road const cones 073020CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging motorists to use caution as construction begins on Interstate 72 between White Heath (Exit 169) and Interstate 57 at Champaign (Exits 182A-B).

“It’s critical that we keep moving forward with road projects to help improve our community’s transportation infrastructure,” Bennett said. “These investments are essential to keeping people safe and giving the economy a much-needed boost.”

The $8.3 million Rebuild Illinois project involves 11 miles of pavement patching and resurfacing and will require lane closures starting Aug. 12, with one lane open in each direction at all times. Weather permitting, work on this project is expected to be complete by the end of November.

Bennett is warning motorists to expect delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. He is also encouraging motorists to avoid the work area when feasible and consider using alternate routes. Drivers are urged to drive cautiously in and near work zones, and to always buckle up and put phones down.

“It is important for everyone to do their part to be mindful of workers and improve work zone safety,” Bennett said. “Driving too fast may shave a minute off your travel time, but it could cost a worker their life. Please stay alert in construction zones.”

To view area construction details, visit IDOT’s traveler information map on GettingAroundIllinois.com.

Blood Drive

CHAMPAIGN — In an effort to meet the current demand for blood donations, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is partnering with the Community Blood Services of Illinois to host two weeklong blood drives in Champaign and Danville.

“The COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on the state’s blood supply so we need healthy and willing residents to step up to help replenish its stores,” Bennett said. “This is a great opportunity for people to safely help their neighbors and feel more connected to their community during these challenging times.”

The blood drives will take place Tuesday, Sept. 8 through Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Urbana Donor Center, located at 1408 W. University Ave. in Urbana, and the Danville Elks Donor Center, located at 300 E. Liberty Lane in Danville. Donation hours at the Urbana location can be found here, and Danville here.

Donor centers are following the recommendations from local, state and federal health agencies to keep staff, volunteers and donors safe. Appointments and masks will be required, and chairs in all areas will be at least six feet apart.

Healthy and eligible candidates can schedule an appointment to donate in Urbana at https://ilsendems.co/C-UBloodDrive or in Danville at https://ilsendems.co/DanvilleBloodDrive. All presenting donors will receive a voucher for their choice of a $10 gift card, which can be redeemed through Sept. 20.

For more information, Bennett urges residents to contact his Champaign office at 217-355-5252 or his Danville office at 217-442-5252. Those with questions can also visit his website, SenatorBennett.com.

essentialemployeeCHAMPAIGN – A measure co-sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) that increases public employee benefits, protects retail workers and expands collective bargaining rights was signed into law Friday.

“Front-line workers have put their own wellbeing on the line to provide essential services during this crisis,” Bennett said. “This new law ensures workers are properly protected as we continue to battle COVID-19.”

Certain state employees, including firefighters, law enforcement and paramedics, would be eligible for an additional 60 days of paid disability leave if their injury recovery has been hindered by difficulties accessing treatment due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

To recognize the essential role retail workers have taken on during this public health emergency, battery of a retail worker would be enhanced to aggravated battery if the worker was performing duties like relaying directions for health care or safety. The enhancement would also set in if the act is committed during a declared disaster or state of emergency due to a public health emergency, and for an additional six months after the declaration.

“Workers do not deserve harassment for enforcing state-issued safety guidelines,” Bennett said. “Expanding legal protections for workers is the right thing to do.”

Senate Bill 471 is effective immediately.

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DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College (DACC) is set to receive $2.3 million for infrastructure improvements as part of the state’s Rebuild Illinois capital plan, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Thursday.

“From workforce training to preparing students to advance their higher education, community colleges serve multiple missions,” Bennett said. “During these difficult economic times, I’m pleased to see these funds coming to Danville to support our area community college.”

DACC will use the funds to remodel the Clock Tower Center and for rehabilitation of the Ornamental Horticulture Building, including additions to the greenhouse.

“Investing in vital infrastructure is key to creating good jobs and promoting full economic recovery,” Bennett said. “The state’s investment in DACC will help ensure the college remains strong during these uncertain times.”

In total, the state awarded $103.5 million in grants to 15 community colleges throughout the state through the Rebuild Illinois capital plan. Each community college will also receive an additional $34.5 million in local investments, bringing the total commitment to $138 million.

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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