SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) supported trailblazing legislation Monday intended to develop Illinois’ renewable energy sector and preserve tens of thousands of jobs throughout the state. 

“The passage of this important legislation is the moment we’ve all been working for,” Bennett said. “This package not only saves and creates thousands of jobs across the state, but puts Illinois on track toward a vibrant, clean and equitable clean energy future.”

The comprehensive energy plan would set Illinois on a path toward 50% renewable energy by 2040 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. The package would cut Illinois’ carbon emissions and enable residents to power their homes and businesses with huge investments in greener electricity.

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 B2BCHAMPAIGN – In an effort to help local businesses take advantage of Back to Business (B2B) grants, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) has teamed up with the Small Business Development Center at Champaign County Economic Development Corporation to hold open office hours for those needing assistance with their applications.

“The B2B grant program is essential for our small business community, who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bennett said. “The Champaign Small Business Development Center and I are committed to helping these businesses get back on track—if you have questions about the application process, stop by our open office hours to get the assistance you need.”

The B2B program, administered by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, will award eligible small businesses one-time grants of up to $150,000 to cover operation costs, staff payroll and other expenses in an effort to make up for losses sustained due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of $250 million will be distributed.

Bennett and the SBDC will be available to answer questions, provide technical assistance, scan required documents and more at the SBDC office, located at 1817 S. Neil St., Suite 100 in Champaign, at the following dates and times:

  • Thursday, Sept. 16 from 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 17 from 2 to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Sept. 20 from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 29 from 3 to 5 p.m.

To offer even more opportunities for businesses to get help with their applications, Bennett and the SBDC will also offer these services in the Launch at the Library business center at Champaign Public Library, located at 200 W. Green St., on Wednesday, Sept. 22 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The business center regularly offers a walk-in coworking space, seminars, meeting rooms, and other resources for current and prospective business owners.

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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) will join the Citizens Utility Board later this month to host a free seminar and clinic where consumers can explore alternative energy options and learn how to lower their utility bills.

The seminar will be held Thursday, Sept. 23, and the clinic will follow on Friday, Sept. 29. Both events will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Champaign Public Library, located at 200 W. Green St. in Champaign.

“The goal of this seminar and clinic is to give folks the opportunity to reduce their utility bills and find alternative options,” Bennett said. “I encourage those looking for economic relief to participate in this CUB event and bring their bills to a representative to see where they can save.” 

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 pexels photo 103592CHAMPAIGN – As students return to campus for the fall semester, Senate Higher Education Chair Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is joining the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the National Fire Protection Association to offer tips to students to help prevent common campus fires and reduce fire hazards.

“With students returning to campus after being home for much of last year, and many of them being on their own for the first time, it’s extremely important for them to review fire safety tips to learn how to prevent fires,” Bennett said. “The more prepared students are, the better we can reduce fire risk.”

According to the NFPA, fires in student housing cause an average of one death, 32 injuries and $15 million dollars in property damage each year. Three out of four of those fires begin in the kitchen. The likelihood for a fire is greatest on the weekends and on weekdays from 5 to 9 p.m. Since January 2000, at least 175 people, including students, parents and children, have died in college-related fires, with seven of those fatalities occurring here in Illinois.

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