resignation. Trustees will be meeting on Thursday to take a new vote on a comparable contract for Baker.

“Failed administrators should not receive another single taxpayer dollar,” Cullerton said. “This is a no-brainer. I hope the board agrees.”

Cullerton was outraged that NIU had agreed to pay Baker $600,000 plus benefits when he announced his plans to step down this summer in the wake of the Illinois Inspector General’s investigation into illegal hires made by the university.

“Our higher education institutions need to stop throwing taxpayer dollars at university administrators who mismanage public funds and fail to comply with state laws,” Cullerton said. “Common sense dictates if someone is under investigation for violations made on their watch, we shouldn’t be looking for ways to reward them with states funds.”

The Inspector General’s report was publicly released on May 31. The report details hires made by Baker and his administration that were paid contracts over $20,000, which are supposed to be subject to competitive bidding in accordance to state law. The jobs were incorrectly classified to get past the requirement according to the report.

The Chicago Tribune later reported that two of the nine employees involved in the hiring scandal made more than $400,000 for 15 and 18 months of work.

In October, a NIU official stated the institution was “tens of millions of dollars behind in building maintenance, needed technology updates, and went years without pay raises for faculty and staff.”

“Every dollar, every penny, needs to be put toward the betterment and education of our children,” Cullerton said. “Our state universities and community colleges need to shift their focus to making college more affordable. Plain and simple: state dollars should not be used to line the pockets of unsuccessful administrators.”

Cullerton is working on tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from paying out administrators while under investigation or found guilty of university mismanagement.

Category: Press Releases

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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

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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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