Cunningham explains legislationSPRINGFIELD – Senator Bill Cunningham passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate requiring insurance companies to fully cover the cost of replacing a vehicle that is totaled in an accident.

Under current Illinois law, insurance companies do not have to pay certain taxes and fees for purchase of a replacement vehicle, saddling accident victims with hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in unanticipated costs — even when they were not at fault in the auto accident.

“If an insurance company covers the cost of replacing your totaled vehicle, they should pay all the costs,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It’s not fair to tell an accident victim that you’re going to replace their vehicle and then slap them with big taxes and fees.”

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Cunningham presides over SenateSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham’s legislation to help turn vacant city lots into urban farms and community gardens is one step closer to becoming law, having passed the Illinois Senate Friday.

“Cities often find themselves responsible for vacant lots in older neighborhoods that can be difficult to sell,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Community gardens and urban farms both benefit local residents and raise nearby property values.”

The legislation enables local governments to sell or lease government-owned vacant lots to non-profit groups for urban farms, community gardens, or to sell fruits and vegetables from the non-profit’s other properties. Cities would be able to grant leases of up to 25 years (with 25-year renewals possible) or to sell vacant tracts of land for less than they would normally cost, providing the land continues to be used to grow food and/or sell food grown by the non-profit. The legislation also makes it easier for eligible non-profits to get property tax breaks.

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Cunningham presents legislationSPRINGFIELD – A new effort to reduce sexual misconduct on the campuses of Illinois colleges and universities, sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham, passed the Illinois Senate Friday.

An initiative of the Every VOICE Coalition, it would require each institution of higher education to conduct an annual sexual misconduct climate survey. The results of the survey would then be posted on the university’s website and sent to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

“Despite important progress in recent years, sexual assault and harassment are still too common at our colleges and universities,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This survey would help higher education institutions form plans to address the problem and give prospective students and the public more insight on how institutions are addressing the issue.”

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04132021HAO0125SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Cunningham’s legislation to help turn vacant lots from problem areas into urban farms and community gardens passed the Senate Local Government Committee Tuesday.

“Many of our older communities find themselves with vacant, neglected lots in city centers and older neighborhoods,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “In many cases, the local government becomes responsible for these lots, and this plan would give them a clear path to turning them from sometimes-dangerous eyesores into farms or gardens that increase property values and engage the community.”

The legislation enables local governments to sell or lease government-owned vacant lots to non-profit groups for the purpose of urban agriculture, specifically allowing them to grant leases of up to 25 years (with 25-year renewals possible) or to sell vacant tracts of land for less than they would normally cost, providing the land continues to be used to grow food and/or sell food grown by the non-profit.

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
329B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
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