04212021CM0529SPRINGFIELD – The Senate approved a measure sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) Wednesday to add probation officers to the list of individuals that qualify for death benefits if killed in the line of duty.

“When an officer is killed in the line of duty, it’s a reminder to all of us that any career in law enforcement can be dangerous and sometimes deadly,” Bennett said. “With the Illinois courts considering an expansion of home and field visits, more probation officers may soon be at increased risk of getting involved in a potentially violent situation. This legislation provides increased protections for them and their families.”

Bennett’s plan would include probation officers in the Line of Duty Compensation Act, which provides death benefits to individuals such as law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of the armed forces who are killed in the line of duty.

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Native american Bennett

SPRINGFIELD – To honor the legacies of indigenous people across the country, State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) proposal to make the month of November Native American Heritage Month in Illinois cleared the Senate Wednesday.

“I’m thrilled to see this legislation advance so we can pay tribute to those who laid the foundation for our country,” Bennett said. “Native Americans have a rich and diverse culture, and their contributions and influences deserve to be recognized.”

Bennett’s proposal would recognize the influences of Native Americans on American history, achievement, culture and innovation during the month of November.

Native Americans, who were the first inhabitants of the U.S., have helped shape American culture through food, medicine, literature and the arts. A dedicated month would provide the opportunity to highlight these contributions, raise awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and center stories of the ways in which Native Americans have worked to conquer these challenges.

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scrip prices 031721SPRINGFIELD – To improve transparency around prescription drug costs, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) moved a measure through the Senate requiring pharmacies to post a notice informing consumers that they may request current pharmacy retail prices at the point of sale.

“Consumers deserve to know the lowest drug prices at their pharmacy so they can make an informed decision about where they buy their prescriptions,” Bennett said. “High prescription drug prices affect us all, and this legislation seeks to provide truth and transparency.”

Under Senate Bill 1682, pharmacies would be required to post a notice informing consumers that they may request current pharmacy retail prices. Customers would also be told the retail price of a prescription drug, both in writing and electronically, prior to purchase.

“It’s critical for consumers to have access to affordable prescription drugs,” Bennett said. “I’m pleased to see this measure advance to the House chamber so the drug industry is held accountable and consumers get the pricing information they deserve.”

Senate Bill 1682 passed the Senate Wednesday and advances to the House floor.

04202021CM0022

SPRINGFIELD – Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) moved a plan through the Senate Wednesday to improve the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.

“This program helps children build a financially secure future from day one,” Bennett said. “This legislation would also give the Illinois treasurer the tools needed to implement the program to help eliminate barriers to families saving for college.”

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 after Dec. 31, 2020.

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