CWS MahometAquifer ISWS1006SPRINGFIELD- Central Illinois residents have moved one step closer in their three year battle to protect the Mahomet Aquifer. State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced House Bill 1326 to protect residents across Central Illinois from contaminated drinking water.

“The Mahomet Aquifer serves as a lifeline for our region. It’s our duty to protect this important resource for the sake of our children,” said Bennett. “This proposal will further the mission of the Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance by instituting guidelines to protect our underground water source.”

The Aquifer serves as the primary water supply for 14 counties across Central Illinois including Champaign and Vermilion counties.  

The Mahomet Aquifer Protection Alliance is a group of Central Illinois citizens who are committed to keeping the Aquifer free of contamination. Local communities across central Illinois have banded together to fight the disposal of dangerous toxins at the Clinton Landfill, which sits atop the Aquifer.

As a result of their efforts, last year the Mahomet Aquifer was designated as a Sole Source Aquifer, which provides federal protection.  

“This legislation will move us one step closer to achieving our goal. However, we do recognize there may still be more work to do to ensure there is safe drinking water for central Illinois residents for generations to come,” said Bennett.  

Representative Carol Ammons sponsored this legislation in the House.

HB 1326 passed the Senate’s Committee on Environment and Conservation and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

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.

 

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