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SPRINGFIELD – To honor the legacies of indigenous people across the country, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is proposing that the month of November be declared Native American Heritage Month in Illinois.

“Ensuring that the month of November is dedicated to paying tribute to the contributions and influences of Native Americans is the least we can do for a people who laid the foundation for our country,” Bennett said. “I’m thrilled to see this legislation move forward so we can commemorate their culture and tradition.” 

Bennett’s proposal would recognize the influences of Native Americans on American history, achievement, culture and innovation during the month of November.

Native Americans, who were the first inhabitants of the U.S., have helped shape American culture through food, medicine, literature and the arts. A dedicated month would provide the opportunity to highlight these contributions, raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and center stories of the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges.

“Native American Heritage Month would be a chance for Illinois to learn more about its history, as well as about the rich and diverse Native American communities that still live here today,” Bennett said. 

Senate Bill 1689 passed the Senate State Government Committee with bipartisan support Wednesday and moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.

R405c4ca38a46ec6c0fd7be483e84f2acSPRINGFIELD – The Senate State Government Committee approved a measure sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) Wednesday to add probation officers to the list of individuals that qualify for death benefits if killed in the line of duty.

“Our probation officers put their uniforms on and go to work every day to help protect our communities,” Bennett said. “With the Illinois courts considering an expansion of home and field visits, more probation officers are at increased risk of getting involved in a potentially violent situation.”

While the Illinois Probation and Court Services Association has not reported any probation officers killed in the line of duty, offenders often exhibit violent or charged behavior during interactions with officers.

Bennett’s plan would include probation officers in the Line of Duty Compensation Act, which provides death benefits to individuals such as law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces who are killed in the line of duty.

“While nothing can ever replace a loved one, this program gives these brave individuals peace of mind that their families will be taken care of should the worst happen,” Bennett said.

Senate Bill 1681 moves to the Senate floor for further consideration.


CHAMPAIGN – To improve transparency around prescription drug costs, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) reintroduced a measure requiring pharmacies to post a notice informing consumers that a consumer may request current pharmacy retail prices at the point of sale.

“Retail prices at pharmacies generally bear no relationship to the actual market prices of the medications,” Bennett said. “Patients deserve to know the ‘real’ price of the medication they intend to purchase so they can make an informed decision about where they buy their prescriptions.”

Under Senate Bill 1682, pharmacies would be required to post a notice informing consumers that they may request current pharmacy retail prices at the point of sale and must also provide customers directly with the retail price of a prescription drug, both in writing and electronically prior to purchase.

“Only informed and empowered consumers can impose pricing pressure on drug manufacturers,” Bennett said. “It’s time to give consumers the pricing information they deserve.”

Bennett, who co-sponsored legislation to cap insulin prices in 2019, introduced this measure last spring, but the legislation lost momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 1682 passed the Senate Licensed Activities Committee Wednesday and advances to the Senate floor.

To stay informed about legislation Bennett is sponsoring this spring, he urges residents to visit

pexels photo 1954524URBANA – In an effort to promote wellness and improve recreational opportunities in the Urbana area, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) has secured $2.5 million through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grant program, which will be used to construct the Urbana Indoor Recreation and Fitness Center.

“I’m thrilled that Urbana has been selected to receive a PARC grant to provide more recreational opportunities for our community,” Bennett said. “This funding shows the state’s continued commitment to invest in public recreational spaces so more families and individuals can maintain their health.”

The new facility will feature a gymnasium, walking track, exercise equipment room, multipurpose meeting and rental room, office space for facility staff, locker rooms, and parking. The project also includes the installation of rain gardens in the parking lot medians and additional tree planting.

The PARC grant program provides up to 90% of project costs to help build, renovate and improve recreational buildings used by the public, with local governments matching the value of the grants awarded. The grant to Champaign-Urbana was one of 17 grants awarded across the state Wednesday.

A full list of grantees is available on IDNR’s website.

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