Clean Energy

SPRINGFIELD -- A measure furthering State Senator Michael E. Hastings’ work to make Illinois a leader in preventing climate change is now law.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) championed Senate Bill 3866, which makes necessary improvements to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) implementation and administration of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act to help create a pipeline for Illinois residents to train and help Illinois residents pursue careers in clean energy construction and building trades.

“This new law sets up Illinois to tap into clean energy jobs,” Hastings said. “We are furthering the state’s mission to end climate change while embracing innovative technology to create good paying jobs in our own backyard.”

Senate Bill 3866 enable DCEO to award multi-year grants to Climate Works Hubs. It also requires hubs that receive funding to provide preapprentices with stipends no less than the minimum wage to ensure workers have the resources to support their families.

The Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program receives $21 million annually and consists of 13 geographically diverse hub sites that rely on community-based organizations to provide job training and a career pipeline for equity-focused areas.

This new program is projected to preserve nearly 28,000 direct and indirect jobs and $149 million in local economic impact.

“As businesses look to Illinois to set up shop, they can rest assure that our workers will be well trained and ready to hit the ground running,” Hastings said. “I am committed to looking for ways to modernize the state’s economy and securing good paying jobs for the people of the South Suburbs.”

Senate Bill 3866 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support and goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois put an end to surprise medical bills, thanks to the support of State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) served as a cosponsor on House Bill 4703, which protects people covered under group and individual health plans from getting surprise medical bills after receiving most services from out-of-network providers. The legislation was signed into law on Thursday.

“When Illinois residents utilize medical services, they should not be surprised by additional expenses,” Hastings said. “Adding this level of transparency will help those undergoing medical procedures from receiving surprise bills when they should be focusing on their recovery.”

Illinois will now have the same protections as the federal No Surprises Act, which establishes new securities against surprise medical bills.

Prior to the federal No Surprises Act going into effect in January 2022, consumers who received care from out-of-network providers could be responsible for the difference between the charges the provider billed and the amount paid by their health plan, even when receiving care at an in-network facility.

“This is a step in the right direction,” Hastings said. “We need to continue to look for ways to promote transparency for those seeking health care treatments.”

House Bill 4703 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – Illinois has new laws on the books to combat car hijackings, thanks to the support of State Senator Michael E. Hastings.

Hastings (D-Frankfort) supported three bipartisan measures that were signed into law on Thursday that implement a multifaceted approach to fight this nationwide epidemic.

“The people across the South Suburbs deserve the right to live safely and securely without the fear of carjackings and violence on their way home from work or picking up their kids,” Hastings said. “These horrific crimes change people’s lives in a big way. These new laws will help combat this crisis and alleviate some of the financial and emotional stresses.”

The following measures were signed into law:

House Bill 3772 provides protections for victims of carjackings who receive red light or speed camera violations after their vehicle has been hijacked. Under the new law, if a person receives a citation due to one of these camera violations, the court or hearing officer will be able to consider whether the vehicle was hijacked before the violation occurred or if the victim was not in control of or possession of the vehicle at the time of violation. 

House Bill 3699 will allow Metropolitan Enforcement Groups, or cooperatives of law enforcement, to work together to target carjackings. Further, it will allow the Metropolitan Enforcement Groups to receive state grants to assist in enforcement, and provide additional resources to law enforcement to target and capture these offenders.

House Bill 601 modernizes the definition of the possession of burglary tools offense to include devices designed to unlock or start a vehicle without a key and devices designed to capture or duplicate a signal from a key fob.

According to a January report from CNN, cities around the country have seen an increase in the rate of carjackings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1,800 carjackings were reported in Chicago last year, according to data released by police departments to CNN.

Hastings believes this is the start to help alleviate this nationwide trend and has taken it a step further by introducing Senate Bill 4205 which would require auto manufacturers to share electronic tracking information with law enforcement agencies in real-time by setting up a 24/7 hot line to facilitate the process.

"It's vital that we have technology to ensure law enforcement officials can track the carjackers that steal cars as they travel from point A from point B," said Hastings. "And we want to make sure that law enforcement officials have all the tools necessary to attack this problem."

He hopes to move forward with this legislation this fall.

House Bill 601, House Bill 3772 and House Bill 3699 go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

 Books

FRANKFORT – To keep kids’ minds engaged this summer, State Senator Michael E. Hastings is launching a Summer Book Club for children and young people who live in the 19th State Senate District.

“Our goal is to help prevent summer slide during break by helping keep students sharp and ready for the fall,” said Hastings (D-Frankfort). “I’m excited to host the summer reading program again this year and hope to have even more participation than we did last year.”

The Summer Book Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books on a form and return the form to Hastings’ office by Aug. 19. Everyone who completes the Summer Book Club will receive a gift card and certificate from Hastings. 

Studies have shown that reading 20 minutes a day makes a huge difference in language and brain development, while also promoting a sense of empathy and interpersonal connection. 

“Summer slide” is the tendency for students to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year. Hastings hopes this program will help children get excited about reading.

“This program will help prepare students for the upcoming school year,” said Hastings. “I hope the reading club is something fun and educational that students can do during their summer vacation.”

To receive a book club form, click here to download and print the form. Parents can also call Hastings’ Frankfort office at 815-464-5431 to request a copy by mail.

Hastings urges interested residents to call his office with any additional questions.

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

Senate Chambers