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Cunningham votes to provide pension parity to Chicago public safety workers

cunningham fitness ctrSPRINGFIELD—State Senator Bill Cunningham on Tuesday voted to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 440.

The legislation will bring pension parity to retiring Chicago police officers and fire fighters born after 1955. It would also ensure that a widower’s benefit would never decrease below 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

“All public safety workers put themselves in the line of duty to protect and serve our communities,” Cunningham said. “After protecting our communities for their whole careers, they should be able to retire knowing that they will be able to provide for their families.”

The legislation now moves to the House for an override vote.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mount Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago.

Cunningham works with U of I on new funding plan

cunningham hiedcompCHICAGO— State Senator Bill Cunningham joined the University of Illinois in announcing a new performance and accountability initiative that will ensure full funding for the university and help hold the line on tuition increases. 

The plan would provide the university with stable funding and some regulatory relief in exchange for meeting specific standards on student access and achievement. Some examples of standards include in-state enrollment requirements and benchmarks on graduation rates, financial aid and tuition.

“This proposal would provide U of I with stable funding from the legislature, but it would require them to reach a number of goals to keep the funds flowing," Cunningham said. “We need real results from our universities to ensure that state resources are being properly used.”

The plan was announced at the University of Illinois’ Board of Trustees meeting in Chicago on Thursday. Cunningham will serve as the chief senate sponsor on the initiative.

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

Cunningham measure to educate about the signs of domestic violence becomes law

cunningham dom viol 081716CHICAGO—Hair dressers and nail technicians throughout Illinois will now be trained to detect signs of domestic violence or sexual assault and help the victims thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Bill Cunningham that was signed into law on Friday.

"My wife used to work as a hair dresser and she frequently heard stories from her clients who were victims of domestic violence," Cunningham said. "Unfortunately, she didn't have the knowledge or resources needed to help them. This new law will ensure that hair dressers will be trained to assist their clients who reach out to them for help."

House Bill 4264 would require that cosmetologists, estheticians, nail technicians and hair braiders take a one-hour continuing education class about domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. The class would also provide them with resources to give to their clients.

“I was proud to stand with activists like Chicago Says No More to say enough is enough,” Cunningham said. “Illinois took a proactive step in ensuring that domestic violence and sexual assault is not tolerated in this state.”

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

Cunningham closes loophole in gun law to protect domestic violence victims

cunninghamSPRINGFIELD—Local law enforcement will work to keep guns out of the hands of people who have orders of protection against them thanks to a new Illinois law.

House Bill 6331, sponsored by Senator Bill Cunningham, will require the state police to notify local police agencies to assist in seizing a Firearm Owners Identification Card when that person’s card has been revoked by a judge in an order of protection case. 

“If law enforcement is going to successfully protect victims of domestic violence, all police agencies must have the information they need to enforce court orders," Cunningham said. "As the law stands today, the state police must shoulder the entire burden on their own. That's not fair to the state police or to the victims of domestic violence."

Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

Senator Bill Cunningham

 Cunningham2014

18th Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Labor; Committee of the Whole; Higher Education (Vice-Chairperson); Appropriations II; Transportation.

Biography: Served in the House from 2011-13; full-time state legislator and lifelong resident of the southwest Chicago area; born July 21, 1967; graduate of Saint Barnabas Grammar School (1981), Mount Carmel High School (1985) and the University of Illinois Chicago (1990); former advisor to Cook CountySheriff Mike Sheahan and former chief of staff to Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart; youth soccer coach; parent representative on the Sutherland Local School Council; lives in Beverly with wife, Juliana, and two daughters, Madeline and Olivia.