• Hastings: Will County cannot afford another setback

    spfld map 091820FRANKFORT – Following the announcement that Region 7 mitigation measures were lifted, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) released the following statement:
    “Three weeks ago, enhanced mitigation measures were placed on Will County and Region 7. Our local businesses and municipalities were forced into an extreme and dire situation. With the hard work and discipline of Will County residents, the COVID-19 infection rate has decreased to a point where the enhanced mitigation measures will be lifted effective at 5:00 p.m. this evening. 

    “I want to thank our businesses and chambers of commerce for their feedback and involvement throughout this process. Listening to our local leaders is essential to effective leadership. For those businesses still struggling, I encourage you to visit the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s website for information on the Business Interruption Grant program. 

    “Moreover, I could not be more proud of our people for coming together and taking proper precautions.  As we move forward, our local businesses cannot afford another setback. We must remain vigilant for the sake of economic recovery and public health.”

  • Hastings appreciates urgent action on behalf of Will County business owners

    hastings 091720FRANKFORT – To bring relief to local businesses suffering from the economic devastation brought on by COVID-19, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) is encouraging small business owners across the South Suburbs to apply for the second round of Business Interruption Grants.

    In a letter to Governor Pritzker several weeks ago, Hastings urged the administration to prioritize financial assistance to bars, banquet halls, restaurants and fitness centers throughout Will County due to the implementation of additional mitigation measures. As a result, businesses in Region 7 that submit an application will be given priority to ensure they receive the necessary support from the second round of BIG awards.

    “The prioritization of Region 7 businesses doesn’t happen without the advocacy of business owners in Will County, and I want to thank them for voicing their concerns to me,” Hastings said. “At this point, every bit of help counts. This financial assistance will help businesses throughout Will County that have been negatively impacted by the recent COVID-19 mitigations. We are by no means out of the woods yet, so for us to continue working toward recovery, it’s vital that business owners struggling to get by submit their applications for the second round of grants.”

    Applications for the second round of the Business Interruption Grants program will be made available Thursday, Sept. 17 and will offer $220 million in funds for small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic.

    The second wave of funds from BIG aims to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate or in disproportionately impacted areas. Application information for the second round of funds and can be found on DCEO’s website at Illinois.gov/dceo.

  • Hastings partners with Versiti to host blood drive

    blood donor 090320FRANKFORT – In an effort to meet the current demand for blood donations in the South Suburbs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) is partnering with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois to host a blood drive.

    “The COVID-19 crisis has led to a drastic reduction in blood donations throughout the state,” Hastings said. “I’m proud to team up with Versiti to provide a safe outlet for people to make a difference in our communities.”

    The blood drive will take place Friday, Sept. 11 at the American Legion Post 111 building, located at 15045 S. West Ave. in Orland Park. Donation hours will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

    This facility will follow recommendations from local, state and federal health agencies to keep staff, volunteers and donors safe. Appointments and masks will be required, and chairs in all areas will be at least six feet apart.

    Healthy and eligible candidates can schedule an appointment to donate by contacting Senator Hastings’ staff at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, Hastings urges residents to contact his district office at (815) 464-5431 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  • Hastings: We remain committed to securing the future of clean energy in Illinois

    hastings 030520 2FRANKFORT– In response to Exelon’s decision that it is closing two nuclear power plants, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort), who chairs the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, released the following statement:

    “It’s truly unfortunate that Exelon has announced two plant closures during the middle of a pandemic. The negative economic impact of these closures cannot be understated.

  • Hastings highlights driver’s license expiration date extension for older adults

    senior driver 2 082720FRANKFORT— To reduce long lines and to protect vulnerable populations, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) is urging older adults to take advantage of the driver’s license expiration date extension from the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.

    “We have to continue taking every precaution when it comes to mitigating the spread of this virus,” Hastings said. “I’m pleased that Secretary White’s office is taking the initiative to reduce crowd sizes and make life easier for our people by any means possible.”

    In addition to being 75 years of age or older, the driver must have a valid license—drivers whose licenses have been suspended or revoked do not qualify for the one-year extension. Eligible drivers should soon receive a letter from the secretary of state as proof that they qualify.

    For drivers under age 75, expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards and license plate stickers have been extended until Nov. 1, 2020. Customers who choose to visit a facility must wear a face mask. In addition, customers are asked to be patient due to heavy volume and to be prepared to wait outside in various types of weather.

    Residents are encouraged to visit www.cyberdriveillinois.com to avoid waiting in line and take advantage of online services, including replacements and renewals of registrations, driver’s licenses and ID cards.

    More information regarding services provided at local Secretary of State facilities can be found at www.ilsos.gov/facilityfinder/facility, and the facility in Decatur can be reached by phone at 217-875-1650.

  • Lawmakers join for Energy Summit to discuss coal to solar transition in Illinois

    coal plant 082020

  • Hastings unveils coal-to-solar plan at Energy Summit in Canton

    hastings 012920CANTON– Unveiling a new proposal that would transform the renewable resource landscape in downstate Illinois, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) joined colleagues and stakeholders at an Energy Summit in Canton today.

    Hastings, who chairs the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, called for a plan that would create job opportunities for people displaced by plant closures while transitioning several downstate communities to an increased role in generating renewable energy.

    “Working class families and communities have relied on these plants for generations,” Hastings said. “With more potential plant closures looming, we have to find a way to preserve jobs, transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy resources and maintain an economic base within the communities.”

    Under Hastings’ proposal, a program would be established to provide incentives for the installation and operation of renewable energy resources at the sites of former coal plants, helping the surrounding communities remain economically viable.

    “Our state’s residents want clean energy resources, but we cannot take action without thinking about the future of energy across Illinois. We are a national leader in energy generation, and we must continue to provide job opportunities for people who work at coal plants and assist them during the transition to solar energy.” Hastings said. “I look forward to continue working with our community stakeholders, my colleagues, and the renewable energy community to make that happen.”

    These proposals will likely be a piece of a larger package of energy legislation that could be taken up as early as the fall veto session.

  • 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

    electric meter

    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

    hastings 012920

  • 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


    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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    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Prescription drug prices to be focus of Decatur town hall | WAND


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

    hastings 030520 2

  • 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.