TCullertonCommittee31015SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed a measure to end the Senate’s General Assembly retirement system.

Cullerton advanced Senate Bill 1404, which would mean the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) would no longer accept new senators.

“It’s time to end extravagant perks,” Cullerton said. “Public service means doing what is best for our state, and ending the General Assembly pension system is a step in the right direction.”

Cullerton is one of at least 20 active legislators who do not collect a pension from GARS.  

“I’m in Springfield to do the work of the people of the 23rd District,” Cullerton said. “I didn’t run for office for the lavish perks but to make a difference and be a strong advocate for our communities.”

Senate Bill 1404 passed the Senate’s Committee on Licensed Activities and Pensions with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

Category: Press Releases

052114CM0405csSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has started tackling obstacles found during the Veterans Suicide Taskforce hearings.

Cullerton advanced Senate Bill 1693 to allow deceased veterans with military service to include their veteran status, branch of military and the period of time served in the military on their death certificate.

“We need to get to the cause of veteran suicide,” Cullerton said. “The only way to tackle the problem is to have a complete picture. This is a simple way to collect statistics and honor Illinois’ veterans.”

The idea was suggested by DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgenson, who indicated that veteran suicide was under reported since Illinois death certificates do not include information on the history of U.S. military service.

“These are our nation’s heroes. They took care of us, now it is our time to take care of them,” Cullerton said. “Every life we save is priceless.”

Cullerton also advanced Senate Bill 866 to require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to provide information and education on service animals to veterans.

Under current law, the DVA isn’t required to provide information or resources on how a veteran might obtain a service animal.

“The DVA should be a one-stop shop for our veterans,” Cullerton said. “There is a stigma within the veterans’ community on receiving traditional treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  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.”

Cullerton hopes this small step will help make service dogs readily available to veterans to cope with PTSD. There is a high demand from returning veterans for service dogs as alternative treatment. However, trained dogs can be difficult to find.

“Using service dogs as treatment for PTSD could one of the keys to ending the veteran suicide epidemic,” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 866 and Senate Bill 1693 passed the Senate’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

tcullerton 053116SPRINGFIELD-  DuPage County’s successful government consolidation model is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

To take local government consolidation to the next level in Illinois, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 3, which will spread DuPage County’s bipartisan government consolidation model statewide.

“It’s important that we continue to explore different methods to make sure government is working for Illinois residents,” Cullerton said. “The best way to lower property taxes is to empower voters to get rid duplicate forms of government. This is one small step we can take to lower property taxes without sacrificing the quality of government service.”

Senate Bill 3 allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum. Cullerton knows these savings allow for lower property tax rates and provide residents with necessary services.

Cullerton passed Senate Bill 494 in 2013, which created the DuPage County government consolidation model used in Senate Bill 3. County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and Cullerton worked to create an innovative government consolidation model that can be adapted to work throughout the state.

The head of the Illinois Municipal League (IML) applauded Cullerton’s efforts.

"It's encouraging whenever the General Assembly considers legislation intended to consolidate government services and reduce areas where local services needlessly overlap," Brad Cole, Executive Director of IML said.

“We ran a tight ship for taxpayers when I was Villa Park Village President. I’m taking the lessons I learned to the state level,” Cullerton said. “My goal is to save money, reduce taxes and make sure government is working for the people. This legislation accomplishes just that.”

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

051915 js 0211.resizeVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is making a move to end the General Assembly retirement system.

Cullerton introduced Senate Bill 1404 which would mean the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) would no longer accept new legislators.

“It’s important for legislators to lead by example,” Cullerton said. “Going into the Senate, I knew we had a pension problem on hand.  I opted out of the General Assembly Retirement System because I didn’t want to magnify the pension crisis.”

Cullerton is one of at least 20 active legislators who will not collect a pension from GARS.  

“I’m in Springfield to do the work of the people of the 23rd District,” Cullerton said. “I didn’t run for office for the lavish perks but to make a difference and be a strong voice for our communities.”

Last week, Cullerton voted no on Senate Bill 11, a pension reform plan that failed in the Senate.  He doesn’t support unconstitutional pension changes that would suddenly alter existing retiree plans.

“I cannot support pension reform that recants on the promises the state made to retirees,” Cullerton said. “We can’t afford to tax away seniors’ opportunities to live independently.”

Senate Bill 1404 is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Petition: Do Not Tax Retirement Income

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

shamrock

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