Bennett

  • Bennett warns consumers of coronavirus price gouging and scams

    Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD - Reports of scams and price gouging have hit Illinois as COVID-19 continues its spread. In response, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging residents to file a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General to report unfair pricing and other unfair practices connected to the coronavirus outbreak.

    On Monday, Governor JB Pritzker issued an executive order prohibiting price gouging and giving Attorney General Kwame Raoul enforcement authority. The Office of the Attorney General is directing businesses to maintain fair pricing, particularly on items public health agencies are recommending people use to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

  • Bennett: Blood banks in need of adequate blood supply

    Sen. Scott BennettCHAMPAIGN – Blood centers around the state are facing a decrease in blood donation appointments and cancellation of blood drives due to COVID-19. Under the circumstances, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging those willing and able to donate blood.

    “While our national attention is on the coronavirus, other health issues – like anemia, serious injuries, surgeries, and cancer patients that require blood – continue at pre-pandemic rates,” Bennett said. “If you are healthy and eligible, it is critical to donate now.”

    The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19 and has emphasized that individuals are not at risk of contracting COVID-19 from donating blood. There is also no known risk of the safety of the nation’s blood supply, only the adequacy of the supply at this time.

  • Bennett promotes free tax preparation assistance to seniors and low-income families

    taxprep 031220SPRINGFIELD –Tax season is upon us, and you have until April 15 to file your return. Low-to-moderate income families and senior citizens needing assistance filing their 2019 income taxes can receive free help through several trusted programs across Illinois, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and AARP Tax-Aide programs are providing free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals in over 300 locations statewide.  

    “Every dollar counts for some folks and paying someone to prepare their taxes may not be an option,” Bennett said. “Offering free tax preparation services helps seniors and families in need receive the credits and refunds they’ve earned while bypassing the high cost of a paid tax preparer.” 

    The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly programs offer free tax help for individuals making $56,000 or less, persons with disabilities, taxpayers who speak limited English and individuals 60 years of age or older.

    Additionally, AARP’s Foundation Tax-Aide program focuses on helping low-to-moderate income individuals, with special attention to those over 50 years of age. An AARP membership is not required.

    Illinois taxpayers can search for a free tax assistance provider closest to them by visiting the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website tax.illinois.gov.

  • Champaign lawmakers and CUPHD leaders to hold virtual coronavirus town hall

    bennett coronavirus 031120CHAMPAIGN –Area lawmakers and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) will co-host a virtual town hall to share information about coronavirus Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m. 

    State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) will join CUPHD experts on Rep. Ammons’ Facebook page to hear questions and concerns related to coronavirus. 

    Bennett, Ammons and CUPHD will discuss how Illinois is preparing to handle an outbreak, and various panels will provide educational information as well as answer constituent questions.

     

  • Bennett, Manar introduce package of Rx legislation at Champaign town hall

    bennett manar 031020CHAMPAIGN - High prescription drug prices and accountability of the pharmaceutical industry topped concerns of Champaign residents during a town hall meeting Monday. 

    The meeting was hosted by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and was cohosted by Protect Our Care Illinois, Champaign County Health Care Consumers, NAACP Champaign County, AARP Illinois and AFSCME. 

    Following an informational presentation from Protect Our Care representative Dan Rabbitt, Bennett and Manar opened the floor to Champaign County residents to raise their concerns, share their stories and ask questions about pending legislation in Springfield.

  • Bennett announces open applications for local economic development grants

    bennett 031020SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging local governments to apply to receive a portion of $80 million in grants to spur economic development and provide much-needed infrastructure in their communities.

    “These grants are a tremendous opportunity to stimulate the economy,” Bennett said. “Not only will they help revitalize distressed communities, they will support local economies and create jobs.”

    The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute funding to local governments through a competitive selection process to support projects that will help generate jobs, expand economic opportunity and encourage new development.

    DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments, $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million to prepare sites for construction. Potential projects also include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design.

    Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

    For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.

  • Bennett celebrates 50th annual Agriculture Legislative Day at Capitol

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  • Bennett encourages University of Illinois System advocates at Springfield rally

    bennett 022620SPRINGFIELD – Alumni and students from the University of Illinois System rallied behind State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) in support of higher education in Springfield Wednesday.

    More than 200 alumni and students from the University of Illinois System traveled to the Capitol to participate in their annual advocacy day, which included a rally with University of Illinois caucus members.

    This event gives students and alumni the opportunity to show their support for higher education legislation and issues, as well as learn about the legislative process. 

     

  • Bennett advances bill to allow exemptions from school shooter drills

    bennett 022520SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a measure through the Senate Education Committee Tuesday to allow a student’s parent to exempt them from school active shooter drills.

    The legislation is in response to recent news regarding the effects active shooter drills in schools have on young children. It seeks to reduce the associated psychological effects by granting parents the authority to exempt students from the drill.

    “While I support training for school staff and students, it’s critical that we take additional precautions for these drills, as fear of school shootings has intensified,” Bennett said. “These drills can sometimes be confusing for young students and psychologically distressing – if the circumstances permit, a parent should have the ability to opt their child out of a school shooter drill.”

  • Bennett plan to simplify court fee structure in Illinois clears committe

    Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett clarifying Illinois’ complex court fee system cleared the Senate State Government Committee Wednesday.

    The proposal, Senate Bill 2557, specifies funds collected by county clerks from fees, assessments and fines are to be transferred to the State Treasurer to be deposited into the appropriate fund.

    “The purpose of this legislation is to ensure court fines and fees are streamlined so that it’s easier for the clerks to administer,” Senator Bennett (D-Champaign) said. “This bill creates a more coherent system that will increase efficiency.”

  • Bennett steers families to resources regarding DCFS insurance switch

    bennett 020520SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) raised concerns following the transition of DCFS children with complex needs into the Medicaid managed care form Wednesday.

    Days after nearly 19,000 adopted children and former foster children transitioned to Medicaid managed care, an estimated 2,500 were affected by a glitch that has left them without insurance since Saturday.

    The Senate Human Services committee held a hearing Tuesday to address concerns with the oversight of Medicaid managed care agencies in hopes to find a solution.

    “There is a lack of communication with the agencies and it’s being taken out on the families,” Senator Bennett said. “We need to ensure these individuals have access to the health care they need and are kept informed – we have to stay aggressive to get this resolved.”

    For health care coverage inquiries and dispute resolution, Bennett urges residents to call the Illinois DCFS Advocacy Office for Children and Families at 800-232-3798 or 217-524-2029, fax 217-557-7278 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    To verify that your provider is part of the YouthCare network, call 844-289-2264 and ask for the Rapid Response Team or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    For general questions, contact YouthCare at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Illinois DCFS at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    For any additional questions, Bennett encourages residents to contact his office at 217-782-2507.

  • Bennett invites small business owners to a tax credit workshop

    cashCHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is partnering with the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) and the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce to host a free workshop about the Minimum Wage Tax Credit on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce (303 W. Kirby Ave., Champaign). 

    On Jan. 1, the first phase of minimum wage increases took effect, raising the wage from $8.25 an hour to $9.25 an hour. Under the new law, small businesses are eligible for a tax credit, giving them a maximum credit of 25% of the difference between the new minimum wage and what each employee was paid previously.

    “We need to keep small businesses competitive during this transition period,” Bennett said. “This informative workshop will help connect small business owners with updated information on the Minimum Wage Tax Credit to help offset the state’s minimum wage rate and ease their transition.”

    Businesses and nonprofits with 50 full-time equivalent employees or less are eligible for the credit and can begin to claim on their quarterly Illinois Withholding Income Tax Returns.

    Nick Austin of the IDOR will present at the workshop and provide assistance. Bennett urges small businesses to take advantage of this tax credit and participate in the February workshop. 

    For more information or to RSVP, please contact Senator Bennett’s office at 217-355-5252 or SenatorBennett.com, or visit IDOR’s website tax.illinois.gov. 

  • Bennett releases statement on possible sexual assault cover-up

    bennett 050219CHAMPAIGN Shocked and angered by a possible sexual assault political cover-up, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is asking anyone with information to come forward.

    The request comes in response to a WBEZ article regarding a 2012 email to officials within then-Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration that references someone keeping quiet about “the rape in Champaign.”

    “This is frightening and disturbing. Sexual assault allegations need to be taken seriously. If anyone has any information about this crime, please get in touch with authorities. This needs to be investigated and prosecuted. The public needs answers, people need to be held accountable and somewhere there’s a victim who deserves justice. The conduct I read in that email is disgusting and will not be tolerated,” Senator Bennett said.

    If you have information please contact:

    • Champaign County State’s Attorney, 217-384-3733
    • Illinois State Police, 217-278-5000
    • Illinois Executive Inspector General, 312-814-5600
  • Bennett: Thomasboro Fire Protection District receives funds for fire trucks

    fire gear 110719THOMASBORO – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday that the Thomasboro Fire Protection District is one of 23 communities to receive funds to purchase fire trucks that will allow first responders to better serve the area.

    “Fire departments consistently face financial burdens,” Bennett said. “This funding will allow the fire district to purchase the equipment they need, while also reducing the cost to local taxpayers.”

    The Thomasboro Fire Protection District, a volunteer department, is the recipient of $300,000, which has given it the opportunity to purchase new equipment it may not otherwise have been able to afford.

  • State Senator Scott Bennett Previews the Fall Veto and Spring Sessions

    In this edition of the "Senate Showcase" podcast, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) previews the upcoming Fall Veto and Spring legislative sessions and highlights upcoming town hall events in his district.

  • Bennett’s landmark legislation to clean up coal ash becomes law

    Sen. Scott BennettCHAMPAIGN – A proposal by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution was signed into law today.

    “This was about preventing coal ash waste from threatening our water and our communities throughout the state,” Bennet said. “I am relieved that we now have the protections, regulations and financial assurances in place that we need to prevent more coal ash crises from happening in Illinois."

    The new law addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. There are approximately 25 known coal ash impoundments which are already closed in the state.

    Bennett’s measure would establish processes to address the other 50-plus impoundment sites which have yet to close.

  • Bennett: Let’s prevent more toxic coal ash crises in Illinois

    Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined legislators, environmental groups and community leaders from across Illinois Tuesday to call on the General Assembly to be proactive about the hazardous coal ash pollution threatening Illinois lakes, rivers and streams.

    “Coal ash pollution is not a partisan issue,” Bennet said. “There are coal ash pits in essentially every legislative district, so it’s important to recognize that it’s not a problem for one part of the state or one political party. It’s a problem for the state of Illinois.”

    Bennett championed the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act to address this issue. Senate Bill 9 would direct the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to begin a rule-making process to require power plant operators to safely dispose of coal ash or ensure that pits are properly enclosed, impose fees on coal ash pits to pay the costs of hiring IEPA staff to oversee enforcement, and require power plant operators to set aside money to pay for cleaning up pits in the event a plant is shut down or a company goes bankrupt.

  • Bennett: Buy Illinois to create jobs, support local economies

    bennett 030519SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) would require State agencies to purchase products that are made in Illinois. 

    “This is a great step forward and demonstrates our commitment to supporting Illinois businesses, driving job creation and ensuring our tax dollars stay here in Illinois and in America,” Bennett said. “I will continue my efforts to support our local businesses, manufacturers and contractors as we work together to level the playing field with foreign competitors.”

    The legislation would require State agencies to buy Illinois manufactured products when available. If Illinois made products are not available, they will then buy products made in the United States.

    House Bill 357 passed the Senate State Government Committee and will go before the full Senate for further consideration.

  • Castro, Bennett speak at clean energy rally

    castro 050919SPRINGFIELD– State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined advocates from the Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois Sierra Club and Faith in Place at their annual lobby day and rally at the Capitol on Thursday.

    Castro and Bennett have both worked closely with these groups on legislation that would move Illinois toward a greener future.

    Castro is spearheading legislation that would create the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would put goals in place for Illinois to work toward becoming 100 percent dependent on renewable energy by 2050. This measure would also promote jobs and economic opportunities for minority and disadvantaged communities.

  • Bennett: Illinois has a toxic coal ash problem

    bennett 050919Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act will protect land and water from coal ash pollution

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation today to address the issue of severe groundwater contamination at Illinois coal ash dumpsites.

    Recently, several state environmental groups found unsafe levels of toxic pollutants at 22 of Illinois’ coal ash storage sites in the last year.

    Millions of tons of coal ash, generated by the state’s coal-fired power plants, have been stored in primarily unlined ponds and landfills near the plants for decades. This toxic byproduct of burning coal continues to flow into groundwater, lakes, rivers, and streams around the state, including the Middle Fork of the Vermilion River, Illinois’ only National Scenic River.