JBT Park Award PicturePLAINFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) recently received the Excellence in Leadership Award from the South Suburban Park and Recreation Professional Association.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “One of my priorities has been to work with local park officials and advocates in Springfield for the funding needed to improve our parks and enhance recreational opportunities for people throughout my district.”

Bertino-Tarrant was nominated for the award because she is a state legislator who has positively affected the field of parks and recreation.

The Joliet Park District, which nominated Bertino-Tarrant for the award, cited the senator’s tireless efforts to secure funding through the Land and Water Conversation Fund grant for the Joliet Park District.

Bertino-Tarrant was also nominated by the Bolingbrook Park District for the wonderful community feel she brings to the office which she holds. They note her ever constant voice for the importance of parks and recreation in her district.

The funds Bertino-Tarrant secured will be used to purchase and develop land inside Pilcher Park, which sees over 150,000 visitors each year. It is anticipated that significant enhancements will be made to the park.

 

Category: Press Releases

hastert

PLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) board voting to suspend former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s $28,000 pension from his time as a state lawmaker:

“I applaud the board’s decision. I’m glad the General Assembly Retirement Board made the right decision. Hastert is a child predator who should not get public pensions. The taxpayers should not have to pay for his retirement.”

The board’s decision affirmed an initial decision made by GARS staff to suspend Hastert’s pension.

Bertino-Tarrant has actively pushed for Hastert’s public pensions to be revoked.

Bertino-Tarrant sent a letter to GARS asking that it immediately take steps to suspend Hastert’s public pension benefits. The senator also filed legislation that would have allowed for Hastert’s state lawmaker pension to be taken away.

Additionally, Bertino-Tarrant is the lead Senate sponsor of HB 1127, which would remove legal deadlines for prosecuting criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse of a child. Hastert cannot face charges for the sexual abuse he admitted to because the statute of limitations for those offenses had expired.

 

Category: Press Releases

JBT Education Funding ReformPLAINFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is pushing for a solution that modernizes Illinois’ outdated education funding system and properly invests in students and schools.

“Our current education funding formula has to be improved,” said Bertino-Tarrant, a lifelong educator and former Regional Superintendent for Will County. “Too many students aren’t getting an opportunity to achieve academic success because of a lack of resources in the classroom.”

Bertino-Tarrant was appointed to the bipartisan Illinois School Funding Reform Commission this summer. The commission has started meeting and is reviewing the current funding formula and looking at how to fairly distribute state dollars to schools.

It is anticipated that the commission will take a look at past education funding reform proposals and determine what parts should be used in finding a way forward. The commission is charged with recommending changes to school funding by Feb. 1, 2017.

“While the commission’s meetings are useful, I would like to see results on education funding reform,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to do what’s right for our students and properly invest in their education. I look forward to continuing to work with the commission and am hoping that progress can be made.”

During this year’s legislative session, Bertino-Tarrant voted for two education funding reform proposals, Senate Bill 231 and House Bill 3190. Both proposals were passed by the Illinois Senate but not voted on in the Illinois House.

Bertino-Tarrant has also voted to increase state support for local schools.

“I voted in 2015 and 2016 for education budgets that included more money for our schools, but that doesn’t solve the problem that our formula is outdated and unfair to students and taxpayers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Keep in mind that the Chicago Urban League is suing because the way the state funds education isn’t fair. The courts should not have to step in and address a problem the legislature can fix.”

In addition to the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission, State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) is also convening a group of stakeholders to discuss education funding reform.

Category: Press Releases

Walk to End Alzheimers PhotoState Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) recently participated in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Will County.

Bertino-Tarrant joined hundreds of people at the event to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

“It’s inspiring that so many people throughout our community are committed to helping people with Alzheimer’s,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I look forward to continuing to work with advocates and the Alzheimer’s Association on initiatives that will improve patient care and provide family members and caregivers with the support they need.”

This year, Bertino-Tarrant co-sponsored a new law that creates minimum training standards for all residential and community-based programs that offer dementia care. The law was necessary because previously places could advertise they were experts in dementia care without having the training to back up their claims.

There are 220,000 Illinoisans who live with Alzheimer’s disease. In just a decade, Illinois is anticipated to see a near 20 percent increase in those living with Alzheimer’s.

 

Category: Press Releases

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