PrairieCHICAGO – State Senator Bill Cunningham is congratulating the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights on winning a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to give local 6-8 graders experience with prairie restoration.

“I want to thank the Lake Katherine Nature Center for giving local students the opportunity to experience nature and learn about Illinois’ natural history,” said Cunningham, a Democrat who represents portions of Chicago and the southwest suburbs. “I also appreciate their efforts to restore our natural environment for the public to enjoy.”

The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Fund to support the development or enhancement of wildlife habitat on school grounds or other public places. Projects funded by these grants are meant to teach children that their actions can make a difference in the world while increasing the use of native plants in Illinois.

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Category: Press Releases

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.”

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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

Category: Press Releases

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Springfield Office:
Senator 18th District
329B Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-5145
(217) 782-2115 FAX
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