State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Orland Hills) joined 31 other senators in a bipartisan effort to expand gambling in the state.

“This expansion will help to ensure Illinois dollars are being spent in Illinois,” Hastings said. “A new casino in the south suburbs will generate new revenue for infrastructure projects and create hundreds of new jobs in the Southland area.”

Senate Bill 1739

Chicago Casino
• 4,000 positions: land- or water-based and at airports
• Run by a licensed operator subject to management contract

• New Executive Inspector General for Gaming
• Gaming Board oversight of Chicago casino is equal to all other gaming facilities
• Political contribution ban for gaming licensees

Slots at race tracks
• 1,200 positions in Cook County/ 900 for non-Cook
• Racinos must be licensed by Gaming Board

4 new riverboats/casinos
• Rockford
• Danville
• South suburbs: either Bloom, Bremen, Calumet, Rich, Thornton or Worth Township
• Lake County: either Park City, Waukegan or North Chicago

Tax rate reduction
• Separate tax rate for slots vs. table games
• New tax rates take effect in the fiscal year following the opening of the Chicago casino, but not before July 1, 2015

Distribution of Revenues
• Upfront license fees to fund increased headcount at the Gaming Board, remainder to old bills
• Local shares to host communities
• A portion of the tax revenue will go to various funds for example a small portion will go to the State Fairgrounds Capitol Improvement fund as well as DHS will get revenues to pay for compulsive gambling treatment

The remaining tax revenues will go to the Education Assistance Fund

Category: Press Releases

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Category: Press Releases

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D–Orland Hills) supported the Freedom from Drone Surveillance Act today, a measure that regulates the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones.

Hastings, a co-sponsor of the bill, noted the importance of drones but cautioned that privacy must be protected.

“Drones are a powerful technology that has revolutionized the fight against terrorism overseas,” Hastings said. “But we have to ensure that the use of this technology does not infringe on citizens’ right to privacy.” 

The proposed legislation would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a search warrant before using a drone to collect information. The bill includes a handful of exceptions, including when the Department of Homeland Security determines such surveillance is needed to prevent a terrorist attack. Other exceptions would be cases of imminent danger or preventing a prisoner escape.

The measure, Senate Bill 1587, passed the Senate 52-1 and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Hastings-041113br0645State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Hills) passed a measure today aimed at lowering college tuition costs for veterans. Senate Bill 2167 grants Illinois residency to veterans who are entitled to educational assistance under the Post 9/11 Educational Assistance Program passed. 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 has 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 that is an 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 costs and fees. This measure would reconcile that issue by granting Illinois residency to veterans who are utilizing 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 that provides financial assistance to veterans wanting to go to 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 our veterans to get the proper education they need to find good-paying jobs after the finish serving their country.”

Senate Bill 2167 passed the Senate 55-0 and now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

hastings net neut graphic

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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

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Frankfort, IL 60423
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