BrewerySPRINGFIELD – A newly signed law sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham will make it easier for small breweries, meaderies, and winemakers to sell their products at local grocery and liquor stores, reaching customers more easily.

“Local craft breweries, wineries, and meaderies have become very popular, and their customers would like to be able to buy their products at local grocery stores,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Our system was not set up for small producers, which is why we need this change.”

The law allows these businesses to distribute their products to local bars, grocery stores, and liquor stores directly rather than through a third party. Under current Illinois law, most companies that produce alcohol have to sell their products to local grocery and liquor stores through a third-party distributor. Tracing back to the post-prohibition era, this setup is meant to help prevent the unregulated sale of alcohol and aid in the collection of alcohol-related taxes. It is still employed by almost every state in the U.S.

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HB 3911SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham and State Representative Fran Hurley have passed a new law – recently signed by the governor – that will help promote mental health treatment for police officers and firefighters by providing better focus for the First Responder Suicide Prevention Task Force.

“Our first responders risk their lives to protect us every day working stressful, traumatic jobs,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It’s incumbent upon us to make sure they have access to the mental health resources they need.”

According to studies cited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, firefighters consider and attempt suicide at a higher rate than the general population, and nationally, between 125 and 300 police officers commit suicide every year.

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SB1610SPRINGFIELD – Part of a nationwide effort, a new law sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham will help reduce sexual assault and harassment at Illinois’ colleges and universities by requiring an annual sexual misconduct survey.

An initiative of the Every VOICE Coalition, the results of the survey would then be posted on the university’s website and sent to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

“Our colleges and universities need to know what’s happening on their campuses in order to seriously address sexual misconduct,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Even though we’ve seen clear progress, we know this issue has not gone away, and we also know that survivors can be reluctant to make reports through official channels.”

The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network reports that one in 10 college students experience sexual violence. However, in 2018, Clery Act data showed that more than three quarters of Illinois colleges and universities reported no cases of sexual violence on their campuses.

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Category: Press Releases

Cunningham in committeeSPRINGFIELD – Illinois community college students with a B-average or better will automatically qualify to transfer to the University of Illinois under a new law State Senator Bill Cunningham shepherded through the General Assembly.

“This law accomplishes two important goals: helping students attain a quality education and helping keep talented young people in Illinois,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs.

Under the law, the U of I will create a four-year uniform admission system pilot program, guaranteeing qualified students admission to one of the U of I system universities. In order to qualify, a student must have:

  • Graduated from an Illinois high school.
  • Earned at least 36 transferable credits at an Illinois community college.
  • Maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average for all transferable coursework.
  • Satisfied the university system’s English language proficiency requirement.

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Category: Press Releases


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Contact Info

Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
329B 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