Tom Cullerton leads charge to protect veterans

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VILLA PARK – The Senate‘s Veterans Affairs committee passed a series of important measures this legislative session that are now law in Illinois.

Veterans Committee Chairman Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is proud of the bipartisan work the committee did this legislative session.

"We tackled a series of important issues this year to ensure our state meets the growing needs of our nation’s heroes," Cullerton said. "Our service men and women put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe. It’s vital that we work in a bipartisan manner to pass meaningful laws that pay tribute to their countless sacrifices."

Cullerton served in the Army from 1990 to 1993 as an infantryman. He continues to use his military experience to champion legislation to help military veterans, personnel and their families.

The following legislation passed the Senate’s Committee on Veterans Affairs and is now law:

Senate Bill 3128: Gives the Capital Development Board and the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs authority to address the public health crisis at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

This is one of many measures Cullerton pushed to help save veteran lives by speeding up construction and repairs at the Quincy facility.

"Our U.S. servicemen and women should not live in harm’s way because of the governor’s incompetence," Cullerton said. "It’s the state’s job to ensure Illinois’ heroes are able to live their golden years in a safe environment with the best possible care."

Senate Bill 3192: The governor annually designates, by official proclamation, the day before Gold Star Mother’s Day as Gold Star Family Day.

House Bill 4278: Requires an Illinois Veterans Home to notify facility residents and their emergency contacts within 24 hours if two or more residents in the home have been diagnosed with an infectious disease in period of one month or less.

Cullerton championed the passage of this measure in response to Gov. Rauner’s mismanagement of the Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks at the Quincy Veterans Home. Despite signs of the spread of bacteria reaching epidemic proportions, the governor failed to notify the public about the deadly 2015 outbreak until nearly a week later.

House Bill 4317: Allows family members of armed service members killed in action to terminate a lease.

House Bill 5784: Requires the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to submit a quarterly report to the general assembly about the health and welfare of the residents as well as any information on an epidemic or cases involving a communicable disease at each state-run veterans home.

Cullerton’s bipartisan measure will help promote transparency and hold the governor’s administration accountable for the care and service our nation’s heroes receive at state-run facilities.

"It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of our veterans. I will continue to fight for commonsense measures that honor our military personnel," Cullerton said. "These new laws serve as a small token of appreciation for our heroes’ service and sacrifices."

Cullerton urges DuPage County residents looking for military assistance or with questions or concerns regarding these new laws to call his Villa Park Office at (630) 903-6662.

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via chicagotribune.com

September 19, 2018 at 07:10AM

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