PLAINFIELD — Dozens of local business around Will County and the surrounding area have been forced to shut their doors as they were not deemed essential under the governor’s Stay at Home Order. 

However, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) believes those shops are essential to the strength of their communities and should be open while adhering to social distancing guidelines. 

“People are allowed to freely shop at big-box stores like Menards and Target, so they should have the ability to support small businesses as well,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Those large stores are left to follow the governor’s guidelines — guidelines our local shops are also capable of following.”

Bertino-Tarrant and several of her colleagues in the Senate called on Gov. JB Pritzker to consider giving small businesses the opportunity to open. 

The group’s reopen plan, sent to Pritzker Tuesday, would allow businesses to work with local officials to prove they can enforce face covering requirements, adhere to the 6-foot social distancing guidelines based on square footage of the store, and ensure a thorough cleaning regimen for the safety of both customers and employees. 

“Local businesses and family-owned shops are suffering to the point some wonder if they will ever be able to financially recover from the pandemic,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Employees of these businesses are left unemployed and worry they might have to find new jobs. As state leaders, it is our duty to look for reasonable solutions to help all Illinoisans."

05082019CW0117rSPRINGFIELD – Following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address on Wednesday, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant expressed her support of the governor’s goal to restore stability and functionality to the state.

The governor’s proposal includes plans to ensure Illinois residents are ready to meet the needs of the state’s economy by creating new job training programs.

As part of his strategy, the state would create a new community college apprenticeship grant program and the Illinois Works Jobs program that will help train people for careers in the construction industry and building trades.

“I’m glad to see the governor’s commitment to ensure the state’s workforce is meeting the needs of the employers,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Innovative job training programs will help put residents to work and grow our economy for generations to come.”

Bertino-Tarrant, who serves as the Senate’s Education Chair, is encouraged by the governor’s outlined investment in teacher recruitment, retention and diversity.

“School districts across the nation continue to struggle to fill long-term positions at schools,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Increasing our investment in keeping the best and brightest at the head of our classrooms will help ensure our children have the opportunity to be successful.”

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2020 Kids Fair RSPLAINFIELD- State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is inviting residents to join community organizations and small businesses at her sixth annual Kids’ Fair.

The free event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on Monday, Feb. 17 at Troy Middle School (5800 W. Theodore St., Plainfield).

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

“Our Kids’ Fair connects parents, grandparents, educators and loved ones with amazing organizations that serve our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I encourage families to stop by this free event to meet and hear from energetic organizations serving our community and improving the lives of young people.”

The event 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. There will be other special events such as a martial arts demonstration as well as a dance and vocal performance.

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

TRS FinalROMEOVILLE – Will County residents are invited to attend an informational seminar on Teacher Retirement System benefits.

Bertino-Tarrant is hosting this free event on Tuesday, Feb. 11 starting 4:15 p.m. at John J. Lukancic Middle School Auditorium (725 Normantown Rd., Romeoville).

The presentation will be given by TRS Outreach Coordinator, Sandie Benhart.

The following topics will be covered:

• Factors utilized to determine pension amounts
• Ways to supplement pensions with a self-funded plan
• Legislative actions that could affect retirement
• How pursuing multiple careers rather than education-only careers may impact your pension

The event is applicable to all those enrolled in a TRS pension.

For more information, Bertino-Tarrant urges residents to contact her office at (815) 254-4211 or visit with any questions or concerns.



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