Bertino-Tarrant

  • jbt 030916SPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is working this year to ensure that more funding is available for substance abuse treatment initiatives.

    Under Bertino-Tarrant’s plan, money taken from drug-related crimes may be used for public education programs in schools and in the community. These programs will focus on preventing students and others from misusing drugs and alcohol.

    “It’s important that drug money seized by law enforcement be utilized in a meaningful way,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “One important way it can be used is to help educate our students on the problems associated with abusing drugs and alcohol.”

    This legislation is part of a broader effort the senator has undertaken in recent years to combat drug addiction. Bertino-Tarrant served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin prevention forums in her district. She also supported House Bill 1, a law designed to comprehensively address the significant increase in heroin and opioid related overdoses and deaths over the past 10 years.

    Bertino-Tarrant’ proposal, Senate Bill 212, recently passed out of the Illinois Senate. It now advances to the Illinois House for consideration.

  • higher ed deal 042216

  • jbt 042116SPRINGFIELD— Under current law, prosecution for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability must occur within three years of the offense being committed.

    State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is trying to extend the statute of limitations for this type of offense.

    “Seniors and the disabled aren’t always able to promptly recognize and report when they are being financially exploited, which is why it’s important to increase the timeframe when someone can be prosecuted for these crimes,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    In general, most states allow individuals to be prosecuted for financial exploitation of a senior or disabled person longer than three years after the offense occurred.

    Alabama has a statute of limitations of seven years, and in Oregon the statute of limitations is six years. Minnesota recently extended the time period for when someone can be prosecuted for financially exploiting a senior or disabled person.

    The plan supported by the senator would increase the statute of limitations for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability to seven years in Illinois. This would align with banking laws and regulations that require banks to maintain financial records for seven years.

    The proposal Bertino-Tarrant is backing also allows for defendants to be prosecuted for financial exploitation in any county where a victim over 60 or with a mental disability resides. This is important because suspects often live in a different county or state than their victim. Many seniors who have been financially exploited end up being placed in care facilities.

    Bertino-Tarrant is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3180, which passed out of the Illinois Senate today.  The legislation will now have to be approved by the Illinois House.

  • jbt 030916SPRINGFIELD— A parent whose child has a serious medical condition can receive time off from work under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). However, that same parent would not be allowed under FMLA to take time off for the death of a child.

    In fact, the average bereavement leave for a person who loses a child is three days according to a researcher at Arizona State University.

    State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is working to make it mandatory that parents who lose a child can be eligible to get time off work to grieve.

    “Losing a child is one of the most horrific tragedies that could happen to any parent, and the last thing he or she needs to worry about is being approved for time off work to mourn,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Under FMLA, employees are entitled to up to three months a year of unpaid leave for the birth of the child, adoption or to care for themselves or a spouse, child or parent with a serious health condition.

    Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal, Senate Bill 2613, expands FMLA coverage by ensuring that employees who lose a child will be provided with four weeks of unpaid bereavement leave. This time can be used to make arrangements, attend the funeral and grieve their child’s death.

    If signed into law, Illinois would join Oregon as the only states to mandate that employers are required to provide leave to employees who request it after the death of a child.

    FMLA applies to all state, local and federal employers as well as schools and private sector employers who employ 50 or more employees for at least 20 workweeks in a year.

    To qualify for FMLA leave, an employee must have worked for their employer for one year and worked at least 1,250 hours.

    Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal passed out of the Labor Committee today.

  • sullivan sb2059

  • jbt 030916SPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) has introduced legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s Sex Offender Registry Act.

    Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal will allow the courts to require sex offender registration for a person convicted of battery in cases where the battery is sexually motivated.

    “A perpetrator who commits a sexual offense should be held accountable and have to register as a sex offender,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    The senator’s legislation was filed in response to a case in her district.

    Stephanie of Plainfield was 15 when a neighbor sexually abused her in his basement. Her mother, Tina Estopare, has been a strong advocate of the legislation, reaching out to legislators across the state.

    The neighbor was convicted on two counts of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to 364 days in the Will County jail. However, he was released four months later before serving two years of supervised probation. He also did not have to register as a sex offender because battery is not an offense subject to sex offender registration.

    Bertino-Tarrant’s initiative, Senate Bill 2201, was heard by the Criminal Law Committee today. 

  • mapoverride

  • map veto ftr

  • bertino-tarrant-awardSPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) has received an award from the Illinois School Psychologists Association in appreciation of her sponsoring legislation that supports schools and schoolchildren in Illinois.

    Bertino-Tarrant worked with the Illinois School Psychologists Association in 2014 to get a law approved that makes it easier for school psychologists and other school support personnel to become principals.

    “I was proud to work with the Illinois School Psychologists Association to make it easier for school psychologists to serve as principals,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I am grateful to receive this award, and I look forward to continued collaborations with the association on issues that will help our students and schools.”

    House Bill 5286, which Bertino-Tarrant sponsored, allows school psychologists who have four or more years’ experience to become principals. They would also still have to complete a principal preparation program and have a master’s degree or higher.

  • JJC SOS 012716

  • Bertino-Tarrant pledges to vote for funding local servicesPLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois House voting to release $3.1 billion in spending that has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield.

    “Yesterday’s action was a step in the right direction. This authorization will ensure local governments receive funding needed to pay for emergency services, road projects and other essential programs. I pledge to vote for it when it comes before the Senate.”

    The Senate must pass the legislation, House Amendment 4 to Senate Bill 2039, so that it can be sent to the governor for final approval. A vote on the authorization is scheduled to take place Monday, Dec. 7. Bertino-Tarrant is a Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation.

    The legislation includes the following components.
    •    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
    •    $77 million for 911-related costs.
    •    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
    •    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
    •    $45 million to the Dept of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
    •    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy to allow them to access their income funds and pay operating costs.
    •    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
    •    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
    •    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
    •    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
    •    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

  • JJC post ldrs mtg ftr

  • jbt commutertaxPLAINFIELD— State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement after today’s meeting between the governor and legislative leaders on the budget impasse:

    “Today’s meeting was an important step. We’re not going to be able to compromise on tough issues and have a budget in place if the governor and leaders aren’t talking. I hope more meetings occur in the future. Concrete steps need to be taken to end this impasse as quickly as possible.”

  • You pay at the pump, why is Springfield keeping your money?

  • jbtjobfairJOLIET — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Plainfield) partnered with the Illinois Department of Employment Security to hold a successful hiring fair this week.

    “Job fairs are important for connecting employers with community members who are looking for work,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I enjoyed meeting those who attended, and I look forward to having future events that will help people obtain employment.”

    More than 50 people showed up to meet with representatives from participating businesses. The first hour of the hiring fair catered specifically to veterans.

    “Our veterans have loyally served our nation, and I’m committed to doing what I can to make sure they’re employed,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Details on Bertino-Tarrant’s upcoming events are on her website.

  • hi ed hrngs2

    As Illinois students begin preparing for mid-terms, Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the Senate’s Higher Education Committee at Joliet Junior College to hear from students, parents and state community colleges and universities on the impact the current budget impasse is having on higher education in Illinois.

    “Time's a'wastin' - first semester already has started. Governor Rauner, get on board,” McGuire said. “Support MAP and higher education funding so Illinois high school graduates and returning adults can earn the knowledge and skills needed in today's economy to make our state strong again.”

  • laborday2015 ftr

  • backtoschool

  • jbt commutertaxSPRINGFIELD— Small businesses often face too much red tape when dealing with the state.

    With HB 3887, which was signed into law today, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) hopes to make that process as efficient as possible and help improve the state’s business climate.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This law is an important step in helping our business owners cut through the unnecessary red tape.”

    HB 3887, which Bertino-Tarrant sponsored in the Senate, is designed to identify and eliminate state regulations that are unreasonable or overly burdensome to small businesses.

    State agencies will now be required to complete an initial review of rules, regulations and processes related to small businesses within one year of the legislation becoming law. Subsequent reviews would take place every five years thereafter.

    According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ 48 percent of the private-sector labor force in Illinois.

    HB 3887 goes into effect on January 1 of next year.

  • Bertino-Tarrant passes legislatioto modernize methods for locating individuals with Alzherimer's

    SPRINGFIELD - Last year, in Georgia, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s slipped away from his home in the middle of the night and wandered into a nearby neighborhood in the cold only to be shot dead when mistaken for an intruder.

    And this year in Texas, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s wandered away from his family’s home in the middle of the night in the midst of freezing temperatures. He was later found dead.

    These are the tragic stories state Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) worked to prevent through legislation she helped pass out of the Illinois Senate this year. Her plan, which was signed into law today, allows law enforcement, Department on Aging and local law enforcement agencies to create a statewide awareness program to help locate individuals with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases who go missing.