06292017CM0261RSSPRINGFIELD- Illinois may soon have new protections in place to protect college students from crippling student loan debt, thanks to Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton joined the Illinois Senate in voting to override Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1351, which creates the Student Loan Bill of Rights and prohibits predatory loan servicers from engaging in any unfair or deceptive practices towards students or parents.

“College debt has become unbearable,” Cullerton said. “For many, the American dream includes obtaining a college education. I’m proud to work with my colleagues to ensure our children are given an opportunity to succeed and graduate from college without crippling amounts of student debt.”

The Student Loan Bill of Rights would ensure students and their families receive clear information about funds they borrow for higher education and how their student loans are serviced.

The legislation also aims to crack down on the student loan servicing industry that has made it increasingly more difficult and expensive for students and parents to repay educational loans.

In addition, Cullerton has been fighting to lower college education costs by championing legislation to cut bloated administrative severance packages and perks.

“Students should not be paying for hefty handouts to failed college administrators,” Cullerton said. “State funding and tuition dollars should be going toward educating our students and training them to be future leaders in Illinois and across our great nation.”

Most recently, Cullerton worked with the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission to investigate misuse and abuse at state community colleges and universities. Next spring, he plans to introduce new legislation to increase public transparency and input on severance packages and salaries for higher education administrators.

“Cutting administrative costs will lower tuition cost and fees,” Cullerton said. “This is a common sense approach that will give all of Illinois’ children an opportunity to achieve the American dream.”

Senate Bill 1351 passed the Senate and moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

052214 js 0399SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) championed legislation to protect working families in Illinois.

Cullerton voted in support of Senate Bill 1905, which allows all Illinois workers the freedom to bargain collectively and prohibits local government entities from enacting harmful “right-to-work” laws.

“Illinois businesses will only thrive if we treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Cullerton said. “Governor Rauner’s harmful boardroom tactics benefit his friends at the expense of Illinois residents. Rauner’s extreme anti-worker agenda has no place in Illinois.”

Cullerton’s measure, Senate Bill 1905, protects all Illinois working men and women by preventing local government entities from enacting harmful “right-to-work” laws advocated for by the governor and his extreme supporters.

Right-to-work laws hinder individuals from participating in collective negotiations for fair wages, safe workplaces and competitive benefits. These types of policies are usually advocated for by business groups to protect company profits at the expense of workers.

“Illinois workers deserve to have a collective voice in policies that are going to impact their lives and communities,” Cullerton said. “This new law will guarantee the citizens of Illinois are not brushed aside by billionaires and large corporations that are more concerned about profits than people.”

Right-to-work policies not only negatively impact worker’s rights but also, endanger public safety protections for state buildings and roads.

Senate Bill 1905 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Teacher Tax Credit TCVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging DuPage County teachers to take advantage of a new tax credit in Illinois for public school teachers and administrators who use personal funds to purchase school supplies for their students.

“Educating our children is a noble profession,” Cullerton said. “Our state should serve as a partner and honor the investments our educators have made in the future of Illinois. This tax credit will help lessen the burden for teachers who work endlessly to ensure our children receive the best education possible.”

Teachers and administrators can qualify for a tax credit up to $250 for instructional materials and supplies used in the classroom.

“DuPage County teachers are training the future leaders of Illinois,” Cullerton said. “92 percent of teachers across our nation spend their own money on classroom supplies to educate our children. It is our duty to provide support and resources to our educators for their generosity.”

The Illinois tax credit is available in addition to the current $250 federal deduction. It is available to teachers, principals or aides in a qualified school who work at least 900 hours during a school year.

Area educators with questions on the new tax credit can call Cullerton’s Villa Park office at (630) 903-6662.

Category: Press Releases

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

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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