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Bertino-Tarrant’s measure helps teach students to balance checkbooks

CheckbookSPRINGFIELD – Illinois students may soon be equipped with the skills to tackle real-life financial issues, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) introduced Senate Bill 2474, which will allow students to take a financial literacy class as a math requirement for high school graduation.

“Our schools need to ensure students are not only able to excel academically, but also have the life skills to be successful as adults, “Bertino-Tarrant said. “Balancing checkbooks, calculating income taxes and understanding bank statements are vital life skills that we should want our young people to have. Our students need to be equipped with the knowledge to manage their money effectively.”

Senate Bill 2474 allows that one year, or a semester, of a financial literacy course may count toward the math requirement to graduate high school.

A report released by AIG Retirement Services found that students’ low financial literacy levels result from little to no fiscal education within the K-12 school system.

They also found 36% of participants already have more than $1,000 in credit card debt. And many students do not have enough money to pay off their debts or are not fully aware of the consequences of leaving bills unpaid.

“As we tackle rising tuition costs and fees, we must ensure our students have the financial sense to understand how money works,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Mathematics is not just about formulas and right angles, we have an opportunity to show students how math applies to their lives as adults.”

Bertino-Tarrant is looking forward to discussions on Senate Bill 2474 this upcoming legislative session

Bertino-Tarrant applauds plans to invest in Illinois’ education system

Senator Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) was thrilled to hear Gov. JB Pritzker’s plans to increase investments in the state’s education system during the State of the State address on Wednesday.

“The most important investment we can make is in our children’s education,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Increasing investments in child care and early childhood education will ensure that we are providing the best resources to help train the future leaders of our great state.”

Bertino-Tarrant applauds state’s commitment to fight opioid crisis and reduce racial disparities

jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is applauding the state’s commitment to better address racial disparities in responding to the opioid crisis by establishing the Governor’s Opioid Overdose Prevention and Recovery Steering Committee.

Illinois is also dedicating $4.1 million state dollars to expand recovery and prevention services for individuals with opioid use disorder.

“I applaud Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to help end the opioid crisis that has plagued communities throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The $4.1 million investment will help increase the state’s investments in communities that need them the most and help create a comprehensive plan to fight the opioid crisis.”

Pritzker’s executive order also focuses on harm reduction strategies that promote safer use of opioids to save lives. These strategies will help reduce both the risks of infectious HIV, HCV and Hepatitis A and fatal overdoses. The plan includes supervised consumption sites, where individuals with opioid use disorder are under the supervision of trained staff with the goal of ensuring the safety of both the individual and the general public.

“Opioid addiction isn’t dependent on age, socioeconomic standing or race; it does not discriminate,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “If we’re to fight this national epidemic, we need to treat every life as precious.”

The Governor’s office, along with the state’s Opioid Crisis Response Advisory Council, will create an Opioid Social Equity Committee to make legislative recommendations on how to address social and racial disparities in the opioid crisis. The group will also create local recovery-oriented systems of care councils in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the crisis in order to engage individuals in all stages of recovery.

To ensure accountability of available resources, the state will also create an online listing all opioid use disorder prevention, treatment and recovery resources.

Bertino-Tarrant advocates for Jan. 1 measures that will keep first responders, children and construction workers safe

drivesafelyPLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) urges Illinoisans to educate themselves on new driving laws that go into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

In light of the increase in accidents and deaths of Illinois State Police troopers, Bertino-Tarrant backed Senate Bill 1862, which tightens up Scott’s Law in Illinois. The law clarifies drivers need to slow down, change lanes and proceed with caution when emergency vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway.

“Every day, our officers and first responders put their lives on the line to keep us safe,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to work to ensure it is second nature for drivers to slow down and move over when any vehicle is stalled on the side of the road. This simple step will help keep our police and first responders safe.”

Fines will also double for illegally approaching, overtaking or passing stopped school buses under House Bill 1873.

Every year, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducts a one-day count of illegal school bus passing incidents across the nation. In 2018, school bus drivers in 38 states participated and recorded 83,944 incidents during that one-day count. NASPDTS concluded as many as 15 million vehicles could be illegally passing school buses and their students each 180-day school year.

“Our children should be safe as they get on and off their school buses,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to discourage, prevent and punish careless driving. Our children’s lives on the line.”

Bertino-Tarrant said keeping people safe is also the goal in construction zones, as construction season returns in Illinois. Senate Bill 1496 increases the maximum penalty for hitting a construction worker to $25,000 from the current $10,000 fine.

“Driving recklessly through construction zones to shave off a few minutes of your travel time can end up being the difference between life and death for our construction workers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We will increase these penalties in the earnest hope the higher fine makes drivers think twice as they enter a construction zone.”

Bertino-Tarrant urges drivers to research these new driving rules that will go into effect at the start of the year. If residents have any questions or concerns, she encourages them to reach out to her office at 815-254-4211.

“Safe driving saves lives,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We all must work together to be better drivers and keep our streets safe.”

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