library 1147815 1280VILLA PARK – Eight local libraries will receive funds totaling over $350,000 to upgrade programs and help patrons get the resources they need, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D- Villa Park) announced Wednesday.

“This funding will allow libraries to expand the help they give,” Cullerton said. “Whether it be allowing people to access the internet to apply to jobs or providing programming to help kids retain their education over the summer, libraries are a valuable asset to our communities.”

The funds received by the eight local libraries is part of $18.1 million in grants awarded to 638 public libraries across the state. Libraries will use these funds to implement and expand services and products like audiobooks and eBooks, dual language materials, adult programming and more.

Read more: DuPage County libraries receiving funds for upgrades, Cullerton announces

053121HAO00763SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is proud to see a measure that would offer mental health support information on student ID cards being signed into law on Friday.

“Providing mental health support to students—whether they’re in middle school or college—is so important, especially as they start to return to in-person learning,” Cullerton said. “Something as simple as a contact number for a crisis line could help prevent unnecessary tragedy in an age group that has seen increasing suicide rates over the years.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2018, suicide rates for people aged 10-24 increased by 57.4%. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. 

To provide students with essential mental health support services, House Bill 1778 would require school districts that issue ID cards for students in sixth to 12th grade to include the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line numbers on the backs of cards. It also requires colleges and universities to publish the information on student IDs. A similar measure sponsored by Cullerton, HB 2014, was also recently signed into law.

HB 1778 was signed by Gov. JB Pritzker and will go into effect July 1, 2022.

052020210118SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Tom Cullerton (D- Villa Park) spearheaded a measure that was signed on Monday to help connect residents of long-term care facilities to loved ones during disasters like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve learned from this pandemic how social isolation can have such a negative effect on mental health, especially for older adults in our state,” Cullerton said. “It’s so important that if anything like this pandemic happens again, long-term care facilities have a plan of action to make sure their residents have the opportunity to call their loved ones frequently.”

According to a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older report feeling lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated. COVID-19 has only exacerbated these statistics.

The measure signed today would require long-term care facilities to make every reasonable effort to facilitate at least one phone or video call between a resident and a family member each day during a disaster declared by the governor. It also requires hospitals to develop a policy to encourage patients to engage with family members during a public health emergency.

House Bill 3147 goes into effect immediately.

04232021CM0159SPRINGFIELD – The governor has signed a measure sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) that would restore benefits to veterans who received an “Other than Honorable” discharge for their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“From helping cover the cost of education to assisting with housing, veterans benefits play a large role for those who bravely served our country,” said Cullerton, who is a veteran himself. “For some veterans to not receive their well-deserved benefits because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is unacceptable.”

Although the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy – which barred gay and lesbian military members from openly serving in the military – was repealed in 2011, people with OTH discharges from years ago are still not able to receive state veterans benefits. According to a report from Harvard Law School, more than 100,000 service members were expelled from the military between World War II and 2011 for their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

The legislation being signed today will allow veterans whose discharge was solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity to begin receiving state veterans benefits.

"We are finally allowing our LGBTQ veterans access to the critical services they have been denied for far too long," said State Rep. Joyce Mason (D- Gurnee), the House sponsor of the bill. "After all our veterans sacrificed to serve our country, they deserve to be treated with respect and receive the help they need regardless of sexual orientation."

House Bill 1290 was signed into law on Sunday, and it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

Springfield Office
122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463