Latest News

Illinois forces helping with hurricane response
Soldiers and helicopters from the Illinois National Guard are among those assisting with the disaster recovery following Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Illinois-based volunteers from the American Red Cross have also been preparing to go to the Carolinas to assist.

Welcome Representative Marron
The 104th district, which borders our 106th district to the southeast, has a new representative. State Representative Mike Marron was sworn in on Friday to the seat vacated by the resignation of Rep. Chad Hays, who had held the seat since 2010.

Weight limit restrictions eased during harvest season
Governor Rauner has signed House Bill 5749, which raises weight-limit restrictions on Illinois highways during harvest time. This is a measure which will help our farmers and those who haul farm products at this busy time of year.

EMS bill signed into law
Governor Rauner has signed into law two more bills which I sponsored this spring, including a bill to better help those having medical emergencies on their way to a hospital. Senate Bill 3255 enhances public safety by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (ARPN) and Physician Assistants (PA) to practice within the Illinois EMS system as EMS personnel for emergency care before a person reaches a hospital or during non-emergency medical transports, if the ARPN or PA meets certain specified requirements. The legislation creates greater flexibility in the medical system by allowing medically-qualified individuals to utilize their training to help those in need of care who have not yet reached a hospital.

Governor signs Corrections data bill, “pollinator-friendly” legislation
The Governor signed another of my bills late last week, House Bill 4888. Under this legislation, the Department of Corrections (IDOC) is directed to better collect data which can be used by policymakers to reduce violence in state prisons. The better data will help us to understand if current programs for this purpose within IDOC are working. We can make better decisions about the success or failure of violence reduction programs if we have the most accurate and complete information possible about the subject. This new law helps us to collect the information we need to do so.

Governor signs Bennett-sponsored legislation
Four more bills which I sponsored this spring have been signed into law by Governor Rauner. Senate Bill 2713 creates a Greenways and Trails Advisory Council at the state level to serve as Illinois’ advisory council to the federal Recreational Trails Program. The council will help protect and enhance the outdoors experience of Illinoisans. It is also intended to be a forum for public discourse and participation on recreational trails in Illinois. The legislation also clarifies some language about stickers and stamps for off-highway vehicles. Senator Chuck Weaver of Peoria carried this bill in the Senate.

Monster trucks in Ford County
I recently had the chance to visit with Tom Meents and his facilities in Paxton. It is an amazing operation. The visit helped me develop a whole new understanding of monster trucks. They have put together a great team with an impressive focus on safety and details to getting things done right. The facility features a training area where monster truck drivers can learn and excel at their craft. It is a wonderful example of a hard-working entrepreneur in east central Illinois!