american flagVILLA PARK — The families of armed service members killed in action or on duty will have greater power to terminate their fallen loved ones’ lease obligations thanks to a law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

House Bill 4317, which allows dependents of fallen service members to terminate a lease, was signed into law on Friday.

“Gold Star families have sacrificed more than most of us can imagine,” Cullerton said. “Nothing can ease their suffering but it is our duty to give them the necessary protections to take the difficult steps forward after saying goodbye to their loved ones.”

Previous law allowed service members to terminate a lease if they receive changes to deployment orders, but there was no law in place to allow dependents of fallen service members to terminate leases.

“This is a commonsense law that will make a difficult task a little easier,” Cullerton said. “This should have been law already.”

The measure was modeled after North Carolina law which allows an immediate family member or lawful representative of a service member killed in duty to terminate the service member's lease.

House Bill 4317 passed with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK – Gov. Rauner took steps today to endanger Illinois voter’s personal information.

Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2273 which would prohibit the Illinois State Board of Elections from sharing any voter information with the controversial Crosscheck system or any other interstate voter registration program other than the mandated Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged that the governor supports storing sensitive voter registration information unnecessarily on insecure servers.

“Elections empower residents to take an active role in the democratic process. Illinois’ citizens should be able to register to vote without fear that their personal information may be susceptible to hackers,” Cullerton said.

Illinois currently participates in two multistate voter registration sharing programs: Crosscheck and ERIC.

State elections officials say the ERIC system provides more reliable information and greater security for personal information than Crosscheck.

Crosscheck is managed by Kansas’ Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and according to researchers at Harvard and Stanford, the program compares data that is insufficient to produce dependable results.

Astoundingly, researchers found Crosscheck was 99 percent more likely to purge legitimate voter from the rolls as opposed to illegitimate ones. The system is also a glaring security risk, as it uses minimal IT security and its operators have demonstrated a disregard for basic cybersecurity protocol, leading to the personal information of Illinois of voters vulnerable to hacking, tampering and manipulation.

The data is stored on a standard server in Arkansas, which the state admits is insecure.
Illinois’ election board’s 2016 election hacking was referenced in the indictment of 12 Russian hackers which resulted in the theft of the information of approximately 500,000 voters.

State Board of Elections officials testified during legislative hearings that hackers took voters' names, addresses, birth dates and, in some cases, their driver's license numbers and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers.

“Gov. Rauner needs to learn from the lessons of the past. It’s his duty to ensure Illinois’ residents have faith in our state’s electoral process,” Cullerton said. “Once again, Gov. Rauner is not willing to consider commonsense solutions to protect Illinois’ citizens.”

 

02072018CM0131 RSSPRINGFIELD – After months of waiting, Gov. Bruce Rauner finally signed two new state laws sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) to protect veterans at state homes from deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks.

“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s mismanagement and failed leadership killed 13 veterans, now he is trying to take credit for measures the General Assembly had to pass to address his mismanagement,” Cullerton said. “Gov. Rauner does not deserve a pat on the back for attempting to govern in the eleventh hour.”

The first measure, House Bill 5683, will expand the list of facilities operated and maintained by the veterans home to include the Sycamore facility in Quincy, allowing for temporary housing of veterans.

“This measure places the health of our veterans ahead of bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “The high summer temperatures put our heroes in harm’s way. Moving residents to the Sycamore home will serve as a safer alternative while the state makes progress in eliminating any sign of Legionnaires ’ disease at the Quincy home.”

Due to high temperatures expected during the upcoming summer months, the veterans will be at a greater risk than ever, and Cullerton said he is furious that it took so long for the governor to sign this safeguard measure into law.

“The governor continues to sit on his hands while both sides of the legislature work together to remedy the Legionnaires’ crisis,” Cullerton said. “The Quincy veterans’ facility is a home for servicemen and women and their loved ones, not a photo op for the governor.”

The second Cullerton measure Gov. Rauner signed, Senate Bill 3128, will save veteran lives by speeding up construction at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

The measure will immediately authorize the Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to address the ongoing public health crisis that has already claimed 13 lives at the Quincy Veterans Home.

Read more: Rauner finally signs two Cullerton bills aimed at saving veterans

04192018CM0592VILLA PARK — A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers led by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to protect students from predatory educators.

Cullerton filed Senate Bill 3620 this week in response to a Chicago Tribune investigation that showed 72 Chicago school employees were accused of sexual misconduct over a 10-year period without proper reporting from the schools to authorities.

“This is a catastrophic failure, and we have to do everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again,” Cullerton said.

The investigation showed Chicago Public Schools conducted shoddy background checks which led to the hiring of educators with red flags in their records. Several went on to commit abuses at CPS schools and many were hired again elsewhere even after being investigated.

“Our children should feel safe at school,” Cullerton said. “My wife and I have three sons. We want to be concerned about their test scores, not whether there are predators employed in the buildings where they study.”

The bill aims to remedy several shortfalls exposed in the investigation. The Tribune found that Chicago Public School districts do not have a standard protocol for investigating reports of sexual misconduct.

In response, Senate Bill 3620 puts in place several preventative measures, including immediate reassignment to non-classroom duties for an employee that is under investigation by the Illinois Superintendent of Education.

The bill also requires school boards to report all credible cases of sexual assault or abuse to the State Board of Education and establishes a hearing procedure for student victims. The

ISBE would also be required to monitor the school background check process throughout Illinois.  
To ensure predatory educators or employees don’t bounce from school to school, the bill also makes it easier for school districts to warn the public and others of the fired employees’ behavior.

It does so by amending the Freedom of Information Act to allow school districts to disclose investigative findings to other districts if an employee was disciplined or fired for sexual abuse. In addition, it requires any arresting agency to report an arrest of a licensed educator to the superintendent of the school that employs the educator.

“By closing these loopholes we not only protect our children, we take the first step in restoring the trust in our public schools which are so vital to the success of our state,” Cullerton said.

The bill would also make it a criminal offense for any school authority figure to engage in sexual relations with a student, regardless of age.

The measure is sponsored in the House by State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).

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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