Bertino-Tarrant

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD - Due to limitations on current in-person coursework, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is spreading awareness of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations' deadline extension.

    "During this trying time, people should not be forced to worry about whether they will be able to renew their professional licenses on time," Bertino-Tarrant said. "I applaud the department for recognizing the struggles many Illinoisans will face due to the restrictions on in-person classes."

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD — If you begin to feel ill with symptoms that could be COVID-19, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is urging you to call your doctor’s office before going in.

    “If you go into the office without notice, you aren’t just potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19, you could be exposing others,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In order to not spread the virus further, please call, so they can provide you with directions.”

  • jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to modernize infrastructure and boost economic development, economic development groups, not-for-profits and others in Will County and surrounding areas will be able to apply to receive a portion of nearly $80 million in state grants through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

    “These grants offer communities the opportunity to repair infrastructure while creating jobs,” Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. “This support allows local governments and organizations to invest in themselves and their residents.”

    Bertino-Tarrant announced Thursday $50 million was allocated by DCEO for public infrastructure investments – which includes repairing roads and bridges. These grants are available to local governments. An additional $16.5 million will go toward regional economic development projects and $13 million to shovel-ready construction projects.

    Funding for the grants is part of the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction plan approved by the General Assembly last year.

    Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30. However, the other grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Prospective applicants must submit a grant proposal explaining the projects positive affect on the community. 

    Additional information about how to apply can be found on DCEO’s website. Additional questions can be sent to the agency at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or answered by calling 217-785-6174.

  • jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD –Employers that offer payroll deductions to help save for children’s college education could receive double the current annual tax credit under a measure sponsored by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    “One of the greatest investments we can make is in higher education for our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Companies that match employee contributions to qualified college savings programs deserve to receive a tax credit to offset the cost.”

    Senate Bill 2800 increases the maximum annual tax credit provided to employers that match an employee's contributions to qualified college savings and prepaid tuition accounts from $500 to $1,000 per employee. 

    Additionally, it would extend the availability of tax credits to employers that match an employee's contributions to a Bright Start/Bright Directions or College Illinois savings plan. Tax credits for student-assistance contributions would end Dec. 31, 2030 under the legislation.

    “The expansion will allow more employees to contribute to the program, and allow those who have already maxed out their annual tax credit to save even more for their children’s education,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every dollar saved early on in a child’s life will give them the opportunity to receive a quality education.”

    The measure passed the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday. It heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

  • jbt murphy 030320SPRINGFIELD – Rising tuition costs have made higher education inaccessible to many Illinois students, but State Senators Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) hope to put college back within their reach by expanding grant programs for students in need.

    “As high school students begin to explore options for higher education, many are turned off by the rising cost and lack of need-based assistance,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative students who want to get an associate’s degree or certificate have the opportunity to do so without going into debt.” 

    Murphy and Bertino-Tarrant are sponsoring separate measures that would expand grant programs to students entering college.

  • CheckbookSPRINGFIELD – Illinois students may soon be equipped with the skills to tackle real-life financial issues, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) introduced Senate Bill 2474, which will allow students to take a financial literacy class as a math requirement for high school graduation.

    “Our schools need to ensure students are not only able to excel academically, but also have the life skills to be successful as adults, “Bertino-Tarrant said. “Balancing checkbooks, calculating income taxes and understanding bank statements are vital life skills that we should want our young people to have. Our students need to be equipped with the knowledge to manage their money effectively.”

    Senate Bill 2474 allows that one year, or a semester, of a financial literacy course may count toward the math requirement to graduate high school.

    A report released by AIG Retirement Services found that students’ low financial literacy levels result from little to no fiscal education within the K-12 school system.

    They also found 36% of participants already have more than $1,000 in credit card debt. And many students do not have enough money to pay off their debts or are not fully aware of the consequences of leaving bills unpaid.

    “As we tackle rising tuition costs and fees, we must ensure our students have the financial sense to understand how money works,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Mathematics is not just about formulas and right angles, we have an opportunity to show students how math applies to their lives as adults.”

    Bertino-Tarrant is looking forward to discussions on Senate Bill 2474 this upcoming legislative session

  • Senator Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) was thrilled to hear Gov. JB Pritzker’s plans to increase investments in the state’s education system during the State of the State address on Wednesday.

    “The most important investment we can make is in our children’s education,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Increasing investments in child care and early childhood education will ensure that we are providing the best resources to help train the future leaders of our great state.”

  • jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is applauding the state’s commitment to better address racial disparities in responding to the opioid crisis by establishing the Governor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Recovery Steering Committee.

    Illinois is also dedicating $4.1 million state dollars to expand recovery and prevention services for individuals with opioid use disorder.

    “I applaud Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to help end the opioid crisis that has plagued communities throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The $4.1 million investment will help increase the state’s investments in communities that need them the most and help create a comprehensive plan to fight the opioid crisis.”

    Pritzker’s executive order also focuses on harm reduction strategies that promote safer use of opioids to save lives. These strategies will help reduce both the risks of infectious HIV, HCV and Hepatitis A and fatal overdoses. The plan includes supervised consumption sites, where individuals with opioid use disorder are under the supervision of trained staff with the goal of ensuring the safety of both the individual and the general public.

    “Opioid addiction isn’t dependent on age, socioeconomic standing or race; it does not discriminate,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “If we’re to fight this national epidemic, we need to treat every life as precious.”

    The Governor’s office, along with the state’s Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council, will create an Opioid Social Equity Committee to make legislative recommendations on how to address social and racial disparities in the opioid crisis. The group will also create local recovery-oriented systems of care councils in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the crisis in order to engage individuals in all stages of recovery.

    To ensure accountability of available resources, the state will also create an online listing all opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery resources.

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  • Manar 101819JOLIET – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) gathered with fellow state lawmakers and diabetes health advocates in Joliet Friday to urge support for a new measure aimed at reducing the skyrocketing cost of insulin.

    “Absurd insulin costs are making it nearly impossible for some individuals to afford the life-saving medication they need,” Manar said. “It’s time we take a stand on this issue and finally bring some relief for people who are being forced to pay exorbitant prices just to stay alive.”

    Senate Bill 667, introduced by Manar in May, would cap out of pocket insulin expenses at $100 for a 30-day supply.

    Manar was joined by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and State Rep. John Connor (D-Lockport) to push for the legislation’s passage and hear from individuals who have been directly impacted by rising insulin costs.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, 7.4 million of which require prescription insulin every day to survive. However, the increasing costs associated with the medication have led many patients to ration their supply or seek care outside of the country.

    “Insulin is a life-saving prescription drug,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is outrageous that drug manufacturers are often placing profit before people. If they are going to utilize greedy profit schemes to make money off of this crucial medication, it is time for the state to intervene.”

    The legislation would make Illinois just the second state in the country to cap out of pocket insulin expenses. Colorado became the first earlier this year.

    The measure has also garnered the support of several advocacy organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Pharmacists Association and AARP.

    “AARP Illinois supports this measure on behalf of our 1.7 million members, many of whom have told us about the hardships they face in paying for their prescription drugs,” said State Director Bob Gallo. “We commend Sen. Manar, Rep. Guzzardi, and other legislators for recognizing that everyday Illinois residents are having to make heartbreaking choices about whether to pay for medicine or other basic necessities with their fixed incomes. And we hope that SB 667 will be a stepping stone to getting further reforms that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for everyone.”

    Manar expects to call the bill for a vote during the fall veto session.

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD – Illinois now has a new law in place to help address the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without coming out of retirement, thanks to Illinois Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    Bertino-Tarrant’s championed House Bill 1472, which addresses findings that 89 percent of Central Illinois districts and 92 percent of Southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates. The law was signed on Friday.

    “Our retired teachers should not be penalized for returning to classrooms to help our school districts meet their needs,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We want teachers in our classrooms with experience in the profession to help ensure our children are receiving a strong education.”

  • 05072019CM0083RSPLAINFIELD –Illinois’ five-hour classroom time will now ensure students receive a balanced education, thanks to the Senate’s Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 28, reinstates a minimum of 5 hours of instruction per day in schools, allowing exemptions for students enrolled in dual career, supervised career development experiences and youth apprenticeships.

    This section was repealed in the Evidence Based Funding for Student Success Act trailer bill, leaving each school district to determine what counts as an instructional day. The fix was signed into law on Friday

    “Utilizing technology in our curriculum helps our children learn better,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In the 21st century, we need to continue to look for ways to incorporate innovative teaching methods to guarantee our children are prepared to compete in the modern world. However, there needs to be clear and concise guidelines in place to ensure students are receiving the best possible educational opportunities.”

    Schools that have received approval from Illinois State Board of Education may still utilize e-learning days to satisfy school day requirements.

    Bertino-Tarrant is committed to working with ISBE, educators and advocates to create a streamlined process that will allow school districts to utilize e-learning, especially in cases when schools are forced to cancel days in the classroom.

    “E-learning is a valuable tool,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We just need to make sure there are clear standards in place to prevent abuse of the program.”

    Senate Bill 28 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The measure go into effect on July 1, 2019.

  • Sen. Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD – Women across Illinois will soon have remedies to fight sexual harassment and discrimination in work places, thanks to a measure supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed Senate Bill 75, which clarifies the ethics investigation process, including making the process more transparent and giving additional rights to victims of harassment and discrimination who file ethics complaints.

    “This monumental legislation is helping shift the culture in the work place,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Stopping sexual harassment and ending discrimination helps provide a safe work environment for everyone.”

  • jbt mcguire 060319Capital construction plan passes with support from McGuire, Bertino-Tarrant

    SPRINGFIELD — Included in a statewide construction plan that addresses hospitals, schools and roadways will be funding dedicated to repairs ensuring the long-term safety of the I-80 bridge spanning the Des Plaines River. The plan passed with support from State Senators Pat McGuire and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    “We took two giant steps toward safety on I-80 by devoting millions in state funding for needed repairs and by clearing the way for the privately funded Houbolt Road Bridge,” McGuire said.

    “Local residents cannot continue to tolerate poor roads and bridges,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that the state invest in the I-80 bridge to ensure safety, economic growth and eliminate traffic.”

    State inspectors signaled an urgent need to repair the bridge, which conveys traffic across the Des Plaines River in the Joliet area. The bridge scored a 6 out of 100 in an IDOT sufficiency assessment – anything below an 80 is considered deficient.

    The bridge work is part of a $45 billion plan that will address roadway and building needs all over the state of Illinois, including at public universities, hospitals, and other travel infrastructure.

    The construction plan passed the General Assembly today, and awaits the governor’s signature to be enacted.

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – To help keep jobs in America, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring House Bill 356, which would require state agencies to purchase goods made in the United States.

    “State tax dollars should be spent to create jobs in our local economies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This legislation displays the state’s commitment to supporting American businesses.”

    House Bill 356 is similar to the federal Buy American Act of 1933, which mandated that the federal government must give preferential treatment to American-made goods.

  • jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD –  To combat the alarming rise of female genital mutilation in the nation, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant passed a measure that would give survivors the means to pursue justice.

    Bertino-Tarrant passed House Bill 3498, which removes the statute of limitations for the prosecution for female genital mutilation also known as FGM, if the victim is under 18 years of at the time of the offense.

    “Survivors of FGM are often too young to report this horrific crime,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The repercussions of it are lifelong, and so there should be no statute of limitations. This measure will allow them time and assure them that justice does not have an expiration date.” 

    Under current law, the statute of limitations for FGM is three years, which is the standard for a felony offense. Long thought to be a foreign problem, Bertino-Tarrant stressed that FGM is happening in Illinois. It is estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 women and girls have been cut or are at risk for being cut.

    Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and adolescence, and occasionally on adult women.

    “This painful and dangerous procedure is often performed at an extremely young age,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to allow young girls to come forward in their own time and allow them to receive the support they need and deserve.”

    The measure was supported by the Illinois National Organization for Women.

    According to CNN in 2017, currently only 25 states in the nation have laws that make FGM a crime.

    House Bill 3498 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now heads back to the House for approval before being sent to the governor.

  • Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – To help alleviate the teacher shortage in Illinois, the Senate’s Education Chair, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant passed a series of measures on Thursday.

    Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed House Bill 423 with bipartisan support, which places a hold on requiring educators to take a controversial licensing exam.

    “This costly test may be ineffective in determining whether an applicant is qualified to teach in our classrooms,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to take some time to evaluate this requirement to ensure we are not deterring qualified teachers from joining the profession.”

  • Teacher Week Facebook ImageSPRINGFIELD – Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino Tarrant lead the Senate in declaring May 6 to 10 as Teacher Appreciation Week in Illinois.

    Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed Senate Joint Resolution 40 which emphasizes the General Assembly’s gratitude for teachers across Illinois.

    “Our teachers are responsible for developing the minds of our future leaders,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Their days do not end when the last school bell rings. Educators across Illinois provide knowledge, support and skills that positively impact students. This week the Senate honors teachers across Illinois for their hard work and dedication to our children.”

    In 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.

    Senate Joint Resolution 40 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

  • jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – In response to alarming findings about sexual assault by faculty and staff in schools, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) advanced House Bill 3687 on Tuesday, which requires the State’s Attorneys across the state to immediately notify school officials when a school employee is accused of harassment or assault.

    “Our children should be safe at school,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This measure ensures school administrators have all of the facts in order to make decisions in the best interest of students. If an accused school employee or educator has direct contact with students, steps will need to be taken to change that.”

    House Bill 3687 requires the State’s Attorney to provide school administrators with a copy of the complaint, indictment, or other information pertaining to the charges.

    Last summer, as the Senate’s Education Chair, Bertino-Tarrant called a hearing to address the findings of a Chicago Tribune investigation which detailed improper reporting of sexual misconduct in Chicago schools. The investigation found 72 Chicago Public Schools employees were accused of misconduct over a 10-year period and not properly reported to authorities.

    "It is unacceptable that sexual predators were not only near our children, but in positions of trust," Bertino-Tarrant said. "Everyone should be outraged that these abusers were able to prey on students because of insufficient oversight."

    The Chicago Public Schools and the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance are in support of the measure.

    House Bill 3687 passed the Senate’s Education Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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