04102019CM0749SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate passed a measure Thursday introduced by State Senator Bill Cunningham that would crack down on assault and public indecency in prisons and jails.

Senate Bill 416 would allow a prison warden to revoke up to 90 days of pre-trial credit or good behavior credit from an individual if the prison disciplinary board sustains charges of public indecency, assault or battery on a peace officer.

The legislation would further allow prison wardens to revoke up to 365 days of credit for each subsequent charge that has been sustained by the prison disciplinary board.

“Peace officers have dangerous jobs and it’s imperative that we protect these men and women just as well as they protect us,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “These penalties will be an effective deterrent against inappropriate behavior in our prisons and make them safer for both the guards and the inmates, themselves.”

The Senate approved the measure in a 57-0 vote. The bill will now go before the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

11132018CM1014SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate passed a bill sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham Wednesday that would prohibit diesel trucks from idling excessively in residential areas.

Senate Bill 1256 would prevent diesel trucks over 8,000 pounds from idling for more than a total of ten minutes in an hour if the vehicle is within 200 feet of a residential area in Cook County.

Cunningham credited Cook County residents living near a trucking yard for bringing the issue to his attention. The residents identified persistent noise and air quality issues with the trucking yard, located near the corner 119th St. and Central Park Ave. in Merrionette Park, that needed to be addressed.

“Residents of my district are sick and tired of the noise and pollution coming from trucking lots located near residential areas,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This is a straightforward measure that will make a positive difference in the lives of many Cook County residents.”

The measure passed with no opposition. It will now go before the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

04272017CM1587SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham that would make it easier for seniors to receive a tax break passed Illinois State Senate Thursday.

Senate Bill 1257 would eliminate the need for residents aged 65 or older to reapply annually to receive the Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption, a property tax exemption designed to assist senior citizens financially.

Currently, every county in Illinois other than Cook may allow seniors to receive the exemption without reapplying.

“The requirement to reapply annually for this tax break is an unnecessary hurdle that makes it more difficult for seniors to get tax relief,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This bill will make government more efficient and exempt seniors from repeating a sometimes frustrating and confusing application process.”

The measure also requires the Cook County Accessor’s Office, the Cook County Clerk and the Recorder of Deeds Office to communicate when a home receiving an exemption is sold to ensure the tax break is not awarded to residents who do not qualify.

Senate Bill 1257 passed 51-0. It will now go before the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

03142018CM1029RSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham has introduced a measure that would create groups tasked with retrieving Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) cards after they have been revoked.

Although state law already allows the state to revoke FOID cards if an individual is deemed unfit to carry a firearm, there is no system currently in place to ensure that a FOID is physically revoked to prevent further gun purchases. Senate Bill 715 would create firearm Revocation Enforcement Groups charged with recovering FOID cards that have been revoked by the state of Illinois.

The bill is an initiative of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Circumstances under which the state has the authority to revoke a FOID card from an individual include instances when a card holder commits a felony, becomes addicted to narcotics, has committed acts of domestic violence or is diagnosed with a mental condition that presents a clear and present danger to oneself or others.

“If an individual has been found unfit to possess a firearm due to criminal activity or mental illness, there needs to be a process by which his or her FOID card is physically revoked,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This is a common sense law that will make Illinois safer.”

Cunningham introduced the bill in response to the February 15 mass shooting in Aurora that killed five people and injured several others, including five police officers.

“The Aurora shooter was a felon with a long history of violent behavior, and yet he was still allowed to retain his FOID card and purchase a gun,” Cunningham said. “This is a clear and persistent problem around our country and we need to act now to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”

Category: Press Releases

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