State Sen. Scott Bennett, 45, dies unexpectedly of brain tumor

The Democrat from Champaign was one of three key sponsors of an amendment to the SAFE-T Act, which cleared the Illinois General Assembly last week.

SHARE State Sen. Scott Bennett, 45, dies unexpectedly of brain tumor
Illinois State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign (right), died Friday. He’s shown on Dec. 1, 2022 appearing before the Senate Executive Committee to explain clarifications to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice overhaul that he had co-sponsored.

State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign (right), died Friday. He is shown last week appearing before the Senate Executive Committee in Springfield to explain clarifications to the SAFE-T Act criminal justice overhaul that he co-sponsored.

John O’Connor/Associated Press

State Sen. Scott Bennett died unexpectedly on Friday due to a brain tumor, his family said in a statement.

Sen. Bennett, 45, died surrounded by his wife, family and loved ones at Carle Hospital in Urbana, his family said. He had been rushed to the hospital Thursday morning.

The Democrat from Champaign was one of three key Senate Democratic sponsors of an amendment to the SAFE-T Act, which cleared the Illinois General Assembly last week. Sen. Bennett, a former prosecutor, was also a practicing personal injury attorney. He is survived by his wife, Stacy, and two children.

“We are devastated to share that our beloved Scott has passed away. We remain in complete shock because it was all so sudden and unexpected,” Stacy Bennett said in a statement. “Scott will forever be known for being an extraordinary father, husband and friend. His quick humor and wit could light up any room he entered. We will miss his stories, the way he could always make people laugh and his genuine kindness.”

Stacy Bennett said her husband “lived a life full of service and constantly looked for ways to lend his time and energy to helping our community and state.”

Scott Bennett grew up in Gibson City in central Illinois, where five generations of his family worked on their family farm. He was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2015, serving on several committees, including as vice chairman of the Criminal Law Committee and chairman of the Agriculture Committee.

Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, on Friday said he was “devastated” to hear of Sen. Bennett’s death.

“My heartfelt sympathy and prayers are with his wife Stacy and their children during this unimaginably difficult time,” Harmon said in a statement. “I ask the media and others to respect their privacy.”

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday called Sen. Bennett “a dedicated public servant and devoted father.”

“Sen. Scott Bennett was a good man who always operated with the best interest of his constituents in mind. Throughout his time in Springfield, he fiercely advocated for the institutions that shaped his life, from his upbringing on a Gibson City farm, all the way to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign,” Pritzker said in a statement. “The entire state is a better place thanks to his service. MK and I send our thoughts to his loving wife Stacy and their two beautiful children during this difficult period.”

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