Hastings-conservSPRINGFIELD – At-risk youth and veterans could find themselves working to restore and preserve Illinois’ parklands, under a plan the state Senate approved last Wednesday.

The measure, co-sponsored by Senator Michael Hastings (D–Tinley Park), would create the Illinois Young Adult Recreation Corps. Through the Corps, eligible at-risk youth and veterans would be hired to work on preservation projects and park restoration throughout the state.

“This program will provide a positive work environment for struggling youth as well as create good-paying jobs for our veterans returning from service,” Hastings said. “They will be able to develop valuable professional skills while doing meaningful work protecting and enhancing the natural beauty of our state.”

The measure (SB 3521) now moves to the House for consideration. 

Category: Press Releases

traffic-lightTINLEY PARK – State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Tinley Park) met with Tinley Park Village officials on Tuesday to announce an investment of $200,000 to install a new traffic signal at Timber Drive and 80th Avenue near the Metra line. The investment was funded by the Illinois Jobs Now! plan, a $31 billion construction program initiated by lawmakers in 2009 to support new and existing infrastructure projects across the state.

“Installing this traffic signal has been a major priority for the Village and I’m extremely pleased that we were able to work with state officials to get this grant approved,” Hastings said. “Anyone who lives in Tinley Park knows that traffic is congested after the train lets out.  It will allow for better traffic flow at peak hours and eliminate the need for police to direct traffic.”

The traffic light will be installed at one of the busier intersections in the Village. Currently, the Village spends nearly $25,000 for traffic detail at the corner during peak rush hours because of safety concerns.

“My top priority is to find funding to invest and develop our area,” Hastings said.  “The traffic light will not only make it safer for drivers and pedestrians, but it will also save the Village money.”  

Category: Press Releases

hastings-kotowski-0414TINLEY PARK – A new measure that is making its way through the Statehouse would ensure funds collected from the sale of the shuttered Tinley Mental Health Center will stay in Tinley Park and the surrounding area.

The measure’s sponsor, State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Tinley Park), explained that after the Mental Health Center closed, many of the facilities’ patients were placed in community-care settings that were not financially prepared to account for the influx of new patients.

“Before I entered office, the state failed to plan for displacing patients at Tinley Park Mental Health Center,” Hastings said.  “You put a financial strain on a community anytime you close a facility of that size.  With this legislation, proceeds from the sale of the facility will go back to the community to help pay for mental health services.”

Under current law, the proceeds of a state-owned mental health center would be spent at the discretion of the Department of Human Services.  There is no guarantee of any money coming back to the suburbs to provide for those with mental health or developmental disabilities.  Under Hasting’s plan, nearly half of the proceeds from the sale of a state operated mental health facility will go towards infrastructure improvements and mental health services, such as new technology to assist mental health providers, permanent supportive housing and programs to keep people with mental illnesses out of the criminal justice system.

The Tinley Mental Health facility was one of several closed by Governor Quinn in 2012 in an effort to save money and shift state resources for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled away from state-run institutions and into community-care settings.

The legislation, Senate Bill 822, received unanimous support in the Senate and now awaits action by the House.

Category: Press Releases

hastings-040114SPRINGFIELD – Earlier today, the Senate passed a measure that will help the family of a law enforcement officer who takes his or her own life due to mental health issues stemming from active duty. 

Senate Bill 3042, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), will expand the definition of “killed in the line-of-duty” to include suicides, allowing the family to apply for line-of-duty compensation – financial assistance given to the family of a fallen public safety officer. A mental health professional must establish that the suicide was a result of mental illness arising from the officer’s active duty service.

“Suicide is an unfortunate reality in our society,” Hastings said. “Not only do we have to ensure officers have access to treatment to help prevent these instances from occurring, but we also have an obligation to assist the families overcome these tragic incidences.”

Suicide rates for law enforcement officers are higher than the general population. According to a 2012 study, suicides occur 1.5 times more frequently among law enforcement officials than in the general population.

“Law enforcement officers perform their duties in constant, high-stress situations on a day-to-day basis,” Hastings said. “They interact with individuals suffering from physical and psychological trauma and are often put in high-risk situations where mistakes can lead to fatal results.”

Senate Bill 3042 passed the Senate 54-0 and now moves to the House for consideration.

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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