SPRINGFIELD – Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a measure through the Senate Higher Education committee Tuesday that will improve the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.

“This program provides every child born or adopted in Illinois with a head start on saving for college,” Bennett said. “This measure gives the Illinois treasurer a realistic timeline and practical tools to implement the program and make sure every Illinois child has a path to higher education from day one.”

In 2019, the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program, established as part of the Illinois treasurer’s existing Bright Start and Bright Directions programs, was signed into law. Under this law, the treasurer will automatically deposit $50 into a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois after Dec. 31, 2020.

Bennett’s legislation requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to provide the treasurer with information on recent births and adoptions in Illinois for the purpose of enrolling children in the program beginning in 2021. Additionally, the legislation also requires the Illinois Department of Revenue to provide the treasurer with information on tax filers claiming dependents or the adoption tax credit for purposes of enrolling children in the program.

The legislation adjusts program eligibility to children born on or after Jan. 1, 2023 to acknowledge the lack of funding and legislative appropriation due to COVID-19.

Senate Bill 166 moves to the full Senate for consideration.

road const 031121CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is thrilled to announce that Champaign County is set to receive more than $960,000 in construction funding over the next three years. 

“This investment solidifies our state’s commitment to creating jobs and fostering growth during these extremely difficult economic times,” Bennett said. “These much-needed funds will be provided to Champaign County under the Rebuild Illinois program, giving our community the opportunity to invest in local priorities.”  

Rebuild Illinois, which Bennett helped pass in 2019, has allocated $1.5 billion in funding specifically for municipal- and county-level projects. Infrastructure investments improve safety, quality of life and the economy, which contributes to the revitalization of communities across the state.

“Investments in our transportation infrastructure allow our community and our state to stay competitive,” Bennett said. “I’m extremely proud to have been part of this tremendous state investment.”
Projects are selected and managed locally in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Transportation, and may include road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers and bike paths, sidewalk replacements and other long-term maintenance needs.

A complete list of local agencies and awards can be viewed here.

Bennett HealthyFoodDrive Flyer

DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and Robinson Chiropractic are teaming up to host a healthy food drive in an effort to replenish the stock at The Dwelling Place for homeless and at-risk individuals in Vermilion County.

“The need for food has increased dramatically due to the economic effects of COVID-19, and that demand has especially impacted places like The Dwelling Place,” Bennett said. “Your donations can make a difference for folks in need in our community.”

According to The Dwelling Place, over 16,000 Vermilion County residents live in poverty and are at risk of homelessness, and over 500 children of school age are identified as homeless. Individuals and families who seek assistance for food are often in search of healthier options.

Bennett’s office will be collecting individually wrapped dried fruit, nuts, pumpkin seeds, granola bars, cheese and crackers, peanut butter and crackers, fruit roll-ups, protein bars, Del Monte fruit cups, applesauce cups, and nonperishable food items. Expired food items will not be accepted.

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Support Our Local Restaurants FB

CHAMPAIGN – As restaurants continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is reminding residents to support their local business owners by picking up takeout, ordering delivery or dining safely indoors at a nearby eatery.

“Even in the best of times, restaurants are tough businesses to operate, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to our favorite restaurants,” Bennett said. “With more dining options available, I encourage you to dine locally this weekend and help businesses keep their doors open, lights on and staff paid.” 

At this time, restaurant and bar establishments have resumed indoor dining operations under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. These establishments are following strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health to prevent exposure to and the spread of COVID-19. 

Bennett reminds patrons to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when entering and leaving restaurants, as well as when picking up food at a drive-thru window. In addition, Bennett asks that patrons to continue to social distance, frequently wash their hands and cover their faces to maintain progress in the fight against COVID-19.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507