Hastings

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  • hastings 013119SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would expand the Law Enforcement Officer Intern Program passed the Illinois Senate today.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings is the chief sponsor of this initiative.

    “Our current Law Enforcement Officer Intern Program is one of the finest programs the state of Illinois offers to those seeking a career in law enforcement,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “However, I felt that we could make a few improvements to the program that would allow for a more expansive training program.”

    Senate Bill 2148 would expand the current Law Enforcement Officer Intern Program to also include a Corrections Officer Intern Program and would also add veterans' preferences in the application process for both programs.

    “There is no group of people that could be better prepared for this program than our veterans,” Hastings said. “By adding veterans’ preference to this program we would provide our veterans more job opportunities while simultaneously ensuring our law enforcement officers come from an intensely qualified background.”

    This legislation now goes to the House for consideration.

  • hastings 032919SPRINGFIELD – Pharmacists would be able to administer long-term mental health treatment to patients thanks to legislation introduced by State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

    “At this time, only physicians are legally allowed to treat their patients using the injection method,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “However, because there are sometimes cases that happen to be a bit more urgent, this legislation would allow pharmacists to administer the treatment rather than the patient waiting around for an appointment with a physician.”

    SB 1715 ensures that pharmacists, in addition to physicians, would be able to administer long-term mental health treatments via injection efficiently and safely, as long as a prescription from a physician is present.

    “It’s no secret that we have a societal problem on our hands with the accessibility of mental health treatment,” Hastings said. “We must make sure those who need help are able to receive it as quickly and safely as possible. This is a necessary step as we in the Illinois Senate look to make mental health treatments more accessible to those in need.”

    This legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

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  • hastings 031319Legislation would improve accessibility of mental health treatment

    SPRINGFIELD – A package of legislation to improve accessibility to mental health treatment was announced this morning at a news conference with Illinois lawmakers.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings is a supporter of the initiative.

    “It’s no secret that we have a societal problem on our hands with the accessibility of mental health treatment,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “We must make sure those who need help are able to receive it as quickly and safely as possible. This package is a necessary step as we in the Illinois Senate look to make mental health treatments more accessible to those in need.”

  • hastings 022119SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is pleased to announce that two community parks will receive $400,000 in funding for additional development. 

    “Clean and well-developed parks and recreation facilities are an integral part of every community in the South Suburbs, providing endless benefits for my constituents,” Hastings said. “The improvements funded by this grant will provide a space for families and friends to gather and enjoy time together.”

    The Leigh Creek South Park at Heather Glen sponsored by the New Lenox Community Park District and the Saint Boniface Park sponsored by the Tinley Park Park District will both receive development funds via the State of Illinois’ Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program (OSLAD).

    The two parks in the 19th District that were recognized are among 89 local outdoor recreation projects, representing $28,974,000 in funding assistance provided by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ OSLAD program.

    “I’m thankful the Illinois Department of Natural Resources recognized communities in my district as being worthy of development funding,” Hastings said. “These projects add further value to the communities of the 19th District, and I look forward to taking an active role I their progress.”

  • hastings 022119SPRINGFIELD – Veterans would receive veteran-specific care upon entry to medical facilities thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ Senate Resolution 56, which was adopted today.

    “Most healthcare providers do not conduct a standard military inquiry upon a patient’s visit,” Hastings said. “Many of our veterans face challenges to their physical and mental health that are particular to their situation. To give them the best possible care using veteran-specific practices, healthcare providers should be aware of their veteran status.”

    SR 56, an initiative of the Aging Veterans Council, would require healthcare providers to ask their patients if they or their spouse has ever served in the military. In addition, all staff responsible for the patient would be made aware of their status and would be provided education on best practices for veteran-specific care.

    “Only 16 percent of veterans receive their health care from VA clinics. This leaves 84 percent of veterans being cared for by healthcare providers who are not necessarily aware of their veteran status or familiar with the best practices for treating them.”

  • hastings 013119SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce that community school districts received over $4.9 million dollars from the Property Tax Relief Grant that was included in the historic school funding reform law.

    The new school funding formula advocated for by Hastings has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 19th State Senate District received nearly $20 million in additional state funding.

    “The people of the Southland are trying to do their very best to provide our children with an exceptional education and an excellent quality of life,” Hastings said. “Illinois’ families have a school funding formula in place to ensure schools are funded the right way to help homeowners find property tax savings and guarantee our children receive the best possible educational opportunities.” 

    Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including: 

    • Bremen Community High School District 228 ($3,541,127)
    • Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497.20)
    • Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818.30)
    • Elementary School District 159 ($242,794.24)

    In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • 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.

  • Hastings wreath laying 121918DANVILLE — State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) gave the keynote speech at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Danville National Cemetery last week.

    Hastings is a West Point graduate who served in the Army from 1998 to 2008, served in Iraq and the borders of Iran and Syria.  Hastings lost friends in combat and emphasized the value of keeping their memories alive in his speech at the 12th annual event.

    “Our brave veterans sacrificed their lives to protect our democratic values and freedoms,” Hastings said. “We should find ways in our daily routines to recognize their sacrifices and achievements to guarantee we continue to honor and remember their memories.”

    Danville National Cemetery has almost 11,000 grave sites. The cemetery serves veterans within a radius of 75 miles.

    “I sincerely appreciate being part of this heartwarming event. It was great to see the City of Danville and Vermilion County come together to honor our brave comrades during this holiday season,” Hastings said.

    Wreaths were laid in honor of the US military branches and groups: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW/MIA. Family members also placed wreaths in honor of fallen service men and women.

    Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992.

    The organization’s mission is to “Remember, Honor, Teach.” Every year the organization emphasizes their mission by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,200 veterans’ cemeteries and other locations across the nation each December.

     

    PHOTO CAPTION: State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) gave the keynote speech at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Danville National Cemetery last week. (Left to Right: State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), 2018 Georgetown Fair Queen Billi Jo Shank and Hastings). 

  • hastings 120518SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate recently honored the sacrifices of an Illinois native that was a member of the historic Tuskegee Airmen.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings, a U.S. Army Veteran, passed a resolution honoring the late Robert Leander “Bob” Martin during the General Assembly’s Legislative Veto Session. Martin was a fighter pilot with the Army Air Corps and one of the “Red Tails,” a historic group of black fighter pilots that served in World War II.

    “We must honor the endless sacrifices Captain Martin made to protect our great nation and to preserve the history of our heroes,” Hastings said. “This brave leader devoted countless hours to preserving our freedom, then to preserving the legacy of the trailblazing Tuskegee Airmen long after his tenure in the service.”

    Martin served with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group in the European Theater of Operations. In March 1945, during his 64th and final combat mission, his plane was hit by ground fire while strafing the aerodrome at Zagreb, Yugoslavia, now Croatia.

    He was forced to parachute from his burning plane and was rescued, spending the next five weeks at an allied mission before returning to his base in Ramitelli.

    “Captain Martin dedicated his life to serving our country,” Hastings said. “He lived a great life full of honor and love for our country and his amazing family.”

    Martin earned several service medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters. He also earned a series of civilian honors, the most notable being the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.

    “Our state lost a true patriot,” Hastings said. “We all must aspire to live a life dedicated to service to our nation, state and community as Captain Martin did. He will be missed tremendously.”

    Senate Resolution 2058 passed with unanimous support in the Senate. 

    PHOTO: State Senator Michael E. Hastings is pictured on the Senate floor with Gabrielle and Dominique Martin during a recognition of their late father, Robert Leander “Bob” Martin, the trailblazing Red Tail Pilot. Left to Right: Gabrielle Martin, Hastings and Dominique Martin. 

  • vets home 030918SPRINGFIELD – Despite a veto from Gov. Bruce Rauner, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) lead the charge in the Illinois State Senate to help provide justice to the 14 families who lost loved ones to a Legionnaire’s disease epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

    Hastings’ Senate Bill 2481 would remove a $100,000 cap for state payouts in civil litigation. The measure will allow families greater restitution for the loved ones who died as a result of state negligence and mismanagement. The Illinois Senate overrode Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2481 with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

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  • Sen. Michael E. HastingsTINLEY PARK – Credit reporting agencies will no longer allow consumer reporting agencies to impose a charge on a consumer for placing a freeze, removing a freeze, or temporarily lifting a freeze on their credit reports, thanks to a new law championed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

    Hastings pushed for safeguards after Equifax announced that a security breach compromised the personal information of 143 million U.S. residents, including more than 5.4 million Illinois residents.

    Equifax originally disclosed the breach in September of 2017, but since then, there have been multiple disclosures from the company that show more vital information was stolen than the company originally revealed. Just last month, Equifax informed the public that a small number of passport images and information were stolen as part of the security breach, despite previously denying such a thing occurred.  

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  • hastings 0418 prefSPRINGFIELD – Computer hacking is a growing societal threat, and the perpetrators are willing to cross any lines – including into school databases.

    That’s why State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) passed Senate Bill 3201 on Monday, giving parents added recourse to protect their children and their data.

    The measure requires schools to notify the parent of a student within 48 hours after discovery of a breach of security that results in the unauthorized release, disclosure or acquisition of information from a student record.

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  • Senator Michael Hastings comments on House Bill 1465 on the floor of the Illinois Senate on March 14, 2018.


  • vets presser 031318SPRINGFIELD – Three years after the initial outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, residents of that facility and others like it are still waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner to be proactive in detecting and removing Legionella bacteria from state-run facilities.

    State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has taken charge in the governor’s absence, advancing bipartisan legislative measures this week to improve water management and notification requirements at state facilities.