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Bertino-Tarrant announces Illinois veterans’ business loan program is ready to go

jbt 030918PLAINFIELD – Veterans looking to start a new business in Illinois now have a new resource available thanks to legislation supported by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood). 

Last week, the Illinois Finance Authority released criteria for the loan program that allows veterans to apply and receive business loans for new companies. 

“Our veterans come home with remarkable leadership skills and on-the-job training,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This program will give our returning heroes an outlet to channel their entrepreneurship spirit to create new businesses and generate jobs in our own communities.”

Bertino-Tarrant worked on this program with Lynn Lowder, a former Marine officer and advocate for veterans becoming small-business owners. The program would be similar to agribusiness and farming programs administered by the state treasurer.

Nearly half of World War II veterans and 40 percent of Korean War veterans went on to own or operate a business, according to Syracuse University‘s Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

But now less than seven percent of returning veterans own their own businesses. Today’s veterans have fewer resources than their predecessors did.

“Our veterans have made great sacrifices to serve our country,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It’s our duty to empower them to channel the life skills and training they received in the field as they transition back to civilian life.”

Bertino-Tarrant urges veterans visit www.il-fa.com to take advantage of this resource or contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211 for more information.

State education leaders confirm Rauner plan bad for public schools, local taxpayers

isbe approp 022718SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s plan to dump the state’s share of teacher pension costs on local school districts would have devastating effects on classrooms and learning throughout Illinois, state education officials said Tuesday.
The testimony of State Superintendent of Schools Tony Smith and other education officials during a Senate budget hearing confirms what Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been saying since Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his budget plan Feb. 14.
“The governor is playing the game of trickling expenses down to local districts. My school leaders are already facing high levels of unpredictability and uncertainty. They’re unable to carry a half-billion dollars in new spending that the governor is putting on them,” said State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, a Democrat from Plainfield and a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee.

Bertino-Tarrant’s “Kari’s Law” will be implemented nationwide

jbt 120817PLAINFIELD – State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is pleased to see nation-wide implementation of “Kari’s Law,” a measure she introduced in the Illinois Senate in 2014.

Today, President Donald Trump signed legislation that requires newly installed business phone systems to allow users to dial "9-1-1" without needing to pre-dial a code such as the number "9."

“We teach our children to dial 9-1-1 in case of emergencies. That number should work all the time from anywhere,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In the time of crisis, you don’t have the time to learn new phone systems.”

Bertino-Tarrant: Prioritize children over private school tax credits

jbt 120817PLAINFIELD- 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.

The new school funding mechanism outlined in Senate Bill 1947 established an evidence-based funding formula to dispense state dollars to public schools. The formula institutes a base funding minimum that serves as a hold harmless to ensure school districts do not lose state dollars year after year.

Any additional funding the General Assembly appropriates is distributed through a tier-based system that prioritizes the state’s poorest and most disadvantaged schools. The funding plan outlined in the new law includes a minimum funding level of $350 million in additional funding each year, with the goal of meeting the total statewide adequacy target over a period of time.

Senate Bill 2236 passed the Senate’s Committee on Education and moves to the full senate for consideration.

Sen. Bertino-Tarrant

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49th Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Mark Batinick; Natalie A. Manley

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Education (Chairperson); Labor; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Transportation.

Biography: Lifelong educator; former Will County superintendent and secretary of Will County Regional Board of School Trustees; B.A., Illinois State University; MS, University of St. Francis; EdD., Loyola.