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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois retailers now have a law on the books to help curb organized retail crime and hold ringleaders accountable, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort), serves as a chief-cosponsor of House Bill 1091, which cracks down on smash and grabs and targets the organizers of retail crime to help promote economic growth and give Illinois businesses the tools to hold perpetrators responsible.

“These vicious criminal networks deprive our state of taxpayer dollars, risk the safety of employees and wreak havoc on businesses across our communities,” Hastings said. “This new law gives our state the opportunity to hold people accountable by adopting a comprehensive crime-curbing effort.”

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Category: Press Releases

FRANKFORT – State Senator Michael E. Hastings is excited to announce that the Village of Frankfort is set to receive nearly $25,000 to preserve the intensive history of its downtown area.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) was pleased to find out that Frankfort is one of five state historic sites that are will receive funding for historic preservation projects through the National Park Services’ Historic Preservation Fund on Friday.

“These vital dollars will help the Village of Frankfort preserve and showcase the beautiful history of the South Suburbs,” Hastings said. “I look forward to seeing the great work the village does.”

The program is open to all 84 Certified Local Governments throughout Illinois with funds available to reimburse participating CLG communities for projects that focus on Surveys, Public Education, Planning, and National Register of Historic Places nominations.

The State Historic Preservation Office is planning another round of CLG grants in the fall of 2022. For information on how to apply, visit https://bit.ly/CLGgrants.

Category: Press Releases

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FRANKFORT – More than 100 businesses in the 19th District were awarded over $4 million in funding from the Back to Business program thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) worked tirelessly to advocate and support local businesses in the South Suburbs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Our local businesses have fought through extremely difficult times to keep their doors open and support our communities,” Hastings said. “These vital dollars will help provide businesses with financial assistance to help them keep their lights on.”

A total of $4.03 million was awarded to more than 100 businesses in the 19th District. The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget.

DCEO has provided $250 million in B2B grants – thanks to strong support from Hastings – to small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on hard hit sectors, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons, and disproportionately impacted areas.

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Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois now has new laws on the books to help battle the substitute teacher shortage, thanks to Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) supported measures that were signed into law Wednesday that makes it easier for qualified individuals to serve as substitute teachers.

“Our educators offer guidance and dedicate their lives to our children,” Hastings said. “These new laws help our substitute teachers serve as a lifeline when their usual teacher is absent. Putting an end to this shortage, will not only help our students but help lighten the workload for fellow educators who may have to step in when a substitute teacher cannot be found.”

The following measures were signed into law:

  • House Bill 4798: Allows currently enrolled students in educator preparation programs in Illinois who have earned 90 credits can be qualified for a substitute teaching license.
  • Senate Bill 3907:  Increases the number days a Short-Term Substitute Teacher may teach consecutively for any one licensed teacher under contract in a school district from five to 15 days.
  • Senate Bill 3988: Allows 18 year olds to become paraprofessional so long as they meet all the other requirements for such a license, and they will be using the license for exclusively elementary education. The current age requirement is 19 years old.

A survey released by EdWeek Research Center last fall reported that more than 75% of school principals and administrators are reported to have said that they are having trouble finding enough substitutes to cover teacher absences in 2021.

Some school districts have had to close for a day due to the staffing shortages. Schools often are forced to resort to asking other teachers to fill in during their prep periods or combining classes. Hastings believes both of these options negatively impact educators and students.

“We need to work together to ensure our substitute teachers and educators are given the resources to be successful,” Hastings said. “These new laws will help move Illinois one step closer toward ending this crisis. It is essential that we work together and give our children an opportunity to receive an excellent educational experience.”

Hastings also supported the budget approved by the General Assembly this month that invests an additional $350 million into Illinois students’ success through the evidence-based funding model for K-12 education. He also sponsored Senate Bill 157 which increases the educator’s tax credit to up to $500 for out-of-pocket expenses for classroom supplies.

House Bill 4798 and Senate Bill 3988 go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023 while Senate Bill 3907 will go into effect immediately.

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:
111 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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