041315 rt 0067CHAMPAIGN- The Illinois State Senate held a joint Appropriations I and II Committee Hearing yesterday to collect testimony about the impact the governor’s proposed budget cuts would have on the Central Illinois economy. Representatives from the University of Illinois, local health care organizations, and the cities of Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul and Danville all attended.

Under the proposal, the University of Illinois faces a 31.5 percent ($208.8 million) funding decrease. University officials testified that the cuts could hurt their ability to recruit top-tier students and staff.

“The University of Illinois is one of the largest economic drivers in the state. Forcing a 31% cut on them will not only impact Central Illinois, but the entire state. We cannot cut so much today that it hurts us tomorrow,” said State Sen. Scott Bennett.

Additionally, proposed cuts to Medicaid reimbursement rates may also have a deep impact on area hospitals.

“Presence United Samaritans Medical Center and Covenant Medical Center are truly an asset to the community – as the region’s health care delivery system and one of its largest employers. That’s why I am deeply concerned that if the governor’s proposed Medicaid cuts are implemented, our future would be threatened,” said Dr. Jared Rogers, CEO of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center and Covenant Medical Center.

Local mayors also voiced concerns about the 50 percent reduction in state funding proposed by the governor. Champaign, Urbana, Rantoul and Danville would lose $7.7 million, $3.9 million, $1.23 million and $694,000 respectively. All mayors voiced concerns about being forced to lay off first responders, like police and firefighters.

The Senate will continue to hold hearings around the state regarding the governor’s budget proposal over the upcoming weeks.

 

SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) continues to travel across the 52nd District this month, hosting town hall meetings in Savoy and Oakwood.

“Good government begins with transparency and accountability. These discussions are a vital part of the legislative process,” said Bennett. “I invite everyone to comeout and let me know their thoughts on budget proposals, upcoming legislation and education funding.”

Click on the below flyers for more information on both events:

 

bennett townhall savoySavoy Town Hall Meeting

When: April 8 from 5 to 6 p.m.

Location: Savoy Municipal Center (611 N. Dunlap, Savoy, IL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bennett townhall oakwoodOakwood Town Hall Meeting

 When: April 9 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Location: Oakwood Village Hall (106 S. Oakwood Street, Oakwood, IL).

 

 

 

 

 

In February and March, Bennett held town halls and Capitol on Your Corner (CYC) events in Gifford, Rantoul, Tilton, Champaign, Georgetown, Danville and Urbana. Throughout the next year, Bennett plans to visit every community in the 52nd District.

URBANA – Working to bring state and local resources to residents in Champaign and Vermilion counties, State Senator Scott Bennett (D–Champaign) is hosting the following events:mobile driverresize

URBANA: Mobile Secretary of State Office Hours
Date: Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Location: Urbana Free Library, 210 W Green Street, Urbana, IL

Services available:
•    Renewal, replacement or correction of driver’s licenses and state ID cards
•    Vehicle sticker sales as well as vehicle title and registration
•    Passenger, B-Truck and motorcycle license plates
•    Parking placard for persons with disabilities

DANVILLE: Senior Services Workshop
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon
Location: CRIS Healthy Aging Center, 309 N. Franklin Street, Danville, IL

Services available:
•    Presentation on financial and health care fraud from the Attorney General’s Office
•    Presentations on services by Melody Ehrlich, Regional Director of Presence Health, Sue Rieche from Community Action Weatherization/Energy and Representatives from CRIS Healthy Aging Center
•    Live Zumba Presentation with Curves Health Club
•    A representative from the Illinois Treasurer’s office will be available to help seniors access the state's I-CASH Database to search for unclaimed property
•    Flu shots will be provided by Walgreens as well as health care information (Please bring along your insurance information).  

RANTOUL: Senior Services Workshop
Date: Thursday, April 2, 2015
Time: 9:30 a.m. to noon
Location: Rantoul Recreation Department, 100 W. Flessner Ave., Rantoul, IL

Services available:
•    Presentation on financial and health care fraud from the AARP
•    Flu shots will be provided by Walgreens as well as health care information (Please bring your insurance information)
•    Information on community volunteer opportunities for seniors with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
•    A representative from the Illinois Treasurer’s office will be available to help seniors access the state's I-CASH Database to search for unclaimed property

 

CommitteepicturersSPRINGFIELD- Illinois families worried about the financial security of loved ones suffering from disabilities could soon have another resource to promote their independence.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced Senate Bill 1383, which creates a tax exempt plan to assist individuals and families in saving money to cover the expenses for people with disabilities.

“We all want our loved ones to be able to live their lives with respect and dignity. This legislation allows families to provide a stable future by paying for basic expenses,” said Bennett. “Without resources like this, many people with disabilities are unable to have the opportunity to be financially independent.”

The initiative creates the Illinois Achieving Better Life Expectancy Act (ABLE Act), which creates accounts similar to tax-advantaged college saving plans where income earned in the account is not taxable. This legislation comes after the Federal Government passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 with bipartisan support. States are required to pass enacting legislation to establish ABLE accounts.

The Treasurer’s office would be responsible to create ABLE accounts in accordance with federal rules and regulations.

“We want to provide financial resources to help ensure families can afford to take care of their loved ones,” said Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs. “By creating ABLE accounts, we can offer a tax-advantage to help establish the financial security necessary for those family members who need it the most.”

The accounts can be used to pay for qualifying expenses such as education, health, housing and transportation costs.

SB 1383 passed the Senate’s committee on State Government and Veterans Affairs and now goes to the full Senate 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:
218-B State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507