ccfpd-cunninghamCHICAGO – An effort to expand open lands in suburban Cook County sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) was signed into law Friday. Senate Bill 1499 gives the Cook County Forest Preserve District the power to acquire land by easement, which will now enable the district to enter into voluntary agreements with businesses, utilities and local governments to acquire patches of open land and incorporate them into the Forest Preserve green belt.

Until this legislation was signed, every other forest preserve district in Illinois can acquire land by easement. With this new law in place, the Cook County Forest Preserve will no longer be forced to purchase any land it acquired, saving the taxpayers significant cost.

“Cook County has one of the highest urban populations in the country. This legislation will preserve and hopefully create more open space,” said Cunningham. “Fighting for our environment will always be one of my top priorities while in the General Assembly.”

Category: Press Releases

 SPRINGFIELD – An effort to cut back on red tape for students on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) was signed into law today. Thanks to State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), who sponsored the legislation, Illinois administrative code is now in line with federal law.
 
Until now, Illinois administrative code and federal law were contradictory about the guidelines for how long school districts have to set and implement a student IEP.  House Bill 1446 changes Illinois law and states implementation of an IEP shall occur no later than 10 school attendance days after a parent receives notice of his or her child's new educational placement.
 
"There is too much confusion for school districts and parents regarding IEPs,” Cunningham said. "Finally, we are able to cut back the red tape and do what is best for these students.”
 
IEPs are developed for students with disabilities and are required by state law to be reviewed and revised periodically.  IEPs include items such as the child’s present levels of educational and functional performance and annual academic and functional goals.

Category: Press Releases

Chicago –Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) will be hosting a Meet and Greet this Wednesday with State Rep. Fran Hurley (D-Chicago) in Chicago. Members of the community are invited to attend for an open discussion regarding the issues facing the state.

Who: Senator Cunningham and State Rep. Hurley

What: Meet and Greet with constituents

When: 6-8pm Wednesday, July 31

Where: 10400 S. Western Ave., Chicago

Category: Press Releases

cunningham-031313As the spring legislative session came to a close last week, State Senator Bill Cunningham and State Representative Fran Hurley helped pass a crucial measure to protect the retiree health benefits of Chicago police officers, firefighters and other former municipal employees.

Senate Bill 1584 will extend a state law that requires four Chicago pension funds to cover certain healthcare costs for retirees. Without the legislation, retirees would have been required to pick up the cost of the benefit beginning on July 1 of this year.

“Thanks to this legislation, retired Chicago employees will not have to reach into their own pockets to cover a large portion of their health benefits,” Cunningham said. “Our retired police officers, firefighters and other municipal workers earned these benefits and should not have them canceled because some obscure state law is scheduled to expire.”

"Changes to retiree health benefits should be negotiated through collective bargaining, not through the legislative process," Hurley said. "My hope is the extension of these benefits will give retirees some cost certainty.”

Currently, the pension funds covering Chicago police officers, firefighters and other city employees provide a health insurance subsidy of $95 per month for each annuitant, including widows and children, who are not eligible for Medicare benefits, and $65 per month for each annuitant eligible for Medicare. These payments are scheduled to end on June 30, 2013.  If Governor Quinn signs SB 1584 into law, the benefits will be extended.

Payments for these healthcare benefits grew out of the 1987 Korshak lawsuit that stopped the City of Chicago's attempt to roll back retiree health care benefits for former employees. As part of the settlement, retirees and the pension funds started paying for a portion of retiree health insurance costs. The Firemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund, the Chicago Policemen’s Annuity and Benefit Fund, the Municipal Employees, Officers and Official Annuity and Benefit Fund, and the Laborers’ and Retirement Board Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund are part of the Korshak settlement.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
307 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