Small Business SaturdayPLAINFIELD - State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) urges Will and Kendall County residents to shop and buy local this holiday season.

As people across the state begin their holiday shopping this year, Bertino-Tarrant is reminding residents to patronize Will and Kendall County local businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 25.

“Thriving small businesses generate vibrant and robust local economies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Our local businesses are making investments in our communities every day. Now it is our time to remember to make investments in them.”

Bertino-Tarrant reminds residents that Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the small, family-run businesses that do so much throughout the year to support our community.

In 2016, small businesses owners generated an estimated $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday.

For every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68 goes back to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.

Bertino-Tarrant encourages small businesses and those interested in starting a local business to take advantage of the many state resources available. The Will County Center for Economic Development located in Joliet at (815) 723-1800 or Bertino-Tarrant’s Plainfield Office at (815) 254-4211, are available to assist small businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of Illinois’ economy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Take some time this holiday season, support small businesses in our communities and spend your money local.”

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Bertino Tarrant2016cPLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is proud to announce Plainfield, Illinois was named one of the top places to live in the country.

A survey released found Plainfield to be among the best small cities in the country with the lowest percentage of population in poverty.

“Plainfield is a great place to live, work and raise families,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m proud that Plainfield was recognized in a national survey for some of its remarkable qualities.”

Plainfield was ranked in the 96th percentile of cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on affordability, economic health, education and health, quality of life and safety.

“Communities across the 49th Senate District provide area residents with a strong economy, affordable housing options and solid education systems,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  

Other towns in the area have been recognized this year for a variety of accolades:

•    In 2017, Bolingbrook and Joliet were rated one of the safest cities in the nation by the National Council for Home Safety and Security.

•    Plainfield, Romeoville, Bolingbrook, Joliet, Aurora, Crest Hill and Naperville were ranked some of the fastest growing cities in Illinois.

•    In 2017, Naperville was ranked the best city to raise a family, the safest city and second best city to live in America.

•    Joliet’s Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center (PSJMC) has been named one of Illinois’ “Best” 20 Hospitals for 2017.

“The 49th Senate District is situated in the perfect geographic location,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We enjoy an affordable and good quality of life in comfortable communities with many advantages of big city living.”

Bertino-Tarrant represents the 49th State Senate District in Will and Kendall Counties. The district is comprised of Joliet, Plainfield, Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Shorewood, Oswego, Crest Hill, Boulder Hill, Naperville, Montgomery, Aurora and Channahon. She is a lifelong resident of Will County.

“The State Board of Education is doing the right thing by trying to find out what has gone wrong and what we need to do to get qualified teachers into classrooms more efficiently. The sooner they can convey that information to the General Assembly, the sooner we can do our part to help correct this problem.” - State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

04252017CM1305rSPRINGFIELD – Three Senate education leaders are urging the governor’s administration to expedite its study of the statewide teacher shortage and report its findings to the General Assembly by March 1.

In a Nov. 14 letter (attached) addressed to Illinois State Board of Education Chairman James Meeks, State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Kimberly A. Lightford and Andy Manar ask the board to accelerate its inquiry into the crisis so that lawmakers will have enough time to craft and pass legislation that will help to address the matter prior to next school year.

The shortage has caused more than 2,000 current teaching positions to go unfilled statewide.

“We commend you for the effort made thus far by the State Board to address teacher shortages and for further prioritizing the issue by initiating a year of inquiry on the subject,” the letter reads. “However, this is a crisis that deserves even more urgent attention and swift action to provide crucial support to students, administrators, and teachers.”

Bertino-Tarrant, a Shorewood Democrat and chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, said solving the problem requires everyone to pull together.

“The State Board of Education is doing the right thing by trying to find out what has gone wrong and what we need to do to get qualified teachers into classrooms more efficiently,” she said. “The sooner they can convey that information to the General Assembly, the sooner we can do our part to help correct this problem.”

According to a recent teacher shortage survey by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 60 percent of school districts reported trouble filling teaching positions and 75 percent had seen fewer qualified candidates than in previous years.

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05092017CM0307SPRINGFIELD- Illinois taxpayers are unable to see if state agencies pay their bills in a timely manner. This will soon change, thanks to the support of State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant joined her colleagues in the Illinois State Senate to override Governor Rauner’s veto of House Bill 3649, which requires state agencies to provide a more accurate accounting of bills and late payment interest penalties accruing.  

“Illinois businesses cannot continue to serve as lenders to state agencies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “During these tough financial times, we need to promote a transparent and open financial picture to better manage taxpayer dollars.”

Currently, state law requires that on October 1 agencies report the annual aggregate amount of pending unpaid bills that were being held as of June 30.  The comptroller’s office then publishes the outdated information on their website.

Bertino-Tarrant believes real-time reporting will allow state agencies, financial officers and the Illinois General Assembly to make better financial decisions. The state’s unprecedented fiscal challenges require a full weighing of outstanding vouchers and the ramifications of an increasing unpaid bill backlog.

House Bill 3649 will require state agencies to report the amount of unpaid bills, whether that amount was appropriated or not, and an estimate of interest penalties accumulated on a monthly basis.

“Financial transparency will promote responsible and accurate use of vital taxpayer dollars,” said Bertino-Tarrant. “This new bipartisan law will require the state to partake in good accounting practices. We have a responsibility to taxpayers in our communities to use each state dollar sensibly. This measure is long overdue.”

House Bill 3649 goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  

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