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Cullerton pushes for practices to make medical visits easier for individuals with disabilities

Pediatric NurseSPRINGFIELD – Having blood drawn can be a very anxious thing for a child with autism. Thanks to Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), medical professionals may soon have access to training to help ensure individuals and developmental disabilities are as comfortable as possible.

Cullerton advanced Senate Bill 1214 on Tuesday, which requires the Department of Public Health to ensure that those who draw blood have the most current method of drawing blood from individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities available.

“Health care professionals strive to provide the best possible care to all patients,” Cullerton said. “This measure ensures that they receive training on the best practices to draw blood from patients that are living with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Autism and Down’s syndrome have a good medical experience.”

The Department of Public Health will be required to compile current methods of drawing blood from children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Senate Bill 1214 was an initiative of Michael Baker, a parent advocate of a young adult son with a developmental disability.

“Medical visits can be stressful for all of us, but especially for individuals who can often face extra challenges,” Cullerton said. “We need to ensure that communication and sensory issues are taken into account when medical professionals perform procedures such as blood draws.”

Senate Bill 1214 passed the Senate’s Committee on Public Health with bipartisan support and will move to the full Senate for consideration.

Cullerton and Glowiak support local government efficiency measures

tcullerton 031319SPRINGFIELD – State Senators Tom Cullerton and Suzy Glowiak, joined DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and representatives of the Transform Illinois coalition on Wednesday to highlight and support proposed legislation limiting the size, scope and cost of local government.

“Government consolidation is one powerful tool we can use to find efficiencies,” Cullerton said. “Transform Illinois continues to be vital in helping lawmakers reduce the government’s footprint without sacrificing services for local residents. I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner to ensure government evolves with the needs of the people of Illinois.”

Tom Cullerton calls for end to bans on winter greenhouses

GreenhouseSPRINGFIELD – An Elmhurst family may soon be able to extend their backyard gardening season, thanks to State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park).

The Senate’s Local Government Committee heard testimony on Wednesday in support of Cullerton’s measure, Senate Bill 1675, which would stop municipalities from banning the construction of a season extension or crop protection device such as a hoop house from October 1 to April 15 every year.

“Hoop houses allow residents to extend growing season to grow fresh produce all year round,” Cullerton said. “It’s a shame that the state needed to get involved to allow local residents to take advantage of countless health benefits throughout our winter months. My hope is the City of Elmhurst reaches a swift and responsible decision in the next week to avoid the state’s involvement.”

The issue began in 2015, when city officials told Nicole Virgil and her husband, Dan, that their hoop house violated city rules and directed them to take it down. The Virgils had designed and built a hoop house, which is a series of large hoops or bows—made of metal, plastic pipe or wood—covered with a layer of heavy greenhouse plastic. The plastic is stretched tight and fastened to baseboards with strips of wood, metal or wire. Hoop houses can be used to grow some crops year-round.

Since then, the Virgils have been battling zoning restrictions to get the city’s permission to extend their backyard gardening season. The Elmhurst City Council voted on the matter again in February, blocking the hoop house with the mayor casting a rare tie-breaker vote.

“Local and state government exists to preserve the rights of the people,” Nicole Virgil said. “I would like units of local government to respect and support the benign backyard activities of residents.”

The initiative is supported by the Illinois Environmental Council, Sustain DuPage, Urban Canopy, DuPage County Farm Bureau, DuPage NAACP, Eco-Justice Collaborative, Sierra Club and Elmhurst Hoop House. Nearly 1,500 supporters have expressed their support for the measure.

Cullerton hopes the City of Elmhurst will enact policies that will allow residents like Virgil to keep backyard gardens year round. The matter remains under discussion in the Senate’s Local Government Committee.

Senate passes measure to fly POW, MIA flag at local airports

pow mia flag 030719SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ lost heroes may soon be recognized at local airports, thanks to Senator Tom Cullerton.

Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 1127 on Thursday to require the Division of Aeronautics under the Department of Transportation fly the Veteran Missing in Action flag at all of the airports in their jurisdiction.

“Our lost heroes should never be forgotten,” Cullerton said. “This small gesture helps keep our missing heroes from all wars in our hearts and minds.”

Sen. Tom Cullerton

tcullerton-hs

23rd Legislative District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor (Chairperson); State Government; Transportation; Veterans Affairs (Vice-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