06292017CM0261RSVILLA PARK – Siphoning funds from state agencies to pay the governor’s staff is no longer legal, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

Cullerton pushed for House Bill 5121 after recent payroll reports had shown only 44 of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s staff are actually paid from the governor’s budget while 58 people are hidden in other agency payrolls.

“It is absolutely outrageous that the governor of Illinois is utilizing irresponsible and inaccurate accounting practices to abuse the trust of DuPage County taxpayers,” Cullerton said. “This will stop now.”

The legislation prohibits the governor's office from using other agency appropriations to pay for governor's office employees for the current administration and all going forward.

Prior to this law, Rauner was allowed to record the governor’s office’s official budget at only $4.9 million, but it was actually closer to $10 million when counting employees that work in his office but are paid by other agencies.

“Off-shoring employees’ salaries onto the budgets of vital state agencies that take care of our children, seniors and veterans is a blatant misuse of power,” Cullerton said. “This new law will promote an open and honest system where the hard-earned tax dollars of DuPage County families are spent wisely and responsibly.”

House Bill 5121 will close the inter-agency agreement loophole that exempts the agency whose appropriation is being used from having to certify the individual has performed work for that agency.

“The people of Illinois deserve to know how their valuable tax dollars are being spent,” Cullerton said.

House Bill 5121 goes into effect immediately.

appointment appointment book blur 40568ELMHURST – Health care professionals will have another tool to battle life-threatening allergies thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

The life-saving measure, Senate Bill 2226, was signed into law Tuesday.

The law expands the use of EpiPens to physicians, physician's assistants or advanced practice registered nurses who have prescription authority by taking away liability in civil or professional suits.

“Food allergies can be deadly. We need to ensure our emergency responders and physicians have the necessary tools to save lives,” Cullerton said. “This new law will cut out government bureaucracy to help guarantee people can get the necessary help they need.”

This measure expands on practices outlined in the life-saving Annie LeGere Law, which went into effect last year. It allows for Illinois police officers to carry and administer EpiPens on duty as an emergency tool to reverse life-threatening allergic reactions. Law enforcement officers are given proper training to identify risks and administer the antidote correctly.

The law was inspired by Annie LeGere from Elmhurst, a 13-year-old who passed away from a fatal allergic reaction that could have been prevented by the administration of an EpiPen.

Cullerton is inspired by the courage and advocacy of Annie’s loved ones who have turned this tragedy into a lifesaving opportunity.

“Shelly LeGere, Annie’s mother, is an inspiration to us all,” Cullerton said. “This new law is a true testament to her tenacity and resolve to honor Annie’s memory by ensuring what happened to Annie doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

Cullerton urges residents interested in donating to Amazing Annie, the Annie LeGere Foundation, to visit www.amazingannie.org.

Senate Bill 2226 passed the Senate and House with unanimous support and goes into effect immediately.

05302018CM0241VILLA PARK – A new Illinois state law sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will protect veterans at state homes from epidemics like the deadly Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Cullerton’s legislation, which was signed into law on Friday requires Illinois veterans homes to notify facility residents and their emergency contacts within 24 hours if two or more residents in the home have been diagnosed with an infectious disease in a period of one month or less.

“This new law will put the health of our veterans ahead of government bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “When your loved one is in harm’s way, you have a right to know. Now that right is the law.”

House Bill 4278 was pushed in response to Rauner’s mismanagement of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans Home. Despite signs of the spread of bacteria reaching epidemic proportions, the state did not notify the public about the deadly 2015 outbreak until nearly a week later.

“In 2015, the families of the servicemen and women residing in the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy should have been notified of the Legionnaires’ disease epidemic, but Gov. Rauner’s administration left them and their loved ones in the dark,” Cullerton said. “This is simply unacceptable and we can’t let it happen again.”

The new law also requires veterans homes to post notification of the incidence of the infectious disease in a visible place near the facility’s main entrance. Once those requirements have been met, they must notify the Departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Public Health.

In Quincy, a workplace safety reprimand was issued by the state Department of Labor, which said the Department of Veterans Affairs failed to effectively notify all employees of the outbreak.

“Our veterans have put their lives on the line for us and it’s our duty to protect theirs in their golden years,” Cullerton said. “If the governor’s administration is refusing to use commonsense, the General Assembly will put protocols in place to ensure our nation’s heroes receive the best possible care and service we can offer.”

House Bill 4278 was supported by the Better Government Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Illinois AMVETS. It goes into effect immediately.

New law will create alert system for missing veterans

05152017CM060RSVILLA PARK – A new law to alert police and emergency professionals of missing veterans will take effect Jan. 1, thanks to Sen.Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

Cullerton’s House Bill 4212 expands the use of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory system known as the Silver Alert to veterans who are believed to have physical or mental conditions related to their service. It was signed into law on Friday.

Per the new law, the public would be notified when a high-risk veteran goes missing. The alert would be similar to Amber Alerts, which are already used by the state to locate missing children.

“Our veterans have put their lives in harm’s way to protect us. When our heroes return home, we need to find ways to look out for them,” Cullerton said. “This new law will help us save lives.”

The effort is the latest in a long line of veteran protections put in place by Cullerton.

In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study covering suicides from 1999 to 2010. It showed roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes.

In response, Cullerton – who served as an Army infantryman from 1990 to 1993 – created and served as a chairperson on the Illinois Veterans Suicide Taskforce to help address the veteran suicide epidemic in Illinois.
Cullerton said this new law takes another step to ensure veterans receive the necessary resources when they return home.

“Veterans need to know they have people behind them and this law takes a step toward accomplishing that,” Cullerton said. “I urge any veteran struggling with depression and suicide to take advantage of free state and federal resources. No one expects you to tackle these internal struggles alone. There is help out there.”

Last General Assembly, Cullerton passed a series of laws to combat the veterans’ suicide epidemic, including a measure to expand the use of service animals to veterans suffering from PTSD.

Cullerton urges veterans and their loved ones to call the confidential and toll-free hotline, 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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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
P: (217) 782-9463