March1 RS

TINLEY PARK— State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) championed legislation to establish best practices and consistent regulations to protect dogs and cats throughout Illinois.

Hastings’ initiative, Senate Bill 1882, was signed into law today.  This new law also known as “Safe Pets” will establish standards to protect the health and well-being of animals sold in Illinois.

“Welcoming dogs and cats into your family is physically and mentally rewarding,” Hastings said. “These furry friends do not take long to become part of your family. It is our duty to put protections in place to protect our family pets’ well-being as well as make sure there are precautions in place to reunite dogs and cats with our families sooner.”

The primary components of this regulatory standard for pet stores:

•    Prohibits pet stores from purchasing animals from large commercial breeders that are USDA-licensed and does not have direct non-compliance citations over a two-year period.
•    Pet stores are required to microchip dogs or cats prior to sale.
•    Requires pet stores to obtain copies of USDA inspection reports either from the USDA website (if posted online) or directly from the breeder prior to purchasing the cat or dog and must be available to consumers prior to sale.

Hastings worked with the Illinois Pet Lovers Association and the Illinois Humane Society

These protections enhance public confidence in the health of the animal prior to purchase.

“The enactment of this bill is an important step in the right direction and brings us one day closer to the day when cruel puppy mills have nowhere left to sell,” said Marc Ayers, Illinois Director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Illinois is the eighth state to enact a pet store sourcing law, preventing the worst puppy mills from selling to in-state pet stores."

Hastings worked with organizations and stakeholders throughout Illinois to develop a compromise to protect Illinois’ dogs and cats.

“This legislation is the result of countless hours of negotiation to institute responsible and thoughtful pet industry regulations in Illinois to protect Illinois’ dogs and cats,” Hastings said.

Senate Bill 1882 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This new law goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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TINLEY PARK- Internet websites or online services that mostly serve children for educational purposes will soon no longer be able to objectify children by selling their person information.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ (D-Tinley Park) Senate Bill 1796, Student Online Personal Protection Act, was signed into law today.

“The way our children learn has changed,” Hastings said. “We use new technology like educational websites and online programs to make sure our children are trained to work in digital world. Parents should not have to be worried about how companies use marketing tactics to target their children.”

Senate Bill 1796 works to ensure that student data will be protected when it is collected by educational technology companies and that the data may be used for beneficial purposes such as providing personalized learning and innovative educational technologies but cannot be used to be sold to third-parties for advertising purposes.

This new law is modeled off of a student data privacy law enacted in California in 2015.

Senate Bill 1796 prohibits operators of educational websites that target children in preschool through 12th grade from knowingly doing any of the following:

•    Actively participating in targeted advertising on the site if the targeting is based on any information that the operator has acquired because of the use of its site for a K-12 school purpose
•    Using information gathered by the operator's site to accumulate a profile about a student, unless it is to be used to improve their website in maintenance of K-12 school purposes;
•    Selling or renting a student's information.

“Technology is evolving,” Hastings said. “It is important that Illinois continues to adapt to the new world. Our children learn through online methods, it is important that children are protected and supported as they progress through the educational system, not targeted.”

Senate Bill 1796 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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TINLEY PARK- The Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission found that between 2004 and 2014, only 0.26 percent of juvenile arrests in Illinois were expunged, and 87 percent of counties granted an average of less than one juvenile expungement per year.

To tackle this issue, State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ measure House Bill 3817 to combat unlawful and overly broad sharing of juvenile records in Illinois was signed into law today.
 
“This is a step in the right direction. We need to be working toward rehabilitating children caught in our court system to give them a chance to succeed, not crippling them with the mistakes of their past,” Hastings said. “This change will result in an infinite number of positive outcomes for our state’s young people.”  

House Bill 3817 takes a number of precautions to give Illinois’ children a second chance to succeed, such as narrowing the cases when juvenile records for nonviolent crimes may be shared and then expanding penalties for the improper disclosure of records.

These steps will protect privacy and give younger nonviolent offenders a fair chance at reforming their lives and being successful in future endeavors.
 
“We need to help our young people transition to be productive adults,” Hastings said. “Current policies concerning the arrest records of youth are not making our streets any safer and costing the state immeasurable costs.”

The new law also expands the scope and eligibility requirements for expungement. Adolescents can be eligible for automatic expungement if there is not a discovery of delinquency on any offense two years after the case proceedings.

"I believe in second chances and investing in the young people of our state,” Hastings said “ This law will give our youth who make mistakes early in life a chance to succeed.  I think everybody can get behind that.”

House Bill 3817 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Category: Press Releases

March4 RS

TINLEY PARK- One of the biggest challenges returning servicemen and women face is figuring out how military training credits transfer to college credit.  

To tackle this hurdle, State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ measure House Bill 3701, to direct Illinois higher education institutions to establish a policy for awarding academic course credit for military training, was signed into law today.

“Illinois’ veterans have valuable on-site educational experience,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty and honor to ensure returning veterans receive credit for the life and academic skills they learned while serving our nation.”

This imprecise system creates a complicated process as universities and community colleges attempt to translate military experience into college credits. There are a number of reasons for the confusion. The number one reason being the descriptions for military training and college courses do not always match up perfectly.

Also, military acronyms on transcripts may also mean different classes or curriculum based on each branch of service.  

Often it becomes a matter of the higher education institutions willingness to research ways to find equivalent civilian academic courses. A standardized system will end confusion and create an easier transition for our military personnel.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, over 773,000 veterans are now using their GI Bill benefits to go to college, spending a collective of $11 billion a year.

“Repeating coursework slows down the graduation process for veterans,” Hastings said. “Here in Illinois we have workforce shortages for registered nurses, EMT’s and other medical specialties. Who is better equipped than our returning servicemen and women to fill these job openings?”

Hastings’ new law will require community colleges and universities to submit their policies for awarding credit to the Board of Higher Education and the Illinois Community College Board for review before June 30, 2018 and before June 30 every other year afterwards.  

“This entire process can be complex and discouraging,” Hastings said. “It’s our duty to create an easy transition for Illinois’ veterans into civilian life, not force them through overcomplicated bureaucracy.”  

House Bill 3701 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. This new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

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

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Matteson, IL 60443

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Frankfort, IL 60423
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