pay it forwardSPRINGFIELD- Student loans are now the largest source for consumer debt in the United States.

More than 20 states including Illinois currently have laws in place that suspend professional licenses and certificates in the event a consumer must default on their student loans.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) introduced an initiative to prevent licensing boards from denying, revoking or suspending individual professional licenses due to student loan default in Illinois.

“It is counterproductive and unnecessary to take away professional licenses in cases of student loan default. This simply creates additional obstacles as people attempt to repay their loans and get back on their feet,” said Bennett.

Senate Bill 454 will put provisions in place to prevent individuals with student loan default from experiencing licenses being denied, revoked, or suspended in 38 professions such as occupational therapists, teachers, structural engineers, home inspectors and real estate agents.

“Defaulting on your student loans, doesn’t make you a criminal. We should remove regulations that create a systematic cycle that hinders people’s ability to work and develop professionally,” said Bennett.

Student loans continue to incur interest and charge fees as long as they remain unpaid. Creating additional obstacles make the process even harder. When consumers have to default on student loans it negatively impacts their credit scores.

GA

Illinois General Assembly

 

“The Mahomet Aquifer is a priority for communities and people across Central Illinois. We are hopeful that there will be a permanent solution to protect this valuable resource from contamination to ensure clean drinking water for generations to come. We are aware of efforts to effect a settlement on these issues that will protect our water supply. Further, we have talked to local officials and stakeholders who are optimistic about these recent developments. However, we are still waiting to see final language of any settlement agreement.”

bennett shred may2015Consumer fraud and identity theft are becoming an epidemic in our communities. To raise awareness and to promote prevention, the Urbana Free Library and our office are offering paper shredding services for Champaign-Urbana residents.

To help reduce the chances of identity theft, experts recommend shredding things like bank statements, credit card offers and credit card convenience checks. Residents should also shred canceled credit cards, canceled checks, pay stubs, old photo IDs and tax returns that are more than three years old.


Saturday, May 2
Time: 9 a.m. to noon
Location: Parking lot on Cedar St., west of the Urbana Free Library (210 W. Green St., Urbana).

Bennettfirstbill4.16.15SPRINGFIELD– Taxpayers will have a better understanding of government boards’ work under a new proposed law advanced by Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).

“We need to engage more people in the democratic process. Making this information readily available will help keep people informed and engaged,” said Bennett.  “We should embrace technology to promote government transparency and accessibility to taxpayers.”

His initiative, Senate Bill 1339, does two things.

First, it requires government boards to post video on their websites of the board meeting within two business days. This would apply to boards where the governor appoints at least one member that is confirmed by the Senate.

“This simply makes it easier for taxpayers to access public information,” Bennett said. “The technology is readily available today to make this possible and affordable.”

Second, Bennett’s proposal would require those boards to post their public meeting agendas at least 72 hours prior to meeting, except in cases of emergency meetings. The current posting requirement is only 48 hours.

SB 1339 passed the Senate with bipartisan support and moves to the House for consideration.

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