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Bertino-Tarrant supports bipartisan initiatives to encourage economic development and job creation

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 10:14 AM

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant joined her colleagues on both side of the aisle to support significant business initiatives that will encourage economic development in Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) supported vital bipartisan measures that create tax credits, new jobs and apprenticeship programs which will stimulate the state’s economy.

“Illinois businesses drive our economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “These job-creating programs were formed in collaboration with businesses across Illinois to encourage growth and stability that will invite companies to make our community their home.”

Senator Suzy announces Tobacco 21 now in effect in Illinois

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 08:40 AM

glowiak 040419OAK BROOK TERRACE – Residents now must be 21 years old to buy tobacco products in Illinois. 

State Senator Suzy Glowiak (D-Western Springs) advocated for the passage of “Tobacco 21” (House Bill 345), which raises the legal smoking age from 18 to 21, prohibiting the purchase of alternative nicotine products, electronic cigarettes and tobacco products by individuals under the age of 21. The law is now in effect.

“The dangers of smoking are well-known, but young adults still had access to tobacco products,” Glowiak said. “This new law will help stop addiction at an early age to help save lives.”

In Illinois, 34 jurisdictions have raised the age, including Chicago, Highland Park, Buffalo Grove, Evanston and Peoria. One of the key benefits to doing so have been documented decreases in the number of high schoolers who smoke. In Chicago, authorities recorded a drop from 13.6 percent in 2011 to 6 percent in 2017. Raising the age was cited as a key component of the decrease. Studies have found 90 percent of all adult smokers started when they were kids.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services it is estimated that each day approximately 2,100 youth and young adults who are occasional smokers become daily smokers.

“Stopping the cycle of addiction will protect our young adults from the numerous early and long-term negative effects of smoking such as early health disease, reductions in lung function, and growth and respiratory problems,” Glowiak said. “Raising the smoking age is a proven method to reduce smoking rates among our teens.”

This measure was supported by the DuPage County Health Department, American Lung Association in Illinois, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association along with many others.

Supreme Court ruling makes case for state action on redistricting reform

Published: Monday, July 01, 2019 01:11 PM

scotus 070119DEERFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is renewing her push for redistricting reform in Illinois after suffering a setback last week from the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court shows the important role states play in ensuring our redistricting process is fair, transparent and free from political influence,” Morrison said. “I remain determined to ensure that Illinois will reform the way legislative districts are drawn.”

In its ruling, the Supreme Court found that claims of partisan influence in the drawing of legislative districts is a political issue that the courts cannot resolve. The ruling left open the ability for states to establish their own system of drawing district boundaries.

Morrison is the sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4, which would establish a 16-member commission that would be in charge of redistricting Congressional districts as well as State House and Senate districts in Illinois. If passed, voters would need to approve the measure at the ballot box in order to amend the Constitution.

Under Morrison’s proposal, commission members would be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and the most senior Justice not of the same party as the Chief Justice.

“In the months ahead, I will continue working with my colleagues on developing a solution that I hope will end up being a template for states across the nation on how to end gerrymandering,” Morrison said.

Hastings champions landmark infrastructure revitalization plan

Published: Monday, July 01, 2019 11:16 AM

hastings 070119SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings released the following statement after the signing of legislation that would modernize Illinois’ infrastructure and provide the South Suburbs with new jobs.

“The South Suburbs will see some long-needed infrastructure repair under this capital bill. Our roads, bridges, schools will be renewed and local governments entities will see an extraordinary amount financial support to build new infrastructure for the 21st Century. From Markham and Matteson to Lockport and Joliet, our communities will undeniably benefit from this bill.

I want to thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for working with the South Suburban delegation and listening to the wants and needs of our communities. I look forward to seeing Illinois rebuilt.”

The $45 billion plan includes funding for highways and bridges as well as local projects. A few examples include:

  • $6 million for local government infrastructure improvements
  • $848 million to improve I-80 in Will County and rebuild structurally deficient bridges over the Des Plaines River.
  • $32 million in funding for improvements at Governors State University
  • $43 million in funding improvements at Moraine Valley Community College
  • $1,000,000 in grants to local non-for-profit developmentally disabled and mental health treatment organizations.
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