03142018CM1029RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham has introduced a measure that would create groups tasked with retrieving Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards after they have been revoked.

Although state law already allows the state to revoke FOID cards if an individual is deemed unfit to carry a firearm, there is no system currently in place to ensure that a FOID is physically revoked to prevent further gun purchases. Senate Bill 715 would create firearm Revocation Enforcement Groups charged with recovering FOID cards that have been revoked by the state of Illinois.

The bill is an initiative of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Circumstances under which the state has the authority to revoke a FOID card from an individual include instances when a card holder commits a felony, becomes addicted to narcotics, has committed acts of domestic violence or is diagnosed with a mental condition that presents a clear and present danger to oneself or others.

“If an individual has been found unfit to possess a firearm due to criminal activity or mental illness, there needs to be a process by which his or her FOID card is physically revoked,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This is a common sense law that will make Illinois safer.”

Cunningham introduced the bill in response to the February 15 mass shooting in Aurora that killed five people and injured several others, including five police officers.

“The Aurora shooter was a felon with a long history of violent behavior, and yet he was still allowed to retain his FOID card and purchase a gun,” Cunningham said. “This is a clear and persistent problem around our country and we need to act now to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”

Category: Press Releases

03072019CM0719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Thursday for legislation that would increase the age to legally purchase tobacco products in Illinois to 21.

“The tobacco industry’s long history of targeting young people has shown that they’re willing to sacrifice teenagers’ health to line their own pockets,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This is a public health issue and I’m proud to support a bill that protects Illinois teenagers by helping prevent what could become a lifelong addiction.”

House Bill 345 would make Illinois the seventh 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 measure passed the Senate 39-16. It will now go to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

03122019CM0323SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham met with local students on Tuesday to have a conversation about technical education and professional development in Illinois.

Students from Community High School District 218 in Oak Lawn came to Springfield for the Illinois Association of Career and Technical Education’s Showcase Day, on which students from around the state demonstrate their skills and respond to education and workforce issues in Illinois.

“It’s inspiring to see so many students taking an interest in technical education and being engaged in the related issues that come before the Illinois State Senate,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

“I have long been an advocate for providing our students with ample opportunities no matter what type of education they wish to pursue and look forward to continuing to promote career and technical education in Springfield.”

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.

Category: Press Releases

04062017AM1031Chicago – Every year, hundreds of properties in Cook County are lost by homeowners to so-called "tax scavengers," who buy houses at auction when the owner fails to pay property taxes. Oftentimes, homeowners are caught off guard, having missed their property tax bill in the mail or because they failed to keep up with confusing paperwork.

“Property owners can find themselves in crisis situations because they’re unaware their property taxes went unpaid,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Senior citizens are more likely to face this issue because their mortgages are more likely to be paid off, so a bank is no longer ensuring the taxes are being paid through an escrow account."

In Senator Cunningham’s district alone, there are 1,530 property owners who are past due on their property taxes, according to records maintained by the Cook County Treasurer’s Office. Of those, 84 are senior citizens.

“Cook County residents who don’t know their status should check with the Cook County Treasurer’s Office,” said Cunningham. “This is an easy problem to avoid with a quick phone call or by spending some time on the treasurer's website.”

The County Treasurer can be reached at 312-443-5100 or at cookcountytreasurer.com. To check your property's tax payment status enter your Property Index Number (PIN) or property address here here.

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.

Category: Press Releases

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