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Hastings champions measure to reform corrupt Illinois Toll Highway Authority

hastings 0418 prefSPRINGFIELD – With many troubling questions surrounding its governing board, the Illinois Tollway will get a much-needed ethical makeover thanks to the support of State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Hastings last week helped push through the Illinois General Assembly important legislation that would restore accountability and integrity at the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. Media reports have chronicled multiple examples of jobs and contracts being awarded to unqualified political insiders and well-connected businesses through non-competitively bid processes.

Hastings supported Senate Bill 1298, which ends the terms of the currently appointed members of the Tollway Board and requires the Governor to appoint new Board members by Feb. 28, 2019. The legislation also requires the Tollway Board’s by-laws to direct members to avoid potential conflicts of interest and requires these by-laws to be posted to the Tollway Authority’s website.

“The time to restore accountability and integrity to the Illinois Tollway is long overdue,” said Hastings. “The Illinois Tollway Authority needs to start putting the needs of the working people of Illinois ahead of political insiders and corrupt special interest groups.”

Hastings said he will continue his work to reform state government and restore faith in its ability to move Illinois forward.

“As we start the 101st General Assembly, it’s important to me to continue to take a closer look at aspects of state government that are in dire need of reform,” he said. “I look forward to working with Gov. Pritzker and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure government is working for the people of Illinois.”

The bipartisan reform passed without opposition in the House and Senate and awaits the Governor’s signature.

Mulroe: Governor’s transparency, pay equity orders long overdue

mulroe 031518SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) released the following statement on the governor’s executive order, signed today, directing state agencies to review disclosure laws and take steps to bring themselves in compliance with them.

“This is a welcome first step from Gov. Pritzker, one I hope sets the tone for his administration,” Mulroe said. “State government must be accountable to its citizens, and the failure of many state agencies and offices to disclose data in an expedient manner is a failure of accountability. Making this a priority of the executive branch is a welcome and long-overdue course of action.”

Executive Order 2019-01 directs all state agencies to conduct a review of their statutory obligations and audits within the last four years and, within 60 days, provide the governor a plan to ensure they comply with state disclosure laws. It also orders them to conduct a comprehensive review of laws and regulations requiring the publication of data and take action to ensure compliance within 30 days. Within 60 days, agencies must also conduct a review of and provide the governor a report on their data publication practices, including an analysis of past practices and a plan to make more data accessible to the public.

Pritzker also signed legislation protecting worker wages and promoting diversity in employment by state contractors. Additionally, the new law requires the disclosure of data on employee demographics and pay among businesses which contract with the State of Illinois.

Asian-American leaders seek to strengthen, unify their voice

villivalam presser 010919 SPRINGFIELD – Asian-American leaders statewide today announced plans to unify their voices and advance issues that are vital to Asian-American communities throughout Illinois.

The leaders, including state legislators and local government officials, formed the Joint Asian-American Leaders Caucus

“Ten years ago, there were no Asian Americans elected to major political offices in Illinois. Today, there are dozens, from the U.S. Senate to local municipal offices throughout the state,” said caucus chair Josina Morita. In 2016, she became the first Asian American elected to a countywide board in Illinois.

Senator Fine Inaugurated

inaugurationGLENVIEW – State Senator Laura Fine (D – Glenview) was inaugurated into the Illinois State Senate Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to getting started in the Senate,” Fine said. “I know from my experience in the House that there’s a lot of tough work involved in being an effective legislator, but I know that I’m capable of doing the job. I am honored to represent the concerns and interests of the residents of the 9th District. ”

Fine was inaugurated with her family by her side along with several other new members of the Senate.

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