05022019CM1241SPRINGFIELD - As more cases of coronavirus have been identified in Illinois, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is urging residents to take preventative precautions during this rapidly evolving situation.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the total number of coronavirus cases in Illinois now stands at 93 as of Sunday.

“Information about coronavirus has quickly overwhelmed people’s sense of certainty,” Bennett said. “I want to assure residents that we are well prepared for any and all emergency situations thanks to the tireless efforts and preparations made by IDPH, local health departments, and public health partners.”

IDPH is encouraging the public to remain vigilant to help manage the spread of coronavirus.

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CHAMPAIGN - High prescription drug prices and accountability of the pharmaceutical industry topped concerns of Champaign residents during a town hall meeting Monday.

The meeting was hosted by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), and was cohosted by Protect Our Care Illinois, Champaign County Health Care Consumers, NAACP Champaign County, AARP Illinois and AFSCME. IMG 3747

Following an informational presentation from Protect Our Care representative Dan Rabbitt, Bennett and Manar opened the floor to Champaign County residents to raise their concerns, share their stories and ask questions about pending legislation in Springfield. 

Bennett and Manar, who championed capping insulin prices in the fall, are introducing a broad package of legislation aimed at lowering prescription drug prices and cracking down on the pharmaceutical industry.

“Senators throughout the state are working together to push for solutions to these issues by holding regional town halls to hear from constituents on the urgent need for state action,” Bennett said.

Bennett announced a new bill to that would prevent pharmacies from hiding drug prices among the 50 residents who attended.

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SPRINGFIELD – In honor of the 50th annual Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day, Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) connected with farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other diverse agriculture interest groups at the state Capitol Tuesday.

The day-long event, organized by the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA), provides groups the opportunity to speak with legislators about industry-related issues, as well as educate them about their own agri-business and role in the community.

Additionally, Illinois FFA members and agricultural instructors assemble and deliver baskets filled with agricultural products to legislators to remind lawmakers of the various aspects agriculture has in the lives of Illinoisans and the impacts their choices make on the world of agriculture.

03032020HAO0164“I try to be a voice for the agriculture industry in the General Assembly because of its importance to our state,” Bennett said. “It was rewarding to see these groups get involved and find their voice with elected officials.”

Senator Bennett, who is dedicated to helping farmers and the agriculture industry, is also working with IDOA on several measures this legislative session, including Senate Bill 3438 and Senate Bill 3448. Both pieces of legislation will be considered by the Illinois Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday.

Bennett also commemorated Illinois’ new director of agriculture. On Friday, Jerry Costello II was appointed to serve as the Director of IDOA by Governor JB Pritzker.

“I am committed to working with Director Costello and the department to work toward a sustainable agriculture industry,” Bennett said.


SPRINGFIELD – Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced a resolution to add farming to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program Thursday.

Student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more prospective farmers from entering agriculture. In an effort to help new famers, Bennett urges U.S. Congress to expand the PSLF program so it includes farming as an applicable career for loan forgiveness.

According to the Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, the PSLF program forgives the remaining balance on Direct Loans after you have made 120 (10 years) qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.

“Many of today’s young farmers are discovering agriculture in college,” Senator Bennett said. “The debt that they’ve accumulated from college is preventing them from getting started, so it’s important we work to include them in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”

The measure, Senate Resolution 992, passed the Senate Agriculture Committee with a vote of 10-0.


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