03012018CM0284

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation advanced by State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) would expand the penalties for public indecency for incarcerated individuals, resulting in more severe jail time and fines for inmates who expose themselves to female employees.

The legislation, Senate Bill 3104, intends to curb the increasing trend of inmates exposing themselves to female public defenders and correctional officers.

SB 3104 would allow for inmates to be charged with public indecency. Under current law, “public indecency” refers only to behavior performed in a public place such as acts of sexual conduct or a lewd exposure of the body done with intent to arouse or to satisfy the sexual desire of the person.

Additionally, inmates would be required to register as a sex offender upon their second offense of public indecency. Currently, inmates are not required to register as a sex offender until their third offense.

In 2017, 222 detainees have been charged with indecent exposure, including 144 cases where the victims were jail personnel and 29 where complaints were filed by defenders.

“It goes without saying that female staffers deserve to do their job without being exposed to such demeaning behavior,” Cunningham said. “Even more shameful is the idea that we would expect women to continue to go to work and contend with downright harassment after more than two years of formal complaints, the first of which dates back to October 2015. Enough is enough.”

SB 3104 passed out of the Senate Criminal Law Committee and now heads to the floor for a vote.

Category: Press Releases

20180314 KS 3956

SPRINGFIELD – Individuals who threaten gun violence against schools on social media would be required to reimburse police departments for added security and emergency response costs under legislation sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs.

The legislation, Senate Bill 563, is aimed at reducing the trend of copycat threats in the wake of school shootings by updating the disorderly conduct statute, which is the state law most often used to prosecute individuals who make threats against schools. Under current law, those convicted of making threats are required to reimburse public safety agencies for response-related costs, but only if they make the threat via a 9-1-1 phone call or if they specifically threaten to use a bomb.

“Most threats of violence against schools are no longer made through a phone call and increasingly, the threats make no mention of a bomb,” Cunningham said. “According to law enforcement agencies in my district, threats against schools are more commonly made via social media posts. The law needs to be updated to address this change.”

In an additional effort to combat school shooting, the legislation would also give police departments the ability to immediately bring individuals who make threats against a school to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

“The burden for determining whether a threat against a school is legitimate or just a prank should not fall solely on the police,” Cunningham said. “We need to empower our law enforcement and healthcare providers to work together and provide that safety net.”

In drafting the legislation, Cunningham worked closely with Palos Hills Police Chief Paul Madigan, whose department heightened security measures at local schools four times this year due to threats on social media.

 In some cases throughout the country, school administrators have ordered school closures as a pre-emptive measure following online threats.

Category: Press Releases

20180314 KS 3967SPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will no longer have to pay a fee to protect their identity by freezing their credit thanks to legislation passed unanimously by the Illinois Senate today.

House Bill 4095, an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

Once signed by the governor, the measure will bar credit reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee to place or lift a freeze on their credit report.

“Illinois residents should not have to pay a fee because of the negligence of a credit reporting agency,” Cunningham said. “It is simply unconscionable that a company would charge consumers any fee after they failed to protect their personal information.”

Under current law, credit agencies may charge up to $10 for each freeze request and each request to lift a freeze. For a freeze to be effective, consumers must contact and pay all four major credit rating agencies, which greatly expands the cost. Currently, only senior citizens, identity theft victims with police reports, and active duty service members are not charged to place a credit freeze. House Bill 4095 would extend that fee exemption to all Illinois residents.

This comes in response to the massive data breach suffered by Equifax from May to July of last year. As many as 143 million Americans nationwide and 5.4 million Illinois residents may have been impacted by the breach of sensitive consumer information.

Indiana, Maine, North Carolina and South Carolina do not allow credit agencies to charge fees for freezes and lifts. Additionally, six other states have introduced credit freeze legislation in response to the Equifax breach.

The bill will take effect immediately once it is signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

 

Category: Press Releases

02212018CM0577SPRINGFIELD – A legislative effort to help stop the spread of influenza in hospitals and other health facilities was approved by an Illinois state senate committee today. The measure, House Bill 2984, is sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat representing Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

The bill 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 delegated to care for them,” Cunningham said.

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.

Category: Press Releases

September 13th Hiring Event

Employer Registration is Now Closed.

emp

Job Seeker Registration

job seekers

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

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