Census flyer RS 2BOLINGBROOK – Will County residents are invited to join local Will County legislators and the Southwest Suburban Immigrant Project for an informative seminar on upcoming census discussion.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is urging residents to help brainstorm and identify strategies to encourage all Will County residents to get counted in the 2020 census. The Census Seminar is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Fountaindale Public Library, Meeting Room B on Thursday, Jan. 16.

“It’s vital for census counts to be accurate and through to help ensure government entities are directing resources and services in the right places,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This free seminar is a great way for residents to share concerns, give input and learn more about full and part-time job opportunities with the U.S. Census Bureau.

Bertino-Tarrant will be joined by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) and State Representatives Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and John Connor (D-Lockport).

“Full participation in the 2020 Census is critical to ensuring that our community is properly represented in Congress and that we don’t lose out on federal resources,” said Manley. “Events like this are helpful for putting together a plan to make sure that every resident in our community is counted.”

For more information on this event, Bertino-Tarrant urges residents to contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211.

Fire TrucksPLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is excited to announce the Office of the State Fire Marshal is now accepting applications for the state’s Small Equipment Grant program.

“Our firefighters and first responders work tirelessly to ensure our homes are safe,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This grant will help provide necessary assistance to help make sure our firefighters have the tools and resources needed to stay safe while protecting our communities.”

The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment.

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply for grants. Ambulance services that qualify as a not-for-profit emergency medical service provider are also eligible to apply. For more information on the application process or to access a copy of an application, Bertino-Tarrant urges fire departments to visit www2.illinois.gov/sites/sfm/Iam/FireDepartment/Grants-and-Loans/.

Applications must be postmarked no later than Feb. 29, 2020 to be considered.

2020 Events Q1 RSPLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) invites residents to her January satellite office hours in Joliet and Romeoville.

Satellite office hours offer residents the opportunity to work with Bertino-Tarrant’s staff to receive assistance with numerous services in a neighborhood near them.

The January dates and locations are:
• Friday, Jan. 10, Joliet Library, Black Rd. Branch (3395 W. Black Rd., Joliet)
• Friday, Jan. 17, Romeoville Village Hall (1050 W. Romeo Rd., Romeoville)

The office hours are from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

“Our office works to ensure we are easily accessible to all communities throughout our district, I hope you are able to stop by and meet with our staff to receive assistance, share concerns and learn more about services and programs offered by the state,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

For a complete list of satellite office hours coming up this winter, Bertino-Tarrant urges residents to click here or call her office at (815) 254-4211.

02062019CM0116CHICAGO – Members of the joint bipartisan Illinois Senate and House Education Committees met Tuesday to examine the abuse of seclusion rooms in public schools.

A report released by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica Illinois found that school officials disciplined misbehaving children by locking them in seclusion rooms alone, sometimes for hours. The practice has been found to be harmful to children’s well-being. In response to these alarming reports, State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) introduced Senate Bill 2315 to ban the use of these rooms as a punitive measure.

Senate Chairperson Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) convened the committee to hear testimony from a number of key education stakeholders, including the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Association of Social Workers, Equip for Equality and Illinois Education Association, along with many others.

“The alarming number of reported violations of the use of isolation rooms in our schools is absurd,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The goal of our committee is to keep our students safe and ensure the needs of the school population are met. While we cannot simply ignore safety protocols, we need to certify our educators are well-trained in techniques and procedures, and are supported by proper staffing numbers. Our children deserve the best opportunities to be successful, and that can’t happen while this misconduct occurs.”

The governor’s office has issued an emergency ban on the practice. Gillespie, Bertino-Tarrant and other members of the General Assembly are working to ensure the proper steps are taken to keep children safe in classrooms across the state.

“We must end the abusive practice of de facto solitary confinement and improper use of restraints,” Gillespie said. “At the same time we must meet the unique needs of students, honor their dignity and ensure a safe environment for all. This is the needle we must thread with our legislation, and I look forward to working closely with all the stakeholders to achieve immediate and sustainable changes to the culture and practices in our schools.”

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