polaroidsLegislators in the Illinois Senate may soon debate a proposal targeting “revenge porn.” Revenge porn, sometimes called “involuntary porn”, is nude or sexually explicit photos or videos posted online without the consent of the subject – oftentimes done by a bitter ex.

The proposal, sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), would make it a felony to post sexually explicit videos or photos of another person, without consent, to an Internet site. If passed, it would also make it a felony to host a website that requires victims to pay a fee to have the explicit videos or photos removed.

“It’s extortion, it’s wrong and it’s a growing problem,” Hastings said. “Unfortunately, this happens daily to unsuspecting people who often times use technology without fully realizing the consequences.” 
 
Hastings noted that revenge porn is a growing problem with the rise of social media, as private photos or videos can make their way onto websites. Oftentimes, the posts include names, addresses, e-mail addresses and other information that invites varying forms of harassment, including cyberbullying and cyberstalking.

“This can be extremely devastating and humiliating to an unsuspecting victim,” Hastings said. “There are reported instances where the victims are forced to change their names and even move to escape the barrage of unwanted harassment.”

In Illinois, it is illegal to post identifying information of a minor, or an adult without consent, on a pornographic site. But there is currently no state law to prevent individuals from posting sexually explicit content of an adult, without consent, to an Internet site. If passed, it would make revenge porn a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.

New Jersey and California have enacted laws criminalizing revenge porn, and other states, including Maryland and Virginia, are also considering measures. In December, a California man was hit with 31 felony charges for operating a revenge porn site.

Here is a fact sheet on the proposed legislation:

Revenge-Porn-Fact-Sheet-1

Category: Press Releases

hastings-pension-voteSPRINGFIELD – The Illinois General Assembly passed major changes to the state’s pension systems earlier today to address the state’s more than $100 billion pension debt. State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park), one of 27 senators who did not support the measure, provided the following statement.

“This issue should have never reached this point as past lawmakers and governors ignored this problem for too long. Until we resolve it, our state’s economy will continue to struggle. But like many of my colleagues, I believe the proposal crafted by the legislative leaders will have a catastrophic impact on current and future retirees, many of whom have diligently paid into the retirement systems.

These changes will have a ripple effect on our state’s capacity to recruit and obtain quality employees, which will negatively impact our health, education and safety services. There have been alternative solutions provided and I remain committed to finding a practical solution to our pension crisis, one that provides meaningful savings to taxpayers and reasonable protections for retirees.” 

Category: Press Releases

tinleyparkmentalhealthcenterSPRINGFIELD — In an effort to incentivize local developers to redevelop state facilities, such as the Tinley Park Mental Health Center, State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Tinley Park) was the chief co-sponsor of a measure to create the State Surplus Property Revitalization Tax Credit Act. The act will allow a private investor to receive a state income tax credit equal to 30% of the cost of refurbishing a former state facility.

“It’s unfortunate when the state closes a facility,” Hastings said. “When we closed Tinley Park Mental Health Center it detrimentally impacted our local economy. Too often, these facilities are left dormant for years leading to community eyesores. This piece of legislation is an attempt to encourage private businesses to invest in these unused facilities.”

Last summer, Governor Quinn closed several state facilities, including the Tinley Park Mental Health Center, as part of the administration’s efforts to reduce costs by moving residents out of state institutions and into community-care based settings. The tax credit would only be available for work on state facilities shuttered within the last two years that had at least 100 employees. The credit could not exceed $10 million on any single project; a total of $40 million in credits would be available statewide.

Joliet Mayor Thomas Giarrante delivered key testimony supporting SB 341. "Joliet Correctional Center was a beautiful facility before it was closed 11 years ago," Mayor Giarrante told the Senate Executive Committee on Wednesday. "I had the opportunity to tour it four years ago and was surprised to see the dramatic level of deterioration. We are concerned that IYC-Joliet will meet the same fate at JCC."

The legislation now moves to the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

Hastings-ACAflierSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael Hastings is hosting “Get Covered Illinois”, an event to provide information and generate awareness about the new health insurance marketplace. Illinois’ marketplace, or “exchange,” is named Get Covered Illinois and is a new option under the Affordable Care Act that will make comparing, selecting and enrolling in health coverage easier.

The event will be 7–9pm, Monday, Nov. 18 at the South Suburban College-Oak Forest Campus, 16333 Kilbourne Ave. in Oak Forest. Staff will be available at the event to answer questions about the marketplace and assist residents with navigating the “Get Covered Illinois” website.

About 1.8 million Illinoisans, or 15 percent of the population, are uninsured. An estimated 1 million Illinoisans who currently have no health insurance will be able to be covered for the first time either through the marketplace or through an accompanying Medicaid expansion.

Coverage begins Jan. 1 for people who sign up by Dec. 15 through the exchange. After that, they can still enroll through the end of March to avoid penalties for 2014.

 

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:
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Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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