110917 5780SPRINGFIELD – Senate President John Cullerton has appointed State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) as the new chairman of the Senate Criminal Law Committee.

A graduate of Illinois State University and University of Illinois Law School, Bennett served as a Champaign County Assistant State’s Attorney before being appointed to the State Senate in 2015.

Since arriving in the Senate, Bennett has used his experiences as a prosecutor to push for legislation to assist survivors of sexual assault. He has also led the charge to eliminate statute of limitations on sexual crimes against children.

“I look forward to bringing my experience and expertise as an attorney and former prosecutor to this challenging new role as leader of the Senate Criminal Law Committee,” Bennett said. “You have my commitment that I will fight for policies that ensure safety and justice for families and communities across the state.”

The criminal law committee hears proposed legislation devoted to improving the quality, fairness and effectiveness of the criminal justice system in the state. Last year, the committee passed measures advancing criminal justice reform, curbing gun violence and protecting victims.

Bennett has been serving on the committee for the past three years and is excited about the opportunity to steer and promote fair and essential criminal law policies.

“We’re going to have a lot of critical criminal law bills coming along this year and I think it’s important that we do something that is unusual in Springfield,” Bennett said. “We need to begin to properly study and assess legislation and actually look to experts to see how the laws we pass will affect those in courthouses across Illinois.”

Bennett will continue to serve as vice chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and will also sit on appropriations, gaming, higher education and labor committees.

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