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SPRINGFIELD – Disabled veterans would see lower costs on license plate registration fees under legislation by State Senator Michael E. Hastings that passed the Senate today.

“License plate registration fees can be costly, and considering the sacrifice these brave men and women made, waiving those fees is the least we can do to express our gratitude,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said.

HB 2618 allows any veteran with at least 50% of their disability having been determined to stem from service-related injuries to obtain any military series license plate without a registration fee.

“Illinois currently offers a wide variety of military-related license plates, and the only one disabled veterans can receive without registration fees is the disabled veteran license plate,” Hastings said. “If you’ve served your country and are living with any sort of disability as a result of that service, you ought to be able to represent yourself in a way that reflects your service beyond your disability without registration fees.”

This legislation awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Workers at high hazard facilities would be required to undergo advanced safety training thanks to legislation by State Senator Michael E. Hastings which passed the Senate yesterday.

“Safety training is crucial at every job site, but the need at facilities where workers are handling dangerous substances is especially urgent,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “Developing a curriculum that will strengthen the protections of workers is simply the responsible thing to do.”

Recently, refineries and other high hazard facilities across the state have been the site of numerous accidents. Additionally, 127 hazardous material reports have been issued over the past 10 years, finding that dangerous chemicals are being released into the air of surrounding communities.

Senate Bill 1407 creates the Hazardous Materials Workforce Training Act, requiring the Illinois Department of Labor to develop a curriculum of approved advance safety training for workers at high hazard facilities.

In addition, building and construction contractors would face a monetary penalty for failing to use a “skilled and trained workforce” to perform all onsite work at a petroleum refining facility, petrochemical manufacturing facility and ethanol facility.

“Those who have gone through proper training are statistically less likely to be at risk on the job site,” Hastings said. “We cannot allow death on the job due to neglect, and we certainly cannot allow these dangerous chemicals to seep into our communities.”

This legislation now moves to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would create a new, faster process for issuing veteran's driver's license and ID cards passed the Senate yesterday.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings is the sponsor of this initiative.

“Under the current process, it’s very easy for things to be slowed down by red tape,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “The simpler we can make this process for our veterans, the better.”

HB 3216 would require the Secretary of State to issue the veteran license or ID and then send the documentation to the Department of Veterans Affairs to confirm that the individual meets the proper criteria. In addition, the bill allows Department of Defense DD-2 forms and DVA summary of benefits letters as acceptable documentation to receive an ID or driver's license with a veteran designation.

“It’s important to provide multiple options for those who are seeking to acquire an ID card,” Hastings said. “This makes the process a bit easier and more accessible to those veterans who are taking the time to get their proper identification cards.”

The legislation awaits Governor Pritzker’s signature to become law.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – A package of legislation that would address Illinois’ teacher shortage crisis passed the Senate Wednesday night.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings is a sponsor of the initiative.

“It’s no secret that we have a crisis on our hands,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “At the present moment there simply are not enough students entering the teaching profession in Illinois upon graduating college.”

Senate Bill 1952 contains the following provisions:
• It reinstates the 6 percent cap for teacher salary increases to be covered by the state. Last year, lawmakers lowered the cap to 3 percent.
• It removes the requirement that teachers must pass a basic skills test to be licensed.
• It permits K-12 student teachers and early childhood student teachers to be paid.
• It creates a refund program for teachers in underfunded, hard-to-staff school districts to recoup the cost of the teacher performance assessment.
• It allows early childhood student teachers to be paid and receive credit.

“The need for a comprehensive package that will address our current predicament has been evident for some time,” Hastings said. “I’m pleased that we in the General Assembly are taking proactive steps to ensure we are able to compete for the top talent in the teaching profession.”

This legislation moves to the House for consideration.

 

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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