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“This new formula guarantees that the quality of a child’s education will not be based on their ZIP code.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Danville and Westville public schools could see more money in the form of state aid under the new school funding formula passed by the General Assembly this week. The new formula, passed in Senate Bill 1, comes after months of negotiations.

Under the proposed formula, Danville School District 118 would see more than $2 million in new funding from the state. Westville School District 2 would see more than $550,000 in new funding.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted for school funding reform to help schools in downstate communities like Danville, Westville and Rantoul.

“Too many downstate school districts are left behind by the state in the old funding formula,” Bennett said. “This new formula guarantees that the quality of a child’s education will not be based on their ZIP code.”

SB 1 also contains a hold-harmless provision that guarantees no schools will receive less money from the state.

Category: Press Releases

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“We can give Illinois families peace of mind by requiring Illinois health insurance providers to cover [pre-existing]conditions.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Health insurance companies will still be required to cover pre-existing conditions under new legislation passed by the Illinois Senate.

After the U.S. House of Representatives passed new healthcare legislation, many feared that insurance providers would no longer be required to cover pre-existing conditions.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is House Bill 2959’s chief co-sponsor.

“Before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, too many American families were unable to get adequate health care coverage because they wouldn’t have been profitable enough for insurance companies,” Bennett said. “We can give Illinois families peace of mind by requiring Illinois health insurance providers to cover these conditions.”

In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act, which would allow states to opt-out of certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act, such as pre-existing conditions.

A recent poll by Politico/Morning Consult found that a majority of Americans surveyed were opposed to weakening protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

HB 2959 passed the Illinois Senate 46-5 and now goes back to the House to approve Senate changes.

Category: Press Releases

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“A student whose family is going through tough circumstances should be able to stay in their school, which will provide stability.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – School districts will now be allowed to help students who are homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless under a plan passed the Illinois Senate.

Under House Bill 261, schools will have the option to use their own transportation funds to provide housing assistance to students in need if they determine it will be more cost-efficient.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is the legislation’s sponsor in the Senate.

“This legislation allows schools to take steps to use existing funds to help these students add some stability to their lives,” Bennett said. “A student whose family is going through tough circumstances should be able to stay in their school, which will provide stability.”

The Regional Office of Education serving northern Cook County says they spent nearly $1 million in northern Cook County alone on transporting homeless students. Those same funds, they contend, could house up to 40 families.

Finding ways to help students in need has been an issue of great importance in the Champaign-Urbana area. Urbana Public Schools recently announced they would continue free lunch programs through the summer ensuring students are getting the meals they need.

The measure passed the Senate 39-15.

Category: Press Releases

04252017KI0027

“This balanced budget funds the most critical services our residents need and provides the stability and certainty needed to move our state forward.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Courage Connection, the Champaign-based domestic violence shelter devastated by the state’s budget impasse, would be funded under the budget plan passed by the Illinois Senate this week.

Originally opened in 1971, the shelter is considered to be the first domestic violence shelter in the nation. Since then, the shelter has helped tens of thousands of people find a safe place to stay for the night.

Courage Connection includes four facilities that provide a safe haven for victims of domestic violence, allowing them to focus on rebuilding their life.

During the budget impasse, the state stopped making payments to the shelter, forcing dangerous cuts, putting thousands at risk.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) made funding for domestic violence shelters like Courage Connection a top priority.

“The unintended consequences and instability caused by the budget impasse has gone on for far too long,” Bennett said. “This balanced budget funds the most critical services our residents need and provides the stability and certainty needed to move our state forward.”

The Senate’s budget passed after months of negotiations. The legislation is now in the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P. 217.355.5252

Danville Office:
101  W. North Street
Danville, IL 61832
P. 217.442.5252

Springfield Office:
218B State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.2507