Bennett BudgetSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) released the following statement today on Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed 2019-20 budget:

“I share Governor Pritzker’s belief that education is a jobs creator, and a priority for support. There is no better way to build for the future than by investing in our educational institutions and workforce development.

“Strengthening our public schools and enhancing career and technical training will connect the underemployed with high-wage, high-skilled jobs and provide our youth with more educational opportunities to excel.

“I am also encouraged to see the Governor’s commitment to rebuild after the damage inflicted on higher education in our state over the last four years. Increasing investments into the MAP program in particular is an excellent way to keep the best and brightest in our state.

“At first glance, this is a solid first step in restoring stability to our state, but I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature and the Governor to ensure that we address the needs of working families in Champaign and Vermilion Counties and throughout the state.”

Bennett Min WageSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) released the following statement after the Senate voted to approve legislation that will raise the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour over the course of six years:

“Since the day I was sworn in to the Senate, I have pledged to do all I can to help make lives easier for families across Champaign and Vermilion Counties. By increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025 for the majority of workers, we are achieving the goal of lifting working families up to improve their quality of life.

“Workers with full-time jobs should never be forced to live in poverty. Minimum wage workers are employed in many of the service jobs that are vital to the care of the most vulnerable and in jobs that serve the public. They deserve a fair wage that respects the work they do in service to others.

“Putting the minimum wage on a clear and responsible path toward $15 an hour will provide Illinois’ hardest workers with dignity, fairness and stability.”

The legislation is Senate Bill 1. Having passed the Senate, it moves to the House for consideration.

measles infographic2 updated bennett


CHAMPAIGN–A case of the measles has been officially diagnosed in Champaign County and State Senator Scott Bennett is stressing the importance for Illinoisans to understand the risks and treatment for the virus. 

“The measles virus is dangerous and can have serious consequences,” Bennett (D-Champaign) said. “But with proper preventive methods and treatment in the event of infection, patients will likely not have any need for concern. If you aren’t sure you’ve been vaccinated against measles, you should check with a physician or contact the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.”

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District reported one local case of the highly contagious measles virus. The patient was admitted to the emergency room Jan. 19, and tests confirmed last week that the patient had the infection, according to Public Health officials.

The Health District also sent out a list of locations the patient had visited between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, and where the patient may have possibly exposed others to the virus.

Measles is spread through the air through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms such as high fever, rash all over the body, stuffy nose and red eyes typically disappear without treatment within two or three weeks.

Prevention remains the best way to avoid contracting the measles virus. The current vaccination combats against measles, mumps and rubella. While it is possible in many cases to survive the measles viral infection, complications may arise from improper treatment. Children under five are the most likely to die from a case of measles, according to the World Health Organization.

If you are concerned you or someone you know have contracted the measles virus, please call your health care provider and contact the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (217) 352-7961.

carnivalCHAMPAIGN—Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois law will require carnival companies to conduct criminal background checks of all employees.

The new law, sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), will increase fines for amusement park companies that fail to check the criminal history of new hires. Right now, only ride operators must undergo background checks.

“These additional background check requirements will increase public safety,” Bennett said. “If a carnival company is bringing someone into our community to interact with our children, it doesn’t matter whether or not they are operating a ride or a carnival game; they should have a background check to make sure they are not a criminal.”

The measure was a response to a 2014 tragedy in Farmer City, when Blayne Benefield was killed by two brothers who were employees of Big H Amusements, formerly known as A & A Amusements. While the amusement ride company was required to perform background checks on employees that operate rides, it did not have to do so for other employees.

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