SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) showed her support for marriage equality today by helping pass the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act out of the Illinois Senate.

The bill provides equal opportunity for the same federal marriage benefits to same-sex couples that are currently awarded to other couples.

“I believe in equal protection under the law for all people in the 49th District and in Illinois, and this vote brings us closer to that,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

While civil unions provide all of the same state rights as marriage to same-sex couples, they do not offer the more than 1,100 federal benefits afforded to married couples. The federal act barring legally married same-sex couples from receiving these benefits likely will be overturned in coming months.  In the event that it is, same-sex married couples can then receive the same federal legal rights as their counterparts.

“I appreciate the sensitivity of this topic; however, our laws were not designed to judge people based on whom they love.  Today was a vote about fairness.”

The Senate voted 34-21 to pass the bill.  It will now be taken up in the House of Representatives.

employmentSPRINGFIELD – Senator Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) helped pass legislation on Thursday that maintains the state’s investment in a crucial construction program that has put thousands of people to work improving the state’s roads, bridges and schools in recent years.
The legislation also restores severe cuts to the Department of Children and Family Services that threatened to layoff dozens of caseworkers and interrupt services to needy children and their families.
“We need to keep moving forward with our economic revival. This vote protects jobs and helps keep us on track,” Bertino Tarrant said.

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JBTRedIllinois legislators wear red to spread awareness of cardiovascular disease

Senator Bertino-Tarrant showed her support for the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement at the Illinois State Capitol today. All state legislators and statewide elected officials were asked to wear red by the Conference of Women Legislators as part of an annual Statehouse event to spread awareness of heart disease in women.  Bertino-Tarrant wore a red sweater to show her support.

Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women in Illinois, but is under diagnosed in its treatable stages and many people just aren’t aware of the risk factors or simple preventative measures.  The Go Red For Women movement is trying to raise awareness to change that. 

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SenateSenator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant took the oath of office today, beginning her first term representing the 49th Legislative District in the Illinois Senate. Her husband and two children accompanied her to Springfield for the inaugural ceremony.

“It is a tremendous honor to take this oath and begin the important work of serving as my constituents’ voice in the Senate,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  “I look forward to working with my new colleagues to tackle our state’s problems, find reasonable solutions and strive to make Illinois the best it can be.”

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant is a fourth-generation Will County resident who won the newly created 49th District Senate seat in the November 2012 election.  The new district includes all or part of Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Joliet, Oswego, Plainfield, Romeoville and Shorewood.

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