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.

05072019CM0083RSSPRINGFIELD – To help alleviate the teacher shortage in Illinois, the Senate’s Education Chair, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant passed a series of measures on Thursday.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed House Bill 423 with bipartisan support, which places a hold on requiring educators to take a controversial licensing exam.

“This costly test may be ineffective in determining whether an applicant is qualified to teach in our classrooms,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We need to take some time to evaluate this requirement to ensure we are not deterring qualified teachers from joining the profession.”

The measure eliminates the basic skills exam until July 1, 2025, during which time the Illinois State Board of Education is required to re-evaluate the methods it uses to score a prospective teacher’s knowledge and preparedness and adopt rules for any changes.

Another piece of legislation addresses findings that 89 percent of central Illinois districts and 92 percent of southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates.

Some districts are turning to substitute teachers while looking for permanent teachers. To help ease unnecessary stipulations on retired teachers looking to fill these substitute roles,

Bertino-Tarrant passed House Bill 1472 which allows retired teachers to return to teaching in subject shortage areas without impairing their retirement status.

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03012017CM0381WebSPRINGFIELD – Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino Tarrant lead the Senate in declaring May 6 to 10, Teacher Appreciation Week in Illinois.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed Senate Joint Resolution 40 which emphasizes the General Assembly’s gratitude for teachers across Illinois.

“Our teachers are responsible for developing the minds of our future leaders,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Their days do not end when the last school bell rings. Educators across Illinois provide knowledge, support and skills that positively impact students. This week the Senate honors teachers across Illinois for their hard work and dedication to our children.”

In 1985 when the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May.

Senate Joint Resolution 40 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

13032018KS0485 smSPRINGFIELD – State government would be required to study the necessity of new red tape for businesses under a plan by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed Senate Bill 1756, which would require the state to assess whether newly proposed regulations on an industry or occupation are necessary for protecting the public.

“Unnecessary red tape makes it harder for companies and job seekers to do business in Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Streamlining the licensure process in our state will promote entrepreneurship in our communities.”

Under current law, there is no review process for professions or individuals seeking title protection, certification or licensure. Small business advocates have argued that the General Assembly and the governor tend to use shifting and often times ambiguous criteria to determine which professions should be regulated and to what extent.

Businesses shouldn’t be subject to such regulation by the state unless the regulation is necessary to protect the public health, safety, or welfare of the people of Illinois, Bertino-Tarrant said

“My goal is to promote policies that attract and retain businesses in our communities,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Cutting bureaucratic paperwork can accomplish this without sacrificing the safety and welfare of Illinois’ residents.”

Senate Bill 1756 passed the Senate with unanimous support and now heads to the House for consideration.

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