ILAAward100918PEORIA – The Illinois Library Association presented State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) with the Robert R. McClarren Legislative Development Award at their annual conference on Tuesday.

The award is given to a worthy recipient from the Illinois library community who has contributed significantly to legislative development in Illinois.

“Serving a broad constituency, Bennett has balanced political ideology with the needs and opinions of his constituents,” said the Illinois Library Association’s release. “In his short time in the legislature, he has shown himself to be a strong supporter of education and library issues.”

Bennett was a Trustee on the Urbana Free Library board from December 2010 through September 2014, and more recently was the primary sponsor of legislation on local library appropriations.

“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Illinois Library Association,” Bennett said. “Libraries are essential to our communities and provide access to resources and information that give people vast opportunities to learn, make decisions and expand their imagination.”

The 2018 Illinois Library Association Annual Conference Awards Luncheon was held October 9 in Peoria.

CHAMPAIGN – A bill to help end the long-standing practice of “offshoring” governor staff salaries to state agencies to mask the governor’s budget was signed into law this week, thanks to State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

Bennett co-sponsored the Truth in Hiring Act to prohibit the governor from using state agency appropriations to pay for governor’s office employees for the current administration and all going forward.

Bennett says that it’s past time for these deceptive accounting practices to end. Nearly 60 percent of employees currently working for the governor’s office are paid by state agencies for funds intended for priorities such as public safety, economic development and child protection.

“The people of Illinois foot the bill for government and they deserve to know how and on whom their tax dollars are being spent,” Bennett said. “I am glad that the governor’s office is now committing to being open and honest about his office’s expenses.”  

House Bill 5121 goes into effect immediately.

05022018CM0563SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement on today’s budget vote in the Illinois Senate:

“As a legislative body, it is our responsibility to enable our youth to have a bright future in this state and to provide for the most vulnerable in our society. Today’s budget vote shows that the Illinois Senate is able to work across party lines to achieve much-needed compromise.

“The balanced budget agreement that the Senate passed sets responsible funding levels that allow us to reprioritize spending to tackle some our state’s most critical issues. In this budget, we commit to allowing social service providers to keep their doors open, increasing funding for public universities and community colleges, maintaining MAP grant funding and even creating a new tuition grant program for Illinois students.

“It’s a plan that will provide fiscal stability and certainty for families, businesses, social service providers and schools and universities in Champaign and Vermilion County.

“I’ve always believed that our state gets stronger when we empower working families, care for the most vulnerable and provide opportunities through education. I am proud to have voted for these investments today in order to move our state forward.”

The budget package now moves to the House for consideration.

05182018CM0162SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to honor two officers and a civilian killed in a gunfight in 1979, along with another officer wounded in the battle, was adopted by the General Assembly this week.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) sponsored House Joint Resolution 21, which designates the overpass where Ford County Road 200 North crosses Interstate 57 South of Paxton as the McCarter-Caisse-Vice-Hale Memorial Overpass.

“I am very proud to sponsor this legislation,” Bennett said. “Even though their service and sacrifice occurred years ago, time should not diminish the impact of their deaths and the importance of their lives.”

On April 7, 1979, the three officers and one civilian were involved in a gunfight with members of a Michigan family after a traffic stop on I-57 south of Paxton.

Illinois State Police Trooper Michael McCarter, Paxton Police Department Patrolman William Caisse and civilian, Donald Vice, were shot and killed. Larry C. Hale of the Paxton Police Department was wounded.

“I am very glad that there is now a memorial to honor these brave men who gave their lives protecting our community,” Bennett said. “My hope is that this memorial will inspire future generations of dedicated public servants as they serve and sacrifice.”

 

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