american flagVILLA PARK- Laws to better serve Illinois veterans will go into effect at the start of the New Year, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton passed a series of new laws to guarantee DuPage County veterans have better access to resources and services they qualify for.

“Our nation’s heroes have served our great country with honor, respect and made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” Cullerton said. “These new laws are a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.”

Cullerton served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993. He continues to use his military experience to champion common-sense legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families.

This year, he passed Senate Bill 866, which will require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to provide information and education on service animals to veterans.

“The DVA should serve as a one-stop shop for our veterans,” Cullerton said. “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. Service dogs may be the missing link to stop save veterans lives across our nation.”

The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Army state that 10-18 percent 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.

Read more: Tom Cullerton announces new laws to help veterans in the New Year

051915 js 0211.resizeVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is outraged that ousted Northern Illinois University President Doug Baker will receive another state contract from the university.

A judge ruled last month that the university violated the Open Meetings Act when it approved Baker’s bloated severance package this summer soon after he announced his resignation; therefore the severance package is now null and void. Today the board of trustees met and voted unanimously in favor of a comparable contract for Baker.

“Failed administrators and executives shouldn’t receive golden parachutes for wasting taxpayers’ time and money,” Cullerton said. “Our state universities and community colleges need to stop abusing state funds. These dollars should go toward educating our children, not lining the pockets of ineffective administrators.”

Earlier this year, Cullerton was outraged that NIU had agreed to pay Baker $600,000 plus benefits when he announced his plans to step down this summer in the wake of the Illinois Inspector General’s investigation into illegal hires made by the university.

The Inspector General’s report was publicly released on May 31. The report details hires made by Baker and his administration that were paid contracts over $20,000, which are supposed to be subject to competitive bidding in accordance to state law. The jobs were incorrectly classified to get past the requirement according to the report.

“State funds are not Monopoly money,” Cullerton said. “Our public universities and community colleges cannot collect $200 every time they pass go. We cannot afford to waste a single cent on failed administrators who betrayed the public’s trust and abused their great responsibility of educating the future leaders of our great nation.”

Cullerton has been advocating for reforms to adjust the manner by which public universities and community colleges negotiate severance agreements after reports of abuse at College of DuPage, NIU and the University of Illinois.

This year he is fighting for tougher regulations and transparency at public higher education institutions.

“Our public higher education institutions need to focus on finding ways to make college more affordable for students,” Cullerton said. “State funds are meant to educate our children, not for overpaid administrators to mismanage and waste. This legislative session I plan on tackling and putting an end to this academic culture that perpetuates backroom deals for high paid executives and bloated payouts for those who fail to do their job.”

Cullerton is working on tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from paying out administrators while under investigation or found guilty of university mismanagement.

05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging Northern Illinois University to reject President Doug Baker’s Presidential Transition Agreement.

A judge ruled last month that the university violated the Open Meetings Act when it approved Baker’s deal this summer soon after he announced his resignation. Trustees will be meeting on Thursday to take a new vote on a comparable contract for Baker.

“Failed administrators should not receive another single taxpayer dollar,” Cullerton said. “This is a no-brainer. I hope the board agrees.”

Cullerton was outraged that NIU had agreed to pay Baker $600,000 plus benefits when he announced his plans to step down this summer in the wake of the Illinois Inspector General’s investigation into illegal hires made by the university.

“Our higher education institutions need to stop throwing taxpayer dollars at university administrators who mismanage public funds and fail to comply with state laws,” Cullerton said. “Common sense dictates if someone is under investigation for violations made on their watch, we shouldn’t be looking for ways to reward them with states funds.”

The Inspector General’s report was publicly released on May 31. The report details hires made by Baker and his administration that were paid contracts over $20,000, which are supposed to be subject to competitive bidding in accordance to state law. The jobs were incorrectly classified to get past the requirement according to the report.

The Chicago Tribune later reported that two of the nine employees involved in the hiring scandal made more than $400,000 for 15 and 18 months of work.

In October, a NIU official stated the institution was “tens of millions of dollars behind in building maintenance, needed technology updates, and went years without pay raises for faculty and staff.”

“Every dollar, every penny, needs to be put toward the betterment and education of our children,” Cullerton said. “Our state universities and community colleges need to shift their focus to making college more affordable. Plain and simple: state dollars should not be used to line the pockets of unsuccessful administrators.”

Cullerton is working on tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from paying out administrators while under investigation or found guilty of university mismanagement.

tcullerton 053116VILLA PARK- As we kick off the holiday season, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) would like to remind DuPage County residents to reference resources available to make sure gifts purchased for children are safe.

This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office releasing their Safe Shopping Guide to provide Illinois residents on information about dangerous toys and children’s products that have been recalled this year.

Cullerton urges residents to take advantage of the free guide.

“The holidays are a special time for our families, neighbors and friends,” Cullerton said. “We want to make sure the children in our lives get everything on their wish list but I urge area residents to take a second to make sure the gifts are safe for the children who will play with them.”

The safety guide for holiday gifts can be found at: http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/2017_Safe_Shopping_Guide.pdf.

“This guide serves as a great reference to give parents and loved ones piece of mind that the presents they are giving the children in their lives are safe,” Cullerton said.

Cullerton has also posted the guide on his website www.SenatorTomCullerton.com for quick reference for area residents.

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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