052114CM0405csSPRINGFIELD- In 2017, the consumer credit reporting agency Equifax announced a massive security breach that compromised the personal information of over 5 million Illinois residents.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) helped advance a measure that will ensure Illinois residents have tools in place to protect themselves in a cost effective and timely manner if a similar situation affects them.

“Every day we utilize online services that require us to share personal information,” Cullerton said. “This makes all of us susceptible to security breaches similar to the 2017 Equifax breach. And when this misfortune strikes I want to ensure Illinois residents have the tools available to protect themselves.”

Under current law, consumer reporting agencies are allowed to charge up to $10 each time a consumer wishes to freeze, remove a freeze or temporarily remove a freeze on their credit reports. On top of that, Illinois residents can only request a freeze through certified mail.

Cullerton’s House Bill 4095 would not only eliminate fees but would also allow Illinois residents to initiate or remove a freeze by telephone and through electronic methods.

“People should not be penalized for exercising financial common sense,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to provide Illinois residents with robust forms of credit protection and identity theft prevention services.”

House Bill 4095 passed the Senate’s Committee on Financial Institutions with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

For those that are already victims of identity theft or those who believe their personal or financial information has been compromised, Cullerton suggests calling the Illinois Attorney General’s toll-free Identity Theft Hotline at 1-866-999-5630 or 1-877-844-5461 (TTY).

06292017CM0261RSSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is calling for urgent action to remedy infrastructure problems that caused 13 deaths in three years and three new cases of Legionnaires’ disease this month at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Despite the continued threat to the health and well-being of veterans and their families that live at the facility, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agency directors did not attend a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing hosted by Cullerton Tuesday.

“This is an emergency,” Cullerton said. “Our United States veterans are in danger since the governor’s administration decided to sit on a report instead of taking proactive steps to rid the veterans’ home of Legionnaires’ disease.”

Cullerton called the hearing to find out why the governor’s administration did not immediately heed the advice of a 2016 engineering report suggesting the state repair pipes at the veterans’ home.

The report was only released public last week, and it was given to the media prior to members of the Veterans Affairs Committee. After receiving the report, Cullerton and committee members had a slew of questions that remain unanswered.

“This engineering report outlines a clear path for Gov. Rauner’s administration to follow,” Cullerton said. “It is a shame that they decided not to take the necessary precautions to save the lives of Illinois’ veterans.”

Cullerton has filed Senate Bill 2308 which would fund the vital infrastructure improvements that should promote Legionnaires’ disease-free living conditions. The legislation has already been promised bipartisan and bicameral support, with Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) sponsoring the legislation in the House.

“The governor has failed our veterans and hasn’t done his job,” Cullerton said. “I’m ready to take action to start construction and repairs at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy. If he won’t protect our United States veterans, I will. Their lives are on the line. How long does Gov. Rauner expect them to wait?”

Cullerton will convene another hearing next week, but it is unclear whether Gov. Rauner’s administration will decide to attend.

02072018CM0131 RSSPRINGFIELD- A 2016 engineering report recently released to the media and Senators will be the subject of a Senate Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday.

The report was released late last Friday and, among other things, includes recommendations by engineers that the state seriously consider replacing the plumbing in buildings at the Quincy Veterans Home.

Several federal Centers for Disease Control studies have repeatedly pointed to those aging pipes and the biofilm within them as harboring the Legionella bacteria that has been blamed for 13 deaths and numerous other infections among residents, family and staff at the Quincy facility.

“The committee said it would get back together to discuss the Quincy situation when we had new information to consider. Needless to say, this report provides a great deal of information and raises questions why the administration hasn’t done more sooner,” said Senator Tom Cullerton, a Villa Park Democrat and chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

Cullerton said the information in the report doesn’t match what state officials have been telling the committee.

“The state has been entrusted with caring for veterans and their families. It’s been clear for quite some time that there’s a problem at that facility. What I want to see is some meaningful action to remedy it and create a safe environment there,” Cullerton said.

The hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

The directors from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, Illinois Department of Public Health and the state’s lead construction agency, the Capital Development Board have been asked to attend.

02072018 RSSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed legislation today that will require a full legislative audit of the governor’s response to the Legionnaires' disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

This week the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed two more cases of Legionnaires' disease at the home, continuing an outbreak that has already claimed 13 lives.

“Gov. Rauner cannot continue to hide behind smoke and mirrors. We want answers now,” Cullerton said. “The governor’s office has stonewalled our bipartisan committee’s requests for transparency and accountability.  Now I have no other option but to call on my colleagues on the Legislative Audit Commission to launch a full examination into the governor’s response to this tragic outbreak.”

Cullerton said this will give the Illinois General Assembly a clearer picture of infrastructure problems at the home and the state’s response to them.

“The sooner we examine this atrocity, the more quickly we can remedy the situation,” he said.

Read more: Tom Cullerton measure requires full legislative audit of governor’s Legionnaires' response

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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.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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