american flagVILLA PARK— A new Illinois law will ensure service members’ rights are protected while they are serving our nation.

State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored Senate Bill 3547 which modernizes state military service member employment rights. The updates to the law protect modern operational reserve forces.

This bipartisan measure was signed into law on Sunday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“It’s important that we ensure state laws are modernized with the growing needs of our military members,” Cullerton said. “While our service men and women are sacrificing their lives to protect our country they should not have to fear losing their civilian jobs.”

Senate Bill 3547, known as the Service-Member Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, takes the following action:

• Consolidates all Illinois laws providing Illinois service members employment protections;
• Expands protections regarding military rights notifications and performance reviews during leave;
• Adds definitions to resolve issues under existing laws, including the calculation of differential compensation; and
• Combines enforcement within the Office of Attorney General.

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman. He continues to use his military experience to champion legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families.

"Our nation's heroes continue to serve our great nation with honor, respect and continue to make countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms," Cullerton said. “This new law serves as a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe."

Senate Bill 3547 passed the Senate and House with unanimous support. It is an initiative of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office.

“When military service members serve our country, they should not lose their civilian jobs at home,” she said. “This new law strengthens service members’ employment protections.”

 

02072018CM0131 RSVILLA PARK— State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s amendatory veto of Senate Bill 2481 on Friday which would remove a $100,000 cap for state payouts in civil litigation:

“Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to fail our veterans. His gross mismanagement and failed leadership killed fourteen of our brave heroes. Now he refuses to give their families any resemblance of justice. His actions are absolutely disgusting and disgraceful. I will be working with Senator Michael Hastings to override the governor’s veto during veto session.”

The bill would allow families greater restitution for the loved ones who died as a result of state negligence and mismanagement. A total of 14 people have died and more than 60 have fallen ill at the Quincy Home from exposure to the Legionella bacterium since August 2015.

Senate Bill 2481 had passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The Senate is scheduled to return to Springfield on November 13, 2018 to consider the governor’s vetoes.

02082017CM0383 RZVILLA PARK – A new Illinois law sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will mandate transparency and accuracy in the governor’s annual budget proposal.

The governor signed Cullerton’s House Bill 5814 on Friday, which will force all future governors’ offices to record late interest payments as a separate line item in agency appropriations.

The law will paint a clearer picture of the state’s financial standing and slow the depletion of funding needed to provide vital services to Illinois residents.

“All future governors will be forced to present realistic appropriations budgets in the future thanks to this bill,” Cullerton said. “We need to make sure governors, regardless of political party, do not attempt to hide behind phony numbers.”

Currently, most late payment interest penalties accrue at a rate of 12 percent per month for bills unpaid after 90 days, while health care bills accumulate interest at a rate of 9 percent after 30 days.

The interest penalties are paid from the same appropriation line, depleting the amount a state agency can spend for its operations. Cullerton’s measure forces the governor’s budget to include separate line item requests to for prompt pay interest payments.

The comptroller’s January 2018 Debt Transparency Report confirmed that taxpayers owe approximately $887 million in interest penalties despite paying out over $140 million in penalties in 2017.

“As legislators, we can’t negotiate a responsible budget when we don’t know how much money is owed or where it is going,” Cullerton said. “Utilizing responsible accounting practices in state government will allow the citizens of Illinois to know how and where their valuable tax dollars are spent.”

This bipartisan measure is an initiative of Comptroller Susana Mendoza and is supported by the Better Government Association.
House Bill 5814 passed the House and Senate with unanimous support and goes into effect on July 1, 2018.

051915 js 0211.resizeVILLA PARK – A new law will require taxing bodies to notify the public if they enter into a severance agreement with an employee or contractor that has been accused of sexual assault or discrimination.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) championed House Bill 4242, which will apply to schools, community colleges, units of local government and other taxing bodies. This measure was signed into law on Thursday.

“This will put a stop to using taxpayer dollars to line the pockets of administrators and employees who are guilty of sexual harassment or discrimination,” Cullerton said. “The Me Too Campaign movement continues to be an essential effort to push our society toward a zero-tolerance atmosphere. This law moves Illinois a step in the right direction.”

The law requires the taxing body to notify the public within 72 hours of their entry into the agreement. The notification would include the name and title of the person receiving the payment, the amount of the payment, and whether the reason for the severance was for alleged sexual harassment or sexual discrimination.

“This has been going on too long and it’s time we put a stop to it,” Cullerton said. “This law promotes government accountability and transparency—two things we need more than ever.”

House Bill 4242 is a response to a separation agreement entered into by Des Plaines Elementary District 62 with Superintendent Floyd Williams Jr.

Williams received a buyout of $127,000 after the school district received several complaints alleging sexual harassment. The separation agreement prohibited the district and Williams from disparaging each other and prevented the district from mentioning the sexual harassment allegations in reference letters.

The district was aware when it hired Williams that he had faced allegations of misconduct in his previous position as assistant superintendent in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but nonetheless hired him after a supposed “thorough vetting."

“I will continue to fight for initiatives that help inform the public as to where their vital dollars are being spent,” Cullerton said. “The only way to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse is to hold people accountable.”

House Bill 4242 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

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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
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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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