04262018CM0203SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) measure to address the sale of counterfeit airbags was approved by the Senate this week.

Senate Bill 560 increases the penalty for fitting a car with any device instead of an airbag from a Class A Misdemeanor to a Class 4 Felony. A Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail, whereas a Class 4 Felony is punishable by one to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and up to two-and-a-half years of probation.

“This measure is a step in the right direction to cracking down on organized criminals who are selling dangerous counterfeit airbags to consumers and suppliers with little to no regard to their deadly consequences,” Bennett said. “Increasing the penalty will deter criminals from selling these defective devices.”

Bennett said that due to the significant cost of modern airbags, their design and the technology involved in making them, scammers have taken to producing counterfeit and/or nonfunctional airbag replacements. These products often go unnoticed because airbags are only opened in the event of a collision.

“Airbags are critical in helping to protect drivers and passengers,” Bennett said. “We need to make sure that everyone has the appropriate equipment that meets proper safety standards to keep them safe in the event of a crash.”

SB 560 passed with bipartisan support and will now move to the House for consideration.

030118 KS 1403SPRINGFIELD – People with certain criminal convictions on their record would be banned from working at a carnival, amusement park or fair under a new measure by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

Senate Bill 3240 will allow the Department of Labor to penalize and fine a person, firm, corporation or other entity that owns or operates a carnival, amusement park or fair that fails to conduct a criminal history check. The measure passed out of a Senate committee this week.

“Families go to fairs and carnivals to enjoy themselves and have fun,” Bennett said. “This bill ensures that members of our community can feel safe and protected doing just that.”

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04052018CM0141SPRINGFIELD – Currently, there is no federal constitutional provision that expressly guarantees equal rights to women and men. Today, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted to change that.

Bennett co-sponsored Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4 (SJRCA 4), which would ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the United States Constitution. It would shield the guarantee in the Constitution that a woman’s rights are equal to a man’s and shall not be denied or abridged.

“I am proud to be a sponsor of this monumental legislation,” Bennett said. “Ratifying the ERA isn’t merely symbolic or only a woman’s issue. This is a necessary measure for Illinois to take to guarantee equality under the law for both men and women.”

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02272018CM0063DANVILLE – Danville School District 118 will receive more than $2.1 million in new money through the education funding overhaul passed by the Senate last year, announced State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

Under the school funding reform plan, schools will continue to receive the same state assistance they previously received.  However, the new formula is designed to ensure the most state assistance will be directed to school districts most in need.

“For far too long, many downstate school districts like those in Danville were being left behind by the state,” Bennett said. “Now, for the first time we have a funding formula that provides fair and adequate funding for students throughout the state.”

The distribution is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data. No schools in Danville will receive less state funding than they do today.

“Every school in Danville is a winner under this plan,” Bennett said. “This new money is a good first step in giving students, teachers and parents in Danville the equitable and fair funding level that they deserve.”

 
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