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

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham commended the Illinois State Board of Elections’ decision Tuesday to end the state’s participation in a controversial multistate voter database.

The Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program was designed to detect voters who are registered in more than one state. But the system’s lax security was widely criticized by information technology experts who cautioned Crosscheck unwittingly exposed the personal data of millions of voters to computer hackers. Additionally, Crosscheck was allegedly used in some states to unfairly cancel the registration of voters simply because they shared similar names and birthdays with voters in other states.

“The deep flaws of the Crosscheck system have become more and more evident in recent months,” Cunningham said. “Illinois could simply not remain a participating state without needlessly exposing voters to a data breach.”

Cunningham credited voter rights activists with local chapters of Indivisible with bringing attention to problems with the Crosscheck system, particularly its disproportionate effect on minority voters, who studies show were most likely to be wrongly removed from voter rolls.

In Iowa, out of 240,000 “matches” Crosscheck flagged as potentially double-registered voters, only six turned out to be the same person, according to a statistical analysis by researchers at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania and Microsoft.

Cybersecurity experts testified to a joint committee chaired by Cunningham in 2017 that the Crosscheck system also has several security concerns that make private information easily accessible. According to one expert, Crosscheck is so lacking in basic firewall technology that a “novice hacker” can gain access to the personal data of millions of Americans through the system. Several other states have dropped Crosscheck as a result.

Cunningham co-sponsored legislation to remove Illinois from the Crosscheck program in 2018. Senate Bill 2273 passed both houses of the General Assembly, but was vetoed by then-Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Category: Press Releases

Cunninham InaugurationSPRINGFIELD – Access to health care, continued funding for education, protecting consumers’ rights and ensuring the state has a balanced budget will continue to be priorities for State Senator Bill Cunningham, who was sworn in for his third term today.

“I am honored that the people of the 18th District have entrusted me with another term as their state senator,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I look forward to continuing to represent my community in Springfield and passing legislation that will move our state forward.”

During his previous term in the Illinois Senate, Cunningham passed measures to protect consumers from identity theft, to eliminate police ticket quotas and to ensure proper funding for pensions for first responders. He voted to increase southwest suburban school districts’ share of state funding to help reduce reliance on local property taxes, and he helped pass limits on youth access to harmful cigarettes and tobacco products.

Cunningham first joined the Illinois Senate in 2013.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
311B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5145
(217) 782-2115 FAX
 
District Offices:
10400 South Western Avenue
Chicago, IL 60643
(773) 445-8128
(773) 672-5143 FAX

16033 S. 94th Avenue
Orland Hills, IL 60477
(708) 233-9703