tcullerton 053116VILLA PARK- Illinois veterans may soon have another outlet for therapy, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, Tom Cullerton.

This is Cullerton’s first initiative from the Veterans Suicide Taskforce that signed into law today.

“Our veterans are our community’s heroes. Illinois’ military members and veterans put their life on the line every day, now is the time for us to take care of them,” Cullerton said. “Every life we save is priceless.”

Senate Bill 866 requires the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to provide information and education on service animals to veterans.

Under current law, the DVA isn’t required to provide information or resources on how a veteran might obtain a service animal.

“The DVA should be a one-stop shop for our veterans,” Cullerton said. “There is a stigma within the veterans’ community on using traditional treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  We haven’t been able to explore the effects of using service dogs as alternative treatments since there is a lack of awareness in the veterans’ community.”

The Illinois Veteran Suicide Task Force was formed by a measure Cullerton led in 2014. As co-chairman Cullerton held six hearings throughout the state to investigate the causes of veteran suicide and released a report to the General Assembly in December of 2016.

The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Army state that 10% to 18% of returning veterans are likely to have Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they return. Some studies suggest that suicide risk is higher among those who experienced trauma due to the symptoms of PTSD.

Cullerton hopes this small step will help make service dogs readily available to veterans to cope with PTSD. Among who have used or are aware of service dogs there is a high demand. However, trained dogs can be difficult to find.

“Using service dogs as treatment for PTSD could be the key component to ending the veteran suicide epidemic,” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 866 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

PHOTO Tom Cullerton works to spread DuPage success throughout Illinois4.13.16VILLA PARK- Illinois now has a streamlined process to improve the way state government entities purchase goods and services, thanks to Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton’s bipartisan initiative, Senate Bill 8, is a reform aimed at taxpayer savings that was signed into law today.

“Eliminating red tape and streamlining the purchasing process will make it easier for local businesses to bid on state contracts,” Cullerton said. “Our local businesses are the heart of our economy. It’s our duty to make this process easier and more transparent to help encourage economic development in our communities.”
                     
This new law expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without having to navigate through costly and time-consuming red tape. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units, and vendors would be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid.

“This new bipartisan law will speed up the process and save valuable taxpayer dollars, all while helping our local businesses grow and prosper,” Cullerton said.

This reform was initiated due to concerns that procurement rules can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate.

Cullerton has also been working to pass a series of structural reforms. They include a government consolidation plan, term limits for legislative leaders, workers compensation reform and changes to the school funding formula.

Another bill Cullerton is urging the governor to sign is Senate Bill 3, a proven bipartisan government consolidation model to spread DuPage County’s success throughout the state.  

Cullerton worked with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin to eliminate duplicative units of government and simplify the process that allows government entities to consolidate. The DuPage County model is expected to save taxpayers $100 million, so Cullerton has worked to make the model available to other counties throughout Illinois.

Illinois has more than 7,000 units of government that are often duplicative and outdated, so Cullerton envisions large savings to local taxpayers across the state. Senate Bill 3 would enable Illinois to consolidate more units of government than any other state in the nation.

“This one small step will improve government services and lower property taxes without making a sacrifice in services received,” Cullerton said. “Every day Governor Rauner puts off signing this reform is a lost opportunity to guarantee government is evolving with the needs of the people. The time to act is now.”

Category: Press Releases

VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) issued the following statement in response to Governor Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1, a school funding reform overhaul that is widely supported by school superintendents, educators, advocates and professional and community organizations statewide:

“Once again the governor chose campaigning over our children. Using catch phrases to pit folks throughout the state against each other is not leadership, it is posturing and it hurts our entire state. The governor agreed with 90% of the school funding legislation yet vetoed it. He called negotiating an outrageous tactic. I will continue to work in a bipartisan manner to find solutions for our state as I have done in the past. I encourage Governor Rauner to do the same.”

Check out DuPage Schools funding levels under Senate Bill 1:

SB 1 100th GA MAY

Category: Press Releases

051915 js 0211.resizeSPRINGFIELD- The members of the Illinois General Assembly will not receive a pay increase again this year thanks to a new law sponsored by Villa Park Democrat, Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton sponsored House Bill 643, which stops automatic increase in mileage reimbursements and per diem rates, was signed into law this week.

“It is inexcusable for legislators to receive a pay increase at a time our schools don’t know if they will open in time this fall,” Cullerton said. “I’m here to serve the people of the 23rd District. Public service means advocating and standing up for the needs of our communities; I intend to do just that.”

Cullerton voted to cut his pay every year he has been in the General Assembly.  

House Bill 643 freezes the Illinois General Assembly's mileage reimbursement and per diem rates for the upcoming year. If the measure was not signed into law the daily cost of the special session starting this week would have ballooned to nearly $62,000 per day.

In addition, the initiative eliminates the planned FY 18 cost of living adjustment for the members of the legislature and other offices set by the Compensation Review Board. The Comptroller's Office states that the FY 18 cost of living adjustment would be 2.1% without the passage of a freeze.

“This commonsense measure will help us direct state dollars where they are needed,” Cullerton said. “Now if only the governor would sign Senate Bill 3, our bipartisan government consolidation model. Streamlining government services will not only save valuable taxpayer dollars but also make sure the people of Illinois are receiving the best service possible.”

Cullerton sent the governor Senate Bill 3 over a month ago.

Illinois has more than 7,000 governments that are often duplicative and outdated. His monumental initiative will allow those units to be consolidated and eliminated. This legislation would enable Illinois to consolidate more units of government than any other state in the nation.

“This one small step will improve government services and lower property taxes without making a sacrifice in services received,” Cullerton said. “Every day Governor Rauner waits, is a lost opportunity to guarantee government is evolving with the needs of the people. The time to act is now. The people of Illinois cannot afford to continue to wait.”

House Bill 643 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

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

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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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