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“This impasse has created a scenario where dentists are unwilling to see patients using state health insurance without an upfront payment because they know they will get stiffed by the state. This legislation will guarantee dentists get paid without forcing patients to front the cost.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Dentists doing business with the state will now be able to get some of the money they are owed under legislation that passed the Senate today. Senate Bill 634 allows the state establish a vendor payment program for dentists that provide services to state employees.

In the two-year budget impasse, dental providers have not received payment for services they provide to the state, and as a result have been hampered by late fees along with accrued interest.

Under the new legislation, qualified buyers will be allowed to purchase the rights to backlogged bills owed to dentists. For the purchase, the dentist will transfer all rights concerning the payment. Dental providers will be able to use the program until a budget funding state employee dental benefits is passed.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), whose district includes thousands of employees of the University of Illinois with state employee health insurance, sponsored the legislation.

“Dentists as a whole are owed hundreds of millions of dollars by the state because of a lack of budget,” Bennett said. “This impasse has created a scenario where dentists are unwilling to see patients using state health insurance without an upfront payment because they know they will get stiffed by the state. This legislation will guarantee dentists get paid without forcing patients to front the cost.”

The measure passed the Senate unopposed and now goes to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

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“Freeing up these funds for museums that keep the exhibits from the old Chanute Museum will preserve the heritage of the base and keep Chanute alive in our memories for generations.”- State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Rantoul-area museums displaying exhibits from the closed Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum will have access to funds purposed for the exhibits under a law passed by the Illinois Senate today.

Champaign County was previously home to Chanute Air Force Base until 1993. Originally opened in 1917, the base was one of the Army Air Corps’ original training schools for pilots. The site was chosen due to its close proximity to the Illinois Central Railroad and the University of Illinois.

During World War II the base, then called Chanute Field, was home to the first training classes for the officers of the 99th Pursuit Squadron. The squadron was an all-black unit that would eventually be known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

After the base was closed in 1993, the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum was opened and housed more than 40 aircraft including military fighters, bombers, rescue, reconnaissance and cargo aircraft. A special license plate helped fund that museum until its closure in 2015.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) sponsored legislation freeing up the funds so museums currently housing those aircraft may use them.

“The Chanute Air Force Base was an important part of central Illinois both in terms of the economic impact and as a source of pride,” Bennett said. “Freeing up these funds for museums that keep the exhibits from the old Chanute Museum will preserve the heritage of the base and keep Chanute alive in our memories for generations.”

The measure now goes to the House of Representatives.

 

Category: Press Releases

04272017CM1574

"It is time for us to do the job we were elected to do and pass a budget before we reach the point of no return.” - State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – Measures intended to end the two-year-long budget impasse failed to advance in the Senate yesterday. State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement:

“The level of frustration is at an all-time high after the vote yesterday. Presented with an opportunity to place the livelihoods of our constituents above partisan bickering, members of the Senate chose to continue the impasse. Enough is enough. It is time for us to do the job we were elected to do and pass a budget before we reach the point of no return.”

The Illinois Senate has been negotiating a package of legislative proposals meant to end the budget impasse since January. The legislation was changed more than 30 times to accommodate requests from the governor. Despite these changes, Gov. Rauner still refused to let Republicans support the legislation.

 

Category: Press Releases

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“While continuing to fund agriculture education is crucial, recruiting and retaining educators to teach agriculture programs for future generations is just as important.” - State Senator Soctt Bennett (D-Champaign)

SPRINGFIELD – A shortage of trained educators for agricultural vocation programs may soon have a solution under legislation passed by the Illinois Senate today. In a state where 25 percent of jobs are related to agriculture, many would be surprised to know that every year there is a shortage of trained educators in the field.

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

“Agriculture and central Illinois are inseparable,” Bennett said. “While continuing to fund agriculture education is crucial, recruiting and retaining educators to teach agriculture programs for future generations is just as important.”

SB 1991 creates the Agriculture Education Shortage Task Force, which will make recommendations regarding the recruitment and retention of agriculture education teachers, participation in related federal programs and reforms to current licensure and testing requirements for agriculture education teachers.

The final report will be released no later than January 1, 2019. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives.

Category: Press Releases

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P. 217.355.5252

Danville Office:
101  W. North Street
Danville, IL 61832
P. 217.442.5252

Springfield Office:
218B State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.2507