03132019CM1507VILLA PARK – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) praised the Illinois State Police crime lab’s efforts to reduce the massive backlog of cases awaiting DNA analysis.

This month, ISP posted 26 job postings for forensic scientists to get to work on the massive backlog of cases. Filling these positions will allow the agency to address the backlog.

“Forensic evidence can make or break the outcome of a case,” Cullerton said. “This highly scientific process continues to become increasingly important in solving crimes. The Illinois State Police is working diligently to help solve this crisis and eliminate this catastrophic backlog once and for all, and to do it, they need more experts.”

Cullerton sponsored House Joint Resolution 7, which directs the Illinois State Police to take all steps possible to comply with the Federal Rapid DNA Act of 2017. The measure was adopted by the House and Senate with unanimous support in May.

In today's climate where police and prosecutors are increasingly scrutinized about their procedures, DNA evidence is crucial to the successful prosecution of criminal cases. The current backlog of biological evidence includes numerous cases of violent crimes, including murders, shootings, and criminal sexual assaults, that end up being delayed for long periods of time. It typically takes at least one year for biological evidence to be processed by the state crime labs.

“I’m glad to see ISP taking steps to drastically improve turnaround and ensure they are in compliance with federal protocols,” Cullerton said. “The goal of our legislation was to jump start this process to ensure justice is delivered swiftly.”

The bipartisan initiative is sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) in the House.

05012019CW05101VILLA PARK— Illinois may soon have new regulations and rules in place to prevent water-borne illnesses like Legionnaires’ disease.

A General Assembly rulemaking committee has given the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency the authority to more than double the minimum amount of chlorine required in public water supplies. This move is proposed to prevent the outbreak of heinous water-borne diseases such as Legionnaires’.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), a fierce advocate for the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy throughout the facilities legionnaire’s crisis, called the policy a major step toward preventing similar tragedies from occurring in Illinois homes.

“The Legionella crisis at the Quincy veterans’ home has emphasized the need for the state to be proactive in policies to ensure Illinois’ water supply is safe,” Cullerton said. “This step will empower the IEPA to protect homes and facilities throughout Illinois from these preventable illnesses. It is our duty to learn from the deaths of these brave heroes to ensure this never happens again, anywhere in our great state.”

Since 2015, 13 residents of the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy have died of complications caused by Legionnaires’ disease. Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman and has been a staunch advocate for Illinois’ veterans, especially those at the Quincy home greatly affected by continuous cases of Legionnaires’ disease during the last governor’s watch.

During a rulemaking hearing, the Illinois Department of Public Health acknowledged that was the case in the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak at the veterans home in Quincy, but it also argued that “the minimal residual disinfectant found in the public water supply was found to be drastically ineffective.”

“Our nation’s heroes have survived foreign conflict zones – the greatest danger they face should not be living in a state facility,” Cullerton said. “I’m glad to see the committee work in a bipartisan manner to not only take care of our veterans but all residents of Illinois.”

Read more: Tom Cullerton applauds move to prevent Legionella outbreaks

04122019CM0664RSVILLA PARK – Over the next five years, businesses will gradually cease to pay the archaic franchise tax under legislation championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).
 
“As a state it is our duty to adopt policies that encourage economic growth and development,” Cullerton said. “The elimination of this convoluted tax will encourage business owners to expand and grow in our communities.”
 
Created in 1872, the corporate franchise tax is a tax on “paid in capital” for the privilege of doing business in Illinois.  Last year, 346,000 companies paid about $172 million in taxes. After Illinois’ franchise tax is eliminated, only seven states in the nation will still impose a similar tax.
 
“Taxing businesses sends the wrong message,” Cullerton said. “Business owners should not be penalized for doing business in Illinois.”
 
Cullerton has also supported a new amnesty program for overdue franchise taxes and license fees. Under that program, penalties are waived for payment of any overdue taxes or fees for the period of March 15, 2008 to June 30, 2019.
 
In 2017, Cullerton also championed a law that dropped the filling fees for small businesses to register in Illinois from $500 to $150 and lowered the annual filing fee for LLCs from $250 to a much lower fee of $75.
 
“Cutting startup fees will help new businesses get off the ground and grow roots in Illinois,” Cullerton said. “We must continue to do whatever we can to encourage economic development in our state to create new jobs, increase the tax base and spur economic development.”

TCJobFair2019webVILLA PARK – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is recruiting Illinois employers to participate in his seventh annual job fair.

Cullerton is partnering with local chambers of commerce and the Illinois Department of Employment Security to host the job fair from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the Odeum in Villa Park.

“The goal of this annual event is to connect local employers who are looking to hire DuPage County residents,” Cullerton said. “A vital component to growing our economy is putting people to work. If you know someone looking for a job or a career change please urge them to take advantage of this free opportunity.”

Veterans seeking jobs will be admitted at 10 a.m. before the event begins for the general public.

The event is free and open to the public. First preference will be given to businesses that belong to local chambers of commerce.

Job Seekers and employer can visit www.SenatorTomCullerton.com to register. Cullerton urges residents and businesses with questions or concerns to call his Villa Park Office at (630) 903-6662.

DATE: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019
TIME: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., doors open for veterans at 10 a.m.
LOCATION: The Odeum (1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park)

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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