05032017CM0518RSVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton’s (D-Villa Park) monumental legislation to combat veteran’s suicide in Illinois was signed into law today.

“One veteran lost to suicide is one too many,” Cullerton said. “This new law applies common-sense solutions to eliminate barriers between veterans and the state resources they qualify for. This initiative wasn’t compiled in haste but over hours and weeks of testimony, input and concerns raised by veterans, their loved ones and veterans’ organizations throughout the state. This is a true testament to their hard work and dedication to our nation’s heroes. I’m proud of the work that went into this measure and to be part of this monumental effort.”

House Bill 2647 is a collection of comprehensive recommendations to ensure veterans have better access to services, treatment for mental trauma and depression as well as better access to employment opportunities.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in the U.S.

A common theme throughout the process is finding ways to access veterans’ resources promised to the state as well as addressing a disconnect between federal and state resources. House Bill 2647 creates a connection between the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the U.S. Department of Defense to help streamline and remove redundancies when returning veterans redeem benefits.

Some of the provisions in House Bill 2647 include:

The DVA will be required to reach out to the U.S. DoD to identify veterans returning from units that have experienced heavy casualties, served in high-conflict areas or have at least one member who possibly committed suicide following their service. After identifying veterans DVA will create a proactive line of communication.

DVA will also work with higher education facilities to address issues that may negatively affect a veteran’s ability to learn in a traditional classroom environment such as exploring the expansion of online classes, moving desks away from windows and crowded halls, and providing veterans’ only instructional hours.

DVA will be required to proactively reach out to the U.S. DoD to develop a system to allow veterans to file DD Form 214 (discharge papers immediately upon discharge). This is the required form for veterans to receive benefits.

Lastly, creating collaboration between local chambers of commerce and DVA to create an employer training program to focus on the needs of veteran employees and identify veteran friendly businesses.

Cullerton, chairman of the Task Force on Veterans Suicide and a veteran himself, hosted multiple hearings throughout the state to hear from veterans, their spouses and community organizations to hear concerns and recommendations to ease some of the struggles returning veterans experience.

House Bill 2647 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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.

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.

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.

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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

Springfield Office
122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463