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Senate President John Cullerton Bio

John Cullerton’s tenure as Senate President has been marked by collaborative efforts to solve major problems and push Illinois forward.

His leadership helped preserve economic viability at McCormick Place through needed workplace reforms, ended the state’s scandal-plagued death penalty and established marriage equality as the law for all of Illinois.

He cast the final vote to expel Rod Blagojevich from office, and he was among the first to speak up on the practical need for immigrant motorists to have a legal system to become tested, licensed and insured drivers.

He has emerged as an outspoken advocate of all that is good in Illinois and a tireless consensus builder in trying to resolve what is wrong.

A native of Chicagoland, John J. Cullerton earned a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Loyola University Chicago, as well as a Juris Doctorate from its prestigious School of Law.

He began his legal career working in the Cook County Public Defender’s office. He is currently a partner with the law firm of Thompson Coburn.

His legislative career began in 1978 when he was elected to the Illinois House. In 1991, he was appointed to the Senate to fill the seat vacated when the trailblazing Dawn Clark Netsch became state Comptroller.

As a member of the Illinois Senate, Cullerton developed a reputation as a pragmatic dealmaker able to reach across the partisan divide to find compromise and get laws passed.

In 2009, John Cullerton was elected President of the Illinois Senate by his colleagues. His first action was to lead the impeachment trial. Since then, President Cullerton has labored to change the political tone of Springfield by encouraging bipartisanship and cooperation.

In 2017, he partnered with then-Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno in pushing a bold series of budget and reform proposals designed to end the economically stifling state budget impasse that had dragged into its third year. Although their efforts were not immediately successful, they ultimately paved the way for the state’s 2018 bipartisan balanced budget agreement.

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News Releases

IMAGE Sims named chair of Council of State Governments Midwest
Monday, 10 December 2018
SPRINGFIELD —The Council of State of Governments Midwest Leadership Conference, which includes lawmakers of 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian...

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IMAGE Cullerton’s new law will put stop to bloated golden parachutes
Thursday, 06 December 2018
VILLA PARK – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois will have a new law on the books to fight the misuse of taxpayer dollars. The law sponsored by State...

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IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant’s business program for veterans has immediate impact
Wednesday, 05 December 2018
PLAINFIELD – Illinois veterans are taking advantage of a program championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) to provide...

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IMAGE Murphy helps add additional ADA Paratransit ticket purchase location
Wednesday, 05 December 2018
DES PLAINES – A local Jewel-Osco store will now offer ADA Paratransit tickets, thanks to the efforts of State Senator Laura Murphy (D – Des...

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IMAGE Illinois Senate recognizes legendary Red Tail Pilot
Wednesday, 05 December 2018
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate recently honored the sacrifices of an Illinois native that was a member of the historic Tuskegee Airmen. State...

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