DANVILLE– State Senator Scott Bennett will be honoring First Baptist girls’ volleyball team for their recent Illinois Association of Christian Schools’ Division I volleyball title.

This is First Baptist’s first IACS Division I volleyball title and the first Division I title in the history of the school for any sports team.

Bennett will be recognizing the six players during a school assembly and will be presenting special Senate certificates.  First Baptist will also be unveiling a new banner to recognize this great accomplishment.

Date: Thursday, February 4, 2016

Time:  9 a.m.

Location: First Baptist School, 1211 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL

120715CM0773RTSPRINGFIELD- Without a state budget for need-based state financial aid in place, Illinois’ public universities and community colleges paid roughly $182 million to allow students to continue their education last semester. To alleviate the burden on Illinois college students and families, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed Senate Bill 2043, MAP grant funding, today.

“The state made a commitment to our students and families. It’s about time we honor our promises to fund MAP grants and make investments in our future,” Bennett said.

Senate Bill 2043 does the following:

•    MAP grants to about 128,000 low-income college students and possibly an additional 15,000 eligible students.  Majority of the additional funding would go to students attending community colleges like Danville Area Community College and Parkland College
•    Over $260 million for operation costs at community colleges
•    $49.8 million to fund career and tech education as well as GED programs throughout the state

Senate Bill 2043 passed the Senate 36-12 and will now head to the governor’s desk for consideration. 


wave usa flag 1383225090826DANVILLE- State Senator Scott Bennett passed House Joint Resolution 99 to rename a section of Illinois Route 1 that runs from the south end of Westville to Georgetown the “Sergeant Kenneth R. Nichols, Jr. Memorial Highway.”

“This resolution honors Sergeant Nichols, a proud son of Vermilion County, who gave his life in service to our country,” Bennett said. “This designation serves as a way to honor both the life and sacrifices made by Sergeant Nichols and his family.”

Sergeant Nichols is survived by his wife, Lexi; his four children, Brhyleigh, Kenneth III, Braden and Pailynn; his father, Kenneth R. Nichols; and two sisters, Lisa and Cindy. Sgt. Nichols was a 2000 graduate of Georgetown-Ridge High School.

Sergeant Nichols was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado and was serving in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

House Joint Resolution 99 was approved by the Senate on Jan. 13 with a 48-0 vote. A highway dedication ceremony will be announced in the coming weeks. The legislation was sponsored in the Illinois House by State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin).

011316CM0891 RSSPRINGFIELD- Without a state budget for need-based state financial aid in place, Illinois’ public universities and community colleges paid roughly $182 million to allow students to continue their education last semester. However, half of the state higher education institutions will no longer be able to cover the costs for the spring semester.

Senate Higher Education Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) introduced Senate Bill 2226 to help alleviate some of the uncertainty for state universities.

“Governor Rauner has shown he values pre-K education by rolling back his changes in Child Care Assistance Program rules. He has shown he values K-12 education by signing that original appropriation bill,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 2226 now gives the governor the opportunity to show he values post-secondary education."

Senate Bill 2226 allocates funds to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission for MAP funding to cover claims made during the fall semester.

“Without crucial need-based funding, students will either be forced to drop out of school or consider expensive loans, said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

“Without MAP grant funding, some students will be forced to either graduate with mountains of debt or lose out on valuable opportunities. There needs to be a budget in place to guarantee students have the services and support they need to be successful.”

State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) believes state universities and community colleges drive economic development across Illinois. Last year, both the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign and Chicago campuses produced an $8.5 billion impact on the state’s economy.

“We need to consider the economic impact this has on institutions and the economy,” Cunningham said. “The longer these schools go without MAP grant funding, the more likely potential layoffs and pay cuts become. Some colleges and universities are economic drivers, and yet the governor decided to let them go without, which only multiplies the damage done to our state.”

The Senate passed MAP grant funding and is awaiting a vote in the House.

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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