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Tom Cullerton receives distinguished U.S. Department of Defense recognition for service to military

Sen. Tom Cullerton Certificate of RecognitionWASHINGTON, DC – The United States Department of Defense recently recognized State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) for his leadership in shaping policies that positively impact the lives of service members and families in Illinois.

“I’m honored to receive this prestigious designation for my efforts to better the lives of our military personnel, veterans and their families,” Cullerton said. “Our nation’s heroes have served our great country with honor and respect and have made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms. The new laws we passed this year serve as a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.”

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman. He continues to use his military experience to implement commonsense legislation that makes resources easily accessible for Illinois’ veterans.

Cullerton’s bipartisan measure stops state from cutting off income for student loan default

tc 042018VILLA PARK – A new Illinois law championed by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will prevent state licensing boards from suspending or revoking individual licenses and certificates if a consumer defaults on their student loans.

“It is counterproductive and counterintuitive to take away someone’s capability to work because they are unable to pay bills,” Cullerton said. “Obviously, if you cannot work you will not be able to pay your loans and will collect more debt. That cycle doesn’t benefit anybody.”

Student loans are the largest source of consumer debt in the United States, surpassing mortgages and credit cards debt.

Senate Bill 2439 puts provisions in place to prevent individuals with student loan default from having licenses denied, revoked or suspended in 37 professions such as occupational therapists, barbers, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

Student loan debt is the only type of debt in the U.S. that is not eligible for bankruptcy protections except in severe instances.

“We need to look for ways to make college more affordable to ensure our children are graduating college with mountains of opportunities, not debt.” Cullerton said.

Senate Bill 2439 passed with bipartisan support and is now in effect.

Transparency to increase at state-run veterans homes as Cullerton measure becomes law

vets presser 031318VILLA PARK – To better serve Illinois veterans and their loved ones, state veterans facilities will now be required to submit biannual reports to the General Assembly.

House Bill 5784, sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), became law on Monday, requiring the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to regularly inform the general assembly about the health and welfare of the residents at each state-run veterans facility. The DVA must also keep the GA informed of any epidemics or cases involving a communicable disease.

“This bipartisan measure will promote transparency and hold Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration accountable for the care and service our nation’s heroes receive at state-run facilities,” Cullerton said. “For far too long the governor’s administration has continued to conceal the facts.  My goal is to ensure there is a series of checks and balances to prevent avoidable catastrophes such as the Legionnaires’ epidemic.”

In December 2017, WBEZ Radio in Chicago released a report of the earliest cases of Legionnaires’ disease in 2015. The timeline of events showed a six-day delay between the Department of Public Health knowing an epidemic was occurring and their release of this information to the public. Family members of the victims said they were not notified of an outbreak before the press release.

Those families of victims have filed lawsuits against the state claiming negligence.

“It is a shame that our U.S. servicemen and women were put in harm’s way by Gov. Rauner’s administration. However, we must act now to shine some light onto the care of veterans receive and work to keep them safe,” Cullertons said.

 House Bill 5784 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support goes into effect immediately.

Tom Cullerton’s new law strengthens employment protections for service members

veteran civjob 082718VILLA PARK— A new Illinois law will ensure service members’ rights are protected while they are serving our nation.

State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored Senate Bill 3547 which modernizes state military service member employment rights. The updates to the law protect modern operational reserve forces.

This bipartisan measure was signed into law on Sunday and goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

“It’s important that we ensure state laws are modernized with the growing needs of our military members,” Cullerton said. “While our service men and women are sacrificing their lives to protect our country they should not have to fear losing their civilian jobs.”

Sen. Tom Cullerton

tcullerton-hs

23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); State Government & Veterans Affairs; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Energy and Public Utilities.

Biography: Born Sept. 20, 1969; studied at the University of Kansas; former village president and trustee of Villa Park; married (wife Stacey), three sons.