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Bertino-Tarrant’s new law will help local entrepreneurs

jbt 041118 3PLAINFIELD – A new law in the Illinois aims to give veterans, minorities, women and disabled individuals the tools to launch business start-ups in Illinois.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is the sponsor of the law, Senate Bill 43, which strengthens the small business loan program that was enacted last legislative session under her leadership, was signed into law on Friday.    

Senate Bill 43 ties up a technicality to allow for the administration of loans and expands upon the existing program to help encourage businesses to open up shop in communities across the state.

“Illinois’s economy relies heavily on small businesses,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Expanding the scope of this vital loan program will help encourage small businesses to make Illinois their home.”

It will also allow the Illinois Finance Authority to administer an increase in low-interest agri-business loans.

This program will serve as a strong resource to Illinois veterans. 

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, in part because veterans have fewer resources than their predecessors did.

“Our veterans have made great sacrifices to protect 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.”

Senate Bill 43 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect immediately.

Bertino-Tarrant urges potential entrepreneurs to visit www.il-fa.com to learn more about this loan program or contact her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211 for more information.

Bertino-Tarrant passes law to increase college affordability

jbt 030918PLAINFIELD — Illinois students will have additional opportunities to lower the out-of-pocket costs of their college education thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant championed Senate Bill 2527 to prohibit school boards from limiting the number of dual-credit courses taken by a student. It was signed into law Friday.

“Dual-credit courses offer great economic benefits to families,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As the mother of a high school sophomore, I know what parents are going through. Like any other parent, I want my children to graduate college full of opportunities, not burdened with student loans.”

Bertino-Tarrant passes law to mandate transparency from governor’s office

JBTPLAINFIELD — A new law co-sponsored by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) will put an end to misleading accounting practices in the governor’s office.

House Bill 5121, which was signed into law Tuesday, ends the practice of “offshoring” the governor’s payroll costs within state agencies – a practice that depletes funds for vital state programs.

“Taxpayers deserve to know how state dollars are being spent,” Bertino-Tarrant said, “This new commonsense law promotes transparency and responsible accounting to ensure state dollars are spent wisely and responsibly.”

This measure was passed in response to reports that nearly 60 percent of employees currently working for the governor’s office are paid by state agencies with funds intended for priorities such as economic development, public safety and child protection.

Offshoring has been utilized by governors of both parties for years to make it appear their office budgets are smaller than they actually are.

Examples of offshoring include paying the governor’s education advisor $250,000 from the Department of Human Services budget or a deputy chief of staff $140,000 from the Illinois State Police budget.

The most recent payroll data shows only 44 of 102 employees in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office are paid from the governor’s budget. The rest – 58 staffers – are hidden in other agencies’ payrolls.

If the governor’s entire staff was accurately reported, his office budget would come in at more than $10 million, instead of the $4.9 million budgeted for the current fiscal year.

“No one wins when the government uses deceptive accounting practices,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will ensure all governors play fair with taxpayer’s trust regardless of political party.”

House Bill 5121 passed with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

Bertino-Tarrant passes new law to combat teacher shortage

jbt 011718PLAINFIELD – School districts across Illinois will have additional tools to combat the national teacher shortage thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

House Bill 5627 is a multi-faceted, bipartisan effort that removes red tape and allows retired teachers to fill in when needed.  It was signed into law on Friday. 

“Teacher shortages lead to strained resources, large class sizes and impaired learning experiences for our children,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new approach will help us recruit qualified educators who want to work in our communities.”

According to the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, 86 percent Illinois school districts surveyed have had to pull teachers from planning periods to fill in as substitute teachers in other courses. Superintendents are also struggling to find bilingual, Spanish and special education teachers, as well as school nurses and psychologists.

“There are quality educators that want to teach in Illinois classrooms,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is important that we empower them by implementing commonsense reforms, cutting red tape and making the teacher licensure process reasonable and fair.”

The law takes the following actions among others:

  • Creates a new type of license – a Short Term Substitute Teaching License – to allow individuals that hold an associate’s degree or who have completed 60 hours of Higher Education coursework to substitute teach for five consecutive days;
  • Allows full reciprocity for out-of-state educators wishing to teach in Illinois;
  • Allows individuals who hold a lapsed Professional Educator License due to failure to complete professional development to qualify for a substitute teaching license;
  • Allows downstate retired teachers to substitute teach for 120 days each year (currently 100) without jeopardizing their retirement benefits;
  • Requires school districts to offer training to short-term substitute teachers. 

Bertino-Tarrant said allowing Illinois’ retirees more days in the classroom will be a win for everyone.

“Our retired teachers are a valuable resource,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We can lower the teacher-to-student ratios without increasing cost by expanding the use of our retired teachers on a part-time basis. Our goal is to ensure our children receive the best learning opportunities possible.”

House Bill 5627 will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

“As the new funding formula kicks in, we need to work toward ensuring property tax relief for families across Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Funding schools the right way should mean that folks see property tax bill savings.”

The 2017 report released by the IARSS the  can be found here: http://iarss.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/IARSS-Illinois-Educator-Shortage-2017-1.pdf

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.