“This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about helping students like Trisha achieve their goals. We need to get this money to students before they are forced to make further tough decisions about their future.”

said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

CommitteeBennettresize3.6.15SPRINGFIELD- To give Illinois students a second chance, Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) and Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park) delivered Senate Bill 2043 to the governor’s office today.
The legislation provides the governor with the spending authority needed to honor his administration’s commitment to students regarding the Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid grants.

“Critical funding will keep college students on the path toward completing their degrees,” said Trotter, chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee and co-sponsor of the legislation. “I hope the governor stands with us to make college affordable and keep the doors open for our higher institutions of learning.”

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission estimates that under Senate Bill 2043, 125,000 to 130,000 eligible students will be approved for MAP grant assistance.  

“Thousands of Illinois students rely on the MAP grant program for access to education and to prepare for a better life,” Burke said. “Higher education is an essential state service that is just as important as elementary and secondary school, and should not be held up by this budget impasse.”

Without crucial funding, state community colleges and state universities are unsure if they will be able to continue to front the money for the MAP grant program. State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) hopes the governor and General Assembly can work together to restore this vital funding.

“MAP grants are absolutely vital to thousands of students across Illinois. Eliminating these funds is short-sighted and will have a long-term impact both on students and our state economy,” Murphy said.  “Today, I stand with these students and ask the governor to sign this legislation and invest in the future of Illinois.”

Trisha Rodriquez, a first-generation college student at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, relies on MAP assistance to pay for her education. Without MAP grant funding, Rodriquez would have to reconsider her financial options to continue her education.

“This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about helping students like Trisha achieve their goals,” said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “We need to get this money to students before they are forced to make further tough decisions about their future.”

DANVILLE– State Senator Scott Bennett will be honoring First Baptist girls’ volleyball team for their recent Illinois Association of Christian Schools’ Division I volleyball title.

This is First Baptist’s first IACS Division I volleyball title and the first Division I title in the history of the school for any sports team.

Bennett will be recognizing the six players during a school assembly and will be presenting special Senate certificates.  First Baptist will also be unveiling a new banner to recognize this great accomplishment.

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Time:  9 a.m.

Location: First Baptist School, 1211 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL

120715CM0773RTSPRINGFIELD- Without a state budget for need-based state financial aid in place, Illinois’ public universities and community colleges paid roughly $182 million to allow students to continue their education last semester. To alleviate the burden on Illinois college students and families, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Bill 2043, MAP grant funding, today.

“The state made a commitment to our students and families. It’s about time we honor our promises to fund MAP grants and make investments in our future,” Bennett said.

Senate Bill 2043 does the following:

•    MAP grants to about 128,000 low-income college students and possibly an additional 15,000 eligible students.  Majority of the additional funding would go to students attending community colleges like Danville Area Community College and Parkland College
•    Over $260 million for operation costs at community colleges
•    $49.8 million to fund career and tech education as well as GED programs throughout the state

Senate Bill 2043 passed the Senate 36-12 and will now head to the governor’s desk for consideration. 

wave usa flag 1383225090826DANVILLE- State Senator Scott Bennett passed House Joint Resolution 99 to rename a section of Illinois Route 1 that runs from the south end of Westville to Georgetown the “Sergeant Kenneth R. Nichols, Jr. Memorial Highway.”

“This resolution honors Sergeant Nichols, a proud son of Vermilion County, who gave his life in service to our country,” Bennett said. “This designation serves as a way to honor both the life and sacrifices made by Sergeant Nichols and his family.”

Sergeant Nichols is survived by his wife, Lexi; his four children, Brhyleigh, Kenneth III, Braden and Pailynn; his father, Kenneth R. Nichols; and two sisters, Lisa and Cindy. Sgt. Nichols was a 2000 graduate of Georgetown-Ridge High School.

Sergeant Nichols was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado and was serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

House Joint Resolution 99 was approved by the Senate on Jan. 13 with a 48-0 vote. A highway dedication ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. The legislation was sponsored in the Illinois House by State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin).


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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