Last Friday was “3rd Reading Deadline” in the House and Senate - the deadline for the House to pass bills over to the Senate, and for the Senate to pass bills over to the House.  From here on until the end of the 2015 spring session, the House will be dealing with Senate bills, and vice versa.  In addition, budget talks are heating up and my office has scheduled Town Hall Meetings and Traveling Office Hours throughout the district in the coming weeks to help make sure our district's priorities and opinions are heard loud and clear. Please check out the schedule below and join us!

Tom


Productive Deadline Week
In all, the Senate advanced 251 bills to the House, and the House sent 331 measures to the Senate before last Friday's deadline. I passed two additional bills through the House last week. House Bill 1588 was an idea initiated in our district. It will help protect seniors and the disabled from both physical and financial abuse. It’s reprehensible that the most vulnerable in our community are often targeted for abuse and fraud. To add insult to injury, the high burden of proof in criminal cases often discourages prosecution, and leaves victims and their loved ones without a good way to seek justice and to recover financially. My legislation allows senior or disabled victims of physical or financial abuse to take their case directly to civil court, and increases the financial damages they can recover. House Bill 3944 also won unanimous House approval. It will allow accent lighting on motorcycles in Illinois that will help improve visibility and safety.

As the end of session gets closer, bill actions may move faster and break quicker than they did earlier in session.  Check out The Caucus Blog  for frequent updates on Illinois House legislative action.
"This is a different world. Highly professional group of administrators and employees. It is an important asset to our district and state! Greatly appreciate the Warden leading us through the facility," Rep. Bennett said.

Illinois seniors and the disabled would be better protected from both physical and financial abuse under legislation guided through the Illinois House Friday by State Representative Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City). The Illinois House unanimously passed Bennett’s House Bill 1588 that allows victims and their families or guardians to promptly proceed in court with a civil case, and increases the damage awards they may recover.

“It’s reprehensible that the most vulnerable in our community are often targeted for abuse and fraud, To add insult to injury,  the high burden of proof in criminal cases often discourages prosecution, and leaves victims and their loved ones without a good way to seek justice and to recover financially,” Representative Bennett said. “The legislation we advanced today allows senior or disabled victims of physical or financial abuse to take their case directly to civil court.”
We’re in the final six weeks of our scheduled spring legislative session and we have a lot of work left to do. In the coming weeks decisions will be made that impact our schools, our tax bills, and state services available to our families. I will be keeping you updated weekly. I have also scheduled a series of Town Hall Meetings throughout the district to make sure our voices are heard as the debates move forward in Springfield. The schedule is below, and I hope to see you there!

Tom

Bills are Moving
The two weeks in mid to late April are the weeks set aside for floor action and final passage of House bills out of the House of Representatives.  That means for the next few weeks we’re spending less time in committees and more time working on the House floor.

For me and other House members serving their first full terms, this is a time of intense participation in the lawmaking process as final questions are asked and answered, a bill is debated on the floor, and the final roll call taken that decides whether the bill will survive and be sent to the state Senate for further action.   I was fortunate to get a bit of an early start on the final passage process, as I was able to pass two bills out of the House before our two week Easter recess; House Bill 1498 that permits closed session meetings for school boards to discuss security concerns and plans, and House Bill 1407 which ensures new parents leave the hospital with proper information about preventing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

In all, 444 bills had been advanced from House committees and placed on the chamber’s calendar for possible final action.  You can watch the action live without having to travel to Springfield!  The Illinois House streams live audio and video feeds of floor action to the general public at http://www.ilga.gov/house/audvidInternal.asp .
State Representative Tom Bennett is taking his office on the road to meet with local residents in communities throughout the 106th district. On Thursday, May 7th, El Paso and Minonk will host Representative Bennett’s traveling office hours at their local public libraries.

“In a district as large and diverse as ours, traveling office hours helps me to keep in touch with
constituents from each of the communities, and helps residents who may find it difficult or inconvenient to travel to my district offices,” Representative Bennett said. “I hope everyone in El Paso and Minonk who would like to speak with me or my staff about a problem or idea, or just wants to say hello, will stop by their local library on the 7th.”

Representative Bennett (legislative session schedule permitting) or a member of his staff will be available from 9:00am to 10:00am on Thursday May 7th at the El Paso Public Library, 149 West First Street in El Paso; and from 10:30am to 11:30am at the Filger Public Library, 261 East Fifth Street in Minonk. 

No appointments are necessary and walk-ins are welcome.

Constituents can always reach Representative Bennett’s district offices by calling 815.432.0106 (Watseka) or 815.844.9179 (Pontiac). You can also contact Rep. Bennett via webform and sign up for e-news updates at http://www.repbennett.com/.


On the morning of April 15, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln died from a gunshot wound he
sustained the night before at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Today, Rep. Bennett remembered the former Illinois Representative, and one of our greatest Presidents, at Lincoln's statue at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.
The following items WILL BE ACCEPTED for electronics recycling:

* All computer related equipment
* Typewriters, fax machines, printers
* Scanners, copiers, overhead projectors
* Blenders, can openers, food processors
* Sewing machines, irons, toasters
* Power hand tools, stationary power tools
* Coffee makers, grinders, heaters
* Vacuums (emptied of debris)
* Dehumidifiers
* Electric weed whips, mowers, hedge clippers
* Electric leaf blowers, lawn edgers
* Cameras, DVRs, tape recorders
* Televisions
* Alarm panels, alarm sensors
* 2-way radios, telephones, cell phones,
* Cables, satellite dishes, pagers
* PDAs, transmitters, receivers
* Answering machines, GPS
* Surge protectors, VCRs, radios
* CD & DVD players, camcorders
* Stereo equipment, Ipods, MP3 players
* Remote controls, hair dryers
* Electronic toys and games
* Tape players, keyboard, amplifiers
* Mixing boards

The following items WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED for electronics recycling:
* Refrigerators, stoves, air conditioners
* Hazardous waste
* Car and acid filled batteries
* Washing machines, dryers
* Household batteries
 


State Representative Tom Bennett is inviting area residents to discuss important state and local issues at Legislative Town Hall meetings he is hosting throughout the 106th District in the coming weeks.

“We’re in the final six weeks of our scheduled spring legislation, and we have a lot of work left to do,” Representative Bennett stressed. “In the coming weeks decisions will be made that impact our schools, our tax bills, and state services available to our families. I’ve scheduled Town Hall meetings in each county in the district to make sure comments and concerns from all corners are heard, and that we’re all involved in the important discussions going on at the Capitol.”

 
Woodford County Town Hall meeting (with Senator Jason Barickman):

Monday, April 13, 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Apostolic Christian Home, 610 West Cruger Avenue, Eureka

 
Livingston County Town Hall meeting:

Monday, April 27, 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Livingston County Courthouse, 112 West Madison Street, Pontiac

 
Ford County Town Hall meeting:

Thursday, April 30, 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Ford County Courthouse, 201 West State Street, Paxton

 
Vermilion County Town Hall meeting:

Monday, May 4, 5:00pm to 6:30pm
Hoopeston City Hall, 301 West Main Street, Hoopeston


“I’m looking forward to seeing local residents turn out at each meeting to make their voices heard,” Representative Bennett said.

Constituents can always reach Representative Bennett’s district offices by calling 815.432.0106 (Watseka) or 815.844.9179 (Pontiac) or via webform at http://www.repbennett.com/.