04052018CM0435SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) listened to the University of Illinois system administration testify before the Senate Appropriations II Committee today on their budget request for Fiscal Year 2019.

“As we work towards a budget, I look forward to working with my colleagues to guarantee that the University of Illinois can acquire the funds it needs to maintain its position as one of the most prestigious universities in the Midwest and the nation,” Bennett said. “I’ve always believed that if we care about the future of our state, we must invest in its next generation and protect our universities and colleges.”

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5a8de51661e7d.imageDANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is working to bring more help to those affected by flood damage in his district.

Last month, flooding from heavy rainfall along rivers and in low-lying areas forced Vermilion County families to evacuate their homes and caused destruction to personal property, roads and government buildings.

Personnel from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damages to homes and business in the area next Monday.

“These damage assessments are a good first step to take in order to get those affected by the flood all the help they need,” Bennett said. "Hopefully, we can all work together to help families and business owners across Vermilion County get back on their feet.” 

In Vermilion County, those in need of assistance can contact the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency at (217 443-6010 or the American Red Cross at (217) 431-5600.

02272018CM0063SPRINGFIELD – Nearly one-third of Americans today must be licensed by the government in order to do their jobs. As debt levels rise, creditors are taking increasingly tough actions to chase the 44 million people who have outstanding student loans. To prevent that debt from being used to deny professional licenses, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) introduced a measure today to combat this and protect graduate students from losing their jobs.

“It should be obvious that taking away someone’s job if they fall behind on student loans is counterproductive,” Bennett said. “If you aren’t able to work, you won’t be able to pay back your loans and will sink further into debt.”

Senate Bill 2439, the Career Preservation and Student Loan Repayment Act, will put provisions in place to prevent licensing agencies from denying, revoking, or suspending licenses to individuals with student loan default in 38 professions such as occupational therapists, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

Illinois is currently one of 22 states that have laws in place to suspend professional licenses and certificates in the event an individual must default on their student loans.

“It’s tragic that so many of our graduates have seemingly insurmountable student debt, and of course it’s appropriate to hold people accountable for their loans,” Bennett said. “However, we need to be empowering people to go to work, not taking away their ability to earn a living.”

SB 2439 passed the Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee and will now be considered by the full Senate.

02132018CM0362SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement on the governor’s budget address:

“Once again, I heard very little in the budget address today to make me believe that the governor has come to understand the importance of education and a willingness to turn the tide and stand up for our local schools, colleges and universities.

“His proposed budget only adds financial pressure on schools and universities that have already been starved and endured three years of chaos and uncertainty during the budget stalemate that he created.

“The cost shift all but condemns already resource-strapped schools to raise property taxes, increase tuition costs or eliminate jobs. We need to find a right way forward that doesn’t unload billions of dollars onto our schools and communities.

“Governor Rauner’s proposal also illustrates a complete disregard for educators and the teaching profession. He blatantly attacks retired teachers by gutting their health insurance and nearly doubling the out-of-pocket cost for retirees who generally don’t receive Social Security. We must work toward solutions that fully fund the benefits that our retired teachers have rightfully earned and deserve.”


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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