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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is calling on Gov. JB Pritzker to take additional steps to mend the state’s failed system for unemployment compensation, which has prevented Illinoisans from receiving any help after losing their jobs in March.

For eight weeks, Illinoisans trying to file for unemployment benefits have jammed the phone lines of the state’s employment services department. Many have been on hold for hours, while others have not been able to make it that far. As weeks turn into months, frustrations are boiling over among laid-off and furloughed workers who have been unable to cut through the system to obtain benefits.

“Even with a new system in place, many people still cannot get through to IDES over the phone or online, and some have not received any payment at all,” Bennett said. “We cannot ask people to stay home if they aren’t receiving the necessary means to put food on the table.”

Bennett has also argued that Champaign and Vermilion counties' current health statistics are under control and the Central Region of the Restore Illinois plan is ready to move to Phase 3, which would allow for a safe opening of manufacturers, retail store, barbershops and salons.

Because of the work from residents to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread, Champaign and Vermilion counties have been able to maintain a steady and declining number of new cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, Champaign County had 435 positive cases of COVID-19 and 7 deaths, while Vermilion County had 30 positive cases and 1 death.

“Moving forward, I am focused on preparing Illinois communities to safely reopen,” Bennett said. “Until the unemployment system can handle the needs of Illinoisans in an adequate way, I will work toward getting people back to work in a safe and responsible manner to restore livelihoods.”

webinar

CHAMPAIGN – A webinar to provide information on grants, loans, and other resources for Asian American small businesses, hosted by representatives from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments will take place Wednesday, May 20.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), a member of the Illinois Asian American Legislative Caucus, will join the Asian American Caucus, the Asian American Executive Network and the Asian American Coalition of Chicago at 11 a.m. to answer questions and share their experiences navigating this pandemic.

“Our small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak,” Bennett said. “Join this free online webinar Wednesday to learn more about programs that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue during this crisis.”

To RSVP and to receive the webinar link, please visit https://forms.gle/cmfdnUbQrM8BTw466.

For questions or additional information, Bennett urges residents to contact his office at 217-355-5252 or visit SenatorBennett.com.

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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined hundreds of advocates from across Illinois virtually Thursday to speak on the plight of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s advocacy day looked a little different than in years past, but it’s critical that advocates continue to raise their voices about issues that impact people with disabilities,” said Bennett. “The coronavirus pandemic has been overwhelming for everyone, but especially for individuals with disabilities whose routines have been disrupted abruptly.”

People with disabilities, immunosuppression and underlying chronic health conditions are at a higher risk of infection and subsequent death from COVID-19. Sen. Bennett, was among other legislators participating in the virtual rally, including Rep. William Davis (D-Homewood), Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Rep. Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), and Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford) to offer guidance.

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Be Counted FB 1DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) encouraged Vermilion County residents to fill out the 2020 Census, protecting their representation in government and share of federal funding.
 
“The census is currently underway and is easy to complete with the new online questionnaire option. For a family of four, I was able to fill it out in a matter of minutes using a smartphone,” Bennett said. “Responding to the census is critically important because it determines funding for things like roads, hospitals, fire departments, and schools in Vermilion County.”
 
In 2010, Vermilion County had a final response rate of 70.2%. So far this year, Vermilion’s response rate is down, currently only at 57.8%. More than half of the county’s residents’ responses have been submitted online.
 
“The census can be completed from the comfort of your own home and you can make your voice heard by participating,” Bennett said. “Now more than ever, it is vital that we ensure everyone is counted.”
 
Although online is the quickest way to fill out the questionnaire, there are three ways you can respond: online, by phone or by mail. Bennett also pointed out that higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in-person. This year, census surveyors are putting the health of themselves and their families at risk from COVID-19.
 
If you haven’t filled out your census questionnaire yet, you can visit 2020census.gov, where you can find the online questionnaire and additional information about the census. To see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation, visit www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us

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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