SBSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted today to protect collective bargaining rights for the people of Illinois.

“Every employee in Illinois should have the ability to negotiate for fair, safe and competitive rights in the workplace,” Bennett said. “The freedom to collectively bargain builds and protects the middle class, not just for union members, but for all workers.”

The Illinois Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1905, which allows all Illinois workers the freedom to bargain collectively and prohibits local government entities from enacting harmful “right-to-work” laws.

In the past, Governor Bruce Rauner and his allies have tried to pass right-to-work ordinances and zones in the state. These right-to-work laws prevent Illinois workers from participating in collective negotiations for better wages, benefits and safe working conditions.

“Right-to-work is an inaccurate name for a policy designed to take away rights from hardworking families,” Bennett said. “This law will help tilt the balance away from big corporations and boardroom executives that work to rig the system at the expense of working families.”

Senate Bill 1905 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and now moves to the House for consideration.

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“We must recruit and retain qualified educators who want to teach agriculture programs for future generations.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – A shortage of trained teachers for agricultural classes in schools may soon have a solution under legislation signed by the governor today. The governor signed the bill at the Illinois State Fair’s annual Agriculture Day.

Despite the fact that 25 percent of jobs in Illinois are related to agriculture, there is a shortage of trained agriculture teachers.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) sponsored Senate Bill 1991 to try and address this problem.

“Agriculture and downstate Illinois are inseparable,” Bennett said. “We must recruit and retain qualified educators who want to teach agriculture programs for future generations.”

SB 1991 creates the Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force, which will make recommendations on recruiting and retaining agriculture education teachers and making reforms to current licensure and testing requirements.

The final report will be released no later than January 1, 2019. Members of the task force will serve voluntarily and will not be compensated with taxpayer money.

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“Survivors of these heinous crimes should be able to come forward when they are ready to seek justice.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Survivors of sexual abuse will be able to seek justice on their own terms under a new law just signed by the governor. Senate Bill 189, an initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), would eliminate the statute of limitations for certain sex crimes committed against minors.

Before the passage of Senate Bill 189, victims had a limited time period to come forward and seek charges. According to victim advocates, many victims do not come to terms with their assault until after the statute of limitations has ran out.

Senator Bennett ,the legislation’s sponsor, drew on his past experience as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Champaign County when advocating for the new law.

“Survivors of these heinous crimes should be able to come forward when they are ready to seek justice,” Bennett said. “Arbitrary deadlines should not prevent victims from seeking closure. I am pleased the governor stood with victims and signed this important piece of legislation into law.”

Scott Cross, brother of former Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, worked with Senator Bennett and Attorney General Madigan to pass the legislation. Cross was one of the many victims of disgraced U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

The legislation passed both chambers without opposition and goes into effect immediately.

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"The Illinois Supreme Court is truly blessed to count one of the finest public servants ever to come out of Vermilion County as one of its justices.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Courthouse will now be called the Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse to honor Justice Garman’s accomplishments.

Justice Garman, who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1965 and the University of Iowa’s College of Law in 1968, served as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Vermilion County from 1969 to 1973. Starting in 1973, Garman served as a judge with the Fifth Judicial Circuit, serving as the presiding judge from 1987 to 1995.

Garman then served as an Appellate Judge in the Fourth District from 1995 until 2001 when she was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court. In the Supreme Court, Garman represents parts of Central Illinois from Vermilion County to Adams County.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) served on the bipartisan committee renaming the courthouse and represents parts of Vermilion County in the Illinois State Senate. Senator Bennett released the following statement:

“Few people in Illinois have given back to their community as much as Justice Garman. Her decades on the bench have been marked by her fairness and dedication to the law. The Illinois Supreme Court is truly blessed to count one of the finest public servants ever to come out of Vermilion County as one of its justices.”

 

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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