SPRINGFIELD – A union-backed proposal to curb the state’s rising pension costs passed out of the Illinois Senate earlier today with bipartisan support. The measure, Senate Bill 2404, saves the state up to $46 billion over the next 30 years and guarantees 90% funding of the pension systems by 2045.

State Senator Michael Hastings (D–Orland Park) was one of 40 senators who supported the measure.

“I am tired of reading about teachers being laid off, health care facilities closing and underfunded mental health programs as a result of deep cuts in our budget because of our skyrocketing pension costs,” Hastings said. “If the courts throw out the proposal, we don’t save any money and we will see another year of major cuts to vital state services. It is imperative that we pass a constitutionally-sound measure and I think this is the plan.”

SB 2404, which has received backing from top union officials, offers employees and retirees choices, such as keeping annual 3 percent compounded cost-of-living increase on pensions in exchange for giving up access to retiree health insurance.

The measure now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

 
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

Ethics
• 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

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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

East Office:
813 School Ave
Matteson, IL 60443

District Office:
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Frankfort, IL 60423
(815) 464-5431

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