train crossingSTBstorySPRINGFIELD—The federal government’s Surface Transportation Board has ruled against CSX Transportation in a complaint brought by the Village of Evergreen Park and City of Chicago.

The case involved multiple problems with CSX's mismanagement of a rail line that runs just East of Kedzie Avenue. Senator Bill Cunningham, who represents Evergreen Park and Chicago's 19th Ward, helped coordinate the case.

“We have been dealing with blocked crossings and idling trains since CSX acquired the Elsdon Line back in 2013,” Cunningham said. “This action by the STB will improve the quality of life for the residents of my district. I thank everyone who took a proactive step in holding CSX accountable.”

Complaints about CSX included multiple blocked grade crossings, trains idling in residential neighborhoods for hours on end, and malfunctioning gates that would stop traffic with no train in sight. Most troubling, stopped and slow moving CSX trains have blocked grade crossings on 95th Street, the main emergency route to Christ Advocate Medical Center, the regions only top level trauma center.

CSX now will have to file monthly reports with the STB detailing the company’s efforts to address malfunctioning gates and grade crossing blockages.

Category: Press Releases

053116CM0762ResizeSPRINGFIELD—Legislation passed by Senator Bill Cunningham will help local police keep guns out of the hands of people who've had orders of protection issued against them.

House Bill 6331 would require the state police notify law enforcement agencies that have jurisdiction to assist in seizing a FOID card when the person’s FOID card has been revoked because they were the subject of an existing order of protection.

Currently, while a FOID card could be revoked for an existing order of protection, the state police were not required to provide notice to law enforcement agencies that would have jurisdiction due to an oversight in the law.

“This loophole could have huge ramifications in our criminal justice system. We need to push this through to ensure the state police and local law enforcement are able to have and share the necessary information to protect and serve their communities,” Cunningham said.

The legislation has passed both chambers and goes to the governor for approval.

Category: Press Releases

052916CM0269ResizeSPRINGFIELD— Senator Bill Cunningham passed legislation out of the Senate that would extend and expand the pilot program for the Accelerated Resolution Court or “Rocket Docket,” a program designed to quickly move minor offenses through the court system.

“The Rocket Docket legislation has proven to be a success in helping with overcrowding while ensuring that cases are resolved in a timely manner,” Cunningham said. “We don’t need those with traffic violations sitting in Cook County Jail only raising costs on tax payers.”

House Bill 6190 would extend the sunset date of the pilot program to June 30, 2019. This would allow for the new offenses that would be added to be utilized under this program. The new offenses that would be added would include traffic violations and some minor drug offenses.

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Category: Press Releases

052616CM0794RSPRINGFIELD—Hair dressers and nail technicians throughout Illinois soon will be trained to properly detect signs of domestic violence or sexual assault thanks to legislation being pushed by Senator Bill Cunningham in the Illinois Senate.

House Bill 4264 would require that cosmetologists, estheticians, nail technicians and hair braiders take a one-hour continuing education class about domestic violence and sexual assault awareness. The training will educate salon professionals about the signs of domestic violence or sexual assault as well as how to support and connect their clients with resources for help.

“When I met my wife she was working as a hair dresser to put herself through college and she would be witness to stories of abuse from clients, yet she would not know what steps to take,” Cunningham said. “Ensuring more people are aware of what sexual assault or domestic violence looks like and what steps they can take to help fight against it,  we can stand up and protect victims.”

The legislation was introduced in the House by Representative Fran Hurley. It is an initiative of the Chicago Says No More movement.

“Our coalition is very grateful to Senator Cunningham and Representative Hurley for leading the way in a private-public alliance that will make it possible to responsibly assist a victim asking for help,” said Kristie Paskvan, founder, Chicago Says No More. “We also appreciate the collaboration of Cosmetologists Chicago as we prepared our curriculum which will be presented by professionals trained in addressing domestic violence or sexual assault.”

The legislation has passed the Senate and returns to the House for a final vote before going to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
307 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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