Sen. Bill Cunningham

SPRINGFIELD – A legislative effort by State Senator Bill Cunningham to help stop the spread of influenza in hospitals and other health facilities passed the Illinois Senate today.

The measure, House Bill 2984, allows certified local health departments and any facility licensed by the Illinois Department of Public Health to implement more stringent flu vaccination policies aimed at protecting patients from exposure to the flu and improving vaccination rates.

“Given the concrete science behind the effectiveness of flu vaccines, we have a responsibility to protect patients from being exposed to the flu virus by the public employees charged with caring for them,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

Under current law, employees of hospitals can refuse a flu vaccination for any reason as long as they declare a “philosophical objection.” Public health experts have testified that this loophole leaves patients vulnerable to the spread of influenza while they are hospitalized. If HB 2984 becomes law, only hospital employees with religious objections and certain medical conditions will be able to refuse the offer of a vaccination.

HB 2984 now moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Bill Cunningham joined firefighters and their families from across the state today for the 25th annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial at the Capitol.

The Illinois Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to the firefighters of Illinois, who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those firefighters who heroically serve with courage, pride and honor. The Line of Duty Death Award is given to the family of a firefighter deceased in, or as a result of, the performance of their duty. In addition to firefighters and fire officials, the event features the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois Honor Guard and Pipes & Drums.

This year, State Fire Marshall Matt Perez honored two firefighters: John “Mike” Cummins of the Homer Fire Protection District and Lawrence Matthews of the Dolton Fire Department.

 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELDSecretary of State Jesse White has awarded more than $15 million in funding to libraries statewide through Illinois Public Library Per Capita grants to help with such expenses as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

“Since the time Abe Lincoln taught himself to be a lawyer, libraries have been a pillar of our community,” Cunningham said. “These grant will allow them to continue that important role.”

 Libraries in Cunningham’s district will receive almost $275,000 in funding through the grants. The following Southwest Suburban libraries will receive funds:

Library Name

City

Amount

Chicago Ridge Public Library

Chicago Ridge

$17,881.25

Evergreen Park Library

Evergreen Park

$24,815.00

Oak Lawn Public Library

Oak Lawn

$70,862.50

Orland Park Public Library

Orland Park

$70,958.75

Green Hills Public Library District

Palos Hills

$39,416.25

Palos Park Public Library

Palos Park

$6,058.25

Worth Public Library District

Worth

$13,486.25

Alsip-Merrionette Park Public Library

Alsip

$27,850.00

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD - In the wake of a steep hike in the number of carjacking incidents in Chicago, the Illinois Senate took action this week to close a loophole carjackers have used to avoid prosecution and to ensure young offenders are sent to juvenile detention when arrested for carjacking incidents.

Under the current law, an officer may only pursue auto theft charges if the person driving the car has “knowledge that the vehicle is stolen.” As a result, car thieves routinely avoid accountability by denying that they have any knowledge that the vehicle is stolen.

State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs, is a chief co-sponsor of the legislation, Senate Bill 2339, which would allow police officers the ability infer based on surrounding facts and circumstances that an individual in possession of a stolen vehicle has knowledge that the vehicle is stolen.

The measure would also help ensure minors charged with carjacking are detained. A recent report in the Chicago Sun-Times showed that most juvenile carjacking suspects are released to their parents or on electronic monitoring within 24 hours of arrest. SB 2339 would curtail that practice.

“Violent offenders, regardless of their age, should not be able to escape accountability by lying to an officer about the source of their stolen vehicle,” Cunningham said. “Carjackers are aware that this outdated law allows a brazen lie to become a get out of jail free card. It’s time to put a stop to it.”

To discourage youth from starting on the path to carjacking, SB 2339 would require that minors charged with vehicular hijacking, aggravated vehicular hijacking, or possession of a stolen vehicle, to be held for a detention hearing within 40 hours of being detained. If the court finds probable cause that the minor committed the crime, the minor would be held for a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, which would be used along with other factors to decide if the minor should be further detained, or receive counseling or other necessary services.

“Too often, minors who commit vehicular theft are arrested and released with no determination being made as to whether or not they are a danger to their community or their own well-being,” Cunningham said. “This bill will end that practice.”

SB 2339 passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

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