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Bennett collects cell phones to benefit domestic violence shelter

old cell phones2CHAMPAIGN – In an effort to support domestic violence victims in Champaign, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) has designated his district office for residents to drop off used cell phones.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Illinois and across the nation. To continue his advocacy of women and children’s rights and raise awareness of domestic violence, Bennett has partnered with Courage Connection in Champaign to receive cell phones, chargers, and other phone accessories to be collected throughout the month of October. Donated cell phones are given to people dealing with domestic abuse and are used as emergency 911 phones.

“Domestic violence is a community issue, and these shelters protect and support individuals trying to return to safety and stability while they recover from violence that can upend every part of their lives,” Bennett said. “Efforts like this are a way we can all support them.”

Bennett sought out other partners in the community to volunteer their offices as drop off locations. In addition to Bennett’s office, State Representative Carol Ammons, Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen, Mayor Diane Marlin and Mayor Charles Smith will serve as drop off locations. Courage Connection will also be available to take donations.

“Cell phones have become essential in modern society and these individuals will benefit from your donations,” Bennett said. “Help a family have a sense of security and stay connected. Donate today, if you can.”

Bennett urges residents with questions or concerns to contact his district office at 217-355-5252 or visit www.SenatorBennett.com.

Bennett receives Taiwanese soybean delegation ahead of multi-billion-dollar soybean and corn agreements

bennett 092519CHAMPAIGN Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett hosted a Taiwanese delegation at his family farm on Sept. 24 in Ford County to celebrate the $2.2 billion commitment to purchase Illinois soybeans and corn over the next two years.

“Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans and corn,” Bennett said. “Earlier this summer, I met with Taiwan government officials and agricultural business leaders to talk about why they should purchase soybeans and corn from Illinois.”

Bennett promotes S.T.A.R. Program to support Illinois farmers

farmland 091819CHAMPAIGN – Illinois farmers should take advantage of an innovative program to help protect their farmland and our environment, said Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Scott Bennett.

The S.T.A.R. program (Saving Tomorrow’s Agriculture Resources), provides free instruction on how to ensure Illinois feeds the world while reducing their environmental footprint.

“This program helps farmers lose less to runoff, earn more from their land, and preserve the state’s natural resources for the next generation,” said Bennett (D-Champaign).

 

The S.T.A.R. program ranks a farmer’s field according to how well it practices conservation, all with the foal of safeguarding local waterways and maximizing productivity per acre. Participants determine their S.T.A.R. ranking by completing a field form, which is scored by a local reviewer on a five-star scale.

 

“Our experience with S.T.A.R. farmers is they never realized how easy it can be to prevent runoff and protect our water supplies, and how important it is to take the extra time to plan for and execute a sustainable farming strategy on their acreage,” said Bruce Henrikson, S.T.A.R. Program Coordinator through Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District. “With more than 40 counties now participating in S.T.A.R., and state legislators making soil and water conservation a priority at the Capitol, we believe 2019 will show even more growth – and that will pay big dividends for our agricultural economy and our environment for many years to come.

Agriculture experts rank field on, what cover crops they use, the types of fertilizers used at different times of the year, and conservation practices used on the field to avoid runoff.

Last year, 180 farmers on 438 fields participated in the program, for a total of 27,418 acres. Of the 438 fields, 382 of the fields that participated received a ranking of three-stars or higher.

“I passed legislation this past session in support of the soil and water conservation districts and will continue to advocate for programs like S.T.A.R. to benefit farming families across Illinois,” Bennett said.

Champaign County is joined by 42 other Illinois counties licensed to offer S.T.A.R. with a global commitment to reach 1 million farmers and workers by 2030. 

Bipartisan Bennett bill protecting residents in care facilities signed into law

camera 081219SPRINGFIELD – Residents living in state-operated assisted living facilities would be allowed to install cameras in their rooms to monitor and deter possible abuse under a new law sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett.

Bennett (D-Champaign) partnered with his uncle, State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City), to make Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) facilities safer for residents and to reassure their loved ones.

“The core of this bill is to protect some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” Bennett said. “This new law provides residents in care facilities control by allowing them to monitor their personal space and gives family members comfort knowing that they or their loved are safe and protected.” 

Under House Bill 344, a resident living in a CILA facility, a supervised home environment in which eight or fewer people with mental illness or developmental disabilities live together, would be allowed to electronically monitor their own room provided that their consent and notice has been given to the facility on prescribed forms.

“This is a bipartisan bill that gives elderly and vulnerable Illinoisans the consumer protections they deserve and brings Illinois in line with the rest of the nation in licensing our assisted living facilities,” Bennett said. “Caring for our seniors and most vulnerable must be a priority.”

The new law also includes a provision under which a resident must also obtain the consent of any and all roommates and bear all costs of purchase, installation, maintenance, and removal. The facility will be required to post signs at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the resident’s room stating that the room is electronically monitored.  

The governor signed House Bill 344 into law last week. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Sen. Scott Bennett

Senator Scott Bennett

52nd Senate District

Years served: 2015 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Chairperson); Appropriations II; Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Higher Education; Labor; State Government; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.

Associated Representatives:
Carol Ammons
Michael T. Marron