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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to help children and families build a meaningful college savings fund, Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed a measure through the Senate Thursday to improve the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.

“The price of a college education can be overwhelming when you add up tuition, books and student fees,” Bennett said. “It’s important that families start building a savings account for their children now so they are prepared for the future.” 

In 2019, the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program, established as part of the Illinois treasurer’s existing Bright Start and Bright Directions programs, was signed into law. Under this law, the treasurer will automatically deposit $50 into a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois.

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04132021CM03811SPRINGFIELD – Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supported legislation that would guarantee Illinois community college students with a B-average or better admission to the University of Illinois.

“This legislation will allow us to give community college students some stability and predictability, and more importantly, to keep Illinois’ best and brightest in the state for their university career,” Bennett said.

Under the legislation, the U of I would create a four-year uniform admission system pilot program, guaranteeing qualified students admission to one of the U of I system universities. In order to qualify, a student must have:

  • Graduated from an Illinois high school.
  • Earned at least 36 transferable credits at an Illinois community college.
  • Maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average for all transferable coursework.
  • Satisfied the university system’s English language proficiency requirement.

The universities would have to prioritize current state residents and could not turn any qualified applicant aside unless the university’s enrollment capacity is 100% full with state residents.

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Road construction stock picDANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced the Illinois Department of Transportation has slated an estimated $45.3 million in infrastructure projects to improve roads throughout Vermilion County.

“Transportation infrastructure is an essential part of daily living for drivers who are traveling for work, running errands, or visiting our area,” Bennett said. “We need to continue to improve our state’s aging infrastructure by making our roadways more accessible for commuters.”

IDOT announced a number of major infrastructure projects representing an estimated $45.3 million in investments for the area, including:

• $37.35 million to rehabilitate three stretches of Interstate 74 in Danville totaling 5.88 miles;
• $7.2 million to rehabilitate 14.42 miles of Illinois Route 49 on U.S. 136 (W) to U.S. 150 W of Fithian; and
• $750,000 to improve Catlin/Indianola Road on Georgetown/Indianola Road to south of Catlin.

These projects are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, which defines $20.7 billion in statewide construction projects for the next six fiscal years through Rebuild Illinois. Of that total, $3.32 billion has been identified for projects set to begin in the coming year.

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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement on the death of Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim, who died after being shot by a suspect while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance.

“The death of Officer Chris Oberheim is a heartbreaking tragedy. Officer Oberheim put his life on the line every day to protect and serve the Champaign-Urbana community with dignity and principle. We will never forget his sacrifice to keep us safe. My thoughts are with Officer Oberheim’s family, friends and loved ones, as well as the Champaign County Police Department as our community grieves the loss of this hero.”

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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:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507