FarmlandBennettSPRINGFIELD- Soon, operators of farm vehicles will no longer have to apply for commercial driver’s licenses.

State Senator Scott Bennett advanced House Bill 2515 to ensure Illinois is compliant with federal regulations that would exempt operators and vehicles such as tractors, trucks or trailers that are registered as farm vehicles with the state from the following:

•    Commercial Driver Licenses
•    Controlled substance/alcohol use and testing
•    Physical qualifications and examinations
•    Driver’s hours of service
•    Inspection, repair and maintenance pertaining to the covered farm vehicle

The legislation also addresses changes to gross combination weight ratings to conform to the federal definition.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy. We need to continue to ensure we are meeting the needs of our farmers by streamlining regulations and staying consistent with states across the country,” said Bennett. “

In 2012, the US Congress passed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” a major transportation bill that included two substantial regulatory exemptions for agriculture dealing with Hours of Service and covering a broad range of farm exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for vehicles classified as covered farm vehicles (CFV).

In order to comply with federal law, Illinois needs to pass HB 2515 or risk ineligibility for Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program grants and other federal highway funds.  

HB 2515 passed out of the Senate’s Committee on Transportation with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.


image1SPRINGFIELD- As a new parent, there’s a lot of new things to learn. There are many sleepless nights and countless hours of preparation. Under proposed legislation, hospitals will soon be able to send new parents home with a trusted tool to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is sponsoring legislation to ensure that materials on SIDS prevention provided to parents include information from the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally recognized SIDS or medical association.

“I was a new parent not too long ago. There’s a lot to learn and be aware of. This legislation eases some of the burden by providing new parents with vital and reliable information on how they can help to protect their children from SIDS,” Senator Bennett said.

SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who appears healthy. It is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 2011, about one out of 2,300 infants born in the nation died of SIDS before their first birthdays.

The cause of SIDS is unknown, however educational campaigns helped raise awareness to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep related causes of infant death.

For more information on the “Safe Sleep” campaign, please visit  

HB 1407 passed the Senate’s Committee on Public Health with unanimous support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

bennett shred 2015URBANA – Consumer fraud and identity theft are becoming an epidemic in our communities. To raise awareness and to promote prevention, the Urbana Free Library and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) are offering paper shredding services for Champaign-Urbana residents.

To help reduce the chances of identity theft, experts recommend shredding things like bank statements, credit card offers and credit card convenience checks. Residents should also shred canceled credit cards, canceled checks, pay stubs, old photo IDs and tax returns that are more than three years old.

To accommodate all participants the limit is two boxes per a person. Boxes and bags will be returned.

Date: Saturday, May 2, 2015

Time: 9 a.m. to noon

Location: Parking lot on Cedar St., west of the Urbana Free Library (210 W. Green St., Urbana).

For more information, call Bennett’s office at (217) 355-5252 or click on the flyer.

BennettComm4.27.15SPRINGFIELD- This year’s Skills Gap Report by projects that there will be an additional three and a half million manufacturing jobs by 2025

However, two million of them will go unfilled for lack of qualified candidates.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Bill 1393 to promote career and technical education to help alleviate workforce shortages in Illinois.

“After meeting with and touring local schools and manufacturing facilities, I know workers and businesses are ready to work.  The major factor missing in this equation is adequate training,” said Bennett.

SB 1393 requires the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Community College Board and the Illinois Department of Employment Security to work together to identify industries and occupations in Illinois that face workforce shortages or a lack of adequately trained, entry-level workers.

Based on their findings, grants of $1,000 will be awarded per pupil to school districts and community colleges for each student who successfully completes an industry-recognized certification program that was designed to mitigate workforce shortages.

“Our job is to ensure we are meeting the needs of current and future Illinois businesses. If we want to continue to grow as a state, we need to match employers with skilled workers,” said Bennett.

SB 1393 passed the Senate and now moves to the House for consideration.


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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