illinois jane adams state trail landscape with clouds with haystacks

“We must recruit and retain qualified educators who want to teach agriculture programs for future generations.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – A shortage of trained teachers for agricultural classes in schools may soon have a solution under legislation signed by the governor today. The governor signed the bill at the Illinois State Fair’s annual Agriculture Day.

Despite the fact that 25 percent of jobs in Illinois are related to agriculture, there is a shortage of trained agriculture teachers.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) sponsored Senate Bill 1991 to try and address this problem.

“Agriculture and downstate Illinois are inseparable,” Bennett said. “We must recruit and retain qualified educators who want to teach agriculture programs for future generations.”

SB 1991 creates the Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force, which will make recommendations on recruiting and retaining agriculture education teachers and making reforms to current licensure and testing requirements.

The final report will be released no later than January 1, 2019. Members of the task force will serve voluntarily and will not be compensated with taxpayer money.

Category: Press Releases

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“Survivors of these heinous crimes should be able to come forward when they are ready to seek justice.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Survivors of sexual abuse will be able to seek justice on their own terms under a new law just signed by the governor. Senate Bill 189, an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes committed against minors.

Before the passage of Senate Bill 189, victims had a limited time period to come forward and seek charges. According to victim advocates, many victims do not come to terms with their assault until after the statute of limitations has ran out.

Senator Bennett ,the legislation’s sponsor, drew on his past experience as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Champaign County when advocating for the new law.

“Survivors of these heinous crimes should be able to come forward when they are ready to seek justice,” Bennett said. “Arbitrary deadlines should not prevent victims from seeking closure. I am pleased the governor stood with victims and signed this important piece of legislation into law.”

Scott Cross, brother of former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, worked with Senator Bennett and Attorney General Madigan to pass the legislation. Cross was one of the many victims of disgraced U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The legislation passed both chambers without opposition and goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

1024px Vermilion County Courthouse

"The Illinois Supreme Court is truly blessed to count one of the finest public servants ever to come out of Vermilion County as one of its justices.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Courthouse will now be called the Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse to honor Justice Garman’s accomplishments.

Justice Garman, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 and the University of Iowa’s College of Law in 1968, served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Vermilion County from 1969 to 1973. Starting in 1973, Garman served as a judge with the Fifth Judicial Circuit, serving as the presiding judge from 1987 to 1995.

Garman then served as an Appellate Judge in the Fourth District from 1995 until 2001 when she was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, Garman represents parts of Central Illinois from Vermilion County to Adams County.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) served on the bipartisan committee renaming the courthouse and represents parts of Vermilion County in the Illinois State Senate. Senator Bennett released the following statement:

“Few people in Illinois have given back to their community as much as Justice Garman. Her decades on the bench have been marked by her fairness and dedication to the law. The Illinois Supreme Court is truly blessed to count one of the finest public servants ever to come out of Vermilion County as one of its justices.”

Category: Press Releases

053116CM0025SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate voted today for a balanced budget that would finally end the two-year state budget crisis. State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement:

“This budget impasse has threatened the very existence of our institutions of higher learning and social service providers. By passing this balanced budget, we can now focus on rebuilding the state of Illinois and ensuring we never tread down this dangerous road again.

“Our work is not done. We must continue to work on reforms that will streamline government and make us more competitive. That is why I stand committed with my colleagues to continue working on reforms to workers compensation and property tax relief.”

Category: Press Releases

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Champaign, IL 61820
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