JBT-PensionReformYesterday, a pension reform bill passed the General Assembly that adversely affects seniors and retirees in Illinois.

After various pension reform proposals failed to make significant movement last spring, a bi-partisan pension conference committee was tasked with developing a compromise between both parties and both chambers. Yesterday’s legislation reflects all of the concessions of the democratic members of the committee and fails to address the one requirement that Senate Democrats, like Senator Bertino-Tarrant, have stressed since the beginning of pension reform negotiations—that is, fair treatment for those who were already retired.

“Through support of other legislation, as well as numerous meetings with stakeholders, I have held fast to my position to protect retirees who now have no way to change their fiscal futures,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said. 

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ACA-5In mid-November, Senator Bertino-Tarrant hosted an ACA seminar for residents of the Carillon retirement community.  Nearly 30 residents attended the event and were able to ask questions about the Affordable Care Act and the progress being made with implementation. Information was presented by AARP representative Courtney Hedderman and was specific to the needs and concerns of the retirement community.

“While ACA is most known for the coverage it will provide those currently working, there are benefits for retirees and Medicare recipients as well,” Bertino-Tarrant explained.  “Having AARP explain those benefits to seniors provided useful information to a population of people that have often been overlooked during the course of these informational seminars.”

ACA will positively affect Medicare recipients by covering several additional preventive services, such as annual wellness visits, immunizations, diet counseling, and screenings for cancer, cholesterol and diabetes. It will also begin to close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, which had many seniors paying high out-of-pocket costs for their medications. It also adds resources to help catch people who commit Medicare fraud.

FlyerSenator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, along with Senator McGuire and Representatives Manley, Cross, Walsh and McAsey, will be partnering with the American Red Cross this month to sponsor a Holiday Mail for Heroes card drive from 10:00 a.m.to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the entrance to Carson’s department store in the Louis Joliet Mall (3340 Mall Loop Dr., Joliet, IL. 60431).

Tables will be set up for card making and signing and participants may bring cards to donate or may craft their own out of the materials provided.

“The holidays can be especially hard for our active military personnel who are stationed far from home and away from their families,” Senator Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m glad we are able to do something that will bring them some holiday cheer and remind them that we appreciate their service.”

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heroininschoolsflyerState Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant will be joined by Representative Natalie Manley, Will County Executive Larry Walsh and Will County State’s Attorney James Glascow later this month to host a Heroin Abuse & Education Seminar aimed at shedding light on the dramatic increase in heroin use in the south suburbs.

The event will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at Creekside Elementary School (13909 S. Budler Rd., Plainfield, IL).

“This Heroin Education Seminar is one of the first steps to addressing the underlying issues with heroin abuse and providing education to parents and teens about how dangerous and harmful this drug can be,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

Bertino-Tarrant was recently appointed by Senate President John Cullerton to the Young Adults Heroin Use Task Force, a new committee charged with finding legislative solutions to Illinois’ growing teen heroin problem. Representative Manley was also appointed to the task force.

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