CommitteeHearing5.19.15.3CHAMPAIGN- Every year, Champaign and Vermilion County drivers pay thousands of dollars in state gas taxes, but for the past five months Springfield has held on to the money instead of sending it back to help pay for road salt, snow plow repair, patching pot holes and all other road maintenance.

“This is your money Governor Rauner is holding hostage,” said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “It’s clear that this money belongs in the hands of the people. As we head into the winter months, communities need these funds to stay safe.”

Motor fuel taxes are collected by the state to be distributed back to counties, municipalities and townships.

Bennett explained the money can’t be sent back to the communities because there hasn’t been official authorization. Gov. Rauner vetoed the proposal to authorize the distribution. Local government entities haven’t received funds since July 1 of this year.

In 2014, Champaign and Vermilion counties received more than $3 million in gas tax money.

Other Champaign and Vermilion County communities received the following amounts in 2014: Champaign, more than $2 million; Urbana, more than $1 million in funds; and Danville, $817,647.

Additional information about how much local communities are owed in gas tax money is available at www.IllinoisSenateDemocrats.com.

Bennett foresaw this looming problem and is trying to prevent it by introducing Senate Bill 2197, which would give local governments their share of gas tax, video gaming and 911 funding. The legislation would also give lottery winners their winnings.

“This funding belongs in our communities. People are waiting on their money and they deserve it,” Bennett said.

DANVILLE- To address the diaper bank deficit in Vermilion County, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), Danville Township Supervisor Mike West and New Directions Family Advocacy Center are hosting a community diaper drive to benefit the Vermilion County Family Advocacy Center Diaper Bank.

The Vermilion County Family Advocacy Center Diaper Bank relies on our community donations to continue to support families. Currently, they are suffering a diaper shortage and need additional assistance in replenishing their supplies to work toward keeping our children healthy and safe.

Donations will be accepted starting today until November 26.

State Senator Scott Bennett and Danville Township Supervisor Mike West:
Danville Township Building, 101 West North St., Danville, IL
Drop off hours:  Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Donations will not be accepted on Fridays.

New Directions Family Advocacy Center:
153 North Vermilion, Danville, IL
Drop off hours:  Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Please call Sen. Bennett’s Danville Office at (217) 442--5252 with any questions or concerns.

cub danville oct20DANVILLE- State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is hosting experts from the Citizens Utility Board to conduct a free clinic where local consumers can learn ways to reduce their gas, electric and landline telephone bills.


The event will feature free one-on-one analysis from CUB experts on gas, electric and landline phone bills, information on spotting billing errors and incentives designed to help people improve energy efficiency.


To receive counseling participants are advised to bring their gas, phone and electric bills for a one-on-one consultation by CUB representatives.

Danville

Date: Tuesday, October 20
Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Location: Danville Public Library (319 N. Vermilion St., Danville, IL)


Please register please click here or call Bennett’s Champaign office at (217) 355-5252.

092815RT0071CHAMPAIGN- Illinois families worried about the financial security of loved ones living with disabilities will soon have another resource to promote their independence.  

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and Treasurer Michael Frerichs joined area advocates to raise awareness of a new law that will create a tax-exempt plan to help individuals and families save money to cover expenses for people living with disabilities. Senate Bill 1383 creates the Illinois Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act (ABLE Act), which creates accounts similar to tax-advantaged college saving plans where income earned in the account is not taxable.

“This initiative will help ensure our loved ones will live their lives with respect and dignity,” Bennett said. "Without resources like this, many people with disabilities don’t have the opportunity to be financially independent.”

Carl Webber, parent and board member of Developmental Services Center will certainly take advantage of this new program. Before the ABLE program, without complicated documents, people living with disabilities could not receive benefits and retain significant assets.

“Until the creation of the ABLE program, there weren’t any financial resources available. This forced people living with disabilities to rely on the state for extraordinary expenses and for assistance after parents and responsible family members were gone,” Webber said. “This program will be a huge source of relief to families. There will be assistance available to address emergency situations and to provide support after parents and responsible family members are no longer available to provide necessary financial assistance.”  

The Treasurer’s Office will be responsible for the administration and implementation of ABLE accounts in accordance with federal rules and regulations. ABLE accounts are similar to 529 college saving plans with earnings that are tax-advantaged federally.

“Now that the ABLE Act has become law in Illinois, the Treasurer’s Office is proud to take the lead in implementing the program and advocating for families that will utilize ABLE accounts,” Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs said. “The ABLE Act will make a tremendous difference for individuals with disabilities, giving them a tool to achieve financial stability, independence, and peace of mind to live their lives with dignity.”

This legislation comes after the federal government passed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 with bipartisan support. Virginia was the first state to enact the program since the federal legislation was passed.

“DSC is pleased to be hosting this press conference with Treasurer Mike Frerichs and Senator Scott Bennett to share information about the ‘Achieving a Better Life Experience’ (ABLE) Act and helping to make individuals and families in Champaign County aware of the possibilities it offers,” said Dale Morrissey, chief executive officer of Developmental Services Center.

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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