06292017CM0261RSVILLA PARK — A new Illinois law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will prevent the penalization of police officers for seeking mental health services.

Cullerton’s House Bill 5231, which removes possession of a FOID card as a condition for employment for officers, was signed into law Friday. This clears the way for officers to remain employed if they have been a patient in a mental health facility but not been determined to pose a danger to themselves or others

“This new law will allow officers who have endured traumatic experiences to seek medical assistance without fear of losing their jobs,” Cullerton said.

Although the law protects officers that seek mental health services, it does not prohibit an employer from determining an officer's fitness to serve.

“Our law enforcement officers keep us safe. In doing so, they experience disturbing situations that may warrant their use of mental health services. This makes them human,” Cullerton said. “We are all safer if we make sure these officers have access to the proper mental health services to deal with the traumas they routinely face.”

House Bill 5231 is an initiative of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council, which said requiring a FOID card for law enforcement officers – many of whom are active service members and veterans of the armed forces – creates an unnecessary obstacle to receiving mental health treatment.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.

Cullerton, Chairman of the Illinois Senate Veterans Affairs Committee who served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993, continues to work toward eliminating the veteran suicide epidemic in Illinois.

“Our nation’s heroes have fought to protect our freedoms and democracy. This commonsense measure will look out for them,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to remove all obstacles to mental health treatment for our military veterans and public safety personnel.”

House Bill 5231 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and will take effect immediately.

05302018CM0241VILLA PARK — A measure championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will give DuPage County taxpayers easier access to records of school administration costs.

Cullerton’s Senate Bill 3236, which will require the Illinois State Board of Education to include a school district’s administrative costs in state school report cards, was signed into law last week.

“Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent,” Cullerton said. “The more access the public has to administrative costs, the more likely they are to hold school boards accountable.”

Between 1992 and 2009, the number of district administrators grew by 36 percent in Illinois. That is 2.5 times greater than the growth in student population, according to the nonprofit group Ed Choice.

This is despite the fact that nearly half of Illinois school districts manage one or two schools and more than one-third of all district offices serve fewer than 600 students.

One example is Lake Park Community High School District 108, which has five elementary school districts that feed into it. The high school district shares overlapping boundaries with those schools and serves the same population, yet each individual district has a superintendent and several administrators.

Cullerton said Senate Bill 3236 will help give the legislature and residents a chance to examine how school districts spend their tax dollars.

“DuPage County residents pay their property taxes to give students the best educational opportunities, not to pay for executive salaries,” Cullerton said. “Finding savings and cutting administrative costs will help lower property taxes and this new law will help us know where to look to make these cuts.”

Illinois school report cards already include information on average class size, teaching experience, percentage of special education students, per-pupil operating expenditures and the per-pupil state pension contribution among other items.

Senate Bill 3236 passed the Senate and House without any opposition and goes into effect immediately.

05032017AM5839VILLA PARK – A new Illinois law sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will put a stop to golden parachutes for disgraced public employees.

Cullerton’s Senate Bill 3604 was signed into law Tuesday by the governor, eliminating severance packages for employees that have been fired for misconduct and limiting government-paid severance packages to an amount no greater than 20 weeks of compensation.

“This is a commonsense reform that protects the public from bailing out corrupt actors,” Cullerton said. “It is plain and simple: If you betray the trust of DuPage County taxpayers, you will not be rewarded with taxpayer money. Handing out golden parachutes to discredited public officials is theft and this law will put a stop to it.”

The law was brought forward by Cullerton in partnership with the Better Government Association as part of their ongoing effort to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

"Illinois officials took a big step forward by turning the Government Severance Pay Act into law,” said David Greising, the BGA's President and CEO. “Taxpayers now can rest assured they won't be paying for exorbitant golden parachutes to make public executives go away. This law begins the process of restoring taxpayer trust in Illinois and the Better Government Association is proud to have been the catalyst, with Senator Cullerton, for a law that ensures better stewardship of the public's money."

Government officials are frequently advised to grant rich severances in an attempt to head off employment litigation, so the bill is aimed at counteracting that trend, Cullerton said.

“The Government Severance Pay Act will set a clean, clear path that will eliminate those decisions for elected officials,” Cullerton said. “Now is the time to get control of these huge buyouts and use good, taxpayer-focused judgement.”

Similar policies are in place in Florida and other states, said Cullerton, who continues to call for tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from buying out administrators that are under investigation or found guilty of mismanagement.

This is another step in his mission to put an end to this wasteful practice.

“Our state cannot afford to waste a single penny, especially to help folks who treat taxpayers like their own personal piggy bank,” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 3604 passed the Senate and House with unanimous support and goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

RSWEBSITE2017VILLA PARK — A new law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will make it easier for veterans to obtain an official veteran designation on their stateidentification cards.

Cullerton’s House Bill 4332 was signed into law Sunday, allowing an identification card issued under the federal Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015 to be used as verification for a veteran’s designation on a state ID or license.

“This commonsense law will streamline the process for Illinois’ veterans,” Cullerton said. “Our veterans have already jumped through hoops and filled out various forms to receive a federal designation – they should not have to complete a redundant process to receive state approval.”

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

“Our returning heroes should not have to go through additional red tape when they return home,” Cullerton said. “It is our duty to ease their transition back to civilian life by utilizing practical procedures.”

This measure is supported by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation.

House Bill 4332 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. It goes into effect on January 1, 2019.
 

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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
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