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Tom Cullerton launches petition against taxing senior citizens’ retirement income

tc consol 020817VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is standing up for DuPage County retirees.

Cullerton introduced Senate Resolution 113 that would prohibit taxing retirement income. 

“Our seniors have made life choices based on a promise made by the state,” Cullerton said. “It is ridiculous for the state to recant on this contract. Illinois’ retirees cannot afford to suddenly be taxed by the state.”

Proposals have been floated around by Chicago nonprofits to change the Illinois income tax code to include taxing retirees’ income. Cullerton is strongly opposed to any plan that would tax senior citizens.

The average Illinois retiree receives an annual pension of just $32,000 a year and many receive much less.

“We can’t afford to tax away seniors’ opportunities to live independently,” said Cullerton.

Cullerton recently launched a petition located on his website www.SenatorTomCullerton.com to combat any legislation to tax senior citizens’ retirement income.

In a 2016 Nielsen survey conducted of Illinoisans over 50, three-fifths say they would leave the state if such a tax were approved.

“As we try to keep our residents in state and increase opportunities, why would we enact policies that would chase seniors out of Illinois,” Cullerton said.  “Taxing seniors’ retirement income isn’t going to solve our budget deficit.”

Tom Cullerton’s DuPage County fix signed into law

tcullerton VILLA PARK- DuPage County will now be able to honor a series of voter referendums from the November 2016 election.

Villa Park Democrat State Senator Tom Cullerton’s law to correct a mistake made by the DuPage County Election Commission last fall was signed into law today.

“The referendums passed with overwhelming support,” Cullerton said. “This is a small step to guarantee the will of the people is the law of the land.”

State law currently requires notice to be published no more than 30 days and not less than 10 days before an election. However, the notice was published in the local papers 33 days in advance due to a clerical error made by the election commission.

“This is a one-time deal to avoid costly litigation,” Cullerton said. “Voters voiced their opinions in good faith, now it is time to abide by their wishes.”

This law is a one-time correction that only applies to DuPage County for the November 2016 elections.

Senate Bill 3319 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Tom Cullerton helps reunite residents with unclaimed possessions

tc 021617SPRINGFIELD- Illinois residents may now be reunited with unclaimed property sooner than in the past.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced Senate Bill 886 which would allow the Illinois’ Treasurer’s Office to facilitate a faster return of unclaimed property.

“This small step will reunite Illinois residents with their money sooner,” Cullerton said. “Data sharing between the Treasurer’s Office and Illinois Revenue Department will help cut government bureaucracy and get money and property in your hands faster.”

In Illinois, the State Treasurer’s Office is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as forgotten bank accounts, life insurance benefits and unused rebate cards. The office recovers hundreds of thousands of properties each year from government agencies, banks, insurers, utilities and other companies across the country that have been unable to return the properties to their rightful owners.

Then the office’s I-CASH program works to notify owners and reunite them with their money and other property. In the last year, the program returned a record-setting $155 million to Illinois residents.

The Treasurer’s office currently holds more than 14 million properties valued at more than $2 billion.

“We need to cut government red tape wherever we can,” Cullerton said. “This will help get property in your hands sooner rather than later.”

Senate Bill 886 advanced out of the Senate’s State Government Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Tom Cullerton shocked at Chicago State abuses

CSU 111716SPRINGFIELD – In the wake of a scathing audit exposing waste, fraud and abuse of resources at Chicago State University, Illinois State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is demanding the public university get its financial house in order or suffer the consequences.

“If Chicago State doesn’t address these problems soon, we will need to explore consolidating state colleges to streamline taxpayer dollars and make sure students are getting a quality education for the money they pay,” said Cullerton.

A recent audit by the Illinois Legislative Audit Commission found that Chicago State University had only an 11 percent graduation rate, was unable to verify who worked there, had overpaid employees and was missing numerous documents.

Making matters worse, said Cullerton, is that Chicago State gets special treatment from the state in that it is the only school in the state to get a cut of the state’s legalized gambling taxes.

The findings were the subject of an Audit Commission hearing this week in Springfield. Cullerton is a member of that commission.

Cullerton previously led efforts to reform the College of DuPage in the wake of financial and ethical scandals there. He said Chicago State officials need to either need to clean up their act or risk having lawmakers step in and do it for them.

“Illinois community colleges and public universities need to cut their administrative bloat and start delivering for the students and taxpayers,” Cullerton said. “The top priority of these schools needs to be serving our students and being responsible to the taxpayers whose dollars fund their operations. Unfortunately, it appears some have forgotten that.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is next scheduled to meet on Nov. 29 at 9 a.m.

Sen. Tom Cullerton

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23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; State Government; Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Chairperson); Sub. on Utility Rate Regulations (Sub-Chairperson).

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

Associated Representatives:
Deb Conroy
Diane Pappas