firefighterCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is commending the Illinois Fire Service Institute, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Mutual Aid Box Alarm System Illinois for creating a new project to help mitigate increased cancer risks for firefighters.

“Firefighters risk their lives every day to protect us, and it’s critical that we take steps to keep them safe as well,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I’m grateful to these agencies for their commitment to continually finding new ways to protect the health of our firefighters.”

The new Illinois Preliminary Exposure Reduction Project will deliver critical firefighter health and life safety research, education, training and equipment to fire departments throughout Illinois.

According to research from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, firefighters face a 9% increase in cancer diagnoses and a 14% increase in cancer-related deaths compared to the general population. 

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Category: Press Releases
Cunningham FloorState Senator Bill Cunningham is encouraging residents to use their time during the Stay-at-Home Order to complete the 2020 census. 
 
“Many of us have found ourselves stuck at home due to the coronavirus crisis, but that time can be put to good use by going online and filling out the census,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. 
 
Completion of the census can be done online, by phone or by mail. The online survey can be completed by most households in about ten minutes. Census data is used by the federal government to help determine funding levels for local schools, roads, hospitals and other infrastructure. By filling out the census, residents help ensure their communities get the resources they deserve.
 
“Full participation in the census is instrumental in helping us obtain important resources from the federal government,” Cunningham said. “It’s up to each of us to make sure our communities get their fair share.”
 
Cunningham also pointed out that online census participation will greatly reduce the need for the Census Bureau to conduct in-person “field surveys” of households that haven’t competed internet and mail census surveys.
 
“Every household that completes the online census represents one fewer door that a census worker has to visit this summer,” Cunningham said. “Let’s not put census workers and our families in jeopardy when we can easily promote social distancing by participating in the census electronically.”
 
More information on the 2020 census is available at  https://2020census.gov/.
Category: Press Releases

Cunningham red tieCHICAGO – Telehealth services for those at risk of COVID-19 are being expanded in eight locations throughout the state, including Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park, State Senator Bill Cunningham announced Monday.

The state of Illinois, in partnership with OSF HealthCare and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, has launched a new Remote Patient Monitoring Program and Pandemic Health Worker Programs to support residents across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSF HealthCare is a statewide health system that merged with Little Company of Mary Hospital earlier this year.

“With many of our hospitals at capacity during this pandemic, it’s critical that we expand services like telehealth that allow people to seek care from home,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This new program is a great step toward increasing our telehealth capacity, and it is based here in our community thanks to Little Company of Mary’s new affiliation with OSF.”

Pandemic Health Workers will provide care digitally for people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and need to stay home to protect themselves and others.

Area residents are eligible for care through the program if they show COVID-19 symptoms or are at a high risk for contracting the virus, but do not require emergency or inpatient care. To seek care through the program, call the OSF hotline at 833-673-5669.

“If your symptoms are mild, I urge you to call the OSF hotline rather than seek care in person,” Cunningham said. “By staying home, you can help save lives.”

More information is available at www.osfhealthcare.org.  

Category: Press Releases
04102019CM0749CHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham encouraged area restaurants, hotels and other small businesses to take advantage of new emergency assistance programs Monday.
 
“It’s been difficult to watch so many of our local businesses close due to the coronavirus outbreak,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “We need to do everything possible to help local businesses stay afloat during this pandemic.”
 
Small business owners in Chicago will be able to take advantage of the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund, a $100 million program that will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses in Chicago.
 
Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and gross revenues of less than $3 million in 2019 that have suffered more than a 25% revenue decrease due to COVID-19 will be eligible to apply.
 
For businesses outside of Chicago, Gov. JB Pritzker has created the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program to provide low-interest loans of up to $50,000.
 
Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.
 
Gov. Pritzker also announced the creation of the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. The program offers $14 million in grants to restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality businesses to help them make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis. It will provide up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels.
 
Grant funds can be used to compensate employees and pay rent, or to support new practices like expanded pick-up, delivery and sanitation.
 
“Small businesses are vital to our local economies and we need to find new ways to support them during this crisis,” Cunningham said. “These new programs will provide them with critical assistance to help them weather this storm.”
 
Applications for the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund will begin to be accepted on March 31, 2020. Businesses interested in applying for a loan should complete this interest form and they will hear from a representative as soon as possible. 
 
Applications to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website by Friday, March 27.
 
The application period for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is open now and closes April 1 at 5 p.m. Businesses can find more information on the program here or apply here. A Spanish-language application is available here.
Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
307 Capitol Building
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