PensionState Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, along with 29 of her colleagues, passed legislation out of the Illinois Senate yesterday that will save the state billions of dollars by reforming the Teachers Retirement System.
The bill gives current employees a choice of how they wish to receive a portion of their retirement benefits.  They are asked to choose between cost of living adjustments or health insurance upon their retirement. Retired teachers are not included.
This change would create an immediate savings of $4.7 billion and will save the state $18 billion or more over the next 30 years. 
"Yesterday, legislators took action to address the pension crisis. It is becoming increasingly clear that a comprehensive reform, as much as it is my preference, does not have a majority of votes at this time," Sen. Bertino-Tarrant said.   "This comes the closest to achieving reforms while doing the least amount of detriment to the retirement security of our teachers.” 

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State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant issued the following statement today after the Senate passed healthcare  expansion legislJBTMedicaidation (SB 26) out of its chamber.

“There are over 4,000 needy people in the 49th District who will benefit from this proposal. I am pleased that the Senate was able to pass legislation that extends protections to people and families whose health and well-being are too often overlooked.”

Key components of Senate Bill 26:

• All adults with incomes at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit ($15,415 for an individual) will be able to enroll in Medicaid starting January 1, 2014. Currently, adults are eligible for Medicaid only if they have disabilities or care for dependent children.
• The federal government will reimburse Illinois for 100 percent of the costs of covering these newly eligible enrollees through 2017.
• The reimbursement rate will decrease gradually after 2017 but stay at 90 percent after 2020.
• If the federal government fails to reimburse the state at 90 percent or above, the newly eligible clients will become ineligible; Illinois will not be stuck with the bill.

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As your newly elected state senator, I am interested in input and suggestions from residents of the 49th Legislative District. Please take a moment to answer these few questions about issues currently facing the Illinois Senate by clicking here.

COWL logoSenator Bertino-Tarrant is pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) Scholarship Award Program.  COWL created this scholarship program to assist mature women (25 years of age and older) in gaining economic independence through undergraduate college degrees.  The organization also promotes community service and leadership development.  Each grant awarded will be $2,500.

Scholarship applicants must enroll in a minimum of 6 credit hours at an Illinois accredited college or University as well as volunteer or be employed by a community service organization that benefits women in transition.

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