Energizing our Economy
Carol Sente understands that jobs which pay a decent wage are at the heart of strong families. As the 2014 Small Business Advocate of the Year award recipient and former small business owner, Sente has consistently worked to foster a better business climate that helps employers grow and put people back to work. A valued partner with business, Sente is supported by the Small Business Advisory Council, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.
Sente is the Chair of the House Business Growth & Incentives Committee, where she has taken measures to empower small businesses by reducing the total cost to operate, rewarding purchases of product sand services within our state, and providing benefits to start-ups.
She continually meets with area business leaders to gather their input on how we can work together to foster a business climate that results in secure jobs. Sente believes that Illinois has some of the most talented workers in the nation and is committed to continuing to fight for each and every one of them. She recently passed legislation to create a private/public partnership between private business and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity which includes the development of a strategic five year plan with annual business plans.
Sente is Vice-Chair of the House Environment Committee, a member ofthe bipartisan House Green Caucus, and is continually endorsed eachyear by the Sierra Club for her contributions to environmental issuesand green jobs. Sente is a former owner of an architectural firm specializing in designing environmentally responsible buildings. She understands that the green industry canprovide our area with good-paying jobs. Sente continually teams up with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) to offer shred and recycling events, and to work on legislation that will make our region stronger. She recently passed a bill to streamline electronics recycling, to increase the likelihood that potentially hazardous electronic waste will be disposed of properly.
Preparing Future Leaders
Providing a solid education for our children is one of the most fundamental duties we have as a community. Because every child deserves a world-class education, Sente helped pass stringent education reforms aimed at retaining the best teachers based onperformance, not seniority.
As a member of the House Elementary & Secondary Education Appropriation Committee, Sente has fought for more classroom resources, so that students are prepared to compete in the global economy.
Sente is continually engaged with local schools through her Education Citizens' Advisory Committee, superintendent roundtables, principal roundtables, school tours, classroom visits, and parent meetings. Sente has also offered internships to local high school students, allowing them an intensive learning experience on state government and community development. Sente believes that an educated work force is one of the best investments the state can make. She believes it is an important part of making Illinois among the most competitive states in the nation, and moving towards long-term fiscal health.
An advocate for youth, Sente passed a law granting primary election voting rights to 17-year-olds who will be 18-years-old by the general election. And while our area is known for strong schools with impressive athletic departments, Sente has pushed for stronger statewide safety standards for student athletes regarding concussions,to help reduce the potential risk of brain injuries while engaged in school sports.
Reforming State Spending
Sente has a strong record of voting against taxes on families in our area. She has sponsored legislation that would have frozen property taxes and prevented local governments from increasing taxes in years when home prices are in decline. To help families remain in their homes, Sente voted against the individual and corporate income tax increase of 2011, and co-sponsored a bill that would have repealed it. Sente understands that so many are struggling to keep the roofs overtheir heads, and that's why she opposes any attempts to further financially burden families during these challenging economic times.
An ardent reformer, Sente has backed proposals to reign-in spending and refocus the General Assembly towards making money-smart decisions. During her first term, she fought to take the budget process out of the hands of legislative leaders, and returned the process to bipartisan committees tasked with reviewing the budget line-by-line, only supporting programs that are proven effective.
To keep the pension system from collapsing and creating more debt and financial problems, Sente joined the House Personnel & Pensions Committee to become part of the solution. She backed responsible state pension reforms put forth by the bipartisan Conference Committee, which incorporated months of actuarial research, negotiation and public testimony. The savings from these reforms, which impact legislators' pensions too, will make it easier to balance future budgets and put Illinois on a path towards solvency.
Caring for our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Protecting our seniors, veterans, and people living with disabilities and other special needs is a top priority for Sente. She has championed measures reducing their property taxes and ensuring they have access to critical home health care. Sente sponsored legislation to make it easier to report elder abuse, allowing the reporting to be done confidentially online, helping keep more of our seniors safe.
A former counselor for child burn victims, Sente is a strong advocate for helping our most vulnerable citizens to live as independent a life as possible. She helped pass a law expanding Human Rights protections to those with a mental, psychological, or developmental disability, including autism spectrum disorders. Sente has backed budgeting reforms, reduced wasteful spending, and cut bureaucracy, in order to ensure funding could be available for essential services for people with disabilities.
Sente supports our brave military heroes through serving on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. She passed a bill increasing penalties on criminals that attack veterans, backed legislation to increase veterans' job opportunities by prioritizing veteran-owned businesses, and a bill to increase veteran lottery proceeds toward job assistance programs.