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SB2236

  • Bennett works to protect college graduates' licenses

    bennett license debtSPRINGFIELD- Student loans are the largest source for consumer debt in the United States, surpassing mortgages and credit cards debt.

    More than 20 states including Illinois currently have laws in place that suspend professional licenses and certificates in the event a consumer must default on their student loans.

    State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced an initiative to prevent licensing boards from denying, revoking or suspending individual professional licenses due to student loan default in Illinois.

    “Taking away someone’s ability to work is counterproductive,” Bennett said. “The fact is if you aren’t able to work, you won’t be able to pay back your loans and will sink further into debt.”

    Senate Bill 2236 will put provisions in place to prevent individuals with student loan default from experiencing licenses being denied, revoked, or suspended in 39 professions such as occupational therapists, roofers, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

    “We should be empowering people to go to work, not taking away their ability to earn a living,” Bennett said.  

    Student loan debt is the only type of debt in the U.S. that is not eligible for bankruptcy except in severe instances.

    Senate Bill 2236 passed the Senate’s Committee on Licensed Activities and Pensions and will now move to the full Senate for consideration.

    Photo: Katharine Gricevich of ISAC with Sen. Bennett in today's hearing

  • Bertino-Tarrant prioritizes children over private school tax credits

    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.

  • Bertino-Tarrant: Prioritize children over private school tax credits

    jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) advanced legislation to ensure public schools are funded adequately before any state funds are diverted to pay for tax breaks to wealthy individuals and corporate scholarship donors. 

    “This initiative solidifies our bipartisan goal to fund our public schools in a way that guarantees our children are provided an excellent education regardless of their zip code,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every single dollar in state education spending should go toward the adequate education of our children until the disparities created by generations of systematic inequality in Illinois’ school system are fixed.”

    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.  

    “Public education should be the top priority,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is unacceptable that these tax credits are diverting resources away from the classroom.”

    Bertino-Tarrant said this could take valuable taxpayer dollars away from Illinois’ public schools especially if the minimum funding level is not met.   

    “The bipartisan reform passed in the Senate and House stipulated that the General Assembly shall meet the minimum funding level each year. This new measure simply helps guarantee the legislature stays true to its promises,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    The new school funding mechanism outlined in Senate Bill 1947 established an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools. The formula institutes a base funding minimum that serves as a hold harmless to ensure school districts do not lose state dollars year after year.

    Any additional funding the General Assembly appropriates is distributed through a tier-based system that prioritizes the state’s poorest and most disadvantaged schools. The funding plan outlined in the new law includes a minimum funding level of $350 million in additional funding each year, with the goal of meeting the total statewide adequacy target over a period of time.

    Senate Bill 2236 passed the Senate’s Committee on Education and moves to the full senate for consideration.