Text Size


  • Bertino-Tarrant receives award from Illinois School Psychologists Association

    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.

  • Bennett, Bertino-Tarrant discuss plan to ensure justice for sex abuse victims


  • Bertino-Tarrant advocates for Illinois’ small businesses

    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.

  • Bertino-Tarrant applauds decision to take away Hastert pension

    BertinoTarrant03072017SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) board voting to take away Dennis Hastert’s pension:

    “Dennis Hastert used his trusted position as a teacher and coach to prey on his young victims. I am glad that the board voted to ensure he doesn’t receive his taxpayer-subsidized pension.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant appointed to bipartisan School Funding Reform Commission

    jbt041415PLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement after being appointed to the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. 

    Modernizing our state’s outdated education funding system must be a priority. Every student should be given the chance to receive a quality education and fulfill their potential. We need to do what is right for our students and fairly fund our schools. The Governor’s creation of this commission demonstrates the seriousness of this issue. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with members of the commission to find solutions which will put needed resources into classrooms throughout my district and across Illinois.

    Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the creation of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission this week. The commission will be comprised of five legislators from each caucus and five educational experts.

    Bertino-Tarrant is a life-long educator who served as the regional school superintendent for Will County prior to being elected to the Illinois Senate.

    It is anticipated that the commission will start meeting this summer.

  • Bertino-Tarrant backed project will bring businesses, jobs to Shorewood

    JBT groundbreakingState Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for a project that will bring businesses and jobs to Shorewood.

    The plan, which Bertino-Tarrant pushed for, will allow for land at the northwest corner of the intersection of Routes 59 and 52 in Shorewood to be redeveloped.

    “More businesses and jobs will be coming to Shorewood,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This initiative is good for the community, and I look forward to continuing to support projects that will enhance economic development throughout my district.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant champions new law to spur economic development in Will County

    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.

  • Bertino-Tarrant continues fight to strip Hastert of his pension

    jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— The fight to strip former U.S. House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert of his taxpayer funded pensions was continued today by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    “Legislation was filed to strip Hastert of his General Assembly Retirement System pension,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The taxpayers shouldn’t be paying retirement benefits for a child predator who has abused the public trust.”

    Hastert was recently sentenced to 15 months in prison for bank fraud stemming from efforts to cover up child sex abuse dating back to his time as a teacher in Yorkville. He had qualified for pension benefits for his tenure as a teacher, state lawmaker and congressman.

    Illinois’ Teachers Retirement System has canceled Hastert’s pension.

    However, the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) has failed to get rid of Hastert’s state lawmaker pension. The agency has suggested reducing it from $28,000 to $9,000, but Bertino-Tarrant says that’s not enough.

    “I am going to continue to pursue the removal of Hastert’s GARS pension- any amount is too much,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “He confessed to molesting children. His pensions need to be eliminated. Period.”

    Under legislation Bertino-Tarrant has introduced, Senate Bill 442, a member could lose their pension at any time if they commit a felony against a student or other victim.

    This plan would allow Hastert’s pension to be revoked.

    Last month, Bertino-Tarrant sent a letter to GARS requesting that Hastert’s pension be immediately revoked. The senator also sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan requesting that she provide a legal argument to the board in support of Hastert no longer receiving a pension.

  • Bertino-Tarrant extends statute of limitations for financial exploitation of elderly, disabled

    jbt050216SPRINGFIELD— Legislation extending the statute of limitation when someone financially exploits an elderly or disabled person was signed into law by the governor today. 

    “Financial exploitation against a disabled person or a senior is a terrible crime that should never be tolerated,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “Victims will now have more time to recognize and report crimes so that the prosecutor can bring charges and hold perpetrators accountable.”  

    Bertino-Tarrant sponsored the law in the Senate.

    Prior to the law, prosecution for financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person had to occur within three years of the offense being committed.  The statute of limitations for this type of offense is now extended to seven years.

    House Bill 5805 takes effect immediately.

  • Bertino-Tarrant helps veterans learn about available services

    jbt vetsbrkfstState Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) recently held a Veterans’ Breakfast.

    At the Veterans’ Breakfast, an estimated 60 veterans learned about programs and services offered by Homes for Heroes, Kendall County Veterans Assistance Commission, Military Mama Network and Will County Veterans Assistance Commission.

    “I’m honored to provide a small thank you and opportunity for area veterans to meet with representatives from different organizations who could help them access the benefits and services they’ve rightfully earned from their service to our nation,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Bertino-Tarrant spoke to attendees briefly about a new law she sponsored which creates a program at the Illinois Finance Authority allowing veterans to apply for and receive a loan to start a business.

    Attendees also heard from guest speaker Grant Swinger of the Illinois Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau. He provided an overview of the bureau, which is dedicated to ensuring veterans and active duty military service members receive the benefits they have earned.

    Some veterans expressed concerns about the problems they face in trying to get assistance from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Bertino-Tarrant and Swinger sympathized with these concerns and let them know that the Illinois Attorney General’s Military and Veterans Rights Bureau can be a good resource for help when they run into difficulties.

  • Bertino-Tarrant introduces legislation to close sex offender registry loophole

    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. 

  • Bertino-Tarrant law gives parents time off work after losing a child

    jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would guarantee parents time off work to mourn the loss of a child was signed into law by the governor today.

    “Today Illinois took an important step forward in helping parents who go through the unimaginable tragedy of losing a child,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said. “The last thing any parent who loses a child needs to worry about is getting approved for time off work to grieve and plan a funeral.”

    Prior to the law, a parent whose child had a serious medical condition could 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.

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

    Illinois now joins Oregon as the only states to mandate that employers 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.

    Senate Bill 2613 becomes effective immediately.

  • Bertino-Tarrant legislation creates Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Loan Program

    jbt vetloanSPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would help veterans become business owners was passed out of the Illinois Senate today by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    “There are many veterans who heroically serve our nation, gain valuable leadership and management skills yet can have a hard time starting a new career when they come home,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “My plan would help our veterans get the start-up capital they need to start their own businesses and create jobs for others.”

    Bertino-Tarrant is working on her proposal with Lynn Lowder, a former Marine officer and advocate for veterans becoming small-business owners.

    “In the nine years following World War II, 50 percent of veterans ended up in business for themselves,” Lowder said. “Unfortunately, fewer veterans now are able to start a business. This initiative is the key missing piece that would give our veterans the tools they need to become entrepreneurs.”

    Today, less than seven percent of returning veterans own their own businesses.

    Nearly 550 service members transition from military to civilian life each day, and an estimated 1 million veterans will settle into communities across our country within the next three to five years.

    “When our veterans come home, we need to make sure our veterans have the full support of our state as their service deserves,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring Senate Bill 324 that would create a program at the Illinois Finance Authority that would allow veterans to apply and receive a business loan. The program would be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the State Treasurer.

    Bertino-Tarrant advanced Senate Bill 324 out of the Illinois Senate today. It will now go to the Illinois House for approval.

  • Bertino-Tarrant legislation would extend employer tax credit that helps students afford college

    BertinoTarrant05192016SPRINGFIELD — Legislation that would keep tax credits in place for employers contributing to their employees’ college accounts has been introduced by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

    The tax credit is set to expire in 2020, but Bertino-Tarrant’s plan would extend it to 2025. The senator’s legislation also increases the tax credit amount an employer would be eligible for by $500.

    “This tax credit is an important tool for incentivizing employers to help their employees pay for college,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I am proud to be working with the Illinois Treasurer’s Office to sponsor legislation that would benefit both workers and businesses.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant measure to publicize information on opioid addiction becomes law

    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.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant moves to end statute of limitations on child sex abuse crimes

    hastert 031317SPRINGFIELD— A plan that would end deadlines for when someone could be prosecuted for sexual abuse against a minor has been approved by a Senate committee. State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the chief co-sponsor of the measure.

    “There should not be a deadline on when victims can receive justice,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Minors who are sexually abused deserve time to come forward and report the abuse. Children are vulnerable, scared, and often take years to have the courage to confront their abuser.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant passes legislation to modernize methods for locating individuals with Alzheimer’s

    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.

  • Bertino-Tarrant plan allows roads to be designated for fallen Illinois soldiers

    jbt signSPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is sponsoring legislation that would allow roads to be named after fallen soldiers from Illinois.

    “Service members who give the ultimate sacrifice for our state and nation must never be forgotten,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Having a road named after a fallen Illinois soldier is one way we can pay tribute to their service and heroic contributions.”  

    Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal, House Bill 4344, would create the Heroes Way Designation Program. The program will allow family members of fallen Illinois soldiers to apply for an honorary road designation as a tribute to their deceased loved one.

    The applicant has to be a family member who is related to the solider by blood, marriage or adoption.

    Eligible roads include interstates, state-numbered highway interchanges and bridge segments within Illinois’ highway system.

    A family member seeking to have a road named after a fallen soldier would have to submit an application to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

    Bertino-Tarrant advanced House Bill 4344 out of the Senate Transportation Committee yesterday. The senator’s plan will now go before the full Illinois Senate for approval.

    The lead sponsor of the legislation in the House is State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield). Bertino-Tarrant and Batinick are working together in a bipartisan manner on House Bill 4344.

    PHOTO: This sign in Vermillion County is an example of an honorary road designation as promoted in HB4344.

  • Bertino-Tarrant plan guarantees time off for employees who lose a child (AUDIO)

    jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— 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.

    Today, State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate guaranteeing parents who lose a child time off work to grieve.

  • Bertino-Tarrant plan to help veterans start a business gets governor’s approval

    jbt vetloanSPRINGFIELD— Legislation that will help veterans become business owners was signed into law Friday by the governor. 

    Senate Bill 324, sponsored by Bertino-Tarrant, will create a program at the Illinois Finance Authority that would allow veterans to apply and receive a business loan. The program will be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the State Treasurer.

    “Despite having leadership abilities and valuable skills from their time in the service, fewer and fewer veterans have the opportunity to go into business for themselves,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to have programs in place that help veterans become business owners. This initiative is a key part of giving our veterans the resources they need to own a business, create jobs for others and fulfill their potential.”