Bertino-Tarrant

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  • jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- In light of the most recent spate of chaos created by Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is calling for a pause on the award of tax credits to scholarship donors.

    “If our schools are not receiving state funding, scholarship donors should not receive tax rebates on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Bertino-Tarrant, chairwoman of the Senate’s education committee.  “It is concerning that the tax program is up and running while our schools have not received funding or even been informed how many state dollars they can count on for the next school year.”

    Funding clarity has been denied to public schools because Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 444, a technical piece of legislation previously requested by the governor’s administration to help clarify and quickly implement school funding reform. His veto of the measure will do just the opposite of that.

  • JBTAprilPLAINFIELD- Families across the 49th State Senate District will soon have more resources readily available to fight the opioid epidemic, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    Bertino-Tarrant’s new law requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The measure, enacted through House Bill 3161, found bipartisan support as it passed the General Assembly.

    “Opioid addiction does not see age, socioeconomic class, race or religion,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is vital for our families, friends and neighbors to have resources readily available to help their loved ones kick this deadly habit.”

    On Jan. 1, DHS will begin work on a website that will include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

    “This website will help save lives,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is absolutely critical that we work together as a state to combat this epidemic. If we can save one life, it is worth it.”

    Will County saw a record number of heroin-related deaths in 2016; this was an increase of more than 40 percent from 2015. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

    “This new resource will help equip Will County residents with essential information to save lives,” Dr. Kathleen Burke, Director of Substance Use Initiatives, Will County Executive’s Office said. “Education is a key element to end the opioid overdose epidemic in communities across Illinois. Our hope is providing parents and loved ones with the right tools will help individuals seek treatment sooner. We look forward to working with Senator Bertino-Tarrant to continue to fight this crisis and eliminate this problem from our communities once and for all.”

  • jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- Starting a new business in Illinois will be much more affordable, due to a law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    Bertino-Tarrant co-sponsored Senate Bill 867, which will reduce startup fees for businesses to register in Illinois and was signed into law today.

    “This new law will assist economic development and job opportunities in our communities,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Cutting filing fees is a meaningful step in showing Illinois business owners that we want to be partners in growing our economy. Illinois businesses are investing in our communities; we must show them the state is investing in them.” 

    This new law will adjust LLC fees across the board to update charges to bring them in line with what corporations pay in fees.  For example, the current filing fee to create a new LLC in Illinois is $500. SB 867 would fix it at $150. The current annual filing fee for LLCs is $250, and SB 867 would lower it to $75.

    “Small businesses have always played a major role in the Joliet region’s economic growth,” Mary Jaworski, President of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. “The new law to lower the startup fees for small businesses is a great step in improving the perception of the business climate in the State of Illinois.  In addition, those who have thought of becoming entrepreneurs now have one more solid reason to consider this region as a place to start up and conduct business.”

    This bipartisan legislation was supported by over 50 chambers and business development organizations throughout the state.

    “Senator Bertino-Tarrant is a true advocate for our community,” Margaret Westlove, President of the Romeoville Area Chamber of Commerce said. “She understands that small businesses are the backbone of our economy and create new jobs every day in our communities. This new law is testament to the Senator’s hard work and dedication to supporting small businesses in Will County.”

    Bertino-Tarrant states this new law will give small businesses in Will County a chance and serves as a symbol of the importance of businesses across the state.

    "This new law will eliminate hurdles and make it more affordable for inspiring first time business owners to start their business in Will County,” Tasha Marsaglia, President of the Plainfield Area Chamber of Commerce said.

    The new law will go into effect immediately.

  • jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- Illinois taxpayers will now have a new tool to see if state agencies pay their bills in a timely manner.

    House Bill 3649, supported State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), which requires state agencies to provide a more accurate accounting of bills and late payment interest penalties accruing will go into effect on the first day of the New Year.

    “Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will lead to responsible accounting and a good step in building the taxpayer’s trust in state agencies and services.”

    Currently, state law requires that on October 1 agencies report the annual total of bills that were unpaid as of June 30.” The comptroller’s office then publishes the outdated information on their website.

    Bertino-Tarrant believes real-time reporting will allow state agencies, financial officers and the Illinois General Assembly to make better financial decisions. The state’s unprecedented fiscal challenges require a full weighing of outstanding vouchers and the ramifications of an increasing unpaid bill backlog.

    Once in effect, House Bill 3649 will require state agencies to report the amount of unpaid bills, whether that amount was appropriated or not, and an estimate of interest penalties accumulated on a monthly basis.

    “Open books will lead to accurate and transparent accounting,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The State of Illinois needs to promote the responsible use of public dollars to guarantee every cent is spent wisely and reliably.”

    Senate and House worked in a bipartisan manner to override the governor’s veto during the fall veto session.

  • jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- State Senator Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is disappointed in the U.S. Senate’s approval of President Trump’s changes to the federal tax code that will hurt families across the 49th State Senate District.

    The plan would benefit wealthy corporations at the expense of hardworking Illinois families. It is projected to increase the federal deficit anywhere from $1 to $1.78 trillion, according to figures released by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.

  • manar teacher 111517SPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

     In a Nov. 14 letter addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

  • transparencySPRINGFIELD – A day after Illinois’ bill backlog reached $16.7 billion, members of the state Senate rejected a system that allows government agencies to conceal unpaid invoices from the comptroller and taxpayers for months on end.

    The Illinois Senate on Wednesday voted to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, a commonsense measure that demands better accounting and reporting practices by state agencies so that officials can understand the true extent of the bill backlog at any given time.

  • manar lightford 110617DECATUR – Teachers around the country often skip over Illinois when they’re looking for a job because of low starting salaries, licensure difficulties, lack of mentoring and other issues, Senators Andy Manar, Kimberly Lightford and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and members of the Senate Education Committee learned Monday during a hearing about the statewide teacher shortage.

    “Today’s hearing allowed us to learn from people on the front lines of public education about the barriers that keep teachers from seeking jobs in very good school districts across Illinois,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and a member of the Illinois Senate’s Education Committee, which convened its hearing Monday afternoon at Decatur Public Schools’ Keil Administration Building.

  • JBTAprilSPRINGFIELD- To encourage small business development in Illinois, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed a new tax credit to encourage and assist beginning entrepreneurs.

    Bertino-Tarrant joined the Illinois State Senate in voting to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1462, which creates an Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Economic development policies should not be a partisan issue. We all win when Illinois businesses thrive.”

    The tax credit will reimburse beginning entrepreneurs forming new businesses in the information service, biotechnology and green technology business sectors for state fees associated with forming a new business in Illinois.

    The Department of Commerce and Economic Development will administer the program. The program is capped at a total of $500,000 in reimbursements. 

    “Investing in small businesses is a key component to growing Illinois’ economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I will continue to advocate for policies that encourage economic development and give small businesses the opportunity to grow right here in Illinois.”

    After two years, the Department of Commerce and Economic Development will evaluate the program’s effectiveness and report to Illinois General Assembly and governor to ensure the tax credit is achieving its goal.

    The measure passed the Senate and now heads to the House for consideration.

  • nalaxone 100417PLAINFIELD- Emergency professionals will now have easier access to the life-saving drug Naloxone to save Will County residents’ lives.

    State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is proud to announce Illinois now has a Standing Order to allow eligible organizations, mostly pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs, to provide naloxone to any person without a direct prescription.

    “The opioid epidemic does not see race, color or socioeconomic status; it is a crisis affecting every community across Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Naloxone gives us a way to save lives. It’s our duty to equip emergency professionals with the tools to prevent drug related deaths.”

    Naloxone is a non-addictive prescription medication that, if used while someone is having a heroin overdose, can save the person’s life. It is more commonly referred to as Narcan. 

    With Illinois’ standing order, insurers such as Medicaid and Medicare can be billed. Eligible individuals must complete appropriate training on naloxone administration to use the program.

    In 2016, there were a record number of heroin related deaths in Will County, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year.  According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses last year.

    Bertino-Tarrant has been working to end the opioid epidemic in Illinois by expanding educational resources to Will County residents.

    The new law she championed this year requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on the effects of heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The website will include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information.

    “We need to provide every possible resource and assistance we can as a state to address the heroin and opioid addiction problems many face throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Addiction is hurting families in Will County. Educating area residents will help us alleviate and end the opioid overdose epidemic.”

    Bertino-Tarrant urges area residents with questions on how to take advantage of resources to help fight opioid addiction to call her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211.

  • ed fundingPLAINFIELD - State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) filed legislation to ensure public schools are funded adequately before any state funding is diverted to pay for costly private school scholarship programs.

    “Tax credits should not be given out at the expense of our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The state should not start handing out tax rebates until we correct the disparities created by generations of systematic inequality in Illinois’ school system.”

    Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 2236, was filed in response to Senate Bill 1947, which includes a five year pilot program that would award a 75 percent tax credit to donors that contribute to scholarship funds for students to attend non-public schools. The credits are capped at of up to $1 million per taxpayer and $75 million statewide.

  • jbt opiate addiction 091117SPRINGFIELD—Information regarding heroin and prescription opioid abuse will be more readily available thanks to legislation signed into law today.

    “We need to provide every possible resource and assistance we can as a state to address the heroin and opioid addictions problem many face throughout Illinois,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. “Addiction is hurting families throughout the entire state and now we can try to help provide the information they need.”

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  • wagefreezePLAINFIELD — Members of the Illinois General Assembly would not receive an automatic increase in mileage reimbursements or per diem rates due to a measure that passed the General Assembly during the spring legislative session with bipartisan support.

    “Legislators should be ensuring that the government is prioritizing the necessary resources to social service providers and schools,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said.  "Since I have been in office, I have voted to halt any increases in my salary."

  • BertinoTarrant03072017SPRINGFIELD — Schools could see a positive change to the worst-in-the-nation school funding formula due to legislation that passed the Illinois General Assembly last week.

    “Senate Bill 1 was thoroughly vetted by education organizations throughout the state. It is a plan that will fix the worst funding formula in the country and will provide needed property tax relief to some school districts,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said.

    “I am disappointed that the governor continues to play the blame game and partisan politics with our children’s education. I hope the governor reconsiders his threat of vetoing legislation that will provide not only needed funds for special education and low-income students, but will address other best practices such as low class sizes and counselors in schools.”

    Senate Bill 1 would be the first significant reform of the school funding mechanisms in more than 20 years.

    Prior to passing the Illinois Senate, estimates of what Senate Bill 1 would do to funding according to appropriations for the current school year were made public by the Illinois State Board of Education. It showed that no school district throughout the state would lose funding under the plan.

    The estimated overall gain that some area schools would experience under Senate Bill 1:

    • Oswego Community Unit School District 308 -- $4.77 million
    • Plainfield School District 202 -- $5.80 million
    • Troy Community Consolidated School District 30C -- $144,135
    • Joliet Township HS District 204 -- $1.65 million
    • Valley View CUSD #365U -- $1.61 million
    • Indian Prairie CUSD 204 -- $861,287
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  • jbt 052517SPRINGFIELD— Information regarding heroin and prescription opioid abuse could become more readily available due to legislation that passed the Illinois Senate on Thursday.

    “We need to every possible way to address the heroin and opioid addiction problems our state faces,” State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. “Families are being destroyed by addiction and we need to make information and resources more readily available.”

    The legislation, House Bill 3161, would require the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

    “This new website will allow people to get information and important resources,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Under House Bill 3161, the website developed and maintained by DHS would include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

    Will County saw a record number of heroin related-deaths in 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

    Bertino-Tarrant has actively tried to combat addiction-related problems in her district. She served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin prevention forums in her district.

  • willco fakenewsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to inaccurate school funding numbers being published as fact for Will County in regards to Senate Bill 1:

    “This is an attempt by the political arm of the Republican Party to rouse suspicion and derail years of hard work in reforming the way we fund our schools. The Will County Gazette is partisan pandering made to look like real, honest journalism.