03012017CM0381WebPLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) advanced legislation to ensure public schools are funded adequately before any state funds are diverted to pay for tax breaks to wealthy individuals and corporate scholarship donors. 

“This initiative solidifies our bipartisan goal to fund our public schools in a way that guarantees our children are provided an excellent education regardless of their zip code,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Every single dollar in state education spending should go toward the adequate education of our children until the disparities created by generations of systematic inequality in Illinois’ school system are fixed.”

Bertino-Tarrant’s measure, Senate Bill 2236, was filed in response to Senate Bill 1947, which includes a five-year pilot program that would award a 75 percent tax credit to donors that contribute to scholarship funds for students to attend non-public schools. The credits are capped at of up to $1 million per taxpayer and $75 million statewide.  

“Public education should be the top priority,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is unacceptable that these tax credits are diverting resources away from the classroom.”

Bertino-Tarrant said this could take valuable taxpayer dollars away from Illinois’ public schools especially if the minimum funding level is not met.   

“The bipartisan reform passed in the Senate and House stipulated that the General Assembly shall meet the minimum funding level each year. This new measure simply helps guarantee the legislature stays true to its promises,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

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KidsFair2018PLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is searching for community organizations and small businesses to participate in her free Kids’ Fair.

The fourth annual Kids’ Fair will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19 at Troy Middle School (5800 W. Theodore St., Plainfield, IL.).

The fair provides area residents a free one-stop shop for parents and children looking for kid-friendly educational resources and fun activities.

“Our Kids’ Fair serves as a vehicle to connect children, parents, grandparents, educators and loved ones with remarkable organizations that impact our children’s lives in a meaningful way,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This annual event is a free resource for area residents to learn more about the tremendous work vital community groups do to assist and improve the lives of young people across Will County.”

There are openings currently available for child-oriented community organizations that gear a majority of their work toward elementary school-aged children. Bertino-Tarrant invites interested organizations click here to register. Once registered and approved, interested participants will receive an email confirmation at a later date.

Registration is free.

Storytelling, live animals and other activities are already scheduled for the event.

In addition, free haircuts will be given by the Professional’s Choice Hair Design Academy of Joliet. Special events such as a martial arts demonstration, various dance performances, kids hip hop fitness demonstration and a stroller fitness class will also take place.

For more information please call Bertino-Tarrant’s office at (815) 254-4211.

JBT SenateBill189PLAINFIELD- Families across the 49th State Senate District will soon have more resources readily available to fight the opioid epidemic, thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s new law requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The measure, enacted through House Bill 3161, found bipartisan support as it passed the General Assembly.

“Opioid addiction does not see age, socioeconomic class, race or religion,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is vital for our families, friends and neighbors to have resources readily available to help their loved ones kick this deadly habit.”

On Jan. 1, DHS will begin work on a website that will include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services and other related information.

“This website will help save lives,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is absolutely critical that we work together as a state to combat this epidemic. If we can save one life, it is worth it.”

Will County saw a record number of heroin-related deaths in 2016; this was an increase of more than 40 percent from 2015. According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 peopledied in Will County due to opioid overdoses in 2016.

“This new resource will help equip Will County residents with essential information to save lives,” Dr. Kathleen Burke, Director of Substance Use Initiatives, Will County Executive’s Office said. “Education is a key element to end the opioid overdose epidemic in communities across Illinois. Our hope is providing parents and loved ones with the right tools will help individuals seek treatment sooner. We look forward to working with Senator Bertino-Tarrant to continue to fight this crisis and eliminate this problem from our communities once and for all.”

04252017CM1305rPLAINFIELD- Illinois taxpayers will now have a new tool to see if state agencies pay their bills in a timely manner.

House Bill 3649, supported State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), which requires state agencies to provide a more accurate accounting of bills and late payment interest penalties accruing will go into effect on the first day of the New Year.

“Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is spent,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will lead to responsible accounting and a good step in building the taxpayer’s trust in state agencies and services.”

Currently, state law requires that on October 1 agencies report the annual total of bills that were unpaid as of June 30.” The comptroller’s office then publishes the outdated information on their website.

Bertino-Tarrant believes real-time reporting will allow state agencies, financial officers and the Illinois General Assembly to make better financial decisions. The state’s unprecedented fiscal challenges require a full weighing of outstanding vouchers and the ramifications of an increasing unpaid bill backlog.

Once in effect, House Bill 3649 will require state agencies to report the amount of unpaid bills, whether that amount was appropriated or not, and an estimate of interest penalties accumulated on a monthly basis.

“Open books will lead to accurate and transparent accounting,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The State of Illinois needs to promote the responsible use of public dollars to guarantee every cent is spent wisely and reliably.”

Senate and House worked in a bipartisan manner to override the governor’s veto during the fall veto session.

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Springfield, IL 62706 
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Plainfield, IL 60544 
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