02062019CM0116SPRINGFIELD – To help keep jobs in America, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring House Bill 356, which would require state agencies to purchase goods made in the United States.

“State tax dollars should be spent to create jobs in our local economies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This legislation displays the state’s commitment to supporting American businesses.”

House Bill 356 is similar to the federal Buy American Act of 1933, which mandated that the federal government must give preferential treatment to American-made goods.

This legislation would apply to all state agencies, departments, boards and commissions under the authority of the Governor, as well as all public universities.

An agency could buy foreign goods in cases where the price of the locally made product is at least 12 percent higher than the price of a similar foreign-made one.

Many Illinois federal officials are supporting a bipartisan proposal which would direct the General Services Administration to establish a website, BuyAmerican.gov, to collect and display information about each request by a federal agency to bypass “Buy American” laws and purchase foreign-made products, according to news stories.

“Buying American-made products provides jobs for future generations, promotes environmentally responsible decisions and guarantees safer and fairer working conditions for workers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every layer of government should strive to buy local and buy American whenever possible.”

House Bill 356 passed the House with bipartisan support and is now in the Senate for consideration.

13032018KS0485 smSPRINGFIELD – Equal pay for equal work passed the Illinois Senate with the help of State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is a chief cosponsor on House Bill 834, which addresses the salary gap in Illinois by prohibiting employers from requiring job applicants to disclose their past salary during the interview process.

“In 2019, a worker should not receive a different wage based on any factor not directly related to their job performance,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that as a state, we promote policies that ensure pay equity across Illinois.”

Bertino-Tarrant worked with the sponsor to make the measure more business friendly.

The measure was supported by a number of groups including the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, National Association of Social Workers, Laborer’s International Union and the Illinois National Organization for Women along with other groups.

The legislation amends the Equal Pay Act of 2003 to include language banning salary history questions during the hiring process.

“As other states appear to be moving backward on equal rights, Illinois will continue to move forward to ensure employees are receiving the same pay for the same work,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

House Bill 834 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and goes back to the House for a concurrence vote before heading to the governor’s desk for his approval.

20180314 KS 3900 RSSPRINGFIELD – To combat the alarming rise of female genital mutilation in the nation, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant passed a measure that would give survivors the means to pursue justice.

Bertino-Tarrant passed House Bill 3498, which removes the statute of limitations for the prosecution for female genital mutilation also known as FGM, if the victim is under 18 years of at the time of the offense.

“Survivors of FGM are often too young to report this horrific crime,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The repercussions of it are lifelong, and so there should be no statute of limitations. This measure will allow them time and assure them that justice does not have an expiration date.”

Under current law, the statute of limitations for FGM is three years, which is the standard for a felony offense. Long thought to be a foreign problem, Bertino-Tarrant stressed that FGM is happening in Illinois. It is estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 women and girls have been cut or are at risk for being cut.

Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and adolescence, and occasionally on adult women.

“This painful and dangerous procedure is often performed at an extremely young age,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to allow young girls to come forward in their own time and allow them to receive the support they need and deserve.”

The measure was supported by the Illinois National Organization for Women.

According to CNN in 2017, currently only 25 states in the nation have laws that make FGM a crime.

House Bill 3498 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now heads back to the House for approval before being sent to the governor.

03012017CM0381WebSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents’ genetic testing results may be protected soon under a proposal advanced by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed House Bill 2189, which prohibits companies that provide direct-to-consumer commercial genetic testing such as ancestry.com and 23andMe, from sharing any test results with health or life insurance companies without the consumer’s consent.

“In the last couple of years, genetic testing has become easily accessible and affordable for local residents,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Will County residents should be able to rest assured that their personal health information will remain private as they make informed decisions to manage their health care.”

The number of people who have had their DNA analyzed with direct-to-consumer genetic genealogy tests more than doubled during 2017 and exceeded to 12 million in 2018. Last year, an estimated 1 in 25 American adults now have access to personal genetic data.

“We have the right and responsibility to ensure personal data is used responsibly,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As technology evolves it is imperative that laws advance with the needs of the people of Illinois.”

House Bill 2189 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

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