bennett id 050421SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to include contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and the Crisis Text Line on student identification cards passed the Senate this week. 

“Students are constantly required to use their student ID cards, and keeping these mental health resources close at hand can be the difference between life and death,” Bennett said. “While we hope nobody has to use these numbers, no one is immune to mental health issues. If students need it, the helpline number is right in their pocket.”

The legislation, an initiative of the Illinois Education Association, would require the contact information for national crisis hotlines specializing in domestic violence, sexual assault and suicide to be printed on identification badges issued to public middle and high school students in Illinois. School districts that do not issue student IDs would instead be required to publish the information on their websites.

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SPRINGFIELD – To help students make more informed choices about the loans they take out to pay for college as well as establish new accountability standards for private loan companies, Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed a measure through the Senate Friday.

“We have some of the best and brightest in our state, and yet many of them still struggle to navigate their student loan options,” Bennett said. “By giving students additional tools to see what their student borrowing really means, we can lessen some of the uncertainty they face after graduation.”
 
Bennett introduced the Know Before You Owe Private Education Loan Act, which requires private lenders to confirm with a potential borrower’s school that the student’s tuition, housing and other costs are not covered by other sources of financial aid. Additionally, the legislation requires colleges and universities to notify students about their federal loan eligibility before certifying private loans.
 
Bennett worked closely with the Illinois attorney general’s office and State Representative Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) to craft the legislation.

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seatbelt safety facts history of seatbelts scaledCHAMPAIGN – During the national ‘Border to Border’ campaign, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supports the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and law enforcement agencies across the state to step up seat belt patrols and enforcement zones through Memorial Day.

“With more people on the road traveling to see friends and loved ones for Memorial Day weekend, it’s vital that we remind drivers to buckle up so everyone on the roadway can be as safe as possible,” Bennett said. “Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, a child or an adult, wear your seatbelt so everyone can make it to their destination safely.”

Organized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as part of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, Border to Border harnesses the power of 10,000 agencies across the nation – between states, cities and jurisdictions – to increase seat belt use in order to save lives.

“Our troopers patrol day and night in order to protect and educate all motorists in the State of Illinois. As the weather continues to warm up, our troopers see an increase in motor vehicle accidents that include serious or fatal injuries, all of which could have been avoided,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “As an agency, our goal is to educate the motoring public and ensure everyone makes it home safely.”

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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to help children and families build a meaningful college savings fund, Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) passed a measure through the Senate Thursday to improve the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program.

“The price of a college education can be overwhelming when you add up tuition, books and student fees,” Bennett said. “It’s important that families start building a savings account for their children now so they are prepared for the future.” 

In 2019, the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program, established as part of the Illinois treasurer’s existing Bright Start and Bright Directions programs, was signed into law. Under this law, the treasurer will automatically deposit $50 into a college savings account for every child born or adopted in Illinois.

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