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DANVILLE – In an effort to support our troops overseas, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) has designated his district offices as drop off locations for the nonprofit Cell Phones for Soldiers organization.

“As Veterans Day is just around the corner, I can think of few better ways to honor our military veterans than by supporting those who serve to protect our freedoms today,” Bennett said. “This is a great program that allows our troops to stay connected to their families and is a way we can all support our troops.”

The national program collects new and gently used cell phones and tablets for soldiers and their families. Those with old cellphones, MP3 players or tablets laying around are encouraged to donate them to be refurbished or recycled. Proceeds from those sales are used to send prepaid international calling cards to our troops and to provide emergency funding to veterans. All cell phone donations are tax deductible.

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04222021HAO0325SPRINGFIELD – To keep students safe in school, Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a plan through the Senate Wednesday that would ensure students are protected from grooming and other sexual misconduct.

“Children should be able to turn to their teachers when there’s a problem, and to trust that their teacher is acting in their best interests,” Bennett said. “This legislation will better equip educators if an issue arises, as well as help put a stop to sexual abuse.”

Bennett’s legislation would make it mandatory for schools to develop a sexual misconduct code of conduct, review employment histories, and teach students about grooming and sexual misconduct in sex education. It would also allow for schools to set aside two days of in-service learning for teachers to train on identifying such behavior and publish a resource guide on sexual abuse for parents.

The legislation also aims to educate teachers and school staff about grooming and how to identify the warning signs that a teacher may be sexually abusing a student. The plan would require all schools to complete the teacher training annually by Jan. 31, starting next school year.

“School should be a safe place where kids can feel comfortable,” Bennett said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure our children are protected.”

House Bill 1975 passed the Senate with a vote of 56-0.

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URBANA – To raise awareness and promote prevention of rising consumer fraud and identity theft, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is partnering with the Urbana Free Library to host a free document shredding event.

“The secure disposal of old and unneeded financial records is an important part of protecting yourself from fraud and identity theft,” Bennett said. “I encourage families to take advantage of this free community shred event to safely dispose of unwanted papers containing personal information.”

To help reduce the chances of identity theft, experts recommend shredding things like bank statements, credit card offers and credit card convenience checks. Residents should also shred canceled credit cards, canceled checks, pay stubs, old photo IDs and tax returns that are more than three years old.

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grain bins 101421DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is joining officials this harvest season in reminding farmers and farm workers to be cautious when working in and around grain bins.

“Harvest season is a great reminder for farmers to be careful in and around grain bins,” said Bennett, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Anytime you’re working around a grain bin facility there’s always risk of an accident – I encourage farmers to be vigilant, slow down and be careful so we can prevent a tragedy this harvest.”

While essential to Illinois’ harvests, grain handling equipment and storage containers can quickly become deadly. In fact, Illinois reported the most incidents involving agricultural confined spaces, including grain bins, in 2020.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a worker standing on moving grain will be trapped within just five seconds and completely covered in grain in less than half a minute.

OSHA details the three most common scenarios leading to grain entrapment:

  • A worker stands on moving or flowing grain, typically caused by an auger running or grain being moved out of the bin by gravity.
  • A worker stands on or below a grain bridging situation. Bridging happens when damp grain clumps together, creating an empty space beneath the grain as it is unloaded. A worker above or below this bridge of grain is at risk should the bridge collapse.
  • A worker stands next to an accumulated pile of grain on the side of the bin and attempts to dislodge it. It can collapse onto the worker.

While workers should avoid entering grain bins if possible, safety measures can greatly diminish the risk if they must enter. To learn safety tips and find additional information to stay safe during harvest, click here

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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