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SPRINGFIELD – State Senate Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed a measure through the Illinois Senate that addresses the reality of Illinois’ rollout of officer-worn body cameras.

“Protecting our communities is one of my top priorities,” Bennett said. “By clarifying language regarding body cameras and video storage, we can help law enforcement best do their job while also keeping those they protect and serve safe."

Bennett introduced House Bill 4608, which would allow some state funds intended to purchase body cameras to be used to purchase data storage and personnel costs related to the rollout of body cameras. Additionally, the measure would allow officers to flag videos they believe may have evidentiary value and to clarify when an officer is and is not required to have the camera rolling.

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040422CM01571SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and his colleagues joined police advocates Monday to unveil a legislative package aimed at supporting law enforcement officers and improving the state’s criminal justice system.

“Our law enforcement officials work tirelessly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep our communities safe,” Bennett said. “That’s why my colleagues and I are working together to create grant opportunities and keep quality officers in the workforce to help those fighting for our communities.”

To help promote fair compensation across the state, House Bill 4228 requires a county sheriffs’ salary to equal at least 80% of the county’s state’s attorney’s salary. House Bill 3863 creates the Law Enforcement Recruitment and Retention Fund to support departments through the hiring and training processes and help retention strategies.

Body cameras are critical for keeping officers safe as well as improving evidence quality and reducing liability for agencies. House Bill 4608 allows for video retention for evidentiary value and allows grant funds to be used for data storage costs.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined his colleagues at a press conference in Springfield Friday to outline a more than $1.8 billion inflation-addressing relief plan that would wipe out state taxes on back-to-school shopping and groceries, stop rising gas taxes and deliver income and property tax refund checks statewide.

“This plan gets money back in the hands of consumers. They’ve endured through this pandemic. It’s time for the state to pay it forward,” Bennett said.

Under their plan, the state would directly deliver relief checks valued at $100 per person and $50 per child to state taxpayers making up to $250,000 individually or up to $500,000 jointly. A household of four could see a $300 check.

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SPRINGFIELD – To reduce the cost of course materials and make them more accessible to Illinois students, Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation through the Senate to save students money.

“Cost and convenience play an important role for students when purchasing their course materials,” Bennett said. “With this legislation, higher education institutions will put course materials in students’ hands the right way and at the right price.”

Under the measure, students would receive digital access to their online course materials at a significantly reduced cost. These materials can be viewed on a computer, laptop or smartphone on the first day of class.

Bennett worked closely with the University of Illinois on this legislation to ensure students are set up for success by offering students maximum choice in selecting the learning resources that are right for them at the lowest market price. 

“Students want affordable course materials, and colleges and universities want to make sure students have the materials they need to thrive,” Bennett said. “This measure addresses accessibility and affordability head on.”

House Bill 4724 now goes to the governor for his approval.

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