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Bennett measure to add protections to Mahomet Aquifer, ensure water safety

Clean waterSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) advanced legislation this week to strengthen protections for the Mahomet Aquifer, the primary water source for Central Illinois.

Bennett sponsored Senate Bill 2027, which would direct the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to identify potential hazards to groundwater and focus further study on those that pose a hazard to surface water and groundwater resources.

It would also establish the Pekin Metro Landfill Pilot Project to allow for the identification of potential and current threats to the water quality of the Mahomet Aquifer from the landfill.
“After the detrimental impacts of the Peoples Gas Leak, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to protect this vital resource,” Bennett said. “This bill will help us ensure that 500,000 people in Central Illinois know the water coming out of their faucets is clean and safe to drink.”

This proposal comes from the legislative recommendations of the Mahomet Aquifer Task Force, established last year to help maintain clean water and determine any action to protect the natural resource.

SB 2027 was approved by the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee and is scheduled for consideration in the Senate.

Bennett moves to protect privacy of sexual assault victims

Senator BennettSPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) would protect the identifying information of a victim in the middle of a sexual assault investigation.

“Privacy and confidentiality matter for victims of sexual assault,” Bennett said. “In this case, transparency can actually be a barrier to keep people from coming forward about sexual assault. This bill will help maintain confidentiality so that victims have peace of mind while they seek justice.”

Senate Bill 2133 intends to change the definition of “private information” in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to include the name and any identifying information of a victim in a sexual assault investigation. Currently, the private information of a victim is not protected from private attorneys and media submitting FOIA requests.

As a former prosecutor, Bennett has used his experiences to push for legislation to assist survivors of sexual assault. He is also the sponsor of a 2017 law that eliminated the statute of limitations on sexual crimes against children.

SB 2133 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is scheduled for consideration in the Senate.

Bennett honors Schlarman Academy champions at the Capitol

Sen. Bennett congratulates Schlarman Academy Basketball Team on state championshipSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) welcomed the players and coaching staff of the Schlarman Academy girls’ basketball team to the Illinois Capitol today to recognize their second consecutive state title.

Bennett was joined on the Senate floor by the players and Head Coach Keith Peoples as he presented the team with a special tribute honoring their accomplishment.

“Two consecutive championships is an outstanding achievement,” Bennett said. “I am honored to recognize these incredible young women who have put in a tremendous amount of hard work this season on and off the court. They have not only played hard, but they have represented Danville and Vermilion County with dignity and respect, and have raised the bar for future teams.”

Bennett resolution supports strategy to protect water quality from chemical runoff

bennett 030719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) was joined by Illinois Department of Agriculture Director John Sullivan today to address the issue of farm chemical runoff polluting Illinois waterways.

“We are on the right path, but more work remains to be done,” Bennett said. “With a science-based model as a guide, I am hopeful that we can make even more significant water quality improvements.”

Sullivan provided testimony in the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee to support Senate Resolution 52, sponsored by Bennett. It calls for further steps in a plan to protect water quality by limiting nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agricultural operations – nutrients with important beneficial effects in farming but with potentially harmful environmental consequences.

Sen. Scott Bennett

Senator Scott Bennett

52nd Senate District

Years served: 2015 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Chairperson); Appropriations II; Criminal Law (Vice-Chairperson); Higher Education; Labor; State Government; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Bennett grew up in Gibson City, where four generations of his family worked on their family farm. He moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend law school at the University of Illinois after graduating from Illinois State University.

Associated Representatives:
Carol Ammons
Michael T. Marron