02072018CM0131 RSSPRINGFIELD – After months of waiting, Gov. Bruce Rauner finally signed two new state laws sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) to protect veterans at state homes from deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks.

“Gov. Bruce Rauner’s mismanagement and failed leadership killed 13 veterans, now he is trying to take credit for measures the General Assembly had to pass to address his mismanagement,” Cullerton said. “Gov. Rauner does not deserve a pat on the back for attempting to govern in the eleventh hour.”

The first measure, House Bill 5683, will expand the list of facilities operated and maintained by the veterans home to include the Sycamore facility in Quincy, allowing for temporary housing of veterans.

“This measure places the health of our veterans ahead of bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “The high summer temperatures put our heroes in harm’s way. Moving residents to the Sycamore home will serve as a safer alternative while the state makes progress in eliminating any sign of Legionnaires ’ disease at the Quincy home.”

Due to high temperatures expected during the upcoming summer months, the veterans will be at a greater risk than ever, and Cullerton said he is furious that it took so long for the governor to sign this safeguard measure into law.

“The governor continues to sit on his hands while both sides of the legislature work together to remedy the Legionnaires’ crisis,” Cullerton said. “The Quincy veterans’ facility is a home for servicemen and women and their loved ones, not a photo op for the governor.”

The second Cullerton measure Gov. Rauner signed, Senate Bill 3128, will save veteran lives by speeding up construction at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

The measure will immediately authorize the Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs to address the ongoing public health crisis that has already claimed 13 lives at the Quincy Veterans Home.

Read more: Rauner finally signs two Cullerton bills aimed at saving veterans

04192018CM0592VILLA PARK — A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers led by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to protect students from predatory educators.

Cullerton filed Senate Bill 3620 this week in response to a Chicago Tribune investigation that showed 72 Chicago school employees were accused of sexual misconduct over a 10-year period without proper reporting from the schools to authorities.

“This is a catastrophic failure, and we have to do everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again,” Cullerton said.

The investigation showed Chicago Public Schools conducted shoddy background checks which led to the hiring of educators with red flags in their records. Several went on to commit abuses at CPS schools and many were hired again elsewhere even after being investigated.

“Our children should feel safe at school,” Cullerton said. “My wife and I have three sons. We want to be concerned about their test scores, not whether there are predators employed in the buildings where they study.”

The bill aims to remedy several shortfalls exposed in the investigation. The Tribune found that Chicago Public School districts do not have a standard protocol for investigating reports of sexual misconduct.

In response, Senate Bill 3620 puts in place several preventative measures, including immediate reassignment to non-classroom duties for an employee that is under investigation by the Illinois Superintendent of Education.

The bill also requires school boards to report all credible cases of sexual assault or abuse to the State Board of Education and establishes a hearing procedure for student victims. The

ISBE would also be required to monitor the school background check process throughout Illinois.  
To ensure predatory educators or employees don’t bounce from school to school, the bill also makes it easier for school districts to warn the public and others of the fired employees’ behavior.

It does so by amending the Freedom of Information Act to allow school districts to disclose investigative findings to other districts if an employee was disciplined or fired for sexual abuse. In addition, it requires any arresting agency to report an arrest of a licensed educator to the superintendent of the school that employs the educator.

“By closing these loopholes we not only protect our children, we take the first step in restoring the trust in our public schools which are so vital to the success of our state,” Cullerton said.

The bill would also make it a criminal offense for any school authority figure to engage in sexual relations with a student, regardless of age.

The measure is sponsored in the House by State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).

05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK – On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax announced that a security breach compromised the personal information of 143 million U.S. residents, including more than 5.4 million Illinois residents.

There will now be protections against the consequences of such breaches thanks to a measure championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), which will allow consumers to protect themselves in a cost-effective and timely manner.

“This new law will ensure people are not penalized for making responsible financial decisions,” Cullerton said. “Every day Illinois residents use online services that require them to share personal information. This makes all of us susceptible to security breaches similar to the 2017 Equifax breach. When misfortune strikes, it’s vital that the State of Illinois ensure

DuPage County residents have the tools available to protect themselves.”

Cullerton’s House Bill 4095 will prohibit consumer reporting agencies from imposing a charge on a consumer for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports.

The Equifax security breach compromised information such as names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and driver's license numbers. This breach is very concerning, as such sensitive information can be used for identity theft.

Previously, consumer reporting agencies were allowed to charge up to $10 each time a consumer wished to take these proactive actions.

House Bill 4095 will not only eliminate fees but would also allow Illinois residents to initiate or remove a freeze by telephone and through electronic methods.

“It’s important for the state laws to evolve with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “In light of recent security breaches, it is important that the state has protections in place that prioritizes consumers.”

House Bill 4095 goes into effect immediately.

For those that are already victims of identity theft or those who believe their personal or financial information has been compromised, Cullerton suggests calling the Illinois Attorney General’s toll-free Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 or 1-877-844-5461 (TTY).

06292017CM0261RSVILLA PARK- There will now be stronger protections in place to investigate ethics complaints in the state capital, thanks to a new measure supported by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

House Bill 138 makes important changes to the Legislative Ethics Commission and Office of the Legislative Inspector General such as allowing the Legislative Inspector General to investigate claims independently, without first getting approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission. Among other changes, the measure also mandates better defined and transparent reporting of complaints at the Commission and before the Inspector General.

"We should have zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” Cullerton said. “Survivors of sexual harassment and assault rely on extreme levels of bravery and courage in order to come forward. It’s our job to ensure that their complaint is being reviewed in a timely, transparent and orderly manner.”

This new law passed the Senate and House with overwhelming bipartisan support.

“The #MeToo Movement is bringing much needed change to rules and culture in workplaces across the country,” Cullerton said. "The time to take action is now. The people of Illinois have spoken. We will not and cannot support a culture that promotes inappropriate behavior."

Other new rules outlined in the law, including but not limited to:

• Requirements that the Commission shall appoint an Acting Inspector General with 45 days;
• Creates a backstop so that if an extended vacancy occurs in the office of the LIG, the Inspector General for the Auditor General would have jurisdiction over the complaints;
• Requires a public hearing and opportunity for public input before the adoption of any new commission rules;
• Allows the Inspector General for the Secretary of State, through the Attorney General, to file complaints with the Executive Ethics Commission regarding lobbyist sexual harassment;
• Extends statute of limitations for filing a discrimination or sexual harassment claim with the Department of Human Rights from 180 days to 300 days.

House Bill 138 goes into effect immediately.

 

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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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