041615CM0513VILLA PARK-  State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) released the following statement in response to the House's failure to pass House Bill 3593:

"I’m greatly disappointed in the House’s inability to pass reform measures to address the exploitation of taxpayer dollars at the College of DuPage. On a weekly basis, we continue to uncover additional scandals and reports of abuse at our state’s community colleges.  

The House had the chance to address this issue and send this much needed reform to the Governor’s desk. However, they were unable to tackle this issue head on.

Every day, we wait to address the abuse of taxpayer dollars, is another day we risk the misuse of funds. I will continue to work with Senator Cunningham and the Senate’s Committee to address the need to reform executive compensation to prevent similar instances from occurring again.

As your State Senator, my number one priority is to ensure taxpayer funds are spent responsibly and effectively. I will always fight to ensure we protect working class families in our community and keep college affordable for our children."

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TCFloor5.19.15SPRINGFIELD- Middle-class families in Illinois are struggling to keep up with the skyrocketing cost of tuition and fees at Illinois’ community colleges and universities. At a time when, Illinois college students and families are paying more than double the national average to attend a public four-year university, Governor Rauner is slashing higher education funding by 30 percent.

This week, the Illinois State Senate took up the discussion on making college more affordable for working families.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging the Illinois House to take action on House Bill 3593 to reform the misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars at public universities and colleges in Illinois.

“If we are going to discuss college affordability, we need to include reforms to address administrative abuses at public universities and community colleges.  Increasing funding for higher education isn’t reasonable if we aren’t spending public dollars responsibly and effectively,” said Cullerton. “Working families shouldn’t sacrifice higher education or financial health to pay bloated administrative benefits and severance packages for failed performances.”

HB3593 is currently in the House Rules Committee. The House will need to concur with the amendment filed in the Senate before sending the legislation to the governor’s desk.

The Senate released a report exposing perks and extravagant salaries received by public university and community college administrators with state funds. The report found tuition and fees at public universities have spiked almost 84 percent over the last decade; the average tuition increase is nearly $4,100.  As tuition increases, between 1998 and 2008 spending on administration and staff support increased by almost 36 percent.

“We need to work to turn things around for middle-class families in Illinois. Providing an affordable education to our students will contribute to increased economic opportunity, higher employment rates and stability for our families,” said Cullerton. “However, there need to be reforms to the way taxpayer funds are used to ensure families are getting the best value for their investment.”

US Flag BacklitSPRINGFIELD- Do you know what the three branches of U.S. government are? If so, you are one of 36 percent who can answer correctly according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed legislation that would require a semester of civics to graduate high school.

Currently, Illinois is one of only 10 states that doesn’t require at least one civics course.  Right now, Illinois high school graduates are required to complete two years of social studies courses. This legislation would simply require one of the two years to include a civics course for one semester.

“Good government is a result of public officials and residents working together to make informed decisions. We need to ensure our young people know how government works to make sure government is working for them,” said Cullerton.
The Illinois Task Force on Civic Education recommended Illinois require a civic education course for all high schools in Illinois. The class would focus on government institutions, current issues and discussions and simulations of the democratic process.

“Today, we move one step closer in equipping our students with the necessary skills to be informed and engaged participants in our democracy,” said Shawn Healy, Task Force Chair and Civic Learning Scholar at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in Chicago. “On behalf of the taskforce, we are grateful for the bi-partisan support of this transformational legislation.”

Support for implementing the civics courses would be provided by private funding to cover the cost of professional development and other school district needs.

House Bill 4025 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. 

TC5.21.15SPRINGFIELD- At a time, Illinois college students are paying more than double the national average to attend a public four-year university, university administrators are receiving lavish country club memberships and inflated housing and travel allowances on top of their quarter of a million dollar salaries.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced House Bill 3593 to reform the misuse and abuse of taxpayer dollars at public universities and colleges in Illinois.

Last week, a report was released exposed the perks and extravagant salaries received by public universities and community college administrators with state funds. Abuses such as country club and wildlife reservation memberships were exposed in the report.    

“The report released last week displays a blatant disregard for the value of taxpayer dollars,” said Cullerton. “This legislation will move us in the right direction as we continue to investigate and correct the misuse of funds.”

HB 3593 amends the Public Community College Act with a series of reforms in reaction to recent events at the College of DuPage’s severance package given to its outgoing President Robert Brueder.

This legislation includes three major reforms:

•    First off, all new severance agreements for outgoing community college employees are limited to one year and benefits.

•    Secondly, public notice is required for any new or amended contracts entered into with employees.

•    Thirdly, this legislation no longer allows boards to enter into contracts with automatic renewals or extensions. All contracts must have start and end dates that cannot exceed four years. Under this legislation, contract extensions and renewals would be granted during open board meetings.

“At a time we are asking families and students to pay inflated tuition costs and fees, administrators are traveling on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Cullerton. “These reforms will move us one step closer in ensuring government funds are spent responsibly and effectively. Our students shouldn’t sacrifice their education or financial health to ensure our administrators receive golden parachutes for disappointing performances.”  

HB 3593 passed the Senate’s Committee on Higher Education.

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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
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463