Hastings2017RSSPRINGFIELD – Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) released the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget address:

“This is the fourth budget address under Gov. Bruce Rauner. Two of his budgets resulted in state courts dictating our state budget. Last year’s budget required the General Assembly to work together in a bipartisan manner to override his veto. So this year it comes as no surprise that his budget is more than $2.5 billion out of balance. I expect the legislature to be force to once again pass a budget without his help this year due to his inability to work with legislators from both parties.”

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD – To help modernize and safeguard Illinois’ energy infrastructure, Senate President John J. Cullerton tapped Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) to lead the Illinois Senate’s Committee on Energy and Public Utilities.

“Our state’s energy community has done tremendous work to give Illinois a competitive edge,” Hastings said. “We are on the threshold of modernizing and upgrading Illinois’ energy security for generations to come. I look forward to exploring innovative modes of energy to keep utility costs affordable.”

Previously, Hastings served as chairperson of the Senate’s Criminal Law Committee. During his tenure, he tackled tough issues such as enhanced gun sentencing and commonsense juvenile expungement laws to give children a second chance.

“The Illinois General Assembly has worked in a bipartisan manner to implement commonsense reforms that keep our streets safe,” Hastings said. “I’m proud of the work we have accomplished and I remain committed to building upon that work to upgrade our justice system and ensure fairness.”

Hastings will continue to use his legal experience to push commonsense criminal justice reforms such as Senate Bill 2479 which would work toward protecting defendants’ rights to a fair trial. This bill allows testimony of jailhouse informants to be challenged for reliability and requires the prosecution to disclose any intent to introduce informant testimony at least 30 days prior to the hearing.

Hastings said he will demonstrate the same dedication as Chairperson of the Illinois Senate’s Committee on Energy and Public Utilities as he did on the Criminal Law Committee.

Category: Press Releases

05042017CM0445RSSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ measure to halt the state’s participation in the controversial Interstate Voter Registration Data Crosscheck Program advanced today.

Senate Bill 2273, sponsored by Hastings (D-Tinley Park) would prohibit the state from sharing any voter information with any interstate voter registration program other than the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC).

Hastings, Chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Sub-Committee on Cybersecurity, has continued to investigate the 2016 State Board of Elections security breach.

“It is evident that Crosscheck is an inferior program that makes the citizens of Illinois’ personal information susceptible to hackers,” Hastings said. “The right to vote is a fundamental component of our nation’s democratic values. It’s our duty to protect voters’ personal and sensitive information and promote impartial and honest elections.”

Hasting said to do so, the state must halt participation in the controversial Crosscheck program.

Senate Bill 2273 would allow the Illinois State Board of Elections to enter into exclusive voter data sharing agreements with states that border Illinois but do not participate in ERIC. This would allow Illinois to upgrade voter records and eliminate duplicate records to protect against voter fraud and abuse. Indiana, Iowa and Kentucky would be eligible to share data with Illinois.

Illinois began using Crosscheck in 2010 when no other alternatives existed. Since then, ERIC has been developed by states concerned about the security of the personal information that is shared with such programs.

“Illinois residents deserve to have the peace of mind that the Illinois State Board of Elections is taking every necessary precaution to protect their sensitive personal information,” Hastings said. 

Under current state law, the State Board of Elections is required to use ERIC while participation in Crosscheck is voluntary.

Senate Bill 2273 passed the Senate’s Executive Committee and now moves to the full senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

05042017AM6640 RSSPRINGFIELD- State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) is fighting to protect the citizens of Illinois from catastrophic cyber threats.

Hastings advanced House Joint Resolution 59 to create the International Cybersecurity Task Force to develop strategies to fight and protect Illinois’ voter information databases from foreign cyberattacks.

“Illinois businesses and residents rely on secure databases and internet services to function in a global world,” Hastings said. “Unsecure online services are detrimental to the well-being of citizens and puts businesses at a disadvantage. It’s our duty to take the proper precautions to fight cyber-attacks that are impeding our basic freedoms.”

Hastings supported this resolution in response to coordinated global cyberattack known as WannaCry, one of the largest cyberattacks ever recorded. The May 2017 attack impacted more than 150 countries, infecting more than 250,000 computers and devices.

There is an increasing concern that the Illinois power grid could be susceptible to widespread outage. This could cause catastrophic damage to the economy of Illinois, and Hastings said the state needs to actively seek ways to add layers of protection. 

“Cyberattacks have continuously become more severe. It’s important for Illinois to upgrade and institute safety precautions to protect key infrastructure,” Hastings said. “As online threats and entities continue to evolve, Illinois needs to be one step ahead to better serve the citizens and businesses of our great state.”

Hastings has continued to advocate and call for stronger cybersecurity protocols at the state and local levels to prevent further attacks on Illinois’ voter registration databases. He plans on taking action to protect Illinois’ cyber services to ensure there aren’t threats to local businesses.

“Our mom and pop businesses are the pillars of our communities. We cannot expect them to have the resources and technology to fight off expert foreign cyber-attacks,” Hastings said.

House Joint Resolution 59 passed the Senate’s State Government Committee with bipartisan support and now moves to the full senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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