Blood Drive

CHAMPAIGN — In an effort to meet the current demand for blood donations, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is partnering with the Community Blood Services of Illinois to host two weeklong blood drives in Champaign and Danville.

“The COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on the state’s blood supply so we need healthy and willing residents to step up to help replenish its stores,” Bennett said. “This is a great opportunity for people to safely help their neighbors and feel more connected to their community during these challenging times.”

The blood drives will take place Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Urbana Donor Center, located at 1408 W. University Ave. in Urbana, and the Danville Elks Donor Center, located at 300 E. Liberty Lane in Danville. Donation hours at the Urbana location can be found here, and Danville here.

Donor centers are following the recommendations from local, state and federal health agencies to keep staff, volunteers and donors safe. Appointments and masks will be required, and chairs in all areas will be at least six feet apart.

Healthy and eligible candidates can schedule an appointment to donate in Urbana at https://ilsendems.co/C-UBloodDrive or in Danville at https://ilsendems.co/DanvilleBloodDrive. All presenting donors will receive a voucher for their choice of a $10 gift card, which can be redeemed through Sept. 20.

For more information, Bennett urges residents to contact his Champaign office at 217-355-5252 or his Danville office at 217-442-5252. Those with questions can also visit his website, SenatorBennett.com.

essentialemployeeCHAMPAIGN – A measure co-sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) that increases public employee benefits, protects retail workers and expands collective bargaining rights was signed into law Friday.

“Front-line workers have put their own wellbeing on the line to provide essential services during this crisis,” Bennett said. “This new law ensures workers are properly protected as we continue to battle COVID-19.”

Certain state employees, including firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics, would be eligible for an additional 60 days of paid disability leave if their injury recovery has been hindered by difficulties accessing treatment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To recognize the essential role retail workers have taken on during this public health emergency, battery of a retail worker would be enhanced to aggravated battery if the worker was performing duties like relaying directions for health care or safety. The enhancement would also set in if the act is committed during a declared disaster or state of emergency due to a public health emergency, and for an additional six months after the declaration.

“Workers do not deserve harassment for enforcing state-issued safety guidelines,” Bennett said. “Expanding legal protections for workers is the right thing to do.”

Senate Bill 471 is effective immediately.

Cards for Seniors

CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging residents to send messages of hope, love and encouragement to older adults living in long-term care facilities, who may be separated from their loved ones during the pandemic.

“Older folks are doing their best to cope with the changes brought on by COVID-19, but they’re left alone with no in-person contact from loved ones,” Bennett said. “Sending a homemade card or note will help make them feel special and connected, and is sure to brighten their day.”

Bennett is encouraging residents to write cards, which can be homemade or store-bought, with a few words of support for older adults. Send cards to Bennett’s office, and staff will distribute them to local long-term care facilities.

“Let’s show our neighborly support for our seniors in long-term care facilities, who may need some extra love right now,” Bennett said. “Kids at home should also participate. A simple note of encouragement will help show we are all in this together.”

Cards can be sent to Bennett’s Champaign or Danville office:

State Senator Scott Bennett
45 E. University, Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820

State Senator Scott Bennett
201 N. Vermilion St., Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832

If residents have any concerns or questions, Bennett urges them to call his office at 217-355-5252 or visit his website at SenatorBennett.com.

classroom education learning lecture 356090CHAMPAIGN – Schools may resume in-person learning for K-12, community colleges, and higher education institutions for the upcoming academic year, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) relayed Wednesday.

“The safety of students, faculty and staff has been the first consideration when planning for the safe reopening of schools,” Bennett said. “These new guidelines are a necessary measure to allow students to resume their education back in the classroom this fall.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health requirements for schools to reopen in Phase 4 are:

  • Require use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including face coverings;
  • Prohibit more than 50 individuals from gathering in one space;
  • Require social distancing whenever possible;
  • Conduct symptom screenings and temperature checks or require self-certification that individuals entering school buildings are symptom free; and
  • Increase schoolwide cleaning and disinfection.

To help schools meet these guidelines and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will provide public K-12 districts in Illinois with 2.5 million cloth face masks, allowing K-12 schools to provide a cloth face mask to all students and staff.

School districts will determine how to implement the guidance based on their unique student enrollment, school facilities, staffing, transportation, and technological capacity. Students in higher education institutions and community colleges should expect to see changes as well.

Educational institutions reopen as part of Phase 4 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan that starts on Friday, June 26.

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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