JBT SenateBill189SPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would require the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse was approved by the Illinois Senate’s Human Services Committee on Tuesday.

State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the measure’s Senate sponsor.

“It’s very important that we continue to find ways to address heroin and prescription opioid abuse addiction,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Too many lives and families have been destroyed by addiction. We need to get people the resources and help they need.”

Under House Bill 3161, the website developed and maintained by DHS would include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

“By creating a website that provides information on addiction treatment, people will be able to get help sooner and lives will be saved,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Will County saw a record number of heroin related-deaths in 2016, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

Bertino-Tarrant has actively tried to combat addiction-related problems in her district. She served as the co-chairwoman of the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force and hosted heroin/drug prevention forums in her district.

Bertino-Tarrant 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.

Category: Press Releases

Photo 3SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) voted in favor of bringing automatic voter registration to Illinois.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1933, would automatically register an eligible resident for voting when proper documents have been submitted to a government entity. Currently, the burden is on the resident to find a way to register.

“We should be making it easier, not harder, for people to vote and have a direct say in who represents them,”Bertino-Tarrant said. “Making automatic voter registration law will save taxpayer dollars, streamline a government function and ensure the ballot box is as easily accessible as possible for voters.”

If a person does not want to register to vote there is an opportunity for them to opt-out.

The measure now moves to the House for further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

04252017CM1305rSPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) board voting to take away Dennis Hastert’s pension:

“Dennis Hastert used his trusted position as a teacher and coach to prey on his young victims. I am glad that the board voted to ensure he doesn’t receive his taxpayer-subsidized pension.”

The board’s decision was despite an unofficial opinion from the Attorney General’s office that said the board could not legally take away his pension. All they could do at most was diminishing the pension payout.

Last year, the Teacher’s Retirement System (TRS) revoked Hastert’s teacher’s pension.

Bertino-Tarrant last fall sent a letter to GARS asking that it immediately take steps to suspend Hastert’s public pension benefits.

Category: Press Releases

JBT SB1382 ReleaseSPRINGFIELD— Legislation that would keep tax credits in place for employers contributing to their employees’ college accounts has been introduced by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

The tax credit is set to expire in 2020, but Bertino-Tarrant’s plan would extend it to 2025. The senator’s legislation also increases the tax credit amount an employer would be eligible for by $500.

“This tax credit is an important tool for incentivizing employers to help their employees pay for college,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I am proud to be working with the Illinois Treasurer’s Office to sponsor legislation that would benefit both workers and businesses.”

The tax credit is provided to employers that match an employee’s contribution to a qualified Illinois prepaid tuition program, such as Bright Start or College Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal, Senate Bill 1382, increases the maximum annual tax credit provided to employers that match an employee’s contribution to qualified college savings and prepaid tuition accounts from $500 to $1,000 per employee.

The Treasurer’s Office believes that more employers will participate if the credit is extended another five years. Employers have expressed concerns about the tax credit expiring.

Increasing the tax credit should also encourage more employers to participate and contribute at higher amounts.

Category: Press Releases

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