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THOMASBORO – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday that the Thomasboro Fire Protection District is one of 23 communities to receive funds to purchase fire trucks that will allow first responders to better serve the area.

“Fire departments consistently face financial burdens,” Bennett said. “This funding will allow the fire district to purchase the equipment they need, while also reducing the cost to local taxpayers.”

The Thomasboro Fire Protection District, a volunteer department, is the recipient of $300,000, which has given it the opportunity to purchase new equipment it may not otherwise have been able to afford.

“Our first responders protect the lives and property of our community members from fires and natural disasters,” Bennett said. “New fire trucks will help them to better serve our community in a safe and efficient manner.”

This funding is made possible through the Fire Truck Revolving Loan Program, which offers no interest or low interest loans to emergency responders across the state.

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SPRINGFIELD – Unfair insulin costs are taking a toll on those who are forced to pay the excessive price for this life-saving prescription drug. State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted to change that Tuesday.

Senator Bennett co-sponsored Senate Bill 667, which would cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs at $100 for a 30-day supply.

“People with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes need the medication,” Senator Bennett said. “Regular price hikes make insulin difficult to afford, and as lawmakers we have a responsibility to step in and protect the well-being of Illinoisans that depend on insulin.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more than 30 million Americans who have diabetes, with 1.25 million having Type 1 diabetes. The condition requires daily administration of insulin to survive.

“This measure will provide financial relief to diabetics all across the state,” Bennett said. “The passage of this legislation is encouraging to continue to push for reform that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for everyone.”

Senate Bill 667 was spearheaded by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill).

The legislation has passed the Senate and now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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RANTOUL - The Village of Rantoul will receive a $750,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to renovate and expand the Forum Fitness Center in Rantoul, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

“The Forum Fitness Center offers a variety of sports and workout options to residents in our community,” Bennett said. “This grant will help improve the facility and attract new members to the center.”

Improvements to the exterior of the building include installation of new windows and double doors. Building expansion will feature a 3,000-square-foot group fitness addition. Interior improvements include installation of new electrical services in the cardio room. Renovations include the installation of a new HVAC system for the gymnasium and the locker rooms.

“Funding to renovate facilities like the Forum Fitness Center in Rantoul will give residents the opportunity to take advantage of local recreation,” Bennett said. “The commitment from our state’s leadership to ensure families and individuals have access to public recreational spaces is truly outstanding.”

The Village of Rantoul has been selected to receive one of eight grants from IDNR’s Park and Recreational Facility Construction Act grant program, totaling more than $10.1 million in grants.

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SPRINGFIELD – To make insulin more affordable for citizens in Champaign and Vermilion counties, State Senator Scott Bennett moved to cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs at $100 for a 30-day supply.

As lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield next week for the fall veto session, insulin will be a major topic of interest. Bennett is a co-sponsor of legislation that would make Illinois the second state to cap insulin copayments. 

“The price of insulin has tripled over the span of a decade and diabetics are resorting to desperate measures due to the price spike,” Bennett said. “You can’t just cut back on insulin. Patients deserve affordable access to this life-saving prescription drug, and they can’t wait.”

The American Diabetes Association reports there are more than 30 million Americans who have diabetes, with 1.25 million having Type 1 diabetes. The condition requires daily administration of insulin to survive.

This legislation, Senate Bill 667, also directs Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office to investigate reasons for rising prescription insulin costs and to ensure consumer protections in their pricing. The attorney general’s office will issue a one-time report detailing its findings and make public policy recommendations for controlling and preventing overpricing of prescription insulin.

“Nobody should be forced to decide between paying for food or their medication,” Bennett said. “I will continue to work with the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 667, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) to ensure this becomes law.”

 
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