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Cunningham measure clears the way for Chicago Ridge redevelopment

cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – An initiative that will help spur redevelopment of a key piece of industrial property in Chicago Ridge will become law after state legislators voted this week to override the governor’s veto of the plan.

The measure, sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, prohibits land owners from disconnecting their property from a municipality if the land is contained within a tax increment financing district.

The current owner of the long-abandoned Yellow Freight trucking yard on Harlem Avenue wants to disconnect from the city’s TIF district, but a developer looking to rehabilitate the 90-acre property wants to utilize the benefits of the TIF district.

“This bill will stop the current owner of the property from scuttling the Chicago Ridge economic redevelopment plan for the property and the entire Harlem Avenue corridor,” Cunningham said.

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto. The House voted to override the veto on Nov. 14.

Cunningham votes to override Rauner’s veto of Tobacco 21

cunningham 052418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

“Big tobacco has a long track record of targeting young people to sell their products,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This legislation demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of Illinois teenagers by limiting their access to tobacco and preventing lifelong addiction from developing.”

The bill would make Illinois the sixth state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 municipalities across the United States have adopted Tobacco 21, including 24 communities in Illinois.

Raising the tobacco purchasing age has been proven to reduce the number of high school students who use tobacco products. In Chicago, where Tobacco 21 is currently in effect, the high school smoking rate dropped from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017.

The Senate voted 36 to 19 to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2332.

Cunningham: Southwest suburban schools to receive additional $4.3M in Year 2 of new formula

cunningham 052418SPRINGFIELD – Southwest suburban families will continue to benefit from Illinois’ new school funding formula, which guarantees local schools will receive nearly $4.3 million more this year than they did last year, State Senator Bill Cunningham said today.

That means the new formula will have pumped more than $7.6 million in additional money into schools in the 18th State Senate District during its first two years on the books.

“Superintendents are making meaningful changes in schools and classrooms across the southwest suburbs because of the new formula,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who supported the overhaul of Illinois’ archaic school funding formula. “Schools that have gotten the short end of the stick for years are moving to the front of the line for support, and that’s how it should be.”

New Cunningham law says hospital employees need flu vaccinations

flu vaccine 082318CHICAGO – Every year, influenza hits thousands of families, and hospitals need to do all they can to help stop the spread of influenza. A measure championed by State Senator Bill Cunningham, House Bill 2984, was signed into law today to address the issue.

Under the new law, certified local health departments and any facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health may implement more stringent flu vaccination policies for their employees. The aim is to protect patients from exposure to the flu and improve vaccination rates.

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.