Cunningham presents legislationSPRINGFIELD – During the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, the Illinois General Assembly passed a law offering additional workers’ compensation protections to first responders and essential workers. Today, State Senator Bill Cunningham led the Illinois Senate in passing a measure to extend those protections by six months.

The law allows essential workers and first responders to file for workers’ compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19 during the course of their employment – providing them with additional economic support while they recover from the illness. Employers have an opportunity to rebut workers’ claims by demonstrating they followed all applicable public health guidelines.

“This law was a fair compromise that protects workers without unduly burdening businesses,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It encourages businesses to protect their employees to the best of their ability and gives workers who aren’t protected more resources to help them recover.”

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

cunningham 052320CHICAGO – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Bill Cunningham that will help bring a casino to the city of Chicago and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into the city’s police and fire pension funds was signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker Tuesday.

“A Chicago casino has been years in the making, and I’m glad we were able to get this legislation over the finish line and make it a reality,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “This project will provide a major economic boost to the entire region and provide critical revenue to Chicago’s police and fire pension funds to help ensure our first responders get the retirement benefits they’ve earned.”

Senate Bill 516 makes various changes to the state’s gaming laws and will enable Chicago to open its long-sought casino. When fully operational, the casino is expected to funnel more than $200 million dollars a year to Chicago’s police and fire pension funds.

Shortly after taking his seat in the Illinois Senate in 2013, Cunningham introduced legislation that would have required the city of Chicago to dedicate future revenue to the city’s financially strapped police and fire pension funds. 

As chief sponsor of Senate Bill 516, Cunningham was able to ensure the intent of his 2013 legislation remained in the law. The measure passed both the Senate and House with comfortable, bipartisan majorities. As a result, the taxes collected by the city on all slot machines and table games in the new casino will go exclusively to Chicago’s police and fire pensions.

“Although a Chicago casino seemed a long way away in 2013, it was critical to put a marker down then to help ensure it provided funding for Chicago’s police and fire pension systems,” Cunningham said. “This is going to provide a major investment in those pension funds, and, as an added bonus, it’s going to reduce the pressure placed on Chicago property taxes, which were the only source of revenue for police and fire pensions.”

Senate Bill 516 will take effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

energyCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is encouraging Illinois families to take advantage of a new support package from ComEd and the Illinois Commerce Commission to help them pay their electric bills.

“Many Illinois families are facing unique financial challenges as a result of this pandemic,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “Programs like this one are critical to helping them get back on their feet as our state begins to recover from COVID-19.”

The support package is designed to assist customers who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes an extension of ComEd’s current policy suspending disconnections until the state moves to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan or Aug. 1, whichever comes first. Residential and small business customers will have an additional 30-day grace period, during which ComEd will not disconnect service for nonpayment.

Low-income households earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level are also eligible for financial assistance for past-due balances. These customers will have more flexible payment options, including longer payment plans, and ComEd will waive reconnection fees and new deposit requirements for residential customers. 

These new options supplement relief measures ComEd has already established, such as budget billing options, grants, and debt assistance. 

“This is an excellent program, and I encourage anyone who needs assistance with their electric bills to take advantage of it,” Cunningham said.

Customers who are struggling to pay outstanding balances and electric bills are encouraged to contact ComEd’s customer care team at 800-334-7661, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. More information is available at http://www.comed.com/CARE.

Category: Press Releases

Cunningham. Budget signing FBCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is pleased that the budget signed into law today by Gov. JB Pritzker funds critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic for Fiscal Year 2021.

“These are uncertain times, but the budget that was signed into law today will provide stability for the people of Illinois,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “It’s critical that we ensure the services Illinois families need remain available while our state recovers from this pandemic.”

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois has seen record levels of unemployment, causing challenges for the state’s unemployment insurance system. In response, the budget provides nearly $60 million to the Illinois Department of Employment Security to help them respond to increasing demand.

“The job losses we have seen over the last few months are unprecedented, and our unemployment system has struggled to keep up with skyrocketing claim numbers,” Cunningham said. “This funding is essential to protecting Illinois families during this crisis and providing workers with resources to get them back to work as soon as possible.”

The budget also provides significant investment in public health to help Illinois recover from COVID-19, including an additional $600 million for the Illinois Department of Public Health and an additional $400 million for local health departments throughout the state. The plan also includes a funding increase for Medicaid to ensure everyone can access the health care they need during this crisis.

“This budget recognizes the importance of supporting our state and local health departments as we guide Illinois through this emergency,” Cunningham said. “This additional funding will be critical to helping public health officials keep families safe.”

Category: Press Releases

COVID19 Resources

COVID19 Updates

Follow Sen. Cunningham

facebooktwitter

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

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