02212018CM0597SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham that would make it easier for seniors to receive a tax break passed the Senate Revenue Committee in a bipartisan vote Wednesday.

Senate Bill 1257 would eliminate the need for Cook County residents aged 65 or older to reapply annually to receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, a property tax exemption designed to assist senior citizens financially.

Currently, every county in Illinois other than Cook may allow seniors to receive the exemption without reapplying.

“The requirement to reapply annually for this tax break places an undue burden on our senior citizens,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Eliminating this requirement will not only assist our seniors by streamlining the process, but also eliminate an unnecessary use of resources that could be directed elsewhere.”

The measure also requires the Cook County Accessor’s Office and the Recorder of Deeds Office to communicate when a home receiving an exemption is sold to ensure the tax break is not awarded to residents who do not qualify.

Senate Bill 1257 will now go before the entire Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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.

Category: Latest

02212018CM0577SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham voted Thursday to increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15, saying the legislation will make great strides toward easing the financial burden on working class families.

“Working mothers and fathers in Illinois should not be forced to work multiple jobs just to provide the bare minimum their families need to get by,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “A living wage is not a privilege, but a basic human right and we must ensure every Illinois worker has access to this right.”

Senate Bill 1 would gradually increase the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 an hour by 2025. The first increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2020 and set the minimum wage at $9.25.

The step-by-step rollout of the increase is designed to allow businesses to adjust to the law and adapt accordingly. The bill also includes a tax credit for small businesses with 50 or fewer employees to help offset the cost of the wage increase.

Illinois’ minimum wage has been $8.25 an hour since 2010. In the city of Chicago, the minimum wage is set to increase to $13 an hour this year.

“This legislation will help bring stability to families who are struggling to make ends meet,” Cunningham said. “Illinois workers have long deserved a raise and I am proud to support the measure that will bring it to them.”

The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

resizeSPRINGFIELD – Home owners and small businesses in Chicago’s southwest suburbs will see a decrease in their property tax bills thanks to a new state grant program aimed at providing relief to school districts in high-taxed areas. 

The Property Tax Relief Grant was a part of a historic school funding reform law that brought millions of dollars to school districts in dire need of funding.

“Our communities should not be forced to choose between providing a high quality education for students and keeping property tax rates manageable for homeowners and businesses,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “These grants will ensure that our students have access to a great education without paying for it at the expense of local taxpayers.”

Several school districts in the 18th Senate District will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

  • Evergreen Park Community High School District 231: $965,999.66
  • Community High School District 218: $5,788,140.28
  • Oak Lawn Community High School District 229: $2,125,024.36

In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

Category: Press Releases

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