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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution passed the Illinois House of Representatives this week.

“After years of inaction, Illinois is finally taking steps to protect public health and the environment from toxic coal ash,” Bennett said. “This is a powerful victory for everyone who fought to keep our rivers, streams and lakes clean. An entire coalition across the state came together to protect Illinois communities and waterways from for future generations.”

The measure addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. Senate Bill 9 creates a regulatory framework to ensure polluters, not taxpayers, pay for needed closure and cleanup, guarantees public participation and transparency around cleanups for affected communities and provides Illinois EPA the funds it needs to properly oversee closure and cleanup. 

State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) and State Rep. Mike Marron (R-Danville) carried the bill through the House and a large coalition of activists from around Illinois championed the legislation including: Central Illinois Healthy Communities Alliance, Citizens Against Longwall Mining, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Clean Power Lake County, Earthjustice, Eco-Justice Collaborative, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Faith in Place Action Fund, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois People’s Action, Metro-East Green Alliance, Prairie Rivers Network, Protect the Middle Fork, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, and Springfield Clean. 

Senate Bill 9 now awaits the governor’s signature.

Bennett June Town Halls

CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) will host town hall meetings in Champaign and Danville early next month to recap the spring legislative session in Springfield.

Bennett will update constituents on the budget status, legislation he worked on and answer questions.

“In-person town hall meetings are a fundamental way to get feedback from the constituents I represent,” Bennett said. “I’ve always believed that government works best when there is constant and open communication between legislators and local residents, and I look forward to hearing input on how we can move our state forward.”

Area residents can stop by to receive assistance and share concerns on local and state issues.

Champaign Town Hall:
Wednesday, June 5
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Cityview Banquet & Meeting Center (45 E. University Ave, Champaign)

Danville Town Hall:
Thursday, June 13
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Danville Area Community College, Vermilion Hall, Room 306 (2000 E. Main, Danville)

Media Contact: Julianne Micoleta (217) 782-3012 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information: Call (217) 355-5252 or visit www.SenatorBennett.com.

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SPRINGFIELD – Residents living in state-operated assisted living facilities would be allowed to install cameras in their rooms to monitor and deter possible abuse under a bill that is heading to the governor’s desk.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) partnered with his uncle State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) to make Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) facilities safer for residents and to reassure their loved ones.

Bennett sponsored House Bill 344 through the Senate this week to allow a resident living in a CILA facility, a supervised home environment in which eight or fewer people with mental illness or developmental disabilities live together, to electronically monitor their own room provided that their consent and notice has been given to the facility on prescribed forms.

“The core of this bill is to protect some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” Bennett said. “It will ensure that these residents are treated well, provide their families with peace of mind regarding their loved ones and help resolve disputes regarding suspected abuse and neglect.”

The measure also includes a provision under which a resident must also obtain the consent of any and all roommates and bear all costs of purchase, installation, maintenance, and removal. The facility will be required to post signs at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the resident’s room stating that the room is electronically monitored.  

HB 344 has passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor for approval.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed a measure through the Senate this week to support horse races at the Illinois State Fair.  

Under current law, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is authorized to provide at least five days of horse racing at the Illinois State Fair. Bennett, who is the Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, sponsored House Bill 3667 to provide an exception to this requirement if the Illinois Standardbred Breeders Fund Advisory Board requests an alternate racing program. 

“This measure will provide the DOA the flexibility to make adjustments to the horse racing schedule at the State Fair,” Bennett said. “It will help accommodate horse breeders and owners and ensure the horse racing industry and the thousands of jobs it creates remains an important part of the agricultural economy of our state."

The Advisory Board assists and advises the Department of Agriculture on expenditures and rulemaking concerning Standardbred horses and arcing programs.

HB 3667 has passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor for approval.

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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