Cunningham

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  • 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 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. 

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  • cunningham hiedcompSPRINGFIELD—Higher education administrators will no longer be able to claim country club memberships as a part of their pensionable income thanks to a proposal pushed by Senator Bill Cunningham becoming law today.

    Senate Bill 2156 was one several new laws authored by Cunningham this year aimed at limiting perks for public college and university presidents in Illinois. The legislation was sparked by a scandal at the College of DuPage, where the president received a $750,000 severance package just to leave the college.

  • 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. 

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  • 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. 

  • cunninghamSPRINGFIELD—Senator Bill Cunningham during the spring legislative session pushed to expand and extend the successful accelerated resolution court, also known as Rocket Docket, in Cook County.

    The legislation, signed into law today, would add minor traffic and drug offenses to the program and extends the program’s sunset date to 2019. The Rocket Docket program expedites the adjudication of minor offenses by requiring they be tried with 30 days.

    “This program has been a success since day one in controlling overcrowding of Cook County Jail,” Cunningham said. “It also has been a success in lowering the financial burden on taxpayers who fund the jail.”

    Currently, the Cook County Sheriff refers defendants to the program and the Cook County State’s Attorney approves those referrals. For any defendant to be eligible they are not allowed to have any prior convictions for violent offenses within the past 10 years and must be unable to post bond.

    “It only made sense to keep a successful program running,” Cunningham said.

    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 ag edSPRINGFIELD – After learning about an outlandish severance package given to an outgoing community college president by a lame duck board of trustees, Senate Bill Cunningham knew something had to change.

    Cunningham proposed a package of reforms that was signed into law today, making the hiring and firing process of college administrators more transparent and fair to both taxpayers and students.

    The package includes a proposal that would require community college boards and university boards partake in a minimum of four hours of professional development training that ranges from labor laws to ethics training.

    “We need to protect taxpayers and tuition payers,” Cunningham said. “Tuition is on the rise in part because of abuse in the hiring and firing of chief administrators of our state universities and community colleges.”

    Another proposal in the package would ban a lame duck community college board from approving a new contract with less than 45 days left before the next election.

    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. 

  • RoadConstructionCHICAGO – Drivers who travel near Marist High School will enjoy a faster commute and less congestion because of a road widening project backed by Senator Bill Cunningham and Representative Fran Hurley.

    “For years the residents of our community have been dealing with the extreme congestion that occurs at the intersection near Marist,” Cunningham said. “We needed a solution.”

    The local project includes adding a turn lane to smooth out traffic at 115th Street and Pulaski Road. Cunningham and Hurley pushed the Illinois Department of Transportation to prioritize widening the intersection.

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  • foidcardSPRINGFIELD—Legislation passed by Senator Bill Cunningham will help local police keep guns out of the hands of people who've had orders of protection issued against them.

    House Bill 6331 would require the state police notify law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction to assist in seizing a FOID card when the person’s FOID card has been revoked because they were the subject of an existing order of protection.

    Currently, while a FOID card could be revoked for an existing order of protection, the state police were not required to provide notice to law enforcement agencies that would have jurisdiction due to an oversight in the law.

    “This loophole could have huge ramifications in our criminal justice system. We need to push this through to ensure the state police and local law enforcement are able to have and share the necessary information to protect and serve their communities,” Cunningham said.

    The legislation has passed both chambers and goes to the governor for approval.

    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 053016SPRINGFIELD— Senator Bill Cunningham passed legislation out of the Senate that would extend and expand the pilot program for the Accelerated Resolution Court or “Rocket Docket,” a program designed to quickly move minor offenses through the court system.

    “The Rocket Docket legislation has proven to be a success in helping with overcrowding while ensuring that cases are resolved in a timely manner,” Cunningham said. “We don’t need those with traffic violations sitting in Cook County Jail only raising costs on tax payers.”

    House Bill 6190 would extend the sunset date of the pilot program to June 30, 2019. This would allow for the new offenses that would be added to be utilized under this program. The new offenses that would be added would include traffic violations and some minor drug offenses.

    The Cook County Sherriff would refer defendants to the program and be approved by the Cook County State’s Attorney. For a defendant to be eligible they are not allowed to have any prior convictions for violent offenses within the past 10 years and must be unable to post bond.

    "In contrast to jails' intended function of detaining dangerous offenders, they have devolved into warehouses for the poor and mentally ill," said Sheriff Dart. "The original Rocket Docket has succeeded in getting non-violent, low-level offenders out of jail and into the community, and this enhanced legislation will further that critical mission."

    The legislation now goes to the governor for approval.

    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 hiedcompSPRINGFIELD—Hairdressers and nail technicians throughout Illinois soon will be trained to properly detect signs of domestic violence or sexual assault thanks to legislation being pushed by Senator Bill Cunningham in the Illinois Senate.

    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 training will educate salon professionals about the signs of domestic violence or sexual assault as well as how to support and connect their clients with resources for help.

    “When I met my wife she was working as a hair dresser to put herself through college and she would be witness to stories of abuse from clients, yet she would not know what steps to take,” Cunningham said. “Ensuring more people are aware of what sexual assault or domestic violence looks like and what steps they can take to help fight against it,  we can stand up and protect victims.”

    The legislation was introduced in the House by Representative Fran Hurley. It is an initiative of the Chicago Says No More movement.

    “Our coalition is very grateful to Senator Cunningham and Representative Hurley for leading the way in a private-public alliance that will make it possible to responsibly assist a victim asking for help,” said Kristie Paskvan, founder, Chicago Says No More. “We also appreciate the collaboration of Cosmetologists Chicago as we prepared our curriculum which will be presented by professionals trained in addressing domestic violence or sexual assault.”

    The legislation has passed the Senate and returns to the House for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk.

    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. 

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  • clayborne techSince 1990, students and teachers from across the state come to the Capitol each spring to provide demonstrations on classroom technology projects for lawmakers. The Illinois Computing Educators annual TECH Day brings school teams to show projects that often focus on improving teaching and learning.

    For Illinois students to succeed, technology must play a role in their education. This ensures their engagement in what their school's resources help them learn and accomplish.

  • mapoverridePublic universities and community colleges across Illinois would see a substantial portion of their state funding reinstated under legislation the Illinois Senate approved Wednesday.

    Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) led efforts to restore $453.4 million in higher education funding. Included is $46 million for the popular student assistance program known as MAP, which provides assistance for low-income college students.

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