Last week, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Orland Hills) introduced legislation granting Illinois residency to veterans who are entitled to educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Program. Granting veterans residency allows them to qualify for in-state tuition, thus lowering the cost of tuition fees and rates. 

Hastings’ bill would resolve a disparity in the Post-9/11 Education Assistance Program that inadvertently burdened a significant number of American veterans with thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket tuition and fees based on residency status.

“The Post-9/11 Education Assistance Program is a great initiative and investment in the future of our most recent generation of veterans,” Hastings said. “Unfortunately, veterans are having difficulties obtaining state residency, which results in higher tuition and fees. The proposal I introduced would grant Illinois residency to veterans using the Assistance Program and attending an Illinois public university or community college.”

The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act is a federal law passed in 2008 to provide financial assistance to veterans wanting to enroll in college after finishing active duty. The law applies to veterans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001.

“Assisting our veterans in their transition to civilian life is an important priority,” Hastings said. “Fortunately, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides an opportunity for veterans to get the proper education they need to find good-paying jobs after they finish serving their country.”

Hastings proposal, Senate Bill 2167, was introduced and awaits further action by the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

120SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Orland Hills) joined other freshman members of the General Assembly on Wednesday for the second meeting of Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group. 

“Today, we brought in advocates and opponents of concealed carry and other firearm legislation,” Hastings said. “I think that we made progress in educating all parties on both sides of the firearms issues.”

The group spoke with representatives from opposing sides of the gun-control debate currently taking place in the state. Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association, and Todd Vandermyde, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, spoke about current concealed-carry proposals.

Colleen Daley, executive director of Illinois Coalition Against Handgun Violence, and Tom Vanden Berk, board member of the Brady Campaign/Million Mom March, advocated for the need to pass a responsible concealed-carry bill.

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Category: Press Releases

marriage-rings“This is a controversial issue that I did not take lightly. After speaking with constituents and community leaders, it was clear that a majority supports marriage equality.” – State Senator Michael Hastings

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Orland Hills) joined 34 senators in a bi-partisan vote to advance Senate Bill 10 to the Illinois House – a bill that redefines the state’s definition of marriage.

“This is a controversial issue that I did not take lightly,” Hastings said. “But after speaking with constituents and community leaders, it was clear that a majority supports marriage equality.”

Public opinion on the issue continues to shift rapidly, particularly among young people. A November 2012 Public Policy Polling survey found 47 percent of voters in Illinois favoring same-sex marriage with 42 percent opposed, marking the highest showing of public support for gay marriage ever in Illinois.

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Category: Press Releases

sheilasimonAs state leaders debate concealed carry legislation, Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Orland Hills) is joining Lt. Governor Sheila Simon’s Firearms Working Group to learn about different perspectives and bridge the geographical divide on gun ownership and use in Illinois. 

The working group includes newly elected Republicans and Democrats in the General Assembly who represent urban, suburban and rural districts. They will meet with stakeholders on all sides of the gun control debate as leaders craft a law that could allow Illinoisans to carry concealed firearms.

“As a firearm owner and veteran, I fully understand the responsibility required of being a gun owner,” Hastings said. “I will work with all parties involved to garner bipartisan support for a bill allowing for concealed carry.”

Hastings also noted that safety should be a main concern when debating legislation.

“Firearm owners who want to privately carry a firearm should do so in a safe and responsible manner,” Hastings said. “I look forward to working with the Lt. Governor to make concealed carry in Illinois a safe reality.”

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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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