Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) is sponsoring legislation to provide more funds for the Chicago Police and Fire pensions by using any newly established gaming revenue generated by a Chicago casino.

 Senate Bill 1564 will deposit a minimum of 20% of all proceeds collected by gaming revenue in the City of Chicago into each the Chicago Police and Fire department pension funds. 

“Should the General Assembly grant the City of Chicago the ability to open a casino, a badly needed source of revenue will become available. It would be wise for the city to use a portion of that revenue to address its most pressing financial issue—funding pensions for our public safety workers,” Cunningham said. 

The Chicago Police and Fire pension funds are among the worst funded in the state. In addition to years of government underfunding, the Police and Fire pensions have been negatively impacted because Chicago public safety employees are not part of the workers’ compensation system. As such, the police and fire pension funds are drained of millions of dollars to pay officers and firefighters who have been injured on duty. No other government pension funds are as dramatically affected by disability payouts.

"Because the Police and Fire Funds have this additional drain on their financial resources, they need a new, additional source of revenue to make up the difference," Cunningham said. "Tapping casino revenue is the best potential solution to this underfunding problem."

Category: Press Releases

Governor Pat Quinn spoke to the 98th General Assembly this week in his annual State of the State Address. Senator Bill Cunningham reacted to the 38-minute speech shortly afterward.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) is helping to spread awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of men and women here in Illinois. 

“The least I can do is wear red today to show my support for spreading awareness of heart disease,” said Sen. Cunningham. “Not everyone knows that heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women here in Illinois. My hope is that women and men will become more informed of the risk factors of heart disease, and that more lives will be saved because of this effort to increase awareness.”

Legislators and statewide elected officials were asked to wear red today in support of the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement by the Conference of Women Legislators. 

Sen. Cunningham will be wearing a red tie to show his support.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) is one of 15 newly-elected General Assembly members who will comprise Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group in an effort to bridge the regional gaps related to gun ownership and use in Illinois.

“I look forward to working with members across the aisle to address the gun control issues we face in Illinois,” said Sen. Cunningham. "By talking to gun owners and people impacted by gun violence, I hope to learn more about what needs to be done to address the important issue of gun control in our state. My hope is that as a group we can reach a consensus and do what is best for the residents of Illinois.”

The working group consists of newly elected members in both chambers of the General Assembly. These members represent urban, suburban and rural districts. The goal is to meet with stakeholders on all sides of the gun control debate. 

This past December, a federal appeals court struck down Illinois’ ban on carrying concealed weapons and gave the state 180 days to pass legislation allowing for concealed carry.

The Firearms Working Group plans to talk to gun owners, hunters, families impacted by gun violence, domestic violence prevention advocates, mental health experts and law enforcement officials, among others. 

Category: Press Releases

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