SPRINGFIELD – Two libraries and two schools in State Senator Bill Cunningham’s district have been awarded grants from the Illinois State Library to buy fiction and nonfiction books.

“This extra money to buy books and other educational materials will greatly benefit members of our community and provide resources the libraries otherwise wouldn’t have,” Cunningham said.

The “Back to Books” program is an initiative from Secretary of State Jessie White’s office funded by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services and the state’s library funds.

The eligible materials include: books, large print books, audio books, graphic novels and educational CDs or DVD s.   100% of the grant funds must be spent on materials. 

The list of libraries and schools who received the grants includes:

  • Chicago -  Marist High School      $3,510
  • Chicago Ridge  -  Chicago Ridge Public Library   $5,000
  • Evergreen Park  -   Evergreen Park Public Library   $5,000
  • Palos Hills  -  North Palos School District #117   $5,000
Category: Press Releases

Cunningham032013 js 0172Illinois State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) voted to expand gaming in the state. The measure will send new dollars from casino expansion to public education to offset, and possibly eliminate, the proposed cuts from the governor’s projected budget. Sen. Cunningham made this statement after the Senate vote:
“This bill will help stop the flow of dollars from Illinois residents to the casinos in Indiana and provide Chicago and the South Suburbs with a new source of revenue for schools and infrastructure improvement. It will also ensure that important safeguards are in place to help the state Gaming Board shield casinos from political and criminal corruption.”

Key components of Senate Bill 1739:

  1. Chicago Casino
    • 4,000 positions: land- or water-based and at airports
    • Run by a licensed operator subject to management contract
  2. Ethics
    • New Executive Inspector General for Gaming
    • Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino is equal to all other gaming facilities
    • Political contribution ban for gaming licensees
  3. Slots at race tracks
    • 1,200 positions in Cook County/ 900 for non-Cook
    • Racinos must be licensed by Gaming Board
  4. 4 new riverboats/casinos
    • Rockford
    • Danville
    • South suburbs: either Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton or Worth Township
    • Lake County: either Park City, Waukegan or North Chicago
  5. Tax rate reduction
    • Separate tax rate for slots vs. table games
    • New tax rates take effect in the fiscal year following the opening of the Chicago casino, but not before July 1, 2015
  6. Distribution of Revenues
    • Upfront license fees to fund increased headcount at the Gaming Board, remainder to old bills
    • Local shares to host communities
    • A portion of the tax revenue will go to various funds for example a small portion will go to the State Fairgrounds Capitol Improvement fund as well as DHS will get revenues to pay for compulsive gambling treatment
    • The remaining tax revenues will go to the Education Assistance Fund
  7. Minority Participation
    • Contracting goals for all licensees
    • Hiring goals for all licensees
    • Reporting requirements for all licensees
Category: Press Releases

Senator Bill Cunningham was pleased to welcome representatives of the Oak Lawn and South Suburban park districts to the Capitol yesterday for their annual Parks Day. Representatives of more than 50 park districts from throughout the state came to Springfield to advocate for programs to maintain and expand parks, natural areas, forest preserves, and other recreational facilities in the state.





Category: Press Releases

Cunningham-041113State Senator Bill Cunningham’s (D-Chicago) legislation to allow students with disabilities to receive physical education credit if they participate in outside athletic programs has passed the Illinois Senate.         

Currently, many student-athletes in Illinois do not qualify for waivers simply because their schools do not offer sports programs that accommodate students with disabilities.  Senate Bill 2157 would correct this problem by giving local school boards the ability to grant P.E. waivers to disabled students who are engaged in athletic activities outside of school. 

Under current state law, high school students who participate in interscholastic athletic programs can receive waivers that allow them to skip P.E. classes.

“If a student with a disability participates in an athletic program, he should have the opportunity to receive a P.E. waiver just like his peers who play basketball and football,” Cunningham said. 

In a past education committee, Adam Woodworth, a parent from the senator’s district testified with his son, Tyler, a student at Lockport High School.  Tyler participates in sled hockey, an athletic program for students with disabilities outside of school.  Adam wants the ability for Tyler to receive a P.E. waiver for his participation.

If Cunningham's bill becomes law, students with disabilities who participate in athletic programs outside of school could apply to their local school board for a P.E. waiver. A number of sports programs could qualify for the waiver, including wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, the Special Olympics and many others. 

SB 2157 passed the Senate and now awaits a vote by the full House.

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