senatefloorSPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) has introduced legislation that would close a loophole in the state’s Sex Offender Registry Act.

Bertino-Tarrant’s proposal will allow the courts to require sex offender registration for a person convicted of battery in cases where the battery is sexually motivated.

“A perpetrator who commits a sexual offense should be held accountable and have to register as a sex offender,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

The senator’s legislation was filed in response to a case in her district.

Stephanie of Plainfield was 15 when a neighbor sexually abused her in his basement. Her mother, Tina Estopare, has been a strong advocate of the legislation, reaching out to legislators across the state.

The neighbor was convicted on two counts of misdemeanor battery and sentenced to 364 days in the Will County jail. However, he was released four months later before serving two years of supervised probation. He also did not have to register as a sex offender because battery is not an offense subject to sex offender registration.

Bertino-Tarrant’s initiative, Senate Bill 2201, will be heard by the Criminal Law Committee tomorrow.

JBT MAP GrantsSPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) voted today to override the legislation the governor vetoed that would release state funds for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants and community colleges.

“My support for the override is straightforward,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s a priority of mine to ensure that students throughout my district have the aid they need to go to college and obtain a degree.”

Funding for higher education has been held up in the state’s budget impasse.

MAP grants provide financial aid to qualified students. However, due to the governor vetoing higher education budgets the legislature has sent him, funds haven’t been released from the state.

More than 100,000 students traditionally use MAP grants to afford higher education.

In fiscal year 2015, there were more than 2,000 Map grant recipients from Bertino-Tarrant’s district.

Community colleges have also not been receiving state aid.

But funding would be available to them under the plan Bertino-Tarrant voted for today.

With Bertino-Tarrant’s support, the override of Senate Bill 2043 was successful in the Senate.

JBT school visit pictureState Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) was busy throughout her district this week.

The senator met with students at different schools to discuss state government and answer questions.

“Meeting with students is always refreshing,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “They asked thoughtful questions and were eager to learn about the legislative process.”

On Monday, Bertino-Tarrant spent the afternoon with State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) talking to students in American Government and English classes at Joliet West High School.

Bertino-Tarrant visited Joliet Central High School on Tuesday, where she spoke to students who are working on writing opinion papers.

And on Wednesday, Bertino-Tarrant headed to Troy Hofer Elementary School to speak to fourth-grade students.

“I had a great time with all of the students and, without a doubt, the future in the communities I represent is bright,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

SB 2043 PicturePLAINFIELD — Senate Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s veto of higher education funding, Senate Bill 2043:

I’m disheartened by the governor’s decision. He’s once again demonstrated that giving students an opportunity to receive an affordable higher education isn’t a priority to him.

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