Tom Cullerton: Let’s make Illinois more business friendly

TC-crowdfund51315SPRINGFIELD- Small businesses struggling to raise money to take their companies to the next level may soon have another method to find funding.  

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced legislation to make Illinois more business friendly by instituting intrastate crowdfunding exemptions.

“Small businesses are the key to growing our economy and creating more jobs in Illinois. Intrastate crowdfunding gives businesses the resources to find funding without accumulating debt,” said Cullerton.

Crowdfunding is funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people. In exchange for funding, investors receive a small ownership interest in the enterprise.

House Bill 3429 creates an Illinois intrastate exemption, which allows Illinois residents to directly invest in Illinois small businesses online.  

Currently, 15 states have already passed similar legislation including neighboring states such as Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan.

“The Illinois Intrastate crowdfunding bill gives Illinois entrepreneurs and small business access to new sources of capital and incentivizes Illinois residents to invest locally,” said Anthony Zeoli, Chicago attorney and crowdfunding expert.

This legislation encourages local investment and would create new jobs in Illinois.

“Allowing companies to raise reasonable sums of money from a large pool of Illinois citizens, and providing investors with small ownership interests in the enterprises, will stimulate our economy and create jobs,” said Elliot Richardson the CEO of the Small Business Advocacy Council.

HB 3429 is expected to be heard today in the Senate’s Committee on Financial Institutions.

Tom Cullerton promotes good government

tc-civicsSPRINGFIELD- Do you know what the three branches of U.S. government are? If so, you are one of 36 percent who can answer correctly according to the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) advanced legislation that would require a semester of civics to graduate high school.

Currently, Illinois is one of only 10 states that doesn’t require at least one civics course.  Currently, Illinois high school graduates are required to complete two years of social studies courses. This legislation would simply require one of the two years to include a semester civics course.

“Our schools are training future leaders of Illinois,” said Cullerton. “Good government is a result of public officials and residents working together to make informed decisions. We need to ensure our young people know how government works to make sure government is working for them.”

The Illinois Task Force on Civic Education recommended that Illinois should require a civic education course for all high schools in Illinois. The class would focus on government institutions, current issues and discussions and simulations of the democratic process.

“Today, we move one step closer in equipping our students with the necessary skills to be informed and engaged participants in our democracy,” said Shawn Healy, Task Force Chair and Civic Learning Scholar at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in Chicago. “On behalf of the taskforce, we are grateful for the bi-partisan support of this transformational legislation.”

Support for the implementation of the civics courses, would be provided by private funding to cover the cost of professional development and other school district needs.

House Bill 4025 passed the Senate’s Committee on Education and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Tom Cullerton fights pollution for Illinois residents

compostbinsSPRINGFIELD- State agencies may soon be taking steps to become more environmentally friendly.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is advancing House Bill 1362 to require state agencies responsible for public land to examine policies to find out if composting materials would assist in reducing storm water run-off and improving the quality of the land.

“Composting is a reliable method to stop pollution, cut costs and clean up contamination. We need to continue to embrace dependable practices to be more efficient as a state,” said Cullerton. “Taking easy steps like this will help protect our environment and sustain natural resources for generations to come.”

The United States Environmental Protection Agency reports the environmental benefits of composting include enrichment of soil, cleanup of contamination, preventing pollution and economic benefits by reducing the need for water, fertilizer and pesticides.

“If we want to ensure our children have clean water, air and ecologically safe spaces to be active, then we should continue to look for ways to be more environmentally savvy in Illinois,” said Cullerton.

HB 1362 passed the Senate’s Environment Committee with unanimous support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Tom Cullerton advances suicide prevention initiative

tc-suicideprevSPRINGFIELD- For people between the ages of 15 and 34 in Illinois, suicide is the third leading cause of death. And for every reported suicide among young people, there are at least 100 attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.

These are just a few of the statistics that help illustrate the need to equip educators in Illinois with the thoughtful training and educational materials to help detect early warning signs of suicide.   

To address this need, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) sponsored Senate Bill 1793, which works toward promoting youth suicide awareness and prevention programs.

“Our children shouldn’t ever feel like they don’t have any other avenue than to take such drastic steps. This legislation will help us catch early warning signs and arm teachers with the tools they need to help students,” said Cullerton.   

This initiative ensures school districts require educators in school buildings serving students in grades 6 through 12 to participate in four hours of training in youth suicide awareness and prevention every five years.

“The statistics are alarming. Suicide is preventable and we need to ensure our children have the necessary protections in place as well as reassurance that there is someone to turn to,” said Cullerton.  

SB1793 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

Sen. Tom Cullerton


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