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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) voted today to allow adults over the age of 21 to legally purchase and possess cannabis in Illinois.

“There are thousands of Illinoisans who are already using cannabis recreationally,” Bennett said. “This is an opportunity to bring existing illegal sales into the light where they can be taxed and regulated to ensure that adults are using a safe, reliable product.”

Under House Bill 1438, Illinois residents would be able to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC in a cannabis-infused product. The legal cannabis market will be based on Illinois’ medical cannabis system, one of the most well-regulated in the country. Cannabis products will be tested extensively to ensure their safety, and businesses will be required to label products with test results and product warnings to inform individuals of potency and serving size.  

The legislation also includes provisions affording local control to towns and municipalities to allow local governments to limit the operation of cannabis businesses in their communities or choose to prevent these businesses from operating altogether. They are also permitted to enact ordinances restricting or allowing public consumption.

Additionally, revenue from taxes on recreational sales would be earmarked for law enforcement, public education campaigns, substance abuse treatment and other programs to help communities affected by the war on drugs.

“I am encouraged that this proposal recognizes that every community is different and will allow local governments to tailor the legalization process to better meet the needs of their communities, residents, and businesses,” Bennett said.  

The legislation will now move to the House for concurrence.

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) to provide Illinois communities the protection they need from toxic coal ash pollution passed the Illinois House of Representatives this week.

“After years of inaction, Illinois is finally taking steps to protect public health and the environment from toxic coal ash,” Bennett said. “This is a powerful victory for everyone who fought to keep our rivers, streams and lakes clean. An entire coalition across the state came together to protect Illinois communities and waterways from for future generations.”

The measure addresses the closure of waste pits across the state filled with coal ash, a toxic byproduct of burning coal. Senate Bill 9 creates a regulatory framework to ensure polluters, not taxpayers, pay for needed closure and cleanup, guarantees public participation and transparency around cleanups for affected communities and provides Illinois EPA the funds it needs to properly oversee closure and cleanup. 

State Rep. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) and State Rep. Mike Marron (R-Danville) carried the bill through the House and a large coalition of activists from around Illinois championed the legislation including: Central Illinois Healthy Communities Alliance, Citizens Against Longwall Mining, Citizens Against Ruining the Environment, Clean Power Lake County, Earthjustice, Eco-Justice Collaborative, Environmental Law & Policy Center, Faith in Place Action Fund, Illinois Environmental Council, Illinois People’s Action, Metro-East Green Alliance, Prairie Rivers Network, Protect the Middle Fork, Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, and Springfield Clean. 

Senate Bill 9 now awaits the governor’s signature.

Bennett June Town Halls

CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) will host town hall meetings in Champaign and Danville early next month to recap the spring legislative session in Springfield.

Bennett will update constituents on the budget status, legislation he worked on and answer questions.

“In-person town hall meetings are a fundamental way to get feedback from the constituents I represent,” Bennett said. “I’ve always believed that government works best when there is constant and open communication between legislators and local residents, and I look forward to hearing input on how we can move our state forward.”

Area residents can stop by to receive assistance and share concerns on local and state issues.

Champaign Town Hall:
Wednesday, June 5
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Cityview Banquet & Meeting Center (45 E. University Ave, Champaign)

Danville Town Hall:
Thursday, June 13
5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Danville Area Community College, Vermilion Hall, Room 306 (2000 E. Main, Danville)

Media Contact: Julianne Micoleta (217) 782-3012 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information: Call (217) 355-5252 or visit www.SenatorBennett.com.

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SPRINGFIELD – Residents living in state-operated assisted living facilities would be allowed to install cameras in their rooms to monitor and deter possible abuse under a bill that is heading to the governor’s desk.

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) partnered with his uncle State Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) to make Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) facilities safer for residents and to reassure their loved ones.

Bennett sponsored House Bill 344 through the Senate this week to allow a resident living in a CILA facility, a supervised home environment in which eight or fewer people with mental illness or developmental disabilities live together, to electronically monitor their own room provided that their consent and notice has been given to the facility on prescribed forms.

“The core of this bill is to protect some of the most vulnerable residents in our state,” Bennett said. “It will ensure that these residents are treated well, provide their families with peace of mind regarding their loved ones and help resolve disputes regarding suspected abuse and neglect.”

The measure also includes a provision under which a resident must also obtain the consent of any and all roommates and bear all costs of purchase, installation, maintenance, and removal. The facility will be required to post signs at the entrance of the building and at the entrance of the resident’s room stating that the room is electronically monitored.  

HB 344 has passed the Senate and the House of Representatives and now moves to the governor for approval.

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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