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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) released the following statement regarding Gov. JB Pritzker’s Budget Address this afternoon.

"It's an exciting new day in Illinois, and I am proud to say we finally have a governor who understands the challenges of the good people of Illinois and is ready to take them head on,” Hastings said.

While there is no doubt Illinois faces its share of problems, Senator Hastings said he feels encouraged by the path being followed in the current administration.

“Gov. Pritzker outlined today the serious challenges we face in Illinois. We have a state budget deficit that we must correct. We need to create jobs and opportunity for all Illinoisans,” he added. “We have many people facing hardships: in our jails and prisons because they have mental health disorders that go untreated; out of work and struggling because they can't afford health care and the medications they need. It is our duty to improve our economy, shore up our budget and give hope to many facing difficult times.”

Senator Hastings looks forward to the chance to lead discussions on how to best present solutions to the people of Illinois.

“As chairman of the Senate Executive Committee, I will help lead discussions this year on our most difficult issues, and I look forward to working with the governor and my colleagues to make Illinois stronger and better tomorrow than it is today,” he said.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Stability for working class families in Illinois is closer to reality, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park). Hastings voted in favor of Senate Bill 1, which would gradually increase the minimum wage over the next six years.

"The passage of this historic measure is long overdue," Hastings said. "Over the past decade, workers have not seen a change in the minimum wage, but they have seen an increase in the cost of living."

The last time the General Assembly raised the minimum wage was in 2010. If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, the current wage would be nearly $10 an hour. According to a 2017 report by the Washington Post, a full-time worker would need to earn $21 an hour to afford the average rent on a two bedroom apartment in Illinois.

"My district voted in 2014 to increase the minimum wage and I heard them. I also heard those that work in industries like home health care and those with developmental disabilities. They have tough jobs and deserve to get paid a fair working wage," Hastings said. "But it is important to take into consideration how employers and businesses implement the wage increase."

Senate Bill 1 includes tax credit to small businesses to assist with the implementation of the higher wages. The credit is available to all qualified employers, whether for profit or not-for-profit, who have an obligation to withhold taxes from their employees' wages. The credit will reduce the amount of employee withheld wages that the employer will not be required to remit to the Department of Revenue.

Senate Bill 1 passed the Senate and will now move to the House for consideration.

Senate Bill 1

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Homeowners and small businesses across the South Suburbs will see decreases in their property tax bills under a new state grant program that seeks to provide relief to school districts in high-taxed areas.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is proud to announce that community school districts received over $4.9 million dollars from the Property Tax Relief Grant that was included in the historic school funding reform law.

The new school funding formula advocated for by Hastings has already provided millions of dollars in new state funds to school districts that need it the most. In the first year alone, the 19th State Senate District received nearly $20 million in additional state funding.

“The people of the Southland are trying to do their very best to provide our children with an exceptional education and an excellent quality of life,” Hastings said. “Illinois’ families have a school funding formula in place to ensure schools are funded the right way to help homeowners find property tax savings and guarantee our children receive the best possible educational opportunities.”

Several local school districts will be eligible for the tax relief grant, including:
• Bremen Community High School District 228 ($3,541,127)
• Rich Township High School District 227 ($2,736,497.20)
• Homewood Flossmoor Community High School District 233 ($1,963,818.30)
• Elementary School District 159 ($242,794.24)

In order to receive the state grant, eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then distribute the grants once receiving all abatement certificates.

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

 

Category: Press Releases

TownHall Flyer021219RS2FRANKFORT – To address ongoing safety concerns at the 191st Street railroad crossing in Mokena, State Senator Michael E. Hastings is calling a Public Safety Town Hall Meeting.

Hastings is inviting local residents to attend the Public Safety Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Lincoln-Way East High School (201 Colorado Ave., Frankfort, IL).

The crossing failure happened on Nov. 9 and nearly caused an accident when one vehicle barely made it across the tracks before a Metra train passed through. A Mokena police vehicle was also nearly hit but was able to swerve away before crossing the railroad and captured the incident on dashboard video.

Hastings was horrified after watching the dashcam footage and hearing firsthand accounts of the near fatal accident.

“This accident could have easily turned tragic. It is simply unacceptable,” Hastings said “Our goal is to ensure the Metra has a comprehensive and effective plan in place that is approved by local residents. It’s absolutely vital that whenever residents arrive at the 191st Street railroad crossing, they feel safe and trust the precautions that are in place.”

The CEO of Metra Rail, Mr. Jim Derwinski, staff and the Illinois Commerce Commission will give a presentation at the town hall explaining what happened at the crossing and the safety precautions being taken to fix this problem.

The town hall will also be streamed on Facebook on Hastings’ Facebook page, Michael E. Hastings (@HastingsforIL), and Mokena Neighborhood Watch. Participants will be able to ask questions through the Facebook live video.

In 2013, there were a total of 2,090 crashes involving vehicles at railroad crossings in the United States. These accidents led to a total of 249 deaths – about 20 deaths per month.

“We need to take every available precaution to ensure our community’s rail crossings are as safe as possible,” Hastings said. “Government works best when there is constant feedback and input from citizens. I urge area residents to submit questions and play an active role in keeping our community safe by attending this vital town hall meeting.”

If local residents have any questions, Hastings urges them to call his Frankfort office at 815-464-5431 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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