07152019CW0043aDANVILLE - In honor of National Women’s Small Business Month, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is encouraging residents to nominate local female business owners to recognize for their leadership and service to residents.

“October is a month to celebrate and applaud the contributions and successes of female entrepreneurs,” Bennett said. “I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the talented, dedicated and driven women that help make our community great.”

Nominations can be submitted to Sen. Bennett’s office by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and providing a name, business title and reason for recognition.

As part of National Women’s Small Business Month, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is hosting a series of webinars specifically targeted to female small business owners to offer support and resources for success. For more information, visit DCEO’s website.

“Our small businesses are critical to our economy, and during this pandemic we have seen them hurting,” Bennett said. “With the holiday season fast approaching, I am encouraging everyone to support local businesses this year by purchasing gift cards, referring friends and engaging on social media.”

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SPRINGFIELD – In honor of National Farmers Day on October 12, Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) are celebrating the hard work and dedication of local farmers and agricultural workers.

“Farmers are passionate about the work they do, and this day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work of the men and women devoted to feeding our community,” said Bennett, who spends the harvest season helping out on his family's farm in Gibson City. “This is the perfect time to thank farmers young and old, past and present."

On this day, Bennett and Joyce are encouraging people to show gratitude to farmers by supporting local farmers’ markets or making charitable donations to area farms.

“While we appreciate and support farmers each and every day, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a new appreciation for the agriculture sector,” said Joyce, a fourth-generation farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Today, we thank our farmers for their contributions to a healthier society and economy.”

The lawmakers are also recognizing the dedicated animals that work alongside farmers every day and help them with daily tasks, such as plowing the field, transporting food and cultivating the soil, especially during the busy harvest season.

As harvest season progresses across the state and farmers face additional stressors, Bennett encourages farmers to sign up for a webinar to learn ways to manage stress. The webinar will be led by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development on Oct. 14 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. To register, visit tinyurl.com/harveststress.

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CHAMPAIGN – Senate Agriculture Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced $5 million in financial assistance will be available to livestock producers and small meat and poultry plants hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic through the Illinois Department of Agriculture. 

“Farmers have continued to put food on store shelves and on families’ tables during these tough times,” Bennett said. “I’m confident these funds will help benefit producers, consumers and rural communities that have been impacted by COVID-19 disruptions.”

The COVID-19 pandemic drastically slowed livestock processing throughout the state, which forced farmers to hold animals for longer periods of time, resulting in higher input costs and cancelled, delayed or reduced sales.

Financial assistance is available through three programs administered by the Department of Agriculture. Individuals and businesses are only eligible to apply for one program, and applicants located in a disproportionately impacted area (DIA) will receive a 10% increase in funding. A list of DIA’s can be found here.

Online applications are available at agr.state.il.us. Applications will close on Oct. 31, 2020. Questions about this funding can be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

123456789CHAMPAIGN – Drawing on his experience as an attorney and prosecutor, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is pleased to see that the Illinois State Police Division of Forensic Services (ISP DFS) has unveiled an online sexual assault tracking system to give sexual assault survivors the ability to track evidence in new cases.

“Creating a uniform system to track sexual assault evidence will ensure survivors are treated with respect and offenders are held accountable,” Bennett said. “This new system will empower survivors to access information that’s critically helpful for them to move forward from their assault.”   

The tracking system, known as CheckPoint, will allow survivors of sexual assault monitor the status of evidence in their case, from collection at the hospital, through law enforcement pick-up and submission to the forensic lab, and ultimately to the State's Attorney's office, where final results will be received. The system uses unique case numbers and passwords to limit access to survivors and law enforcement and ensure privacy.

“The CheckPoint system will allow survivors to have real-time information about their evidence while protecting their privacy,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “This point-by-point knowledge of the location of their evidence will help to empower survivors and foster public trust in the system. ISP DFS personnel remain committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault through transparency and accountability.”

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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