american flagVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is excited to announce qualifying Illinois veterans will now have easy access to Veteran Identification Cards or VICs starting November.

“Illinois veterans will have a nationwide standardized method to prove their military service without the added risks of identity theft,” Cullerton said. “Our military men and women should not have to jump through hoops to receive benefits they qualify for. This small step will honor our military’s bravery and serve as a reminder that we must never forget the sacrifices they have made for our great nation.”

Currently, many veterans carry copies of their military discharge paperwork or other personal documents to redeem corporate discounts and services which make them more vulnerable to identify theft and other fraudulent activity.

Illinois currently allows veterans who have received an Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions discharge to add a veteran's designation on their driver's license or ID card.

Cullerton believes a nationwide identification card gives Illinois veterans a standardized method to verify military service, especially when they travel across state lines.

The application process will be online on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ website. Veterans will need to upload a valid government ID such as passports and drivers licenses, a recent photograph for the Veteran ID Card and will need to provide details about their military service. The VA will mail the ID card directly to the veteran.

“It is ridiculous to expect our nation’s heroes to carry DD-214 discharge papers to prove their veteran status,” Cullerton said. “This standardized identification card is a simple way for us to honor the service and sacrifices our veterans have made for our country.”

Cullerton will release more information as it becomes available. DuPage County veterans are welcome to call his office at (630) 903-6662 with any questions on the application process.

Category: Press Releases

opiate addiction 091117VILLA PARK- DuPage County now has a new tool to fight the growing opioid epidemic in Illinois.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is proud to announce a Standing Order has been issued to make the lifesaving drug, Naloxone, more readily available to first responders and community members.

“We can’t rest until the opioid crisis is eliminated from our communities,” Cullerton said. “Allowing emergency professionals to have quick access to this life saving tool will help us fight this nasty epidemic.”
Naloxone is a non-addictive prescription medication that, if used while someone is having a heroin overdose, can save the person’s life. It is more commonly referred to as Narcan.

The Naloxone Standing Order allows eligible organizations, mostly pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs to provide naloxone to any person without a direct prescription. With Illinois’ standing order, insurers, such as Medicaid and Medicare, can be billed. Eligible individuals must complete appropriate training on naloxone administration to use the program.

Cullerton believes this Standing Order puts a missing link in place to provide the lifesaving drug to emergency professionals to save DuPage County residents’ lives.

“Thirty-eight percent of Illinoisans have never heard of naloxone,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “We are paying for that lack of awareness with lives lost. We applaud Sen. Cullerton and his colleagues for making naloxone available via a statewide standing order. Efforts like these will save lives.”

Since 2014, over 3,143 individuals have been trained to administer Narcan among 60 program sites across DuPage County and the northern Illinois area. The DuPage County Narcan Program was the first countywide overdose prevention program approved by the state Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse.

145 lives were saved in DuPage County in 2016. However, the increased use of the deadly drug fentanyl with heroin is believed to have led to an increased number of overdose related deaths.

In 2016, Cullerton worked to addresses heroin and opioid abuse and addiction through House Bill 1. The law combats the opioid epidemic in a variety of ways, by training public safety entities in administering Narcan, requiring state agencies to develop a three-year heroin and opioid drug prevention program and expanding state-funded treatment to include addiction treatment and prescription costs.

“Our work to end the opioid overdose epidemic in Illinois and across our nation is far from done,” Cullerton said. “We cannot rest until this crisis is eliminated from our communities. Until then our top priority will remain putting protections and precautions in place to save lives.”

Cullerton urges DuPage County residents to give his Villa Park Office a call at (630) 903-6662 with any questions regarding where to receive help fighting opioid addiction.

Category: Press Releases

05032017CM0518RSVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton’s (D-Villa Park) monumental legislation to combat veteran’s suicide in Illinois was signed into law today.

“One veteran lost to suicide is one too many,” Cullerton said. “This new law applies common-sense solutions to eliminate barriers between veterans and the state resources they qualify for. This initiative wasn’t compiled in haste but over hours and weeks of testimony, input and concerns raised by veterans, their loved ones and veterans’ organizations throughout the state. This is a true testament to their hard work and dedication to our nation’s heroes. I’m proud of the work that went into this measure and to be part of this monumental effort.”

House Bill 2647 is a collection of comprehensive recommendations to ensure veterans have better access to services, treatment for mental trauma and depression as well as better access to employment opportunities.

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

A common theme throughout the process is finding ways to access veterans’ resources promised to the state as well as addressing a disconnect between federal and state resources. House Bill 2647 creates a connection between the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense to help streamline and remove redundancies when returning veterans redeem benefits.

Some of the provisions in House Bill 2647 include:

The DVA will be required to reach out to the U.S. DoD to identify veterans returning from units that have experienced heavy casualties, served in high-conflict areas or have at least one member who possibly committed suicide following their service. After identifying veterans DVA will create a proactive line of communication.

DVA will also work with higher education facilities to address issues that may negatively affect a veteran’s ability to learn in a traditional classroom environment such as exploring the expansion of online classes, moving desks away from windows and crowded halls, and providing veterans’ only instructional hours.

DVA will be required to proactively reach out to the U.S. DoD to develop a system to allow veterans to file DD Form 214 (discharge papers immediately upon discharge). This is the required form for veterans to receive benefits.

Lastly, creating collaboration between local chambers of commerce and DVA to create an employer training program to focus on the needs of veteran employees and identify veteran friendly businesses.

Cullerton, chairman of the Task Force on Veterans Suicide and a veteran himself, hosted multiple hearings throughout the state to hear from veterans, their spouses and community organizations to hear concerns and recommendations to ease some of the struggles returning veterans experience.

House Bill 2647 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK- DuPage parents will soon have easily found educational information to prevent heroin and opioid addiction, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, State Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton’s measure, House Bill 3161, which will require the Department of Human Services to create and maintain a website to educate the public on heroin and prescription opioid abuse, was signed into law today.

“We need to equip every single person that touches the life of a young person with the necessary resources to combat the heroin epidemic,” Cullerton said. “This is a simple step the state can take to make sure DuPage parents have a place to turn to help their children kick this deadly addiction.”

The website will include items such as the warning signs of heroin and prescription opioid addiction, helpful hints for parents on how to discuss the dangers of these addictions with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information.

This new law comes in light of a request made by the federal government to DHS. Without the passage of House Bill 3161 the state risks losing federal funds to fight substance addiction.

The DuPage County Coroner’s Office’s reports were a total of 78 opiate related deaths in 2016, a 78% increase from last year.

“We need to make sure people know there is help out there,” Cullerton said. “We need to make sure those suffering from opioid addiction and their loved ones know where to find it.”

Cullerton is urging DuPage County residents to give his Villa Park Office a call at (630) 903-6662 with any question regarding where to receive help fighting opioid addiction.

House Bill 3161 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

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

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