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TINLEY PARK – Two 19th District libraries are receiving mentoring grants from the Illinois secretary of state, State Senator Michael E. Hastings announced.

The Matteson Area Public Library District and the Thornton Public Library will receive grants of $18,400 and $14,000 respectively. The grants were awarded through the FY20 Project Next Generation program, which is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Mentors work with middle and high school students to help them develop skills needed to use technology and find success through project-based learning. Mentors also help with developing life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.

“I’m glad to see that the secretary of state’s office is committed to serving the at-risk youth risk in the south suburbs,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “These programs give young students the tools they need succeed not just in school, but for the rest of their lives.”

In all, the secretary of state awarded more than $464,000 in Project Next Generation grants statewide. The money is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grants are awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.

“I am committed to improving the lives of at-risk youth in Illinois,” said Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. “I established this innovative program when I first became secretary of state to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library.”

Category: Featured Stories

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings released the following statement after the signing of legislation that would modernize Illinois’ infrastructure and provide the South Suburbs with new jobs.

“The South Suburbs will see some long-needed infrastructure repair under this capital bill. Our roads, bridges, schools will be renewed and local governments entities will see an extraordinary amount financial support to build new infrastructure for the 21st Century. From Markham and Matteson to Lockport and Joliet, our communities will undeniably benefit from this bill.

I want to thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for working with the South Suburban delegation and listening to the wants and needs of our communities. I look forward to seeing Illinois rebuilt.”

The $45 billion plan includes funding for highways and bridges as well as local projects. A few examples include:

  • $6 million dollars for local government infrastructure improvements
  • $848 million to improve I-80 in Will County and rebuild structurally deficient bridges over the Des Plaines River.
  • $32 million in funding for improvements at Governors State University
  • $43 million in funding improvements at Moraine Valley Community College
  • $1,000,000 in grants to local non-for-profit developmentally disabled and mental health treatment organizations.
Category: Featured Stories

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings voted today to approve a fiscally responsible state budget for the upcoming year, paving the way for a return to stability in Illinois.

“With this budget we’ve made smart investments in education and human services, while also ensuring our pension obligations have been made,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “We had to demonstrate to working families that we’re on their side, and I feel we’ve accomplished that.”

The proposed budget would fully fund the evidence-based formula, allocate an additional $50 million for early childhood education and double funding for higher education. MAP grants would also receive $50 million increase over last year in an effort to provide postsecondary education options for students.

“By increasing funding for higher education and MAP grants, we’ve adopted disciplined approach to incentivize students to stay in Illinois should they choose to pursue a college education.” Hastings said. “Students at every level need to know that we’re prioritizing them and striving to give them the best possible education opportunities.”

Additionally, nearly $30 million in additional funding is included to increase eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program to provide reliable child care for working families.

Pension obligations would also be made for the seventh year in a row.

“In a broader sense, it’s a relief to see our state on a new path toward normalcy,” Hastings said. “We have only just begun to repair the carnage left to us by the Rauner administration, but I’m encouraged by the action we in the legislature have taken to earn back the trust of the people of Illinois.”

Category: Featured Stories

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SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to provide the state with a much needed revenue boost State Senator Michael E. Hastings voted in favor of legislation that would legalize the purchase and possession of cannabis for Illinois residents starting in January 2020.

“Due to the fiscal disaster left to us by the previous administration, it’s important to discuss all possible revenue sources. Legalization of cannabis provides us with a unique opportunity to bolster our revenue streams,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “We’ve also ensured that communities across the state have greater control over whether or not they want cannabis in their community, and if they do they’re able to regulate its use heavily.”

Tax revenue brought in by legalization would be allocated as such:
• 2% for public education and safety campaigns
• 8% for law enforcement funds for prevention and training to be distributed through the Local Government Distributive Fund formula
• 25% for Recover, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program
• 20% for programs that address preventative substance abuse programs and mental health services
• 10% for the bill backlog
• 35% to or the remaining amount the General Revenue Fund

Local towns and municipalities will retain significant power to decide how cannabis businesses may or may not fit into their communities, including the ability to opt out completely or enact zoning ordinances that regulate where and when cannabis can be used.
Under this legislation, employers would be also able to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for their work place. Additionally, landlords would retain full rights regarding cannabis use on their property.

This legislation now moves to the House on concurrence.

Category: Featured Stories

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CONTACT SENATOR HASTINGS

Welcome to the official website of Senator Michael E. Hastings. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Hastings directly or you may call any of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

Springfield Office:
118 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-9595

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
20855 South LaGrange Road
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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