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CHAMPAIGN – Eight local school districts will receive more than $18,000 combined in grants through the Illinois secretary of state’s School Library Grant program, Senator Scott Bennett announced Wednesday.

The grants, which are issued by the Illinois State Library, are meant to help public schools offer more library books and materials to students.

“Fostering early reading and literacy skills in our youth is necessary for a child’s future success,” Bennett, a Champaign Democrat said. “I’m thrilled to announce these grants, as they are critical for central Illinois school libraries to continue to support learning and the development of literacy, creativity and critical thinking.”

Schools receiving school library grants include:

• Salt Fork School District #512 - $750.00
• Champaign CUSD #4 - $7,253.25
• Danville Community Consolidated School District #118 - $3,840.00
• Oakwood Community Unit School District #76 - $750.00
• Rantoul City Schools district #137 - $1,194.00
• Rantoul Township High School District 193 - $750.00
• Urbana School District #116 - $3,138.75
• Westville Community Unit School District #2 - $954.00


CHAMPAIGN - A new law on the books will secure protections for the Mahomet Aquifer thanks to State Senator Scott Bennett.

Senator Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Bill 2027, which directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to prioritize landfills overlying the Mahomet Aquifer for inspection.

"Considering the Mahomet Aquifer is the most important water source in east-central Illinois, I have worked frequently with the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force to ensure it is protected," Bennett said. "They are a tremendous group to work with and now we can be assured that 500,000 people know the water coming out of their faucets is clean and safe to drink."

The bill requires the IEPA to use existing information available from the state and federal agencies to identify unknown, unregulated or under-regulated waste disposal sites that sit above the aquifer and may pose a threat to surface water or groundwater resources.

The new law also seeks to establish a pilot program at the Pekin Metro Landfill to identify potential and current threats to the water quality of the Aquifer from the landfill.

The proposed legislation came from the recommendations of the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Task Force, a bipartisan coalition of central Illinois lawmakers from both chambers of the General Assembly, including Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) and Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet). The task force, chaired by Champaign Mayor Deborah Feinen, also includes scientists from the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, Illinois State Geological Survey, the Illinois Water Survey and the IEPA.

This new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.


DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) addressed 13 incarcerated men who received their associates degrees in general studies at Danville Area Community College (DACC) Wednesday.

“These individuals have faced difficulties in the past,” Bennett said. “It’s rewarding to see each of these men apply themselves to the program and make productive use of their time while incarcerated.”

Several studies have shown that recidivism rates are high and prison-based educational programs, like the ones offered at DACC, prepare students for successful job placement and lower the risk of re-offense. Bennett recognizes the value of higher education and life-long learning, and has supported the program by collecting dictionaries to help students succeed in their courses.

“Education is a powerful tool,” Bennett said. “Once you earn a degree, no one can take that away from you. These folks made the commitment to transform their lives and are on the path to a better future and becoming productive citizens in their communities.”

The dedicated faculty from DACC and the education program staff within Danville Correctional Center are to thank for putting these men on the right path and leading them to a healthier lifestyle in the future.

12.14.19 Wreaths Across America

DANVILLE – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) gave the keynote speech during the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Danville National Cemetery Sunday.

“I am proud to take part in this stirring event each year,” Bennett said. “It allows us to all come together to celebrate the lives of our fallen soldiers that allow us to relish during this time of year.”

Wreaths Across America is an annual event that pays tribute to our veterans each year in December. More than 1,600 ceremonies are held across the country in which community members gather to honor and remember heroes that have come before us and to teach the younger generation the value of the sacrifices that were made for us to live freely.

Bennett spread the mission of the organization – to honor, remember and teach – by placing wreaths on the graves of veterans. He encouraged community members to strive to show their appreciation year-round, and not only on Memorial Day, Veterans Day or on special occasions.

“We have an obligation to stay invested in our veterans’ futures,” Bennett said. “To those that made the ultimate sacrifice – it is up to us to carry on their legacy by living our lives with the character traits and values that make up a soldier.”

There were 1,867 wreaths sponsored at the 2019 ceremony. Wreaths Across America accepts wreath sponsorship throughout the year. You can sponsor a wreath by visiting wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
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Danville, IL 61832
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