March4 RS

TINLEY PARK- One of the biggest challenges returning servicemen and women face is figuring out how military training credits transfer to college credit.  

To tackle this hurdle, State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ measure House Bill 3701, to direct Illinois higher education institutions to establish a policy for awarding academic course credit for military training, was signed into law today.

“Illinois’ veterans have valuable on-site educational experience,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty and honor to ensure returning veterans receive credit for the life and academic skills they learned while serving our nation.”

This imprecise system creates a complicated process as universities and community colleges attempt to translate military experience into college credits. There are a number of reasons for the confusion. The number one reason being the descriptions for military training and college courses do not always match up perfectly.

Also, military acronyms on transcripts may also mean different classes or curriculum based on each branch of service.  

Often it becomes a matter of the higher education institutions willingness to research ways to find equivalent civilian academic courses. A standardized system will end confusion and create an easier transition for our military personnel.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, over 773,000 veterans are now using their GI Bill benefits to go to college, spending a collective of $11 billion a year.

“Repeating coursework slows down the graduation process for veterans,” Hastings said. “Here in Illinois we have workforce shortages for registered nurses, EMT’s and other medical specialties. Who is better equipped than our returning servicemen and women to fill these job openings?”

Hastings’ new law will require community colleges and universities to submit their policies for awarding credit to the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board for review before June 30, 2018 and before June 30 every other year afterwards.  

“This entire process can be complex and discouraging,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty to create an easy transition for Illinois’ veterans into civilian life, not force them through overcomplicated bureaucracy.”  

House Bill 3701 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

March5 RS

TINLEY PARK- Illinois will now be able to tackle consolidating more than 7,000 units of government.  

Senate Bill 3 which allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum was signed into law today.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) championed the new law to help south suburban taxpayers find property tax savings and update government services.

“The goal is to make sure government is working for the people,” Hastings said. “Eliminating redundant and ineffective units of government will result in better services and lower property tax bills.”

Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers. The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.

Illinois currently has more units of government than any other state in the nation. Hastings believes updating outdated government bodies will help streamline services.

“This is one small step we can take to reduce taxes without sacrificing the quality of government service,” Hastings said.

Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The measure will go into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

March 8 RS

TINLEY PARK- A major barrier to prosecute rape and sexual assault cases against children is the short period of time survivors have to confront their attackers.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ legislation, Senate Bill 189 that gives survivors of sexual abuse the ability to confront their attackers, was signed into law today.

“At times, survivors of abuse need time to discover the courage to address these horrific and awful crimes.” Hastings said. “This new law will put in place the best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts a system in place that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready to do so.”

Most recently, Illinois’ statute of limitations child for sexual assault came to light during developments
involving former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who admitted in court that he sexually abused teenage boys when he was a wrestling coach in Yorkville.

“It’s important for government to evolve with the needs of the people,” Hastings said. “The time had come to change laws to reflect the needs of the people of Illinois.”

During Hastert’s trial, Judge Thomas Durkin noted that Hastert avoided serious legal consequences because of current statute of limitations in Illinois’ state courts.

Statutes of limitation restricts the time during which authorities can charge someone with a crime after it occurs.

Senate Bill 189 will remove the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children, which allows for the prosecution of these offenses at any time.

“This new law will help us protect our children,” Hastings said. “We are creating a system to give survivors of sexual assault the option and time to confront their abusers when they are ready.”

Under current law cases similar to the charges brought against Hastert, victims must report cases of abuse within 20 years after they have turned 18.  

This new law passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 189 goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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TINLEY PARK- Illinois now has a more efficient and transparent procurement process, thanks to a new bipartisan law championed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Senate Bill 8, a structural reform to the way state government purchases goods and services, was signed into law today after passing the House and Senate earlier this year with support from Hastings.

“Our local businesses are the heart of our economy,” Hastings said. “This new law will cut red tape and eliminate barriers to streamline the state procurement process. These changes will make it easier for Illinois businesses to bid on state contracts to help grow our economy and put our state back on track.”

Hastings continued to hear from residents across the Southland that procurement rules can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate.  He said Senate Bill 8 will go a long way toward making the process more accessible and transparent, helping local businesses receive more state contracts.

“This new law will save our state millions of dollars, yet allow us to invest more money into Illinois businesses,” Hastings said.

This new law expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without having to navigate through costly and time-consuming obstacles. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units, and vendors would be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid.

Hastings has worked to pass a series of structural reforms such as term limits, workers compensation reform and a bipartisan government consolidation plan.

Senate Bill 8 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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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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