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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) announced that the recently released Illinois Department of Transportation five-year Highway Improvement Program includes major improvements to several major highways and bridges across the South Suburbs.

“The Rebuild Illinois Project is beginning to bear fruit,” Hastings said. “With I-80, I-57 and I-355 serving as key arteries of this region's transportation hub, their upkeep is essential. Residents from Joliet to Matteson are going to see quality results over the next five years that will make their lives safer and easier.

Projects beginning in 2020 include widening I-80 from US Route 30 in New Lenox to Ridge Road in Minooka, improvements to Illinois Route 6 at Gouger Road in New Lenox, additional lighting for expressways from Matteson to Richton Park and repaving I-80 from Harlem Avenue in Tinley Park to US Route 30 in New Lenox.

The next five years will also see the restructuring of the I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River, complete with repaving, widening, and structural improvements.

“Widespread infrastructure improvements have been necessary for years, but this bridge in particular has presented a clear, pressing need,” Hastings said. “We’ve seen bridges crumble due to negligence. This was a public safety problem, so I am thrilled that we are taking the necessary steps to provide safe means of transportation for our communities.”

A complete breakdown of highway improvement projects in the 19th District can be found here: http://www.idot.illinois.gov/Assets/uploads/files/Transportation-System/Reports/OP&P/HIP/2020-2025/ilsenate/sdist19.pdf

Category: Featured Stories

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation supported by Senator Michael E. Hastings which aims to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues among first responders was signed into law last week.

“We need to make sure that those in the first responder community who are struggling have properly trained help readily available to them,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “This ensures that these men and women receive the best possible treatment and are unafraid to seek it.”

House Bill 2766 ensures individuals tasked with providing peer support counseling to law enforcement and firefighters are properly trained and that those who seek out mental health treatment will be protected under the law without fear of termination or discrimination.

Additionally, the new law will create a task force to study recommendations to help reduce the risk of suicide among first responders.

A 2017 study by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that more police officers and firefighters died due to suicide than all line-of-duty deaths combined. The study also highlighted the vast underreporting of suicides, with concerns that the problem is much more complex than experts had anticipated.

“The lifestyle of a first responder is a unique experience, and that means we need to provide them with a different sort of care. I am thrilled that we are on the path to helping them find it with this legislation,” Hastings said.

House Bill 2766 goes into effect immediately.

Category: Featured Stories

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SPRINGFIELD – Legislation to raise the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 per year over the next five years was signed into law today.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings was a cosponsor on this initiative as it made its way through the Senate.

“Teachers deserve to earn a living wage regardless of where they live across our state. I personally know teachers that take money out of their own pockets to decorate classrooms and purchase supplies,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “I’m proud to be able to say that we’re acting on behalf of the selfless men and women who we are entrusting with our children’s wellbeing."

Under House Bill 2078, the state will update the minimum mandated salary for teachers annually over four years, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year. The wage will be raised incrementally to:

  • $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year;
  • $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year;
  • $37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year; and
  • $40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year;

“With this legislation, we’re sending a message to prospective teachers in and around our state that Illinois is ready to offer a stable living situation for these dedicated individuals,” Hastings said. "It’s long past the time to pay teachers what they are worth, and this legislation is a tremendous first step toward that goal."

 

Category: Featured Stories

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TINLEY PARK – Insurers will be required to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for minors under legislation supported by State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) that was signed into law on Friday.

“It’s unfortunate that we cannot always pinpoint what will give our children an allergic reaction with the rise of so many different food allergies,” Hastings said. “What we can do is provide children with the necessary care they need when an unforeseen emergency strikes, and I’m proud to have supported legislation that will do that going forward.”

Epinephrine injectors deliver epinephrine to individuals experiencing a severe allergic reaction, curbing the negative effects of the allergen. Epinephrine works by narrowing blood vessels and opening lung airways, reversing the symptoms of a potentially fatal allergic reaction.

“The passage of this legislation is an effort on the behalf of the legislature and the governor to ensure that our kids are taken care of properly,” Hastings said. “No parent should be put in a situation where they cannot provide necessary medical assistance because it’s not affordable.”

This new law requires certain private insurance policies to cover medically necessary epinephrine injectors for those under 18 years of age.

House Bill 3435 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Category: Featured Stories

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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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