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Tom Cullerton announces new laws to help veterans in the New Year

service dogVILLA PARK- Laws to better serve Illinois veterans will go into effect at the start of the New Year, thanks to Villa Park Democrat, State Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton passed a series of new laws to guarantee DuPage County veterans have better access to resources and services they qualify for.

“Our nation’s heroes have served our great country with honor, respect and made countless sacrifices to protect our freedoms,” Cullerton said. “These new laws are a small token of appreciation for all they do to keep us safe.”

Cullerton served as an infantryman in the Army from 1990 to 1993. He continues to use his military experience to champion common-sense legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families.

This year, he passed Senate Bill 866, which will require the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) to provide information and education on service animals to veterans.

“The DVA should serve as a one-stop shop for our veterans,” Cullerton said. “We haven’t been able to explore the effects of using service dogs as alternative treatments since there is a lack of awareness in the veterans’ community. Service dogs may be the missing link to stop save veterans lives across our nation.”

The Federal Department of Veterans Affairs and Army state that 10-18 percent of returning veterans are likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after they return. Some studies suggest that suicide risk is higher among those who experienced trauma due to the symptoms of PTSD.

To alleviate fees for active-duty military members deployed or relocated for military service, Cullerton advocated for a new law to allow service members to terminate or suspend contracts for internet services, television and cable services, athletic club or gym memberships and satellite radio services.

“Illinois’ heroes should not be penalized for serving our country,” Cullerton said. “This new law will help ease the stress of deployment and relocation by eliminating red tape and unnecessary costs associated with canceling and suspending cable, internet and phone contracts.”

For a complete list of laws that will assist veterans that will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2018 visit www.SenatorTomCullerton.com.

Sen. Tom Cullerton


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.