config

Tom Cullerton moves to speed up evidence processing in crime labs

Senator Tom CullertonSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Tom Cullerton is taking action to help eliminate the backlog of evidence sitting unchecked at state forensic labs.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed House Joint Resolution 7, which directs the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Sciences.

“Forensic evidence can make or break the outcome of a case,” Cullerton said. “These scientific procedures are increasingly important in solving crimes. It is imperative that we speed up this process to ensure that justice is delivered swiftly.”

The resolution directs the Auditor General to examine crime labs’ equipment, procedures, and staffing levels with the goal of identifying and reporting to the General Assembly on factors preventing them from compliance with federal rules on swiftly processing evidence.

The current backlog of biological evidence includes numerous cases of violent crimes, including murders, shootings, and criminal sexual assaults, that end up being delayed for long periods of time. It typically takes at least one year for biological evidence to be processed by the state crime labs.

In today's climate where police and prosecutors are increasingly scrutinized about their procedures, DNA evidence is crucial to the successful prosecution of criminal cases.

“One of the most important players in any type of testimony often isn't a person but the forensic evidence,” Cullerton said. “Our hope is this report will provide the General Assembly with the knowledge to help give the Illinois State Police the necessary tools to drastically improve turnaround and ensure they are in compliance with federal protocols.”

This bipartisan initiative is sponsored by State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) in the House.

House Joint Resolution 7 passed the Senate’s State Government Committee with bipartisan support and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Tom Cullerton passes measure to give Illinois residents the right to know how companies use their personal data

tc 050719SPRINGFIELD – Companies that profit off the use of their customers’ data would need to disclose precisely how they’re using it under new legislation by State Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed the Data Transparency and Privacy Act, which requires companies that collect personal information about consumers to identify what type of information is being collected and to what third parties the company is disclosing the consumer's personal information.

“Illinois residents deserve to know what personal information companies are storing and sharing,” Cullerton said. “It’s plain and simple: This is your personal information, and you have the right to know who has access to it.”

The proposed law requires companies that share personal information to a third party to make that information available to consumers, free of charge.  

“Our entire financial livelihoods occur online now, from paying our electric bills to buying our groceries,” Cullerton said. “Using the internet should not require you to sacrifice privacy and personal security.”

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office would have the authority to enforce the law.

“It’s vital, as we embrace new technology in our business practices, that state laws evolve with the needs of the people of Illinois,” Cullerton said. “This change will help protect residents’ privacy and security.”

The legislation is House Bill 3358. It passed the Senate’s Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.  

Cullerton pushes for increased awareness of Scott’s Law in the wake of a deadly season for Illinois State Troopers

Illinois State TrooperVILLA PARK – In light of the last couple of deadly months on the highway for the Illinois State Troopers, Senator Tom Cullerton is pushing for greater awareness of existing laws that require Illinois drivers to slow down and give officers a wide berth.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) championed Senate Bill 947, which would require the Secretary of State to include information about Scott’s Law in every vehicle registration notice it sends to motorists. Scott’s Law requires that drivers must move over, if possible, and slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle.

“Every day, State Troopers put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” said Cullerton. “In turn, we must do whatever we can to put a stop to these preventable, senseless accidents. It is plain and simple – when you see an emergency vehicle pulled over on the side of the road, you need to move over.”

Tom Cullerton takes a stand against government redundancy

tc 042419SPRINGFIELD – To help eliminate redundant bureaucracy, State Senator Tom Cullerton passed a measure to prohibit the State of Illinois from creating new units of local government. 

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 1215, which would prohibit the General Assembly from creating any new unit of local government until Jan. 1, 2022.

“As a state with nearly 7,000 units of government, we need to take proactive steps to reduce and eliminate unnecessary layers bureaucracy,” Cullerton said. “This measure will put a stop to the overzealous creation of government entities while our municipalities evaluate and consolidate services to promote the efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”

Sen. Tom Cullerton

tcullerton-hs

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