Cunningham SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a Fiscal Year 2024 budget, and State Senator Bill Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs, released the following statement in response:

“We have once again chosen to make a smart fiscal decision that will help attract business to Illinois and will ensure that our children have access to the education they deserve.”

“This year’s budget holds the line on taxes, puts extra money into the state’s Rainy Day Fund and pays down pension debt.”

Category: Press Releases

i55SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham advanced House Joint Resolution 23, which demonstrates the state's support for the I-55 Managed Lane Project and the Illinois Department of Transportation's efforts to pursue the project as a public-private partnership.

“The passage of HJR 23 is a significant milestone in addressing the need for improved transportation infrastructure in our state,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs. “This project will not only reduce traffic, but also contribute to economic growth and regional connectivity residents deserve.”

HJR 23 signifies a crucial step toward enhancing transportation infrastructure within Illinois. By supporting the creation of new express toll lanes, the I-55 Managed Lane Project aims to alleviate congestion and improve travel efficiency along the busiest stretches of I-55.

Under the Public-Private Partnership Act, the Illinois Toll Highway Authority now has the authorization, granted through joint resolution by the General Assembly, to pursue the creation of two new toll lanes in each direction from east of I-294 to I-90/94, and one in each direction from I-355 to I-294.

“This will improve transportation infrastructure and address the needs of Illinois residents,” said Cunningham. “The passage of this resolution marks an important milestone in advancing the I-55 Managed Lane Project and paves the way for future progress in alleviating traffic congestion in the state.”

HJR 23 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

Cunningham Gill SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham championed legislation to establish ethical guidelines to address ongoing concerns in the red light camera industry.

“We have seen numerous bad actors throughout local and state government,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs. “This legislation will put roadblocks in place to ensure that bad actors are punished for their crimes.”

The measure prohibits campaign contributions from contractors who provide the automated traffic enforcement equipment, also known as red light cameras, to any political action committee created by a contractor and any affiliates. Campaign contributions from such sources have been a cause for controversy in past years.

Further, beginning six months before an automated traffic law enforcement system is installed at an intersection, a county or municipality may not change the yellow light interval at that intersection.

Additionally, IDOT can revoke any permit for red light cameras if any official or employee who serves that county or municipality is charged with bribery, official misconduct, or a similar crime related to the placement, installation, or operation of the automated traffic law enforcement system in the county or municipality.

State Representative Mary Gill (D-Chicago), who was appointed back in March to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of State Representative Fran Hurley, plans to support the measure as it returns to the House for a vote.

“We want people to be able to know that the government is not being influenced by private companies,” Gill said. “This legislation is a victory for good government advocates and residents impacted by past industry corruption.”

House Bill 3903 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

CunninghamSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham advanced legislation that ensures Chicago police officers, firefighters and paramedics who contracted COVID-19 while on the job will receive the disability benefits they earned.

“Chicago first responders are entitled to the exact same health and safety protections that were provided to other essential workers during the pandemic,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the Southwest Suburbs. "If the Chicago police and fire pension funds are going to claim a legal technicality to refuse to protect our first responders, then the state legislature will have to step in to put protections in place. That is exactly what House Bill 3162 does — it requires the Chicago pension funds to grant the same COVID-19 presumption that all other workers receive.”

As a result of this presumption, affected police officers and firefighters would be entitled to 75% of their salary at the time of disability and duty disability benefits, instead of the current 50% under ordinary disability benefits. The legislation applies retroactively, providing relief to those who were denied full duty disability benefits after contracting COVID-19 while on the job.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza has been leading the fight for passage of House Bill 3162. Her brother was denied full duty disability benefits after contracting COVID-19 while working 17 straight days before a vaccine was available in November 2020. Police Sergeant Joaquin Mendoza spent 72 days in the hospital, suffered kidney failure, had five strokes, and lost the use of his left arm. If he had been granted full duty disability, he would have received 75% of his salary and health insurance. His claim was denied and he was instead granted 50% of his salary for no more than four years, regardless of injury, and had his health insurance canceled.

“There are a few dozen officers and firefighters like Sgt. Mendoza who contracted COVID-19 on the job and have been unable to return to work because of the extent of their injuries,” Cunningham said. “House Bill 3162 will ensure they will be able to pay their bills, support their families, and keep their health insurance.”

House Bill 3162 passed the Senate on Friday and heads to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Category: Press Releases

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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
309-J 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