March1 RS

SPRINGFIELD – The state of Illinois currently has no procedure in place to alert police and emergency professionals of missing disabled persons, but State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D -Tinley Park) is working to change that.

Hastings’ measure is aimed at reporting, quickly locating and returning missing disabled persons to their homes. It is motivated by the story of Greg*, a disabled man who went to Chipotle in Matteson, Illinois for a group-home excursion. During the outing, Greg wandered away from his group and it quickly became apparent there were few procedures in place to help find him.

When his caretakers requested an Amber Alert be put out in order to locate Greg, the authorities said there was no system in place for individuals living with disabilities. After 21 excruciating hours, Greg was returned to his caretakers, and the incident left advocates wondering if more can be done to protect Illinois’ disabled populations.

“It’s clear we can do more here, so I have sponsored this commonsense legislation to put protocols in place to help find and protect individuals living with intellectual and physical disabilities,” Hastings said. “This small change will help immediately alert authorities and emergency networkers to bring our loved ones home sooner.”

Senate Bill 2265 changes the Missing Persons Identification Act to ensure "high-risk missing persons" includes persons living with a developmental or intellectual disability. This will cover these individuals under the Endangered Missing Person Advisory program, which would provide a regional system for the rapid dissemination of information of missing people.

“As a community-based provider that supports adults with intellectual disabilities, I am excited to learn the Human Service Committee passed SB2265,” said Mary Pat Ambrosino, Chief Executive Officer of CTF Illinois. “Adults with intellectual disabilities are a vulnerable population, and by including them in the LEAD system you are not only providing a proven resource to families and providers but also giving us peace of mind knowing the safety of those we support is a priority.”

Senate Bill 2265 passed the Senate’s Committee on Human Services with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

“I can’t help but think if this alert system had been in place, Greg may not have gone missing for 21 hours,” Hastings said. “We are taking the lessons of the past to give police departments the means to communicate quickly and effectively to disseminate missing persons reports.”

*The name Greg was used to protect the identify and safety of the individual who experienced this event.

Category: Press Releases

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

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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

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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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