Text Size
Login

T.Cullerton

  • tc panda 050317SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is continuing his work to raise awareness for Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) by designating October 9 of 2017 and 2018 as PANS, PANDAS and PITAND Awareness Day in the State of Illinois.

    “Education is essential to early diagnosis of PANDAS,” said Cullerton. “No one wants to see children suffer. The faster we diagnose children affected by PANDAS, the quicker we can begin treatment.”

    Charlie woke up on eighth his birthday with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).

    The little boy who once loved performing in talent shows and putting on skits was now scared of crowds and talking to his friends. There was an immediate change in his personality.

    PANDAS is characterized by a sudden onset of symptoms associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome and other tics after a child has had a strep infection. Symptoms range from severe separation anxiety to motor tics that appear similar to seizures and hallucinations. The symptoms are severe enough to prevent children from attending school.

    After two months of looking for answers, a doctor diagnosed Charlie with PANDAS.

    After observing Charlie, his mother Kate Drury, Vice President of PANDAS/PANS Advocacy & Support, was quickly able to recognize her younger son had PANDAS when he displayed early symptoms.

    Cullerton first became aware of PANDAS after meeting with the group formed by Drury and other mothers whose children have suffered from PANDAS. He pledges to continue to work to raise awareness and support to help children like Charlie.

    “As a parent, it's so hard to watch your child completely deteriorate in front of your eyes. You go to the doctor, get a diagnosis, and then are unable to access the treatment that doctor prescribes. The biggest problem we continue to face is that our families cannot rely on their insurance plans to cover the doctor recommended, medically necessary care our children require,” said Wendy Nawara, Executive Director of PANDAS/PANS Advocacy & Support. “This treatment gives our kids their lives back. Why do we even haven health insurance if it won't help us help our children? ”

    Cullerton commends the advocacy the group continues to do on behalf of the children of Illinois.

    PANDAS can potentially be a lifelong disease that is estimated to affect nearly 175,000 children and adolescents in Illinois. It has even been found in adults.

    Senate Resolution 454 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

  • avr signed 082817

  • ed hearing 062018

  • tc 042618 2SPRINGFIELD – Over the past 10 years, state government spending has grown 25 percent faster than taxpayer income, with many claiming the government is spending faster than Illinoisans can afford.

    To combat this issue, State Senators Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and Michael Connelly (R-Naperville) are pushing a bipartisan proposal that would ensure Illinois' spending grows at a predictable rate that cannot be easily changed.

  • bush 040417

    SPRINGFIELD – The Association of Community Mental Health Authorities of Illinois (ACMHAI) presented awards to Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) and Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for their efforts to protect mental health funding.

    Bush and Cullerton advanced legislation last year to push for greater local government consolidation.

    During negotiations, they learned that local health boards could be caught in the crossfire of potential government consolidation plans.

    They worked diligently to ensure local mental health dollars were protected by removing Community Mental Health Authorities from potentially disastrous effects.

    TC awd 040417

    Last year as the sponsor of House Bill 229, Bush worked to ensure funding for mental health and developmentally disabled are protected.

    “Consolidating local governments is good for Illinois. It saves taxpayer dollars and reduces government bureaucracy,” Bush said. “But I refused to allow potential cuts to mental health funding in return. We must always protect our most vulnerable residents, and ensuring local mental health providers are fully funded is a key part of doing so.”

    Cullerton, chief architect of the government consolidation model used in House Bill 4501, worked with ACMHAI to make sure DuPage County’s vulnerable populations were protected from unintentional consequences.  

    “The purpose of government consolidation is to streamline processes to make sure government is working in step with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “Government should be efficient and effective. But when we eliminate services for our most vulnerable residents, our efforts become counterproductive. I simply cannot stand for that.”  

    ACMHAI plans to continue working with Bush and Cullerton to advocate for state mental health funding.

    "Senators Bush and Cullerton have shown great leadership in their commitment to protect the $75 million in local mental health grant funding resources generated in local counties, townships and municipalities throughout the state of Illinois,” Debbie Humphrey, ACMHAI President said. “At a time when demand for mental health and substance abuse services is dramatically increasing while funding sources are shrinking, these valuable local funds serve as an important lifeline to those seeking access to treatment."

  • exec comp ftr

  • tcullerton 022817 178BARTLETT- State Senator Tom Cullerton passed a series of reforms to help lower Bartlett property taxes and ensure DuPage schools are fairly funded.

    Cullerton worked to pass a series of reforms that will lead to property tax savings through government consolidation measures, property tax relief and working to guarantee Illinois schools are funded the right way.

    Senate Bill 3, which will spread Cullerton’s bipartisan government consolidation model statewide, passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This measure will allow counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum.

    “My goal is to save money, reduce taxes and make sure government is working for the people,” Cullerton said “The best way to lower property taxes is to put government consolidation decisions in the hands of the people who receive the services. This one small step will lower property tax bills and streamline government services.”

    Cullerton supported Senate Bill 1, which will help schools such as U-46 and District 300, which have been shortchanged for decades under the existing education funding formula. These districts could soon see a significant increase of funding to level the playing field with neighboring school districts but not at the expense of other school districts. No school district in Illinois will lose funding under the new proposed formula.

    The increase in funding to schools passed by the Senate this legislative session will work toward giving schools in need of extra support based on an evidence-based model that accounts for factors such as students with disabilities and low-income students.

    U-46 Superintendent Tony Sanders joined superintendents, school administrators and educators across DuPage County and Illinois to support Senate Bill 1.

    “We’re grateful for all legislators who supported this significant school funding legislation but especially local legislators like Sen. Tom Cullerton. Senate Bill one is for us--the kids, families, and educators who make up the heart of U-46,” said Sanders. “SB1 aligns to the mission and values of the Governor's school funding reform commission. No district loses money but we’ll finally see equity in that state funds will better support both low-income and low property wealth districts."

    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 because it relies so heavily on local property taxes. Cullerton believes this funding plan will help DuPage residents in Bartlett, Carol Stream and Hanover Park see lower property tax bills.

    “Illinois needs to move toward a school funding system that is fair and gives all children, regardless of their ZIP code, a chance to succeed,” Cullerton said. “We are evening the playing field for children in districts such as U-46 and District 300 but not at the expense of the children attending other DuPage County school districts. This funding method will move Illinois from a formula with winners and losers to a system that gives all of the children across our communities an opportunity to succeed.”

    For a list of school districts in the 23rd Senate District, Cullerton urges area residents to call his Villa Park Office at (630) 903-6662 or visit www.SenatorTomCullerton.com.

  • tcullerton vets 0200718

  • tc 051018SPRINGFIELD – Three years after the initial outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, residents of that facility and others like it are still waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner to be proactive in detecting and removing Legionella bacteria from state-run facilities.

    State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) took charge of the situation Thursday by passing House Bill 4278, which requires an Illinois veterans Home to notify facility residents and their emergency contacts within 24 hours if two or more residents in the home have been diagnosed with an infectious disease in period of one month or less.

  • tcullerton 022118SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) joined a group of bipartisan legislators to help institute swift and effective remedies at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    Cullerton joined House and Senate democrats and republicans in reiterating the General Assembly’s readiness to pass legislation to expedite the construction process to ensure the safety and well-being of the United States servicemen and women at the Quincy home.

  • tc police dogs signed 081316VILLA PARK – State Senator Tom Cullerton’s initiative to keep retired police dogs with their handlers was signed into law Saturday.

    Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 3129, which creates the Police Dog Retirement Act.

    “Our family dog Brenna is a part of our family. These police dogs become a member of the officer’s family,” Cullerton said. “The special connection formed between an officer and their dog should be honored. We should want to give retiring police dogs a loving home.”

    Senate Bill 3129 requires a retiring police dog to be offered to the primary handler of the dog. If the officer doesn’t wish to keep the dog it can be offered to another officer or employee, a nonprofit organization or a no-kill animal shelter.

    “We need to take advantage of this opportunity to protect the special bond formed between an officer and their police dog,” said Michele Kasten of the Illinois Federation of Dog Clubs and Owners.

    Cullerton believes this is not only a way to honor the service of Illinois police officers but also a cost-effective way to give police canines a safe and responsible home.

    Senate Bill 3129 was signed into law Saturday.

  • tc vets resol 021518SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed legislation today that will require a full legislative audit of the governor’s response to the Legionnaire’s disease outbreak at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    This week the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed two more cases of Legionnaire’s 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.”

  • tc 052418SPRINGFIELD – Two measures taking aim at sexual assault in government by promoting transparency and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars are headed to the governor’s desk thanks to State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

    The first, House Bill 4243, prohibits any public funds – including money that is appropriated for office allowances – from being paid to any person in exchange for his or her silence regarding an allegation of sexual harassment against an elected official.

  • ivhq signVILLA PARK- Irked by three years of inaction from Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) filed legislation this week to begin fixing infrastructure problems at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    “Governor Rauner has had three years to come up with a long-term solution to protect these heroes of our nation, and during that time, 13 people have died from the spread of Legionnaire’s disease,” Cullerton said. “My hope is this time the governor will realize the severity of inaction and do his job to provide our veterans the service and care they deserve, not more bureaucratic red tape and band aids.”

    Cullerton aimed to kick start progress at the facility by filing Senate Bill 2308, which would authorize infrastructure improvements at Illinois’ flagship veterans home. The improvements would include updates to the water systems or new construction to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria.

    A veteran himself, Cullerton serves as the Chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and is leading the way to a legislative fix to the spread of Legionnaire’s disease at any Illinois veterans home.

    State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills), the chief sponsor of the bill in the House, is working on building a bipartisan coalition to ensure speedy passage in that chamber once the bill clears the Senate.

    During the Veterans Affairs Committee hearing this week, Gov. Rauner’s agency directors made their first request for additional funding to begin construction and renovations at the veterans facility despite the three-year outbreak and 13 deaths at the facility.  

    “If we in the general assembly knew additional funds were needed to improve living conditions and eliminate risk factors for Legionella at this facility, it would have been approved in a heartbeat,” Cullerton said. “Sadly, we are once again waiting on the governor for answers and results.”

    On Wednesday, the governor punctuated a weeklong, well-publicized stay at the Quincy facility with a theatrical press conference calling for funding to either fix water piping systems throughout the complex or build a whole new facility.

    “The Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy is a home for our heroes. Not a hotel for the governor to check in and out of,” Cullerton said. “Now that he’s had his picture taken, I would hope the governor’s office will submit legislative language within the next week to begin discussions on how to prevent the death of even one more United States Veteran.”

    While Cullerton is committed to fixing the problems with the infrastructure at the facility, he said he was impressed by the care and the staff at the facility during a recent tour.

    “The care and service residents receive there is exceptional,” he said. “The staff comes to work every day and gives our veterans and their loved ones their very best. Still, our heroes shouldn’t have to wait three years for the governor’s “world-class” work.”

    Cullerton is hoping to have some answers from the governor’s office within the next week.

    “At the end of the day, 13 brave heroes have died on the governor’s watch,” Cullerton said. “We cannot afford to lose another warrior to a preventable disease. Let’s get to work and give our veterans the service and care they deserve.”

  • tcullerton 050218SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Tom Cullerton is working with the Better Government Association to put a stop to bloated golden parachutes for failed state employees.

    Senate Bill 3604 eliminates severance packages for employees that have been fired for misconduct and limits government-paid severance packages to an amount no greater than 20 weeks of compensation. Cullerton expects it to be heard by the full Senate this week.

    “Giving out golden parachutes to poorly-behaved public officials isn’t just bad policy, it’s theft,” Cullerton said. “This is a commonsense reform that protects the public from bailing out bad actors. It is plain and simple – if you betray the trust of DuPage County taxpayers, you will not be rewarded with taxpayer money.”

    The BGA and Cullerton have been working together to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars.

    "For too long, taxpayers have had to foot six-figure severance deals to make public executives go away,” said Madeleine Doubek, the BGA's Policy and Civic Engagement Director. “Being asked to leave, often under questionable circumstances, shouldn't be like hitting a lottery jackpot. With Sen. Cullerton's leadership, the Government Severance Pay Act will bring a fair, commonsense approach to ending golden parachutes."

    Elected government officials are frequently advised to grant rich severances in an attempt to head off employment litigation, Cullerton said. By adopting the Government Severance Pay Act, state lawmakers can set a clean, clear path that will eliminate those decisions for elected officials. Similar policies are in place in other states, including Florida.

    “Now is the time to get control of these huge buyouts and institute some best practices,” Cullerton said.

    Cullerton has continued to call for tougher regulations to stop state universities and community colleges from buying out administrators that are under investigation or found guilty of mismanagement. This is another step in his quest to put an end to this wasteful practice.

    “Our state cannot afford to waste a single penny, especially to help folks who treat taxpayers like their own personal piggy bank,” Cullerton said. 

    If passed by the full Senate, the bill would go to the House for further approval.

  • vets presser 031318SPRINGFIELD – Three years after the initial outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, residents of that facility and others like it are still waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner to be proactive in detecting and removing Legionella bacteria from state-run facilities.

    State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has taken charge in the governor’s absence, advancing bipartisan legislative measures this week to improve water management and notification requirements at state facilities.

  • equifax 022318SPRINGFIELD- 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).

  • tc haine castro 031518

    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s press conference at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy today:

    “Another press conference, another plan, another contradiction and more waiting for our military veterans and their families as Governor Rauner tries to hide his mistakes and failures. Three years later and Gov. Rauner is still drafting plans but refusing to take any action.

  • Veterans presser 050317SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to combat alarming veterans suicide statistics in the nation.

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

    This week, Cullerton advanced House Bill 2647 with bipartisan support out of the Senate’s Veterans Affairs Committee.

  • tcullerton 022018SPRINGFIELD- 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.