PANDASSPRINGFIELD-  Eighth birthdays are extremely important to children. It’s supposed to be a day full of cake, presents and friends. However, this wasn’t the case for Charlie on his eighth birthday.

Charlie woke up on his birthday with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS). The little boy who once loved performing in talent shows and putting on skits was now scared of crowds and talking to his friends. There was an immediate change in his personality.

PANDAS is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and other tics after a child has had a strep infection. Symptoms range from severe separation anxiety to motor tics that appear similar to seizures and hallucinations. The symptoms are severe enough to prevent children from attending school.

After two months of looking for answers, a doctor diagnosed Charlie with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).

Early detection is key. After observing Charlie, his mother Kate Drury was quickly able to diagnosis her younger son with PANDAS when he displayed early symptoms.

To raise awareness and educate medical professionals, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Resolution 237 to designate October 9 of 2015 and 2016 as PANS, PANDAS, and PITAND Awareness Day in the State of Illinois.

“Education is essential to early detection. I have three young children at home, stories similar to Charlie’s display the immediate need to educate medical professionals and the general public on the PANDAS symptoms,” said Cullerton. “No one wants to see children suffer. The faster we diagnose children affected by PANDAS, the quicker we can begin treatment.”

PANDAS is potentially a lifelong disease that is estimated to affect nearly 175,000 children and adolescents in Illinois. It has even been found in adults.

SR 237 passed the Senate unanimously. 

recycle logoSPRINGFIELD- State agencies may soon be taking steps to become more environmentally friendly.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed House Bill 1362 to require state agencies responsible for public land to examine policies to see if composting materials would help reduce storm water run-off and improve the quality of the land.

“Composting is an effective method to stop pollution, cut costs and clean up contamination,” said Cullerton. “Every step we take makes a difference for generations to come. It’s our duty to continue to look for methods to protect Illinois’ ecosystem.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports the environmental benefits of composting include enriching soil, cleaning up contamination and preventing pollution. Economic benefits include reducing the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides.

According to the Composting Council, if all U.S. residents composted all of their food waste, the impact would be equivalent to removing 7.8 million cars from our roads.

“If we want to ensure our children have clean water, air and ecologically safe spaces to be active, then we should continue to look for ways to be more environmentally savvy in Illinois,” said Cullerton.

HB 1362 passed the Senate and House.

041615CM0513SPRINGFIELD- Stalking victims numbered 3.3 million adults in the United States in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Justice. New technology has given stalkers more tools to track their victims’ location and private information.

Cyberstalking is the use of electronic communication to harass, disturb, threaten, pursue, intimidate, or “follow” someone without their permission. The effects on victims can range from psychological damages and endangering a victim’s life to identity theft and financial scams.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced House Bill 242 to bring Illinois’ laws up to date with the growing use of technology.  

“Stalking in any form endangers the well-being of Illinois residents. The use of technology to stalk victims is a growing problem,” said Cullerton. “In this digital age, we need to ensure our laws stay up to date with new technology.”

Under this legislation, downloading a program on to someone's phone that would track their location would be classified as stalking.  

HB 242 moved out of the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law without opposition and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

TCCommitteeAprilSPRINGFIELD- Small businesses struggling to raise money to take their companies to the next level may soon have another method to find funding.  

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced legislation to make Illinois more business friendly by instituting intrastate crowdfunding exemptions.

“Small businesses are the key to growing our economy and creating more jobs in Illinois. Intrastate crowdfunding gives businesses the resources to find funding without accumulating debt,” said Cullerton.

Crowdfunding is funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. In exchange for funding, investors receive a small ownership interest in the enterprise.

House Bill 3429 creates an Illinois intrastate exemption, which allows Illinois residents to directly invest in Illinois small businesses online.  

Currently, 15 states have already passed similar legislation including neighboring states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Read more: Senator Tom Cullerton: Let’s make Illinois more business friendly

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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