COVID Sample 1920CHAMPAIGN – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is expanding access to no-cost and low-cost COVID-19 testing to elementary schools across Illinois, and State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is confident that the initiative will allow schools to more safely resume in-person learning.

“Making testing widely available gives our schools another way to keep students and educators safe,” said Bennett. “The saliva collection is non-invasive and will be especially beneficial for children as we continue to move forward from the pandemic.” 

Schools can choose to utilize the saliva-based covidSHIELD test developed by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, which can quickly detect the virus that causes COVID-19 and its variants, including among people who do not have symptoms.

Schools and IDPH will receive test results within 24 hours of specimens reaching a SHIELD Illinois lab.

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Bennett2015cSPRINGFIELD – Following the Senate’s passage of a balanced budget, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted to prioritize students.

“This year has been tough on so many people, but especially our students,” Bennett said. “This budget maintains funding for higher education and increases support for need-based tuition assistance programs, offering the University of Illinois and our area community colleges the opportunity to continue providing a world-class education to the next generation.” 

The governor’s proposal also increases funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant program, which provides financial assistance to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges. The additional funding will help ensure current and future recipients continue to have access to academic opportunities.

“Following an unprecedented year, I’m pleased that we have crafted a budget that prioritizes our students first and puts Illinois on the path towards stability,” Bennett said.

The Senate voted 37-21 to adopt the spending plan for Fiscal Year 2022.

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday in support of a resolution introduced by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) designating a portion of Illinois Route 1 in Danville as Speaker Joe Cannon Memorial Highway.

“House Joint Resolution 41 tries to honor Danville’s favorite son, Speaker Joe Cannon,” Bennett said. “Joe Cannon is a fascinating person to learn about in our nation’s history… We’re very proud that he’s from Danville, and this resolution would name one of Vermilion County’s highways in honor of our favorite son.”

Joseph Gurney Cannon, born in 1836, served in Congress for nearly five decades as a republican representative from Illinois. Cannon, also known as “Uncle Joe,” held the position of Speaker of the House from 1903-1911.

House Joint Resolution 41 passed the Senate with a vote of 54-0.

Find full floor remarks below.

 

coal ashSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) continued his years-long effort to protect Illinois communities from toxic coal ash pollution by passing legislation through the Senate Saturday to ensure only trained employees work on coal ash removal projects.

“Coal ash, the toxic byproduct of burning coal in a power plant, is extremely dangerous and creates challenges for communities who want to reuse former coal plant sites or attract new businesses,” Bennett said. “Proper cleanup is essential to correcting coal's toxic footprint in Illinois.”

Bennett introduced House Bill 3783 to establish training standards for workers constructing, installing, modifying or closing Coal Combustion Residual (CCR) surface impediments, otherwise known as coal ash pits.

Under Bennett’s plan, anyone working on a coal ash pit would be required to participate in training programs approved by the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration. The training would cover erosion control and environmental remediation, as well as the operation of heavy equipment and excavation.

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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