heterotaxy1SPRINGFIELD- Hallie is a beautiful 9 year old girl. She loves fashion and spends her time drawing her own fashion line. One day, Hallie would like to learn how to sew so she can make her designs a reality.

However, unlike most children, Hallie spends a lot of time with doctors and in hospitals because she was born with Heterotaxy Syndrome.

Heterotaxy is a disorder that in certain organs forming on the opposite side of the body. For example, instead of the heart normally forming on the left side of the chest, it will be located on the right side.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Resolution 436 to declare May 4 Heterotaxy Awareness Day in Illinois.

“Heterotaxy is a fairly unknown disorder. It’s important to raise awareness to provide children like Hallie with the best possible treatment,” said Bennett. “If we want to continue to find innovative methods of care, we need to educate as many medical professionals and people as possible.”

For every 1,000,000 babies born, 4 of them will have Heterotaxy. Often those diagnosed spend their lives with a team of doctors to stay in reasonable health.  Bennett’s daughter, Emma was born with a mild form of Heterotaxy.

“My wife and I are lucky Emma is in great health; however, there are children diagnosed with Heterotaxy, who spend more time in a hospital than any child should have to in order to receive treatment and stay healthy,” said Bennett.

Babies with Heterotaxy are usually first identified because they have structural problems with their hearts or livers. It has been known to affect development of the heart, liver, lungs, intestines and spleen.

SR 436 passed the Senate with bipartisan support.

mobile driverMay11URBANA – Working to bring state services to residents in Champaign-Urbana, State Senator Scott Bennett (D–Champaign) is hosting the Secretary of State’s Mobile DMV on Monday, May 11 at the Urbana Free Library.

Date: Monday, May 11, 2015

Time: 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Location: Urbana Free Library, 210 W Green Street, Urbana, IL

Services available:

•    Renewal, replacement or correction of driver’s licenses and state ID cards
•    Vehicle sticker sales
•    Passenger, B-Truck and motorcycle license plates
•    University of Illinois collegiate license plates
•    Organ and tissue donor registration
•    Vehicle title and registration
•    Parking placard for persons with disabilities
•    Driver’s license renewal

 

FarmlandBennettSPRINGFIELD- Soon, operators of farm vehicles will no longer have to apply for commercial driver’s licenses.

State Senator Scott Bennett advanced House Bill 2515 to ensure Illinois is compliant with federal regulations that would exempt operators and vehicles such as tractors, trucks or trailers that are registered as farm vehicles with the state from the following:

•    Commercial Driver Licenses
•    Controlled substance/alcohol use and testing
•    Physical qualifications and examinations
•    Driver’s hours of service
•    Inspection, repair and maintenance pertaining to the covered farm vehicle

The legislation also addresses changes to gross combination weight ratings to conform to the federal definition.

“Agriculture is the backbone of Illinois’ economy. We need to continue to ensure we are meeting the needs of our farmers by streamlining regulations and staying consistent with states across the country,” said Bennett. “

In 2012, the US Congress passed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” a major transportation bill that included two substantial regulatory exemptions for agriculture dealing with Hours of Service and covering a broad range of farm exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for vehicles classified as covered farm vehicles (CFV).

In order to comply with federal law, Illinois needs to pass HB 2515 or risk ineligibility for Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program grants and other federal highway funds.  

HB 2515 passed out of the Senate’s Committee on Transportation with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

 

image1SPRINGFIELD- As a new parent, there’s a lot of new things to learn. There are many sleepless nights and countless hours of preparation. Under proposed legislation, hospitals will soon be able to send new parents home with a trusted tool to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is sponsoring legislation to ensure that materials on SIDS prevention provided to parents include information from the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally recognized SIDS or medical association.

“I was a new parent not too long ago. There’s a lot to learn and be aware of. This legislation eases some of the burden by providing new parents with vital and reliable information on how they can help to protect their children from SIDS,” Senator Bennett said.

SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who appears healthy. It is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 2011, about one out of 2,300 infants born in the nation died of SIDS before their first birthdays.

The cause of SIDS is unknown, however educational campaigns helped raise awareness to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep related causes of infant death.

For more information on the “Safe Sleep” campaign, please visit www.aap.org.  

HB 1407 passed the Senate’s Committee on Public Health with unanimous support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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