BennettTechnicalSPRINGFIELD- A survey released earlier this year revealed there will be more than 500 new jobs in central Illinois that will need to be filled by those trained in career and technical programs such as welding, trucking and design engineering.

However, employers will be unable to fill these jobs due to workforce shortages in the region.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced Senate Bill 1393 to promote a career and technical education to help alleviate workforce shortages in Illinois.

“Not all students are interested in four-year degrees. Career and technical training is an opportunity for students to jump start their training while in school and find good-paying jobs immediately after graduation,” Bennett said. “We need to match Illinois residents with high-demand jobs to keep employers and workers in Illinois.”

SB 1393 requires the Illinois State Board of Education to identify industries and occupations in Illinois that face workforce shortages or a lack of adequately trained, entry-level workers and award grants of $1,000 per pupil to school districts for each student who successfully completes an industry-recognized certification program that was designed to mitigate workforce shortages.

“There are real jobs here at home. This initiative will ensure we continue to work to guarantee Illinois’ workforce meets the demands of our economy,” Bennett said.

The measure passed the Senate’s Education Committee and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

CommitteeBennettresize3.6.15SPRINGFIELD– Taxpayers would have a better understanding of the work of government boards  under a proposed law state Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced today.

“Good government requires transparency and accountability. It’s our duty to hold administrations accountable and keep people informed,” said Bennett.

His proposal, Senate Bill 1339, does two things.

First, it requires government boards to post video on their websites of the board meeting within 24 hours. This would apply to boards where the governor appoints at least one member that is confirmed by the Senate.

“This simply makes it easier for taxpayers to access public information,” Bennett said. “The technology is readily available today to make this possible and affordable.”

Second, Bennett’s proposal would require those boards to post its public meeting agenda at least 72 hours prior to the meeting, except in cases of emergencies. The current posting requirement is only 48 hours.

SB 1339 passed the Senate’s Executive Committee with bipartisan support and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

URBANA- State Senator Scott Bennett and State Representative Carol Ammons will be hosting a joint town hall meeting to update residents on their first 60 days in office.  

The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13 in the Urbana City Council Chambers at 400 S. Vine Street, Urbana.

Senator Bennett and Representative Ammons will provide area residents with news on budget proposals, protecting the Mahomet Aquifer, higher education funding and new legislation.

If you are unable to attend please feel free to send Senator Bennett an email with any questions or concerns.



CWS MahometAquifer ISWS1006SPRINGFIELD- The Mahomet Aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 15 counties across Central Illinois including Champaign and Vermilion counties.  State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced Senate Bill 1698 to protect residents across Central Illinois from contaminated drinking water.
“The Mahomet Aquifer serves as a lifeline for our region. It’s our duty to protect this important resource for the sake of our children and generations to come,” said Bennett. “This proposal will further the mission of the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance by instituting guidelines to protect our underground water source.”

The Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance is a group of Central Illinois citizens who are committed to keeping the Mahomet Aquifer free of contamination. Local communities across central Illinois have banded together to fight the disposal of dangerous toxins at the Clinton Landfill, which sits atop the Aquifer.

As a result of their efforts, last year the Mahomet Aquifer was designated as a Sole Source Aquifer, which provides federal protection.  

Representative Carol Ammons has introduced similar legislation in the House. Bennett and Ammons will continue to work together to find an equitable solution to protect the aquifer from contamination.

SB 1698 passed the Senate’s Committee on Public Health and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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