Cunningham

  • Cunningham’s identity theft protection bill passes Senate

    cunningham 031518SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will no longer have to pay a fee to protect their identity by freezing their credit thanks to legislation passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate today.

    House Bill 4095, an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

    Once signed by the governor, the measure will bar credit reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee to place or lift a freeze on their credit report.

    “Illinois residents should not have to pay a fee because of the negligence of a credit reporting agency,” Cunningham said. “It is simply unconscionable that a company would charge consumers any fee after they failed to protect their personal information.”

    Under current law, credit agencies may charge up to $10 for each freeze request and each request to lift a freeze. For a freeze to be effective, consumers must contact and pay all four major credit rating agencies, which greatly expands the cost. Currently, only senior citizens, identity theft victims with police reports, and active duty service members are not charged to place a credit freeze. House Bill 4095 would extend that fee exemption to all Illinois residents.

    This comes in response to the massive data breach suffered by Equifax from May to July of last year. As many as 143 million Americans nationwide and 5.4 million Illinois residents may have been impacted by the breach of sensitive consumer information.

    Indiana, Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina do not allow credit agencies to charge fees for freezes and lifts. Additionally, six other states have introduced credit freeze legislation in response to the Equifax breach.

    The bill will take effect immediately once it is signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

  • Vaccine bill designed to fight the flu epidemic passes out of committee

    cunningham 030118SPRINGFIELD – A legislative effort to help stop the spread of influenza in hospitals and other health facilities was approved by an Illinois state senate committee today. The measure, House Bill 2984, is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

    The bill allows certified local health departments and any facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health to implement more stringent flu vaccination policies aimed at protecting patients from exposure to the flu and improving vaccination rates.

    “Given the concrete science behind the effectiveness of flu vaccines, we have a responsibility to protect patients from being exposed to the flu virus by the public employees delegated to care for them,” Cunningham said.

    Under current law, employees of hospitals can refuse a flu vaccination for any reason as long as they declare a “philosophical objection.” Public health experts have testified that this loophole leaves patients vulnerable to the spread of influenza while they are hospitalized. If HB 2984 becomes law, only hospital employees with religious objections and certain medical conditions will be able to refuse the offer of a vaccination.

  • Senators outraged at governor's veto of gun safety measure

    gun dealerIn spite of repeated pleas from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to support commonsense measures to curb gun violence and help sweep unregistered firearms off the streets, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

    According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers. Although Democratic and Republican lawmakers supported the gun dealer licensing legislation, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and many gun safety advocates and victims' families, the governor vetoed the bill today.

  • Cunningham's advisory question on marijuana legalization passes Senate

    cunningham 030118SPRINGFIELD – Illinois voters may get the chance to let their voices be heard on the subject of the legalization of cannabis under legislation passed in the Illinois Senate this week. The legislation, Senate Bill 2275, would place an advisory question on the 2018 ballot asking Illinois voters if they are in favor of marijuana legalization.

    State Senator Bill Cunningham, the sponsor of the measure, says the advisory question will help legislators gauge the public’s opinion on the subject. Most states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana have done so through ballot initiatives.

  • Senate advances Cunningham measure on marijuana referendum

    cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – Illinois voters may get the chance to let their voices be heard on the subject of the legalization of cannabis under legislation passed out of committee in Springfield this week. The legislation, Senate Bill 2275, would place an advisory question on the 2018 ballot asking Illinois voters if they are in favor of marijuana legalization.

    State Senator Bill Cunningham, the sponsor of the measure, says the advisory question will help legislators gauge the public’s opinion on the subject. Most states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana have done so through ballot initiatives.

  • State Senators: It’s time to stop using flawed Crosscheck system (VIDEO)

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  • Raoul, Cunningham seek to end state’s participation in ‘Crosscheck’ system

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  • Cunningham questions state use of "Crosscheck" voter data system

    cunningham crosscheck 111517CHICAGO – Amid rising concerns about data security and voters being wrongfully removed from registration rolls, State Senator Bill Cunningham chaired a joint committee hearing Wednesday to examine the Illinois State Board of Elections use of a controversial national voter registration database known as "Crosscheck."

    At a joint hearing of the House Elections Committee and the Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee, legislators grilled election officials over the many problems associated with the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck, a registration system that compares state voter rolls.

  • Cullerton announces appointments to sexual harassment awareness task force

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  • Senate overrides veto, protects workers' rights

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    SPRINGFIELD –Today the Illinois Senate voted 42-13 to protect workers’ rights and override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1905, sponsored by Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago). The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act blocks Gov. Rauner’s campaign to engage municipalities in creating right-to-work areas in support of moves to boost corporate profits at the expense of workers.

    Sen. Silverstein released the following statement: "Illinois’ future success depends on its support of the middle class. Workers and employers should not be restricted from bargaining collectively as they continue building our economy, and local governments have no place enforcing a rule that constrains this freedom.

    "The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act upholds the rights of hard working Illinoisans to expect good wages, benefits and working conditions in exchange for their labors. This veto rejects restrictions of those rights and rejects the governor’s continuing efforts to undermine organized labor in a state that relies on it to operate and extend our economy and our future. In spite of efforts by the governor and his pro-corporate profit supporters to squelch these rights, we will not grow our economy by taking part in a race to the bottom in wages earned by Illinois families."

    Senate Bill 1905 passed both houses initially in July with bipartisan support, and was vetoed by the governor on September 29. It now goes to the House for their consideration.

    Other Democratic senators spoke in support of the veto override:

    Senator Cristina Castro (Elgin): “I am happy to see that my colleagues helped protect the people of Illinois by working together to defeat Governor Rauner’s corporate agenda. We can’t let companies profit at the expense of our workers.”

    Senator Scott Bennett (Champaign): “Right-to-work is an inaccurate name for a policy designed to take away rights from hardworking families. This law will help tilt the balance away from big corporations and boardroom executives that work to rig the system at the expense of working families.”

    Senator Tom Cullerton (Villa Park): “Illinois businesses will only thrive if we treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve. Governor Rauner’s harmful boardroom tactics benefit his friends at the expense of Illinois residents. Rauner’s extreme anti-worker agenda has no place in Illinois.”

    Senator Bill Haine (Alton): “The facts are clear: right-to-work policies do nothing but reduce workers’ wages and make workplaces more dangerous. The governor’s veto was yet another attempt to decrease wages for working families and ensure higher profits for his wealthy friends.”

    Senator Terry Link (Vernon Hills): “At a time when workers’ rights are under constant attack, it is important that we protect the rights of Illinoisans by ensuring that local governments can’t take away those rights. Dismantling collective bargaining rights would lead to lower wages and a loss of benefits for Illinois workers, and I refuse to let that happen.”

    Senator Laura Murphy (Des Plaines): "Since taking office, the governor has attempted to roll back employees’ rights and weaken the unions on the backs of which this state was built. All employees benefit from collective bargaining, even those that do not participate in organized labor. I hope this vote sends a strong message to the governor that I will not support his attack on the middle class.”

    Senator Iris Y. Martinez (Chicago): “Once again, the governor showed that he cares more about big businesses than the citizens of Illinois. Right-to-work laws lower wages, something that would disproportionately harm lower-income Illinoisans. I am glad the Senate stood up to the governor today and protected the hard-working men and women of our state.”

    Senator Bill Cunningham (Chicago): “Right-to-work is wrong for Illinois. Right-to-work and other anti-union measures are designed to do nothing more than lower workers’ wages to pad corporate profits.”

    Senator Don Harmon (Oak Park): “This issue has been litigated several times already, and we have our answer – only the state, not local governments, can create right-to-work laws. The governor’s veto was nothing more than a continuation of his radical anti-union agenda. Today’s override will ensure that workers across the state retain the fair representation they deserve.”

    Senator Kwame Raoul (Chicago): “The governor likes to claim that he’s pro-business, but he supports measures that are anything but. Everyone loses when right-to-work laws are in place. We cannot improve the business climate of Illinois if we implement laws that lower wages and strip away workers’ rights.”

     

     

  • Cunningham: Governor's veto of bipartisan firefighter pension bill troubling

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  • Senate brings historic education funding reform across the finish line (VIDEO)

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  • Cunningham closes conflict of interest loophole

    cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan measure to close a conflict of interest loophole in Illinois statute became law on Tuesday.

    “Good government should apply to everyone throughout the state,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham. “This new law will help ensure grant awards aren’t compromised by conflicts of interest.”

    The new law bans members of the Illinois Energy Conservation Advisory Council from receiving any state grants for teaching continuing education regarding any rule proposed by the council. The measure received unanimous support in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

    “This is not the end of our work. We need to continue as a state to close these loopholes and this law is just a step in the right direction,” Cunningham said.

    The new law is effective immediately.

  • Cunningham pushes law to curb squatters

    Sen. Bill CunninghamSPRINGFIELD — Local communities will soon have new protections to stop squatters from legally taking possession of abandoned homes or businesses thanks to a measure signed into law this week.

    The new law, sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, was introduced when a squatter attempted to take control of an abandoned building in Beverly by utilizing a loophole in an obscure housing law.

    "An individual moved into an abandoned storefront on a commercial street and attempted to claim ownership of the property under a law designed to improve dilapidated housing," Cunningham said. "If alert neighbors hadn't called the police, the scheme might have succeeded in civil court."

  • Measure to provide more resources to address mental health becomes law

    FingerprintsSPRINGFIELD – Custody of defendants with mental health issues will become more streamlined due to legislation being signed into law.

    “We need to make resources readily available to ensure the mental health of anyone determined to be unfit to stand trial are dealt with appropriately,” State Senator Bill Cunningham said.

    The legislation, House Bill 649, would create a formal process for the county sheriff and the Department of Human Services to handle custody of defendants found unfit to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity. It provides requirements regarding the evaluation and transportation of the defendant to a secure facility.

  • Illinois Senate overrides governor’s veto to ensure access to 911 services (UPDATED)

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  • Students, communities, accreditation at risk for universities (VIDEO)

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  • Cunningham: MAP grants critical for local economy (VIDEO)

    cunningham52617SPRINGFIELD—Senator Bill Cunningham discusses the importance of MAP grants to Illinois colleges and students in a video released today.

    “If we’re going to make our state a better place to live and make sure people are upwardly mobile from an economic standpoint, map grants are a very important part of that,” Cunningham said.

    Cunningham’s comments are in response to a letter to alumni from Saint Xavier University, a private college in Chicago, explaining that it is owed $6.4 million by the state of Illinois for promised Monetary Award Program grants to students. This is money that is not going into the local economy, Cunningham said.

    To view the video: click here

    In May, the Illinois Senate passed a balanced budget that would properly fund MAP grants for local colleges and universities, including Saint Xavier.

    Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

  • Cunningham: Time to deliver fair education funding

    cunningham 031517SPRINGFIELD – School districts throughout the southwest suburbs and the state, ignored by Illinois’ worst-in-the nation education funding formula, could soon see an increase in state aid under a reform measure that passed the Illinois General Assembly last week.

    “I was proud to stand in support of Senate Bill 1, a measure that will fix the worst funding formula in our country. We needed a real solution that not only properly funded our schools but also delivered property tax relief to high-tax districts—and we have done that with this legislation,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham.

    Senate Bill 1 was vetted by multiple organizations throughout the state. It had the support of superintendents, school boards and teachers. If signed by the governor, it would be the first significant update to the funding formula in more than 20 years.

    Earlier this week, the Illinois State Board of Education released estimates for each school district and showed that no school district in the state would see less state funding under Senate Bill 1 when compared to the current funding formula.

    It also provided extra support for those in need and offered additional property tax relief.

    The estimated overall gain that area school districts would experience under Senate Bill 1 based on the current-year funding levels:

    • Chicago Ridge School District 127-5 -- $880,000
    • Community High School District 218 -- $409,448
    • Cons High School District 230 -- $209,950
    • North Palos School District 117 -- $315,924
    • Oak Lawn Community HS District 229 -- $135,174
    • Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 -- $146,644
    • Worth School District 127 -- $193,129

    In addition, Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts would be eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV. Estimated relief for five area school districts:

    • Chicago Ridge School District 127-5 -- $573,844
    • Community High School District 218 -- $6.62 million
    • North Palos School District 117-- $4.01 million
    • Oak Lawn Community HS District 229 -- $2.51 million
    • Worth School District 127 -- $1.11 million

    Senator Cunningham represents portions of Worth, Orland and Palos Townships in the southwest suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mt. Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago. 

  • Senate approves two-year property tax freeze

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