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Crucial I-80 bridge repairs included in statewide construction plan

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.

Senate Education Chair ensures Illinois’ schools receive record-setting investments

jbt 050719SPRINGFIELD— Schools across the 49th State Senate District are set to receive record-level funding from the bipartisan budget passed by the Illinois State Senate.

The Senate’s Education Chair, Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, fought to ensure schools across Will and Kendall Counties received state funding as promised by the mandated education funding outlined in the monumental evidence-based funding formula.

“Stability and predictability are essential to schools as they make financially sound decisions in the best interests of our children,” said Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood). “If we want equity in our outcomes for students, we need equity in our state funding.”

The budget allocates more than $544 million in dedicated funding to early childhood education to give Illinois kids a strong foundation before they enter kindergarten.

“One of the most important investments we can make as a state is in our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Studies continue to emphasize that the time and money we allocate in educating students at an early age pays dividends in the future.”

To fight the high property taxes that continue to burden working families across Illinois, the budget commits $50 million to support property tax relief.

“Funding schools the right way will lead to lower property taxes,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As we work to funding our schools at 100 percent adequacy levels, it is essential that homeowners are given relief from high property tax bills.”

Bertino-Tarrant also championed House Bill 837 which would prohibit legislators from receiving raises in Fiscal Year 2020.

“It is unacceptable for legislators to receive pay raises,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This measure will ensure we work together to move the state toward fiscal stability and economic growth by directing vital tax payer dollars to where desperately needed.”

Bertino-Tarrant has refused a pay raise every year she has been in office.

Bertino-Tarrant urges Illinois government agencies to buy American

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.

To promote equal pay, Bertino-Tarrant calls for ban on asking salary histories

jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – Equal pay for equal work passed the Illinois Senate with the help of State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is a chief cosponsor on House Bill 834, which addresses the salary gap in Illinois by prohibiting employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their past salary during the interview process.

 “In 2019, a worker should not receive a different wage based on any factor not directly related to their job performance,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that as a state, we promote policies that ensure pay equity across Illinois.”

Bertino-Tarrant worked with the sponsor to make the measure more business friendly.

The measure was supported by a number of groups including the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, National Association of Social Workers, Laborer’s International Union and the Illinois National Organization for Women along with other groups.

The legislation amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to include language banning salary history questions during the hiring process.

“As other states appear to be moving backward on equal rights, Illinois will continue to move forward to ensure employees are receiving the same pay for the same work,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

House Bill 834 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and goes back to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to the governor’s desk for his approval.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Education (Chairperson); Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital (TR); Subcommittee on Special Issues (ED) (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.

Associated Representatives:
Mark Batinick
Natalie A. Manley