Bennett Ext Services

CHAMPAIGN – A new law championed by State Senator Scott Bennett will help provide practical education programs to residents in all 102 counties in Illinois.

“Nearly every community in our state benefits from the University of Illinois’ Extension services,” Bennett (D-Champaign) said. “These programs improve the quality of life of Illinoisans by providing research-based knowledge to strengthen the social, economic and environmental well-being of our families, communities and agricultural industry.”

Bennett, Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, sponsored House Bill 2264 to require the State to make an annual appropriation for matching funds to the University of Illinois’ Cooperative Extension Services Program. Currently, the state may only provide 50 percent to county funds for the program.

The University of Illinois’ Extension offers education programs in five broad areas, including: energy and environmental stewardship; food safety and security; economic development and workforce preparedness; family health, financial security and wellness; and youth development.

More than 1.5 million Illinois residents take part in Extension programs each year, nearly 200,000 of whom participate in the 4-H program. UI Extension also offers hands-on workshops, field days and online self-paced tutorials.

“The University of Illinois’ Extension services provides information and expertise to help meet local challenges and help every Illinoisan thrive,” Bennett said.

House Bill 2264 was signed into law on Friday. It takes effect immediately.

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SPRINGFIELD – Spouses and children of veterans and active duty service members will soon be able to take advantage of the military service discount program under a law passed by State Senator Scott Bennett.

Bennett (D-Champaign) sponsored Senate Bill 1468 to expand the eligibility for voluntary discount programs currently offered by businesses to veterans and military personnel to include spouses and dependents.

“When our veterans serve, we must not forget that their families are also sacrificing every day that their loved one must forego with them in order to wear the uniform,” Bennett said. “Enhancing this discount program to include their families honors the commitment that our brave servicemen and women and their families make to our country.”

The governor signed the bill into law last week. It takes effect immediately.

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SPRINGFIELD – A new law passed by State Senator Scott Bennett will bolster privacy rights for crime victims in Illinois.

“Victims of crime and their families deserve the right to participate and be heard in the criminal justice system through the use of these powerful impact statements,” Bennett said. “They provide an opportunity for the victim to express, in their own words, what they, their family and others close to them have experienced as a result of the crime. At the very least, it helps provide some measure of closure to the ordeal the crime has caused.”

Bennett’s new law ensures that a crime victim has the right to register with the Prisoner Review Board’s victim registry and to submit a victim impact statement to the Board for consideration at hearings or executive clemency hearings. Impact statements are written or oral information from crime victims, in their own words, about how a crime has affected them.

House Bill 3584 also clarifies that victim impact statements submitted to the Prisoner Review Board are confidential and privileged.

As a former prosecutor and Vice Chairman of the Senate Criminal Law Committee, Bennett has directed his efforts to securing rights, protections and services for victims going through the criminal justice system.

The governor signed HB 3584 into law Friday. It takes effect immediately.

Senior Home

SPRINGFIELD – Residents living in state-operated assisted living facilities would be allowed to install cameras in their rooms to monitor and deter possible abuse under a new law sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett.

Bennett (D-Champaign) partnered with his uncle, State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City), to make Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) facilities safer for residents and to reassure their loved ones.

“The core of this bill is to protect some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” Bennett said. “This new law provides residents in care facilities control by allowing them to monitor their personal space and gives family members comfort knowing that they or their loved are safe and protected.” 

Under House Bill 344, a resident living in a CILA facility, a supervised home environment in which eight or fewer people with mental illness or developmental disabilities live together, would be allowed to electronically monitor their own room provided that their consent and notice has been given to the facility on prescribed forms.

“This is a bipartisan bill that gives elderly and vulnerable Illinoisans the consumer protections they deserve and brings Illinois in line with the rest of the nation in licensing our assisted living facilities,” Bennett said. “Caring for our seniors and most vulnerable must be a priority.”

The new law also includes a provision under which a resident must also obtain the consent of any and all roommates and bear all costs of purchase, installation, maintenance, and removal. The facility will be required to post signs at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the resident’s room stating that the room is electronically monitored.  

The governor signed House Bill 344 into law last week. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

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