March 8 RS

TINLEY PARK- A major barrier to prosecute rape and sexual assault cases against children is the short period of time survivors have to confront their attackers.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ legislation, Senate Bill 189 that gives survivors of sexual abuse the ability to confront their attackers, was signed into law today.

“At times, survivors of abuse need time to discover the courage to address these horrific and awful crimes.” Hastings said. “This new law will put in place the best practices for dealing with sexual assault cases statewide and puts a system in place that will encourage survivors to come forward and receive justice when they are ready to do so.”

Most recently, Illinois’ statute of limitations child for sexual assault came to light during developments
involving former Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who admitted in court that he sexually abused teenage boys when he was a wrestling coach in Yorkville.

“It’s important for government to evolve with the needs of the people,” Hastings said. “The time had come to change laws to reflect the needs of the people of Illinois.”

During Hastert’s trial, Judge Thomas Durkin noted that Hastert avoided serious legal consequences because of current statute of limitations in Illinois’ state courts.

Statutes of limitation restricts the time during which authorities can charge someone with a crime after it occurs.

Senate Bill 189 will remove the statute of limitations for felony criminal sexual abuse and sex crimes against children, which allows for the prosecution of these offenses at any time.

“This new law will help us protect our children,” Hastings said. “We are creating a system to give survivors of sexual assault the option and time to confront their abusers when they are ready.”

Under current law cases similar to the charges brought against Hastert, victims must report cases of abuse within 20 years after they have turned 18.  

This new law passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. Senate Bill 189 goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases


TINLEY PARK- Illinois now has a more efficient and transparent procurement process, thanks to a new bipartisan law championed by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Senate Bill 8, a structural reform to the way state government purchases goods and services, was signed into law today after passing the House and Senate earlier this year with support from Hastings.

“Our local businesses are the heart of our economy,” Hastings said. “This new law will cut red tape and eliminate barriers to streamline the state procurement process. These changes will make it easier for Illinois businesses to bid on state contracts to help grow our economy and put our state back on track.”

Hastings continued to hear from residents across the Southland that procurement rules can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate.  He said Senate Bill 8 will go a long way toward making the process more accessible and transparent, helping local businesses receive more state contracts.

“This new law will save our state millions of dollars, yet allow us to invest more money into Illinois businesses,” Hastings said.

This new law expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without having to navigate through costly and time-consuming obstacles. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units, and vendors would be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid.

Hastings has worked to pass a series of structural reforms such as term limits, workers compensation reform and a bipartisan government consolidation plan.

Senate Bill 8 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases


TINLEY PARK — The members of the Illinois General Assembly will not receive a pay increase again this year thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park).

Hastings sponsored House Bill 643, which stops automatic increases in mileage reimbursements or per diem rates. The measure is currently awaiting the governor’s approval.

“We are on day 723 of Illinois’ budget impasse,” Hastings said. “The people of the South Suburbs are hurting. Our schools do not know if they will open this fall, our rape crisis centers are cutting their hours and the most vulnerable are searching for relief as life-saving services continue to be cut and eliminated. If people back home are suffering and not getting a pay increase, we should not either.”

House Bill 643 freezes the Illinois General Assembly's mileage reimbursement and per diem rates for the upcoming year. In addition, the initiative eliminates the upcoming cost of living adjustment for the members of the legislature and other offices set by the Compensation Review Board. The Comptroller's Office states that the cost of living adjustment would be 2.1 percent without the passage of a freeze.

This is the fifth time Hastings voted to cut his own pay. He has voted stop automatic pay increases and surges to reimbursement rates for General Assembly members since he has been in office.   

“I’m here to serve the people of the 19th District,” Hastings said. “We are in the midst of trying times. I will continue to fight to ensure our legislature is working in the best interests of the people of Illinois.”

Hastings said that he hopes the legislature will work together to pass a bipartisan, long-term budget solution that will fund crucial state programs and services.

House Bill 643 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases


TINLEY PARK- Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. election system that impacted over 39 states, including Illinois, during the 2016 general election is more widespread than has been publicly revealed according to Bloomberg.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) and U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) are working on sending out an informational letter to local Illinois election authorities  instructing them to scrape their systems of potential malware software to remove any type of security weakness.

“The possibility of another attack on our election system is unacceptable,” Hastings said. “There needs to be direct action taken to protect our election infrastructure in Illinois and across the nation. Now is the time to take extra cyber precautions. We cannot allow another act against our more sacred practice, our elections, to happen again.”

These new details were released by a classified National Security Agency document. Less than a week earlier, former FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence committee investigating Russian interferences in the 2016 election that “They’re (Moscow) coming after America. They will be back.”

Illinois is among the states that gave the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security almost full access to investigate its systems, which provided them with an outline of the hacker’s action plan.

In July 2016, an employee of the Illinois Board of Elections flagged irregular activity, which found that hackers had gained access to the state’s voter databases, which contained personal information such as names, dates of birth, genders, driver’s licenses and partial Social Security numbers of about 15 million people. Ultimately, as many as 90,000 records were compromised.

New evidence reveals that hackers attempted to alter and delete records in Illinois but ultimately failed.  These actions suggest the hacking was more of a spying mission and a potential test run for a more devastating attack.

“We need to keep fighting,” Hastings said. “Foreign intruders are turning to cyberterrorism to attack the core of our democracy. This is unacceptable. The Illinois State Board of Elections needs to continue to investigate and evolve to pre-empt further attacks because the battle is not over yet.”

Last month, Hastings held an Illinois Senate committee hearing to investigate and hear a full report on the 2016 cybersecurity breach to ensure Illinois residents that there were protections put in place to protect their personal data and resolve unanswered questions.

During the hearing, the Illinois State Board of Elections reported that seven IP addresses were linked back to the Netherlands. Two servers were reported to have participated in the attack, “Fancy Bear” and “Cozy Bear,” which are the two largest hacking groups rumored to be tied to the Russian federal security systems run by King Servers, which is stationed in Russia.

At the time, Hastings reiterated that the hacking of voter registration data in Illinois was similar to security breaches at the national level and in France and Denmark that were later confirmed through reports released.

Category: Press Releases

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