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Hastings works to update state alimony law

hastings 0418 prefTINLEY PARK – A new law sponsored by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) will bring Illinois alimony law up to date with recent developments in the tax code.

Hastings’ Senate Bill 2289 was signed into law Friday, creating a new formula for calculating the amount of alimony an individual should receive after a divorce.

The law was passed in response to the December 2017 federal income tax bill, which prohibits alimony or maintenance payments from being tax deductible for the payer or taxable for the recipient.

“This law institutes responsible and fair changes to Illinois’ divorce laws,” Hastings said. “Courts cannot continue to award the same amount considering the fact there is no longer a tax deduction available to the payer.”

When the tax burden shifts on Jan. 1, 2019, this law will take effect and make modifications to reduce maintenance payments to reflect the tax adjustment. It will not affect previous settlements unless there is a finding of a considerable change in conditions that deserves application of the changes.

Senate Bill 2289 is an initiative of the Illinois State Bar Association and will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Hastings’ protections for disabled persons become law

02282018CM0597RTINLEY PARK – The state of Illinois now has a procedure in place to alert emergency professionals of missing disabled persons, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D -Tinley Park).

Hastings’ Senate Bill 2265, which was signed into law Wednesday, is aimed at reporting, quickly locating and returning missing disabled persons to their homes.

It is motivated by the story disabled man who wandered away from his group in Matteson, Illinois during a group-home outing. When caretakers requested an Amber alert for the man, the authorities said there was no system in place for individuals living with disabilities.

Hastings: Rauner’s veto shows he doesn’t value voter protections

hastings 0418 prefTINLEY PARK – Gov. Bruce Rauner put the personal information of all Illinois voters at risk on Tuesday by vetoing a measure which would have ended the state’s participation in a controversial, unsecure voter registration system.

Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2273 which would prohibit the Illinois State Board of Elections from sharing any voter information with the controversial Crosscheck system or any other interstate voter registration program other than the mandated Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

“Illinois residents deserve to have the peace of mind that the Illinois State Board of Elections is taking every necessary precaution to protect their sensitive personal information,” Hastings said. “Honest elections are the bedrock of our democracy. I wish Gov. Rauner felt the same.”

Rauner’s veto comes in light of Friday’s news that Russian intelligence officers were charged with hacking into the email servers of the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. Illinois state officials said, based on a reference in the indictment, it is likely they also stole voter data from Illinois.

"It's our duty to protect voters' personal and sensitive information and promote impartial and honest elections," Hastings said. “Elections are a sacred component of our democratic process. It is plain and simple – Illinois voters should not have to fear their identity will be stolen if they decide to register to vote. I can’t believe this is up for debate.”

Hastings, who is Chairman of the Illinois Senate's sub-Committee on Cybersecurity, has continued to investigate the 2016 State Board of Election security breach. He said it is important to withdraw from Crosscheck not only for security concerns but also because the program could be used to suppress the minority vote.

"It is clear that Crosscheck is an inferior program that endangers the personal data of all Illinoisans and makes it vulnerable to hackers,” Hastings said. “I don’t understand why Gov. Rauner is open to compromising Illinois’ citizen’s social security numbers, date of birth and other vital information.”

Illinois began using Crosscheck in 2010 when no other alternatives existed. Since then, ERIC has been developed by states concerned over the security of the personal information shared with other programs.

Hastings sets new rules for consumer credit reporting agencies

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.  

Sen. Michael E. Hastings

hastings 150
19th Legislative District

Years served: 2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II; Financial Institutions; Insurance; Judiciary (Vice-Chairperson); State Government & Veterans Affairs; Committee of the Whole.

Biography: Born October 6th, 1980, in Orland Hills; B.S. in Leadership and Management, Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, M.S., Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; former US Army Captain; Bronze Star recipient; former trustee and vice president for High School District 230.