PHOTO Tom Cullerton works to spread DuPage success throughout Illinois4.13.16VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton’s work to spread his bipartisan government consolidation model may soon be delayed due to the irresponsible lack of reporting from 101 of Illinois’ county entities.

This summer, Villa Park Democrat Cullerton’s bipartisan legislation that requires all Illinois county boards to submit a report to the General Assembly recommending units of government that may be dissolved or consolidated was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

“I’m proud of the bipartisan work we have done right here in DuPage County. We are a leader in government consolidation and efficiency,” Cullerton said. “However, it looks like other counties are not as keen to adapt to the needs of the people.”

The first step taken by DuPage County was examining and developing a list of the county’s appointed agencies to identify areas of reform. DuPage County submitted its report in accordance with P.A. 99-0634; however, Cullerton is waiting on reports from the other 101 counties, which include Cook, Lake, St. Clair and Madison counties.

Through the DuPage model, the county is projected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

Cullerton sent letters to 101 counties reminding them to submit their report and reiterating the importance of this step.

“Government consolidation is one area of reform I can agree on with Governor Rauner. We know that government needs to be efficient to be effective,” said Cullerton. “It’s essential that we continue to look for ways to make sure government is working for the people.”

Cullerton finds it unbelievable that Illinois has more than 7,000 government entities that were developed decades ago.

State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) carried this measure in the House.

Cullerton urges the other counties to quickly submit their reports to comply with the legislation passed this year. The final deadline for counties to submit reports is January 1, 2017.

Senate Bill 2994 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and was signed into law on Friday, July 22.  

Governor Rauner and Sen. Cullerton agree that the General Assembly needs to explore every possible way to lower property taxes, and consolidating various government offices can help lead them to their goal.

Category: Press Releases

PHOTO Tom Cullerton shocked at Chicago State abusesSPRINGFIELD – In the wake of a scathing audit exposing waste, fraud and abuse of resources at Chicago State University, Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is demanding the public university get its financial house in order or suffer the consequences.

“If Chicago State doesn’t address these problems soon, we will need to explore consolidating state colleges to streamline taxpayer dollars and make sure students are getting a quality education for the money they pay,” said Cullerton.

A recent audit by the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission found that Chicago State University had only an 11 percent graduation rate, was unable to verify who worked there, had overpaid employees and was missing numerous documents.

Making matters worse, said Cullerton, is that Chicago State gets special treatment from the state in that it is the only school in the state to get a cut of the state’s legalized gambling taxes.

The findings were the subject of an Audit Commission hearing this week in Springfield. Cullerton is a member of that commission.

Cullerton previously led efforts to reform the College of DuPage in the wake of financial and ethical scandals there. He said Chicago State officials need to either need to clean up their act or risk having lawmakers step in and do it for them.

“Illinois community colleges and public universities need to cut their administrative bloat and start delivering for the students and taxpayers,” Cullerton said. “The top priority of these schools needs to be serving our students and being responsible to the taxpayers whose dollars fund their operations. Unfortunately, it appears some have forgotten that.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is next scheduled to meet on Nov. 29 at 9 a.m.

Category: Press Releases

PHOTO Tom Cullerton works to spread DuPage success throughout Illinois4.13.16SPRINGFIELD- Currently there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote, but aren’t registered.

To alleviate this problem, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored Senate Bill 250, which would automatically register eligible citizens when they renew their drivers’ license or state ID.

“Streamlining this process will save the state money, remove duplicate voter records and engage more people in the democratic process,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to make sure Illinois residents are given the opportunity to exercise their fundamental rights.”

Governor Rauner vetoed this legislation in August.

Under current law, eligible citizens are allowed to register when they renew their license or state ID. Senate Bill 250 would change the rule from an “opt-in” system where citizens have to actively register to “opt-out” where they can choose to not register to vote.

States that have already modernized their systems, like Alaska, Delaware and Oregon, have found that the modernization makes voter rolls more accurate and current. These changes make the system easier to maintain and cut down on redundancies and inaccuracies. Voter registration information is updated regularly and cross referenced with other state databases.

“Illinois needs to modernize its systems,” Cullerton said. “Generations of Americans have fought hard for their right to vote.  It is important that we honor their sacrifices by making voting as easy as possible.”

In 2012, the Pew Center found that more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters. Modernizing the registration system would help remove them from voter records.

Estimates show the annual county-level costs throughout the country for voter registration are at least $1 billion, or about one-third of the total county-level cost of administering elections.

Category: Press Releases

TCtransformillinoisVILLA PARK—Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) was recently honored for his work this last session in creating a more transparent and efficient government.

Cullerton was honored by Transform Illinois for making local governments more responsive to their communities. Transform Illinois is a statewide collaborative of elected officials and civic and research organizations dedicated to supporting more efficient local governments.

“By making local governments more efficient, we also our making our local governments more responsive to their constituencies,” said Cullerton. “It has been a top goal of mine since joining the state senate and I am proud of the good work we have done this year.”

Senator Cullerton sponsored legislation that would require county boards to develop reports of bodies of local governments that could be consolidated.

Category: Press Releases

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