052114CM0405csSPRINGFIELD — In an effort to protect Illinois taxpayers, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) voted against a premature tax increase.

Senate Bill 9 increases the state income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent.

“I cannot support a tax increase until we cut more waste, fraud and abuse in state bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “The governor’s administration entered into a $2.4 million leasing deal on the taxpayers’ dime; yet folks are asking DuPage residents to help balance the budget. This is unacceptable and something I cannot vote in favor of.”

Cullerton and State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) are urging for a bipartisan investigation by the Illinois Audit Commission to examine the sweetheart deal Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration gave to political insiders.

Last week, the Illinois Senate passed structural reforms, such as Cullerton’s government consolidation plan, procurement reform and school funding reform.

The school funding plan does not cut funding to schools in DuPage County. All schools will receive the same amount of funding they received this school year. However, struggling districts such as School District U-46 and Queen Bee School District 16 would receive an increase in funding to put them on an even playing field with neighboring schools.  

“I would never support a plan that would pit children against each other,” Cullerton said. “None of our schools will receive less funding than the year before. However, we will move toward a system that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed.”

 

Category: Press Releases

PHOTO Tom Cullerton advances legislation to eliminate office of lieutenant governorSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) requests a formal investigation into the overpriced Springfield warehouse the Department of Human Services leased to store state files.

Cullerton and Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) submitted a formal request to Illinois Legislative Audit Commission co-chairs Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Representative Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) to examine the irresponsible contract negotiated by DHS to rent the warehouse for $2.4 million for five years that could have been bought for $750,000.

“Governor Rauner needs to take the time to be kind and compassionate toward our children, veterans, seniors and vulnerable populations instead of cutting sweetheart deals for his insider pals,” Cullerton said. “My hope is this investigation sends a clear message to the governor’s administration that I won’t stand on the sidelines as they give their political allies another payout on the taxpayers’ dime. The time for Illinois Audit Commission to act is now.”

Cullerton serves on the Legislative Audit Commission and looks forward to working with his committee members to investigate this contract and other similar state contracts.

One of the owners of the leasing company is William Cellini’s son-in-law.

Cellini, a politically connected businessman, served a time in prison after his conviction in 2011 of a failed attempt to shake down Oscar-winning film producer Thomas Rosenberg for a $1.5 million contribution to the campaign of currently imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Read more: Tom Cullerton requests formal bipartisan investigation into Warehousegate

Category: Press Releases

051915 js 0211.resizeSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is disappointed in the hypocrisy of the lieutenant governor’s statements during the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee.

During the committee, Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti reiterated she believed her office should not be eliminated because of the succession process and the important government consolidation work she is spearheading.

“The governor and lieutenant governor’s office continue to push for bloated bureaucracy on the taxpayer’s dime,” Cullerton said. “Right now, taxpayers are paying for two deputy governors and a lieutenant governor. The hypocrisy is outrageous. While the lieutenant governor continues to push for local government entities to consolidate and eliminate redundant and ineffective units of government, she stands as a symbol of government waste.”  

The lieutenant governor has been tasked with spearheading the Local Government Consolidation Taskforce. The taskforce has pushed for 27 recommendations; however, only three may advance this year and one was successful so far.

“It is hypocritical to continue to ask local governments to cut and eliminate units of government when the state government isn’t willing to do the same,” Cullerton said. “We are in the middle of tough times. Everyone needs to tighten their belts. The money we save should go toward crucial services like our schools, programs to help our seniors and vulnerable populations, not another means for political patronage.”

Cullerton has continued to push for government consolidation first through his work with the passage of Senate Bill 494 in 2013, which created the DuPage County government consolidation model which is touted in the report released by the lieutenant governor’s government consolidation taskforce, and sponsoring multiple constitutional amendments to eliminate the office of the lieutenant governor.

Since Cullerton has been in office he has supported eliminating the position under both a republican and democrat governor. He believes the money would be better spent and services can be better executed without duplicate forms of government.  

Cullerton is the senate sponsor of HJRCA6 and plans to advance the legislation once Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) passes the measure in the House.  

Category: Press Releases

052214 js 0399VILLA PARK — State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to guarantee that vital taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly in Springfield.

Cullerton submitted a letter to Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s office asking them to place a hold on rent payments for a $2.4 million rental storage space in Springfield.

The comptroller’s office said Thursday it has placed on hold rent payments for warehouse space in Springfield that’s been criticized by state lawmakers.

“Governor Rauner’s attempt to shake up Springfield has turned into a shakedown of Illinois’ taxpayers,” Cullerton said. “The governor needs to quit cutting deals for his friends and focus on cutting waste, fraud and abuse in our state. Right now our schools are struggling to make ends meet, yet there are funds available to perpetuate what is clearly wasteful spending. We cannot afford this. This needs to be a stop right now.”

Cullerton and State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) sent a joint letter to the comptroller’s office requesting a record of rent payments and asking if there is any intention to make more.

The Department of Human Services moved documents from a closed state prison, which had little to no cost to taxpayers.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration had said that the prison building was in disrepair and the paperwork needed to be moved. But the state’s prison director told members of an Illinois Senate committee this week that he had no knowledge of this. He said he would try to get some answers.

“Renting another building for $2.4 million, when we have a usable state facility isn’t an effective or efficient use of state funds,” Cullerton said. “The more we learn about the leasing agreement the more alarming it becomes. I’m thankful we have the time to examine this further before we release valuable state dollars.”

The former Barney’s Furniture building is being leased from Chicago-based Climate Controlled Holdings LLC, which bought the building when Barney’s relocated. One of the owners of the company is William Cellini’s son-in-law.

Cellini, a politically connected businessman, served a time in prison after his conviction in 2011 of a failed attempt to shake down Oscar-winning film producer Thomas Rosenberg for a $1.5 million contribution to the campaign of currently imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

“At the end of the day, the governor prioritized paper over people,” Cullerton said. “Governor Rauner needs to do his job and put our children, seniors, veterans and our most vulnerable over the interests of his friends. Now is the time to lead.”

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
P: (217) 782-9463