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Cunningham closes conflict of interest loophole

cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan measure to close a conflict of interest loophole in Illinois statute became law on Tuesday.

“Good government should apply to everyone throughout the state,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham. “This new law will help ensure grant awards aren’t compromised by conflicts of interest.”

The new law bans members of the Illinois Energy Conservation Advisory Council from receiving any state grants for teaching continuing education regarding any rule proposed by the council. The measure received unanimous support in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

“This is not the end of our work. We need to continue as a state to close these loopholes and this law is just a step in the right direction,” Cunningham said.

The new law is effective immediately.

Cunningham pushes law to curb squatters

Sen. Bill CunninghamSPRINGFIELD — Local communities will soon have new protections to stop squatters from legally taking possession of abandoned homes or businesses thanks to a measure signed into law this week.

The new law, sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, was introduced when a squatter attempted to take control of an abandoned building in Beverly by utilizing a loophole in an obscure housing law.

"An individual moved into an abandoned storefront on a commercial street and attempted to claim ownership of the property under a law designed to improve dilapidated housing," Cunningham said. "If alert neighbors hadn't called the police, the scheme might have succeeded in civil court."

Measure to provide more resources to address mental health becomes law

FingerprintsSPRINGFIELD – Custody of defendants with mental health issues will become more streamlined due to legislation being signed into law.

“We need to make resources readily available to ensure the mental health of anyone determined to be unfit to stand trial are dealt with appropriately,” State Senator Bill Cunningham said.

The legislation, House Bill 649, would create a formal process for the county sheriff and the Department of Human Services to handle custody of defendants found unfit to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity. It provides requirements regarding the evaluation and transportation of the defendant to a secure facility.

Cunningham: MAP grants critical for local economy (VIDEO)

cunningham52617SPRINGFIELD—Senator Bill Cunningham discusses the importance of MAP grants to Illinois colleges and students in a video released today.

“If we’re going to make our state a better place to live and make sure people are upwardly mobile from an economic standpoint, map grants are a very important part of that,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham’s comments are in response to a letter to alumni from Saint Xavier University, a private college in Chicago, explaining that it is owed $6.4 million by the state of Illinois for promised Monetary Award Program grants to students. This is money that is not going into the local economy, Cunningham said.

To view the video: click here

In May, the Illinois Senate passed a balanced budget that would properly fund MAP grants for local colleges and universities, including Saint Xavier.

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: Agriculture; Appropriations II; Gaming; Higher Education (Vice Chairperson); Labor; Telecommunications and Information Technology (Chairperson); 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.