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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

March1 RS

SPRINGFIELD- To start consolidating the more than 7,000 outdated government entities, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) passed Senate Bill 3.

Senate Bill 3 allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum.

“The goal is to save money, reduce taxes and make sure government is working for the people,” Hastings said. “It’s important that we continue to explore different ways to make sure government is working for the citizens of Illinois.”

Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers. The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve for the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.

“This is one small step we can take to reduce taxes without sacrificing the quality of government service,” Hastings said.

The Illinois Senate has passed structural reforms in hopes the governor will compromise and pass a bipartisan budget that will be kind and compassionate toward the residents of the Southland.  

Hastings hopes the passage of the structural reforms leads the governor back to the table for budget negotiations to pass a balanced budget.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings is working to ensure workers’ rights and Illinois’ business needs are balanced.

Hastings supported House Bill 2525, which consists of provisions negotiated during bipartisan and bicameral working groups over the past year.

“This measure will streamline the state’s workers’ compensation system while keeping valuable protections in place to protect working people,” Hastings said. “We sought to strike a compromise between workers’ rights and keeping Illinois businesses competitive.”

House Bill 2525 includes several provisions regulating insurance companies, including prior review of premium rates and giving the Department of Insurance the ability to declare a rate excessive. These are included to pass more of the savings already achieved by the 2011 workers’ comp reform bill on to employers by reducing premiums.

“The balance between workers and businesses is essential; one cannot thrive without the other,” Hastings said.  “This legislation is the result of bipartisan negotiations. We need to work together in the best interest of the people of Illinois.”

Hastings has aimed to pass structural reforms that were requested by Governor Bruce Rauner. Hastings hopes now the governor will work with the General Assembly to pass a budget.  
The Illinois Senate Democrats have passed local government consolidation, procurement reform and property tax relief this year to help lead the governor back to the table for budget negotiations to pass a balanced budget.

Category: Press Releases

March 8 RS

SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) worked to pass bipartisan and bicameral structural reforms that will make the procurement process more efficient and more transparent for Illinois’ taxpayers.

Hastings passed Senate Bill 8, a plan to improve the way state government purchases goods and services.

“This legislation is the product of bipartisan negotiations,” Hastings said. “I’m proud that the Illinois General Assembly came together to work in the best interests of our residents. The next step is to pass a bipartisan budget.”

Hastings continues to hear from residents across the Southland that procurement rules can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate.

“Removing red tape and streamlining the process will make it easier for local businesses to bid on state contracts,” Hastings said. “Our local businesses are the heart of our economy. And they will lead us back to prosperity.”

This measure expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without going through the procurement process. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units. Vendors would also be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid.

Procurement reform was a structural reform requested by Governor Bruce Rauner. Hastings hopes now that the Senate has acted to address the governor’s structural reforms he will work in a bipartisan and bicameral manner to work toward passing a state budget.

The Illinois Senate has passed structural reforms in hopes the governor will compromise and pass a bipartisan budget that will be kind and compassionate toward the residents of the Southland.  

“The time to act is now,” Hastings said. “The Illinois Senate has held up their part of the deal. We have passed local government consolidation, workers’ compensation reform and now procurement reform. It is time for the governor to help us help the people of Illinois. Our children, seniors and most vulnerable cannot afford to wait any longer.”

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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