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Bertino-Tarrant works to ensure dementia patients receive proper care

jbt dementiacareSPRINGFIELD— Under current Illinois law, residential and community-based programs can advertise that they specialize in providing dementia care without being adequately trained in how to work with dementia patients.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) wants that to change.

“A person with dementia deserves the best care possible,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The plan I’m backing will protect health care consumers from false advertising claims and ensure that staff taking care of dementia patients have been trained.”

Legislation the senator is co-sponsoring would create minimum training standards for all residential and community-based programs that offer dementia care. The measure is necessary because some places have advertised that they are experts in dementia care without having the training to back up their claims.

The Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 210,000 Illinois residents are affected by dementia. It is anticipated that there will be a 25 percent increase in dementia patients in nine years due to the aging baby boomer population.

Senate Bill 2301 recently passed out of the Illinois Senate. It now goes to the Illinois House for approval.

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 works to fund substance abuse treatment programs

jbt 030916SPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is working this year to ensure that more funding is available for substance abuse treatment initiatives.

Under Bertino-Tarrant’s plan, money taken from drug-related crimes may be used for public education programs in schools and in the community. These programs will focus on preventing students and others from misusing drugs and alcohol.

“It’s important that drug money seized by law enforcement be utilized in a meaningful way,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “One important way it can be used is to help educate our students on the problems associated with abusing drugs and alcohol.”

This legislation is part of a broader effort the senator has undertaken in recent years to combat drug addiction. Bertino-Tarrant served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin prevention forums in her district. She also supported House Bill 1, a law designed to comprehensively address the significant increase in heroin and opioid related overdoses and deaths over the past 10 years.

Bertino-Tarrant’ proposal, Senate Bill 212, recently passed out of the Illinois Senate. It now advances to the Illinois House for consideration.

Bertino-Tarrant wants the statute of limitations extended for financial exploitation of elderly, disabled

jbt 042116SPRINGFIELD— Under current law, prosecution for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability must occur within three years of the offense being committed.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is trying to extend the statute of limitations for this type of offense.

“Seniors and the disabled aren’t always able to promptly recognize and report when they are being financially exploited, which is why it’s important to increase the timeframe when someone can be prosecuted for these crimes,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

In general, most states allow individuals to be prosecuted for financial exploitation of a senior or disabled person longer than three years after the offense occurred.

Alabama has a statute of limitations of seven years, and in Oregon the statute of limitations is six years. Minnesota recently extended the time period for when someone can be prosecuted for financially exploiting a senior or disabled person.

The plan supported by the senator would increase the statute of limitations for financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability to seven years in Illinois. This would align with banking laws and regulations that require banks to maintain financial records for seven years.

The proposal Bertino-Tarrant is backing also allows for defendants to be prosecuted for financial exploitation in any county where a victim over 60 or with a mental disability resides. This is important because suspects often live in a different county or state than their victim. Many seniors who have been financially exploited end up being placed in care facilities.

Bertino-Tarrant is the chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 3180, which passed out of the Illinois Senate today.  The legislation will now have to be approved by the Illinois House.

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