SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Tom Cullerton is working with the Better Government Association to put a stop to bloated golden parachutes for failed state employees.

Senate Bill 3604 eliminates severance packages for employees that have been fired for misconduct and limits government-paid severance packages to an amount no greater than 20 weeks of compensation. Cullerton expects it to be heard by the full Senate this week.

“Giving out golden parachutes to poorly-behaved public officials isn’t just bad policy, it’s theft,” Cullerton said. “This is a commonsense reform that protects the public from bailing out bad actors. It is plain and simple – if you betray the trust of DuPage County taxpayers, you will not be rewarded with taxpayer money.”

The BGA and Cullerton have been working together to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

"For too long, taxpayers have had to foot six-figure severance deals to make public executives go away,” said Madeleine Doubek, the BGA's Policy and Civic Engagement Director. “Being asked to leave, often under questionable circumstances, shouldn't be like hitting a lottery jackpot. With Sen. Cullerton's leadership, the Government Severance Pay Act will bring a fair, commonsense approach to ending golden parachutes."

Elected government officials are frequently advised to grant rich severances in an attempt to head off employment litigation, Cullerton said. By adopting the Government Severance Pay Act, state lawmakers can set a clean, clear path that will eliminate those decisions for elected officials. Similar policies are in place in other states, including Florida.

“Now is the time to get control of these huge buyouts and institute some best practices,” Cullerton said.

Cullerton has continued to call for tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from buying out administrators that are under investigation or found guilty of mismanagement. This is another step in his quest to put an end to this wasteful practice.

“Our state cannot afford to waste a single penny, especially to help folks who treat taxpayers like their own personal piggy bank,” Cullerton said.

If passed by the full Senate, the bill would go to the House for further approval.

PHOTO Tom Cullerton works to spread DuPage success throughout Illinois4.13.16SPRINGFIELD – A new bill from State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) would make taxpayer dollars off limits for the purpose of purchasing silence regarding allegations and investigations of sexual harassment.

Cullerton’s measure, House Bill 4243, prohibits any public funds – including money that is appropriated for office allowances – from being paid to any person in exchange for his or her silence or inaction related to an allegation or investigation of sexual harassment allegedly committed by an elected official.

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used as ‘hush money’ by disgraced elected officials who have betrayed the public’s trust,” Cullerton said. “Our goal is to let government officials know that we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment.”

The measure is sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) in the House, giving it bipartisan support.

House Bill 4243 is a response to recent news that members of Congress used public funds to pay settlements to former employees in response to allegations of sexual harassment.

“The time to take action is now. The people of Illinois have spoken. We will not and cannot support a culture that promotes inappropriate behavior,” Cullerton said.

House Bill 4243 passed the Senate’s Committee on Government Reform with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Bill would create alert system for missing veterans


05312017CM0529RSSPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois currently does not have a procedure in place to alert police and emergency professionals of missing veterans, but State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to change that.

Cullerton advanced House Bill 4212, which expands the use of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory system—also known as Silver Alert – to veterans who are believed to have physical or mental conditions related to their service.

Similar to the circumstances that lead to employment of an Amber alert, the public would be notified when a high-risk veteran goes missing in an effort to quickly locate them.

“Our nation’s heroes have put their lives on the line to protect our democratic values and freedoms. When they return home, it's our duty to find ways to look out for them,” Cullerton said. “This new measure will help us save lives. Every life we save is priceless.”

In 2013, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs released a study that covered suicides from 1999 to 2010, which showed that roughly 22 veterans were dying by suicide per day, or one every 65 minutes.

Cullerton created and served as a chairperson on the Illinois Veterans Suicide Taskforce to help address the veteran suicide epidemic in Illinois. This is another step to help ensure veterans receive the necessary resources when they return home.

“This commonsense legislation will put protocols in place to help immediately alert authorities and emergency networkers to bring our veterans home sooner,” Cullerton said. “I urge any veteran struggling with suicide and depression to take advantage of available, free, state resources. No one expects you to tackle these internal struggles alone. There is help out there”

Cullerton, a veteran himself, served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman.

Last General Assembly, Cullerton passed a series of laws to help his fellow veterans combat the veterans’ suicide epidemic in Illinois including Senate Bill 866 which will help expand the use of service animals to veterans to help them cope with PTSD.

Cullerton urges veterans and their loved ones to call the confidential and toll free hotline, 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255 to receive confidential support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, if they need support.

04192018CM0592SPRINGFIELD – Over the past 10 years, state government spending has grown 25 percent faster than taxpayer income, with many claiming the government is spending faster than Illinoisans can afford.

To combat this issue, State Senators Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) are pushing a bipartisan proposal that would ensure Illinois' spending grows at a predictable rate that cannot be easily changed.

“Illinois needs to get its budget in order and that does not mean another tax increase,” Cullerton said. “Common sense dictates that you spend what you have. This bipartisan measure will help our state get on track toward responsible spending and force people to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse. We need to work together to restore fiscal stability for families across Illinois.”

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 21, sponsored by Cullerton, would cap growth in government spending at the rate of growth in Illinois’ economy, as measured by the average annual growth of per capita GDP over the preceding 10 years.

This plan would focus on smart growth that would allow government agencies to grow at a rate that taxpayers can afford. The legislation also includes a clause that allows for the General Assembly to override this spending cap in case of an emergency.

Connelly, chief co-sponsor of the measure, said he is tired of the state’s spending habits as well.

“It’s no secret, the state of Illinois has a spending problem,” Connelly said. “For more than a decade, spending has consistently outpaced state revenues. We cannot continue to go down this path of overtaxing and overspending. Both Democrats and Republicans know this, which is why we are coming together in a bipartisan manner to put forth legislation that underscores the dire need for balanced budgets and economic growth. This legislation is not only a way to restrain state government, but it’s also a sound economic reform that can fundamentally move Illinois forward.”

If Illinois approves this measure, it would join states like Maine and Washington, which have implemented statutory spending caps. States such as Texas and Tennessee have caps mandated by their state constitutions.

“The spending cap amendment is a commonsense solution to decades of bad budgeting practices. From 2005 to 2015 state spending grew 25 percent faster than taxpayers' personal income, and that's unsustainable,” said Adam Schuster, director of budget and tax research at the Illinois Policy Institute. “A spending cap would allow for a responsible and sustainable balanced budget without tax hikes and would provide clarity and certainty for lawmakers when it comes to how much revenue they have to spend. This spending cap is a positive step forward and will help put Illinois on a path toward fiscal health.”

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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.

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338 S. Ardmore Ave.
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