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Bertino-Tarrant: Call your health care provider if you feel ill

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD — If you begin to feel ill with symptoms that could be COVID-19, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is urging you to call your doctor’s office before going in.

“If you go into the office without notice, you aren’t just potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19, you could be exposing others,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In order to not spread the virus further, please call, so they can provide you with directions.”

Bertino-Tarrant announces Rebuild Illinois grants for local government projects

jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to modernize infrastructure and boost economic development, economic development groups, not-for-profits and others in Will County and surrounding areas will be able to apply to receive a portion of nearly $80 million in state grants through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“These grants offer communities the opportunity to repair infrastructure while creating jobs,” Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said. “This support allows local governments and organizations to invest in themselves and their residents.”

Bertino-Tarrant announced Thursday $50 million was allocated by DCEO for public infrastructure investments – which includes repairing roads and bridges. These grants are available to local governments. An additional $16.5 million will go toward regional economic development projects and $13 million to shovel-ready construction projects.

Funding for the grants is part of the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction plan approved by the General Assembly last year.

Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30. However, the other grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Prospective applicants must submit a grant proposal explaining the projects positive affect on the community. 

Additional information about how to apply can be found on DCEO’s website. Additional questions can be sent to the agency at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or answered by calling 217-785-6174.

Bertino-Tarrant works to expand tax credits for college contributions

jbt 041118 2SPRINGFIELD – Employers that offer payroll deductions to help save for children’s college education could receive double the current annual tax credit under a measure sponsored by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

“One of the greatest investments we can make is in higher education for our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Companies that match employee contributions to qualified college savings programs deserve to receive a tax credit to offset the cost.”

Senate Bill 2800 increases the maximum annual tax credit provided to employers that match an employee's contributions to qualified college savings and prepaid tuition accounts from $500 to $1,000 per employee. 

Additionally, it would extend the availability of tax credits to employers that match an employee's contributions to a Bright Start/Bright Directions or College Illinois savings plan. Tax credits for student-assistance contributions would end Dec. 31, 2030 under the legislation.

“The expansion will allow more employees to contribute to the program, and allow those who have already maxed out their annual tax credit to save even more for their children’s education,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every dollar saved early on in a child’s life will give them the opportunity to receive a quality education.”

The measure passed the Senate Revenue Committee Wednesday. It heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

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

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