PHOTO Tom Cullerton honored for protecting mental health fundingSPRINGFIELD – The Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois (ACMHAI) presented an award to Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for his efforts to protect mental health funding.

Cullerton advanced legislation last year to push for greater local government consolidation.

During negotiations, he learned that local health boards could be caught in the crossfire of potential government consolidation plans.

He worked diligently to ensure local mental health dollars were protected by removing Community Mental Health Authorities from potentially disastrous effects.

Cullerton, chief architect of the government consolidation models used in Senate Bill 3 and House Bill 4501, worked with ACMHAI to make sure DuPage County’s vulnerable populations were protected from unintentional consequences.   

“The purpose of government consolidation is to streamline processes to make sure government is working in step with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “Government should be efficient and effective. But when we eliminate services for our most vulnerable residents, our efforts become counterproductive. I simply cannot stand for that.”   

ACMHAI plans to continue working with Cullerton to advocate for state mental health funding.

"Senator Cullerton has shown great leadership in his commitment to protect the $75 million in local mental health grant funding resources generated in local counties, townships and municipalities throughout the state of Illinois,” Debbie Humphrey, ACMHAI President said. “At a time when demand for mental health and substance abuse services is dramatically increasing while funding sources are shrinking, these valuable local funds serve as an important lifeline to those seeking access to treatment."

Category: Press Releases

DSC 5504SPRINGFIELD- In 2016, roughly 6.6 million people were stalking in the United States according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is pushing for Senate Bill 623 which would expand Illinois’ stalking laws to include stalkers who use technological means such as phone tracking applications to pursue their victims.

“Your phone should be a tool to help you feel safe, not make you more vulnerable to potential stalkers,” Cullerton said. “We live in an age where we take our phones everywhere. If a stalker has access to tracking applications on a victim’s cellphone it will accelerate dangerous behavior.”

The Department of Justice reports that 1 in 13 victims were stalked through the use of GPS technology and other forms of electronic monitoring.  With the advancement of technology there is a potential for this figure to dramatically increase.

“It’s important for us to put protections in place to protect victims from technological advances,” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 623 will declare the use of technology as placing a person under surveillance for the purpose of stalking which is a criminal offense.

Senate Bill 623 is currently in the Senate’s Committee on Criminal Law.  Cullerton is also the sponsor of House Bill 3251 which is similar to his initiative.

Category: Press Releases

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

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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