SPRINGFIELD— Commuters in Illinois could get a tax break under a plan proposed by Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

The costs of traveling to and from work, whether by car, train or bus is significant. For instance, depending on the zone, 12 monthly Metra passes can cost over $3,500 a year. Likewise, daily tolls can easily add up to over $1,000 per year.

Bertino-Tarrant is trying to reduce the financial burden on commuters by making them eligible to receive a tax credit for travel expenses.

“The cost of traveling to work and back home can put a huge strain on individual and family budgets, and commuters deserve tax relief,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Additionally, it is important that similar incentives be offered to drivers and mass transit users.”

Bertino-Tarrant is also attempting to level the playing field between drivers and Metra users. The federal government currently gives larger tax credits to drivers over Metra riders, which discourages people from taking public transportation and increases congestion on the interstate.

Under Senate Bill 19 that Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring, commuters would be able to apply for a credit of up to 25% of qualified commuting expenses incurred during a taxable year.

Senate Bill 19 has been assigned to the Revenue Committee.

Town Hall 4 9 15PLAINFIELD— Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) will be holding a town hall meeting to discuss legislative issues on Thursday, April 9. The meeting will be held at the Plainfield Fire Protection District (23748 W. 135th Street, Plainfield, IL) from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

With the regular legislative session taking place, Senator Bertino-Tarrant is interested in meeting with residents to discuss legislation that is being debated before the General Assembly and any other concerns they may have.

“The Capitol is a busy place right now and hundreds of pieces of legislation are being considered,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I want to give residents an opportunity to ask questions on topics important to them.”

Senator Bertino-Tarrant also hopes to discuss the governor’s proposed budget. She hopes that members of the community will be interested in weighing in on state budgetary issues.

“If members of the community are willing to take time out of their day to attend a town hall meeting, I want it to be an informative and positive experience,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

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SPRINGFIELD— Last year, in Georgia, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s slipped away from his home in the middle of the night and wandered a nearby neighborhood in the cold only to be shot dead when mistaken for an intruder.

Just a few weeks ago, in Texas, an elderly man suffering from Alzheimer’s wandered away from his family’s home in the middle of the night in the midst of freezing temperatures. He was later found dead.

These are the tragic stories state Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is hoping to prevent in Illinois through an emergency notification system known as “Silver Alert” to help locate individuals with Alzheimer’s who go missing.

“When someone with Alzheimer’s wanders, every minute matters. The sooner we can alert the public, the sooner we can get the person back home safe and sound,” said Bertino-Tarrant.

The senator is the co-sponsor of Senate Bill 1846 that would create such a program through the Illinois State Police. It would be similar to the “Amber Alert” program the State Police already have for partnering with news outlets and broadcasters to quickly distribute information to try to find missing children.

The Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association estimates more than 200,000 Illinois residents have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. Nearly one-third of those will likely wander off and the state currently doesn’t have an adequate system to alert the public.

Bertino-Tarrant discussed the need for the system during a meeting with the Alzheimer Association’s Illinois chapter this week in Springfield. At least 20 other states already have Silver Alert systems similar to what Senator Bertino-Tarrant proposes for Illinois.

“The Alzheimer’s Association has been the driving force for advocacy,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I look forward to working with its members to bring this system to Illinois.”

Governor Rauner recently gave his budget address. Please let me know which parts of the budget are most important to you by taking my survey here.

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