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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) recognized the obstacles students and teachers may face in the fall by supporting the General Assembly’s comprehensive education package, which was signed into law today.

“While COVID-19 has presented our educators and students with a situation they could never have planned for, it is still our job to provide them with the resources they need to succeed, regardless of circumstance,” Hastings said.

The education package does a number of things to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes extending educator license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. It also allows for mandatory tests to be taken remotely, so students don’t have to risk getting sick in order to take an exam they need to apply for college.

Additionally, relating to higher education, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses.

“Students have worked hard on their classes during unprecedented circumstances, and those efforts should still count, even if they did not receive a typical letter grade,” Hastings said. “If a student has displayed commitment by completing their course work, they deserve full credit.”

It also modifies income requirements for the state's AIM HIGH education grant program, saying a student’s income when they enter the program will remain their income for the duration of their inclusion in the program.

This legislation is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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FRANKFORT – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) offered the following statement in response to Governor Pritzker’s approval of the state budget for the upcoming year: 

“From our working families and local businesses to bodies of government, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted every aspect of our lives,” Hastings said. “Naturally, when it comes to crafting a state budget during a national pandemic with decreased revenues and increased expenses, there are no easy decisions, but this budget meets the immediate needs of our people.” 

The state’s budget for the upcoming year includes:

  • $600 million in funding for businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • $60 million in additional funding for the Illinois Department of Employment Security to help address the challenges with unemployment programs
  • Full funding for our pension system
  • No cuts to P-12 education funding

“My primary focus is and always will be to provide essential services to our neighbors while preserving public health,” Hastings said. “I’m pleased Governor Pritzker shares this same vision.” 

 

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Prioritizing safe participation in the upcoming election, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) voted to expand voting options for Illinoisans. 

“Our system has been shaken to its very foundation, and people are afraid about the possibility of going to the polls this November,” Hastings said. “In the interest of public health and safety, we must give our people the chance to cast their vote in a safe, secure manner.”

As a result of this legislation any person who has voted since 2018 would receive an application to vote by mail. Voters would still be able to vote early or go at the polls on Election Day, which would be a state holiday for 2020.

“For our system to be truly representative, we must receive the input of people from every walk of life,” Hastings said. “With this legislation we are empowering voters and simplifying the process by removing unnecessary barriers. Democracy is stronger when we all have a voice.”

This measure now awaits the governor’s signature.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Local governments are now able to apply for a portion of nearly $80 million in grants to update critical infrastructure and jumpstart further economic development in the South Suburbs, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) announced Tuesday.

“This grant money serves as an opportunity for local governments to spur economic growth,” Hastings said. “Through this program, DCEO has provided an avenue to both improve critical infrastructure and create jobs in our communities.”

Through a competitive selection process, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute funding to local governments to support projects that will help generate jobs, expand economic opportunity and encourage new development.

DCEO has allocated $50 million for public infrastructure investments, $16.5 million for regional economic development projects and $13 million to prepare sites for construction. Potential projects also include improvements to utility lines and waste disposal systems, land and building acquisition, and architectural planning and engineering design.

Applications for public infrastructure grants must be submitted by June 30, but others will be accepted on a rolling basis. Available grants, project guidelines and application materials can be found here.

For additional information on these funds, prospective applicants can visit DCEO’s website here. Interested parties can send questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-785-6174.

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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