05312017CM0529RSVILLA PARK- DuPage parents will soon have easily found educational information to prevent heroin and opioid addiction, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, State Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton’s measure, House Bill 3161, which will require the Department of Human Services to create and maintain a website to educate the public on heroin and prescription opioid abuse, was signed into law today.

“We need to equip every single person that touches the life of a young person with the necessary resources to combat the heroin epidemic,” Cullerton said. “This is a simple step the state can take to make sure DuPage parents have a place to turn to help their children kick this deadly addiction.”

The website will include items such as the warning signs of heroin and prescription opioid addiction, helpful hints for parents on how to discuss the dangers of these addictions with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information.

This new law comes in light of a request made by the federal government to DHS. Without the passage of House Bill 3161 the state risks losing federal funds to fight substance addiction.

The DuPage County Coroner’s Office’s reports were a total of 78 opiate related deaths in 2016, a 78% increase from last year.

“We need to make sure people know there is help out there,” Cullerton said. “We need to make sure those suffering from opioid addiction and their loved ones know where to find it.”

Cullerton is urging DuPage County residents to give his Villa Park Office a call at (630) 903-6662 with any question regarding where to receive help fighting opioid addiction.

House Bill 3161 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

ItascaTCTHVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) voted to support DuPage County Schools.

Cullerton voted in support of Senate Bill 1947, a bipartisan school funding reform that will provide DuPage County schools with certainty and predictability, protect teacher’s collective bargaining rights and offer meaningful property tax relief to residents throughout Illinois, that was signed into law today.
 
“After decades of inequality, Illinois will now move toward a bipartisan reform that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed. This is monumental,” Cullerton said. “Under this new law, our children parents, teachers and administrators will receive certainty and predictability that schools will remain open.”

The state’s school funding formula has not been updated in more than 20 years and is considered one of the worst in the nation.

"I'm glad the elements of the evidence-based funding formula we have been pushing for remained mostly intact," said U-46 CEO Tony Sanders. "Now that it has passed we can shift our attention to how we better serve kids across Illinois."

Senate Bill 1947 will allow school districts an opportunity to reduce property taxes through a voter referendum. The referendum would be a citizen’s initiative.

“As I talk to residents throughout our community, the number one concern I continue to hear is rising property tax bills,” Cullerton said. “This new law not only funds schools the right way, it also allows residents to vote to lower their property tax bills.”

Cullerton fought against requests to diminish collective bargaining rights for local teachers.

“Collective bargaining agreements protect voter’s rights, working conditions, health and safety and ensure workers receive honest pay for an honest day’s work,” Cullerton said. “I will continue to stand up against any attempt to diminish this democratic principle.”

Senate Bill 1947 includes the hold harmless provision outlined in Senate Bill 1. No school district in Illinois will lose funding under the new proposed formula.

Schools throughout DuPage County will soon see a significant increase in funding to level the playing field with neighboring school districts but not at the expense of other school districts.

Cullerton didn’t agree with the entirety of the legislation but voted in favor of a bipartisan compromise.

“Compromise means making difficult decisions and working with everyone to achieve the best results,” Cullerton said. “This new law is the result of four years of bipartisan work to give children throughout the state the opportunity to be successful.”

Senate Bill 1947 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

052214 js 0399VILLA PARK- Currently there are more than 2 million Illinoisans who are eligible to vote, but aren’t registered.
 
To encourage more registration, State Senator Tom Cullerton’s (D-Villa Park) bipartisan measure,  Senate Bill 1933, to allow Illinois residents seeking a new or renewed driver’s license or state ID would automatically be registered to vote unless they opt out, was signed into law today.
 
“Streamlining this process will save the state money, remove duplicate voter records and engage more people in the democratic process,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to make sure Illinois residents are given the opportunity to exercise their fundamental rights.”
 
The bipartisan law includes provisions suggested by opponents such as requiring an applicant to confirm they are eligible to vote, and giving people the option to opt-out of registering at the time they are getting their license renewed or updated.
 
States that have already modernized their systems, like Alaska, Delaware and Oregon, have found that the modernization makes voter rolls more accurate and current. These changes make the system easier to maintain and cut down on redundancies and inaccuracies. Voter registration information is updated regularly and cross referenced with other state databases.
 
“Illinois needs to modernize its systems,” Cullerton said. “Generations of Americans have fought hard for their right to vote.  It is important that we honor their sacrifices by making voting as easy as possible.”
 
In 2012, the Pew Center found that more than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as voters. Modernizing the registration system would help remove them from voter records.
 
Estimates show the annual county-level costs to process registration throughout the country for voter registration are at least $1 billion, or about one-third of the total county-level cost of administering elections.
Senate Bill 1933, passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law will go into effect immediately to allow automatic voter registration to be implemented by July 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

FullSizeRHouse Bill 2661 allows for the transport of police dog injured in the line of duty to be transported to a veterinary clinic or similar facility by emergency professionals.

This was a new law sponsored by me to protect our unsung heroes. If there are not any people in line that need to receive medical attention, our state’s police K-9’s should be able to receive the necessary precautions to save their lives so they can return to keeping our streets and communities safe.

House Bill 2661 puts stipulates in place that require persons to receive medical attention prior to a police dogs transport however, this will allow medical professionals to transport police dogs when necessary.

The average cost for the initial training for a police K-9 can cost a police authority $20,000 to $29,000. This does not account for maintenance training and general living expenses for the dog.

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

Previously, the DVA wasn'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. There is a stigma within the veterans’ community on using 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.

I introduced this new law after hearing about the benefits of service animals for Illinois Veterans while serving as Co-Chairman of the Illinois Veterans Suicide Task Force that formed by a measure I championed in 2014.

As co-chairman I held six hearings throughout the state to investigate the causes of veteran suicide and released a report to the General Assembly in December of 2016.

Using service dogs as treatment for PTSD could be the key component to ending the veteran suicide epidemic.

Beagle Freedom Act (SB 1884) which would require public research institutions in Illinois to have an adoption policy in place for dogs and cats used in testing rather than euthanizing them immediately.

The new law requires publicly-funded institutions to have an adoption plan for animals deemed eligible by a veterinarian before euthanasia is an option.

Safe Pets Act (Senate Bill 1882) establishes best practices and consistent regulations to protect dogs and cats throughout Illinois.

Illinois now has standards to protect the health and well-being of animals sold within the state.

The primary components of this regulatory standard for pet stores:

  • Prohibits pet stores from purchasing animals from large commercial breeders that are USDA-licensed and does not have direct non-compliance citations over a two-year period.
  • Pet stores are required to microchip dogs or cats prior to sale.
  • Requires pet stores to obtain copies of USDA inspection reports either from the USDA website (if posted online) or directly from the breeder prior to purchasing the cat or dog and must be available to consumers prior to sale.

House Bill 2897 will create a new program to allow Illinois military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or depression who are eligible for service dogs through a special program

The new law expands the list of eligible recipients of service dogs through the Helping Paws program to include veterans with PTSD or depression.

The Illinois Department of Corrections operates the Helping Paws Service Dog Program out of the Logan Correctional Center women’s prison. Offenders train dogs that go on to assist people who are visually impaired, use wheelchairs or have a variety of other disabilities. Dogs are provided at no charge.

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