Hastings

  • Hastings welcomes Amazon’s investment in the South Suburbs

    amazonworker 062220MATTESON – Following the announcement of the development of two new Amazon fulfillment facilities in Markham and Matteson, bringing thousands of jobs to the South Suburbs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings released the following statement:

    “While good news has been difficult to come by lately, today is a great day. I want to offer my thanks to the Amazon team for choosing to invest in the South Suburbs, specifically the 19th District. Additionally, I want to extend my congratulations to Village President Sheila Chalmers-Currin of Matteson and Mayor Roger Agpawa of Markham. They are committed to making a difference in their communities, and their efforts on this project are the latest testament to that.

    “These projects are some of the most important regional projects we have had in decades. Residents have contacted my office with concerns about increased traffic, road construction, and construction noise, but I want to reassure them that state and local governments are working to ensure that their concerns are addressed. From beautification efforts, new traffic signals, and the addition of thousands of jobs, we want to make sure these projects work for you.

    “While this year will see the construction of over three million square feet of regional distribution facilities, our work is far from over. Whether it is repurposing the former Lincoln Way North High School as a state-of-the-art State Police forensics laboratory, redeveloping the Lincoln Mall site into one of the finest retail facilities in the entire state, or finally completing the long awaited South Suburban airport, our communities are prime for development. I look forward to more exciting announcements to come.”

  • Hastings: Utility assistance is necessary for COVID-19 recovery

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    FRANKFORT – The Illinois Commerce Commission announced the decision to approve several consumer protection measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, several of which State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) called for as leader of the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group this past legislative session.

    “Throughout March and April, I met with my colleagues on the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group and numerous stakeholders. Our charge was very simple: we had to arrive at a solution to protect consumers,” Hastings said. “I’m thankful that Chairman Zalewski and the ICC listened to our recommendations allowing us to arrive at a helpful solution.”

  • Hastings urges local business owners to take advantage of new grant program

    hastings 012920FRANKFORT – State Senator Michael E. Hastings is encouraging local business owners to take advantage of available grant money via the newly created Business Interruption Grant program.

    “While the governor is assessing what a full reopening of these facilities could look like, these grants will provide sorely needed financial assistance.” Hastings said. “Restaurants can provide curbside service and many other businesses can deliver or use teleconferencing methods, but gyms are among those businesses that have had to sacrifice for public safety. I appreciate their efforts to do so, and I encourage local business owners to apply for these grants as soon as they become active in the coming days.”

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will disperse $10 million dollars in relief funding for 500 fitness centers. Additionally, $20 million will allocated for bars and restaurants that have suffered losses due to COVID-19. In order to be eligible:

    • All applicants must attest to experiencing costs or losses of at least $20,000 since the Stay at Home order was put in place on March 21, 2020 due to closure or reduced operations as a result of the COVID pandemic.
    • A fitness facility must have made less than $2 million in revenue in 2019, or pro-rated revenue if in business for less than a year. Such businesses must have been operating for at least three months prior to March 2020.
    • Businesses must occupy a gym facility. Health or fitness service providers that provide remote services or travel to different sites/client locations without a permanent establishment open to members are not eligible. Facilities must submit proof of client agreement or other evidence of operation as a fitness center.
    • Eligible bars and restaurants will be those with under $3 million in revenue in 2019, or pro-rated amount if in business for less than a year. Business must have been an operating business for at least three months prior to March 2020.
    • Grant award will be $20,000 for restaurants earning $2-3 million in revenue in 2019 and $15K for restaurants/bars earning less than $2 million. 
    • Only bars and restaurants that have not provided outdoor food and beverage service during Phase 3 will be eligible. This could be for any reason including prohibition by local ordinance, lack of access to outdoor space, or financial infeasibility.

    Grants are given out on a first come, first serve basis, and will become available on Monday, June 22.

  • Hastings touts vote by mail expansion, naming Election Day 2020 a holiday

    Senator HastingsSPRINGFIELD – An expanded vote by mail program signed into law today will ensure Illinoisans can exercise their right to vote without compromising their health and safety, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said.

    “Though the state of Illinois has made tremendous strides in flattening the curve, it is not realistic to expect everyone will be comfortable with going to the polls this November,” Hastings said. “We had to take the health and safety of our people into account, and I feel we arrived at a commonsense solution to expand access to the ballot box.”

    Under Senate Bill 1863 any person who has voted in the past two years — in the 2018 General Election, 2019 Consolidated Election or 2020 Primary Election — would receive an application for a vote-by-mail ballot in their mailbox. It can then be filled out and mailed to your election commission, or there will be instructions for making the request electronically.

    Voters will also retain the choice to vote in person via early voting or on Election Day, which would be a state holiday for 2020.

    “Those who feel comfortable voting in person should absolutely do so,” Hastings said. “The point of this legislation is to simply ensure no one feels pressured into unnecessarily putting their personal health and safety at risk.”

    This legislation is effective immediately.

  • Hastings: State budget provides essential services, protects public health

    hastings 012920FRANKFORT – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) offered the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s approval of the state budget for the upcoming year: 

    “From our working families and local businesses to bodies of government, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted every aspect of our lives,” Hastings said. “Naturally, when it comes to crafting a state budget during a national pandemic with decreased revenues and increased expenses, there are no easy decisions, but this budget meets the immediate needs of our people.”

    The state’s budget for the upcoming year includes:

    • $600 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19
    • $60 million in additional funding for the Illinois Department of Employment Security to help address the challenges with unemployment programs
    • Full funding for our pension system
    • No cuts to P-12 education funding

    “My primary focus is and always will be to provide essential services to our neighbors while preserving public health,” Hastings said. “I’m pleased Governor Pritzker shares this vision.” 

  • Hastings champions vote by mail program, makes Election Day 2020 a holiday

    vote by mailSPRINGFIELD – Prioritizing safe participation in the upcoming election, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) voted to expand voting options for Illinoisans. 

    “Our system has been shaken to its very foundation, and people are afraid about the possibility of going to the polls this November,” Hastings said. “In the interest of public health and safety, we must give our people the chance to cast their vote in a safe, secure manner.”

  • Hastings, Senate Working Group push for additional energy consumer protections during the coronavirus pandemic

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  • Hastings announces opportunity for local governments to benefit from grants aimed to create jobs and improve infrastructure

    hastings 031020SPRINGFIELD – Local governments are now able to apply for a portion of nearly $80 million in grants to update critical infrastructure and jumpstart further economic development in the South Suburbs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) announced Tuesday.

    “This grant money serves as an opportunity for local governments to spur economic growth,” Hastings said. “Through this program, DCEO has provided an avenue to both improve critical infrastructure and create jobs in our communities.”

    Through a competitive selection process, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute funding to local governments to support projects that will help generate jobs, expand economic opportunity and encourage new development.

    DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments, $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million to prepare sites for construction. Potential projects also include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design.

    Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

    For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.

  • The Majority Report 03/09/20 - Senators unveil legislation to support first responder's mental heatlh, sick airline employees

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    Martwick introduces policy to support first responder mental health data

    Sen. Robert Martwick

    SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is taking steps to facilitate and assist the mental health needs of emergency first responders under legislation sponsored by State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago).

    Martwick introduced Senate Bill 3333, which requires the Department of Human Services to create and maintain an online database and resource page of mental resources geared toward first responders on its website.

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Hastings unveils plan to expand sick leave for airline employees

    Sen. Michael E. HastingsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) partnered with Southwest Airlines employees to hold a press conference advocating for the expansion of sick leave for airline employees Wednesday.

    “The fact that hardworking individuals are unable to use their earned sick time to care for their loved ones is unacceptable,” Hastings said. “Since this is an issue with federal law, we’re doing what we can at the state level to demonstrate that in Illinois, we put workers and their families first.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Hayli's lemonade law passes Public Health Committee Sen. Patrick Joyce and Hayli Martinez

    SPRINGFIELD – As the heat of summer approaches, some kids are working to make a little bit of cash mowing lawns, babysitting or establishing a lemonade stand outside their home.

    Hayli Martinez, an 11-year-old girl from Kankakee, had the perfect idea last summer to sell lemonade with different flavors in order to earn money for her college funds.

    However, after much success, her lemonade stand was flagged by Kankakee Health Department officials and it was shut down soon after.

    To prevent other kids from losing their lemonade stands, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) introduced Hayli’s Law.

    Read more.

     


    Lightford and United Way launch report on Illinois ALICE families Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford and Sen. Celina Villanueva

    SPRINGFIELD – Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the United Way in releasing their report on Illinois ALICE households – asset-limited, income-constrained and employed.

    The report focuses on families living above the federal poverty level, but below the threshold of a basic survival budget of $57,144 for a family of four and $19,212 for a single adult.

    “People all over Illinois are struggling to get ahead. We know this intuitively, and we see it in our communities. I see it every day in my west side and west suburban district,” Lightford said. “ALICE allows us to put some real data behind that intuition.”

    Read more.

     


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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • Hastings holds first clean energy improvement hearing

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  • Sen. Hastings, Gov. Pritzker announce next steps for Tinley Park Mental Health Center

    tinleypark 030520SPRINGFIELD – After years of negotiations, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) and Gov. JB Pritzker today jointly announced the state has agreed to move forward with a new future for the dormant Tinley Park Mental Health Center.

    Since the center’s closure in 2012, negotiations have been ongoing between the Village of Tinley Park and the State of Illinois.

    But Sen. Hastings and local officials kept negotiating, knowing it is in the best interest of the State of Illinois and the Village of Tinley Park to develop the property for future economic use.

    Sen. Hastings has met with the governor’s office and the Village of Tinley Park to restart negotiations for the effective sale and transfer of the TPMHC site.

    “The governor, local officials and I all agree that economic development for our communities should be our top priority,” said Sen. Hastings. “That’s why I found a partner in the Pritzker administration as I worked with the Village of Tinley Park to jumpstart this important effort. The Village of Tinley Park should control their own destiny when it comes to the economic development of the property.”

    “After delays spanning several administrations, I’m glad that we are moving forward today to give new life to this property and bring much-needed economic development to the area,” said Gov. Pritzker. “Tinley Park has a bright future, and we’re proud to partner with local stakeholders to revitalize communities across the state.”

  • Hastings unveils plan to expand sick leave for airline employees

    Sen. Michael HastingsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) partnered with Southwest Airlines employees to hold a press conference advocating for the expansion of sick leave for airline employees Wednesday.

    “The fact that hardworking individuals are unable to use their earned sick time to care for their loved ones is unacceptable,” Hastings said. “Since this is an issue with federal law, we’re doing what we can at the state level to demonstrate that in Illinois, we put workers and their families first.”

    Hastings was joined by Corliss King, a flight attendant for Southwest, who was affected by this in 2017 after her husband was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. He was hospitalized several times and received various surgeries that left him in need of care at home. Corliss was able to use her own accrued sick time to help care for her husband and children until 2017, when a law was passed that removed coverage for airline employees.

  • Hastings: Property tax relief grants available for school districts in Matteson, Olympia Fields & Richton Park

    Senator HastingsSPRINGFIELD – With school districts making up a large portion of property tax bills in the South Suburbs, State Sen. Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce new state funding is on the way to support our schools and help provide local taxpayers a break.

    Property Tax Relief Grants (PRTG) were recently issued to local school districts across the South Suburbs. The PRTG was enacted as a part of the education funding reforms enacted into law in 2017. The grants aim to help school districts with high tax rates by giving them an opportunity to lower the property tax burden on local taxpayers.

    “This grant program is a step in the right direction as we continue to seek solutions to the sky-high property tax rates in our state,” said Sen. Hastings (D-Tinley Park). “Because of this program, hardworking families across the South Suburbs should see an off-set their property taxes without reducing their schools’ funding.”

    Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include:

    • Matteson Elementary School District 159
    • Matteson Elementary School District 162
    • Rich Township High School District 227

    Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant.

    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 named to Illinois Senate Leadership

    hastings 012920SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) was named to Senate President Don Harmon’s leadership team as the Majority Caucus Whip Tuesday.

    “I am deeply humbled President Harmon has given me the distinct honor of serving on his leadership team,” Hastings said. “I have no doubt that under his leadership we will continue down the right path as we move into the next part of the 101st General Assembly.”

    “While we accomplished monumental tasks in 2019, we have our work cut out for us in 2020. First and foremost, the inexcusable culture of corruption and greed in Springfield must end. As elected officials, it is our duty to live up to the oath we took to serve our constituency, and that mandate should not be taken lightly by anyone.”

    Hastings’ top priorities for the 2020 legislative session include:

    • Investing in clean energy infrastructure
    • Continuing to improve mental health care programs
    • Increasing efficiency and coordination between state and local government
    • Fully funding early childhood education and investing in K-12 programming
    • Passing a balanced, bipartisan budget

    Hastings has served the 19th Legislative District since 2012, when he was elected as one of the youngest Senators in state history. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to pass legislation with the goal of improving the social and financial climate of the state of Illinois.

  • Honoring those who served on Veterans Day

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  • Hastings urges Illinoisans to recognize Vietnam veterans

    vietnamvets 110119SPRINGFIELD – A resolution designating Nov. 1, 2019 as Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day was adopted by the Senate this week.

    State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is the Senate sponsor of the resolution.

    “Many of those who fought valiantly for their country in Vietnam were wrongfully met with scorn and disdain upon their return home,” Hastings said. “These brave individuals deserve the utmost respect and recognition for their service, as they have seen and experienced things that a precious few can even remotely imagine.”

    House Joint Resolution 15 urges all Illinoisans to show support for Americans who have served their country, and for the governor and Secretary of State to lower all flags within their purview to half-staff on Nov. 1, 2019.

  • Hastings works to expand Law Enforcement Officer Intern Program

    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 looks to make mental health treatments more accessible

    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.

  • Morrison passes Tobacco 21, measure heads to the governor

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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.”