DSC 0517SPRINGFIELD- Local schools will receive $4.1 million more under the new bipartisan plan approved by the General Assembly today.
State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation to increase education funding for Champaign and Vermilion counties.

“Schools need to open their doors on time this fall,” Bennett said.  “It was important that all levels of government regardless of any political party, find a way to work together to reach a compromise. We can’t risk our children’s future for the sake of political games.”

Area schools would see the following increases in funding:

Danville Community Consolidated School District No. 118            $ 1,495,066
Champaign Community Unit School District 4                                 $    864,435
Urbana School District 116                                                                $    629,035
Rantoul City School District 137                                                        $    503,931

This measure also includes $1.8 million in funding for agriculture education.
“We know here in Vermilion and Champaign counties, that agribusiness is the backbone of our economy,” Bennett said. “It’s essential for us to make these vital investments.”

The Senate, House and governor worked together to pass a bipartisan budget compromise.

Bennettfirstbill4.16.15SPRINGFIELD- Rantoul may soon receive the $38.9 million it needs to finish reconstruction of the Lincoln's ChalleNGe campus at the old Chanute Air Force Base.

Construction has been halted due to the state budget impasse. State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) fought for funding to continue construction on this long-anticipated project.

“Lincoln’s ChalleNGe is a phenomenal program that has a proven track record of helping thousands of young people throughout our state,” Bennett said. “It’s about time we give them the resources they need to continue the fine work they do every day to improve lives in our communities.”

Senate Bill 2047 also includes additional funding for area schools to allow them to open their doors on time this fall. Gifford schools will see a 37 percent increase in funding.

Area schools will see the following increases in funding:

Rantoul City School District 137    $503,931
Rantoul Township High School District 193                 $163,790
Gifford Central Consolidated School District 188    $54,889

“Education is the best tool we can give our children,” Bennett said. “Schools need to open in time. Teachers need resources to do their job. This legislation accomplishes that.”

Bennett pushed for a bipartisan agreement with the governor and his Republican colleagues to find a compromise everyone can support.

“We do our best work when we find a way to work together,” Bennett said. “My hope is that this is the beginning of a new approach that will yield results, not political fights.”

Senate Bill 2047 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. The legislation now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration.

021715CM0990resizeforwebCHAMPAIGN- Local schools will receive over $10.8 million more under a new plan being assembled in the Illinois Senate.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supports legislation to increase education funding for Champaign County students and allow schools to open their doors on time this fall.
Area schools would see the following increases in funding:

Danville Community Consolidated School District No. 118     $4,186,185
Champaign Community Unit School District 4                        $2,420,419
Urbana School District 116                                                    $1,761,301
Rantoul City School District 137                                            $1,197,466

“Education funding is my top priority,” Bennett said. “It’s important that we all work together to pass a plan to give our children the best opportunity to succeed. This is a clean school funding plan to keep our schools open.”
This proposal also fully funds agriculture education.
“It’s important for us to educate and train Illinois’ future farmers,” Bennett said. “Agribusiness is the backbone of Illinois’ economy. We need to continue to make investments in this essential industry.”   
The Senate will convene on Wednesday at noon to take action on pending budget measures.

030216CM0460RSCHAMPAIGN- State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) has been tasked with leading the Senate’s committee on Statutes of Limitation. The focus will be on evaluating statutes of limitation for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children.

Possible issues with Illinois’ current statutes came to light due to developments involving former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who admitted in court that he sexually abused teenage boys when he was a wrestling coach in Yorkville.

“The committee will take some time to study and assess pending legislation to figure out whether they are fair and essential,” Bennett said. “It’s important for government to evolve with the needs of the people.”

During Hastert’s trial, Judge Thomas Durkin noted that Hastert avoided serious legal consequences because of current statutes of limitation in Illinois’ state courts.

Statutes of limitation restricts the time during which authorities can charge someone with a crime after it occurs.

This spring Bennett introduced an initiative to remove the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children, which allows for the prosecution of these offenses at any time.

“We need to find ways to better protect our children,” Bennett said. “At times, victims of abuse need time to find courage to address these horrific crimes. Our goal is to give them the option to confront their abuser when they are ready.”

Under current law cases similar to the charges brought against Hastert, victims must report cases of abuse within 20 years after they have turned 18.  

The bipartisan committee will hear Bennett’s measure Senate Bill 3402 along with others.

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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