State Sen. Scott Bennett remembered as ‘a hard worker’ with a ‘divine sense of humor’

Sen. Scott Bennett D-Champaign, left, talks with Attorney General Kwame Raoul on the senate floor Thursday. April 7, 2022. [Thomas J. Turney/The State Journal-Register]

Memorial services for Illinois state Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, a key legislator in the passage of recent amendments to the SAFE-T Act, have been scheduled for Monday in Urbana.

Bennett, 45, died on Dec. 9 after complications of a brain tumor. Tributes from Illinois General Assembly members on both sides of the aisle poured in after his death. Gov. JB Pritzker announced that state flags will be flown at half-staff until sundown on Monday.

“Senator Bennett was a good man who always strove to serve his constituents in Springfield, advocating fiercely for his community and for people across the state of Illinois,” the governor said in a statement. “The entire state is a better place thanks to his dedicated service, which we honor with this official symbol of mourning. MK and I send our thoughts to his loving wife Stacy and their two beautiful children during this tragic time.”

The Champaign Democrat had served in the General Assembly since 2015 and had just won re-election uncontested in the 52nd Senate District. Bennett served as chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and vice-chairman of the Senate State Government Committee during his tenure. He was also a member of the Agriculture, Executive Appointments, Judiciary, and Labor committees.

Bennett joined state Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, in committee hearings and on the Senate floor to defend amendments to the Pretrial Fairness Act provision of the SAFE-T Act.

“More than a hard worker and state senator, he truly had a divine sense of humor. He was always making us laugh, and he was a pleasure to work with,” Peters said in a statement. “He knew how to diffuse a tense negotiation with a perfectly timed joke or comment.”

Services are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Pritzker, along with state Treasurer Michael Frerichs and Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park are expected to attend.

Bennett is survived by his wife, Stacy, and their two children.

Contact Patrick Keck:,

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December 19, 2022 at 09:26AM

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