ConstructionCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is announcing the Illinois Department of Transportation has slated four miles of Kedzie Avenue for major upgrades this year. The more-than-$5 million project includes repaving, safety upgrades, and increased access for people with disabilities.

“Kedzie Avenue is a major artery connecting the city and the suburbs,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It connects homes and businesses, and we need to keep it in good repair.”

The upgrades will cover two separate stretches of Kedzie – one running from 87th Street to 103rd Street and the other from 115th Street to 131st Street. In addition to repaving, the repairs include better lane markings and divisions, and making street crossings safer and easier for people in wheelchairs or who otherwise have limited mobility.

“I’m happy that whenever the state makes road upgrades, it makes sidewalks and crossings more accessible,” Cunningham said. “Everyone should be able to safely travel through their own neighborhood.”

The Kedzie upgrades are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan to maintain and expand Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Other area projects scheduled for the upcoming year include land acquisition at the corner of Southwest Highway and Harlem Avenue for future improvements and repainting the Harlem Avenue bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel.

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Cunningham2014SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham to combat opioid overdoses by improving emergency response time cleared the Senate Public Health Committee Tuesday.

“The prevalence of opioid addiction and overdose in our country is a crisis and we need to find immediate solutions to prevent opioid-related deaths,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Our first responders are heroes in this fight and we need to ensure they have every tool available to respond quickly and effectively to suspected overdoses.”

Senate Bill 1258 would require emergency medical technicians in Chicago to report treatment of an individual experiencing a suspected or actual opioid overdose to the city for use in the Overdose Detection Mapping Application (ODMAP), developed by the Washington/Baltimore High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA).

The ODMAP provides real-time overdose data throughout an area to mobilize an immediate response to an overdose spike. Each suspected overdose is plotted to a map that allows local officials to identify trends and develop strategies to more effectively respond to overdoses.

“We cannot afford any delay in addressing the opioid epidemic that is devastating our communities,” Cunningham said. “Introducing this program in Chicago will save countless lives by assisting our first responders in quickly reaching and treating overdose patients.”

Senate Bill 1258 goes before the full Senate.

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Cigarette350SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Wednesday to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

“Big tobacco has a long track record of targeting young people to sell their products,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This legislation demonstrates our commitment to improving the health of Illinois teenagers by limiting their access to tobacco and preventing lifelong addiction from developing.”

The bill would make Illinois the sixth state in the country to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21. More than 300 municipalities across the United States have adopted Tobacco 21, including 24 communities in Illinois.

Raising the tobacco purchasing age has been proven to reduce the number of high school students who use tobacco products. In Chicago, where Tobacco 21 is currently in effect, the high school smoking rate dropped from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017.

The Senate voted 36 to 19 to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2332.

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MedicareMadeEasy650

Free counseling assistance is available locally through Dec. 7 for Medicare-eligible residents and their caregivers during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.

During open enrollment, eligible adults can adjust Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage, move from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan – or vice versa, switch between Medicare Advantage plans, join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or switch or drop existing drug plans without penalty.

Because these can be overwhelming and confusing decisions, assistance is available to help clients find the closest State of Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office, where they can schedule appointments to get help with open enrollment.

Those offices are at the following area locations:

  • Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park – 708-229-5456
  • Advocate Christ Medical Center – Senior Services, 4440 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn – 708-684-4150
  • Orland Township, 14807 S. Ravinia, Orland Park – 708-403-4222
  • Palos Community Hospital, 12251 S. 80th Ave., Palos Heights – 708-923-4785
  • PLOWS Council on Aging, 7808 W. College Drive, Suite 5 East, Palos Heights – 708-361-0219

SHIP counselors work through the Medicare.gov system to help seniors and people with disabilities make the best choices for their individual situation. Residents can contact SHIP by calling 800-252-8966 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, including a complete list of SHIP locations, visit http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx.

To compare 2019 drug and health plans or to find out more about Medicare options, including preventive services now covered, visit the federal website at medicare.gov. Medicare customer service representatives are available around the clock at 800-633-4227.

SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance. SHIP counselors in the field help seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare understand the options available to them. They also educate and answer questions about Medicare plans and options.

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5145
(217) 782-2115 FAX
 
District Offices:
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Chicago, IL 60643
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(773) 672-5143 FAX

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