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Illinois lawmakers unveil March to Mental Health initiative

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 announces $400,000 for development of two local parks

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 ensures veterans will receive veteran-specific health care

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.”

State grant to provide millions in property tax relief to South Suburban homeowners

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.

Sen. Michael E. Hastings

hastings 150
19th Legislative District

Years served: 2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Commerce and Economic Development; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive (Chairperson); Insurance; Judiciary; Subcommittee on Election Law; Subcommittee on Gaming.

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.

Associated Representatives:
Margo McDermed
Debbie Meyers-Martin