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Hastings represents Illinois at voter security summit

hastings 0418 prefTINLEY PARK – State Senator Michael E. Hastings continues to fight for fair and secure elections in Illinois and he recently represented the state at a bipartisan conference hosted by the National Conference of State Legislators to address the matter.

Hastings was handpicked to participate in NCSL’s event on election security and how states can team up to protect voting processes. The event connected policymakers across the nation to exchange ideas on how to strengthen state laws to ensure the voting process this midterm elections is secure.

“Our democracy is built on open elections,” Hastings said. “Many have fought and given the ultimate sacrifice to assure our nation’s citizens’ voices are heard. We cannot afford to allow for foreign entities to hinder this sacred right.”

Hastings has been a strong voice in guaranteeing the Illinois State Board of Elections takes every necessary precaution to prevent hackers from accessing voters’ sensitive information.

Last election, the United State Department of Homeland Security confirmed Russian hackers were responsible for the malicious 2016 cyber-attack on the Illinois Voter Registration System database that compromised personal information for as many as 90,000 Illinois residents.

“It’s our duty to make sure our state’s policies and infrastructure meet the challenges and needs of the 21st century,” Hastings said. “The residents of Illinois need to have faith in the democratic process. It is absolutely imperative that the Illinois State Board of Elections take advantage of every possible resource to protect our state’s election infrastructure from intruders’ attacks.”

During the meeting, Hastings worked with election experts to learn about federal assistance and resources. A key theme was the role public officials play in bolstering voter confidence in elections based on setting security standards and utilizing best practices. 

Sandoval applauds more than $2 billion in diverse spending

Sandoval ICCCHICAGO – State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) spoke to the Illinois Commerce Commission last week to laud their compliance with supplier diversity laws at a time when several other state agencies and universities fall woefully short of such standards.

“Everyone knows there’s a lot of crime in certain neighborhoods on Chicago’s Southwest Side and everyone likes to point fingers as to whose fault it is without talking about solutions,” Sandoval said. “One solution is giving jobs and opportunities to the communities that need them the most.”

Morrison to Rauner: Time to focus on jobs

morrison 050918SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) expressed her frustration at the Rauner administration’s failure to keep the U.S. headquarters for Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Deerfield:

“This is a devastating blow to our community. I’m disappointed in the move. I’m even more disappointed that the Rauner administration did nothing to prevent these job losses. This is another example of the governor’s inability to run this state and focus on what matters.

“Takeda is leaving behind hundreds of talented workers that are an asset to the Illinois research industry. The governor has the opportunity to help pick up these pieces and move Illinois forward.”

Nearly $14M in overdue capital funding coming to Chicago State

sims 041118CHICAGO — The state is investing nearly $14 million in long overdue renovations at Chicago State University (CSU), State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

Public universities and colleges suffered as a result of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. The impasse ended with a bipartisan budget passed with an override of the governor’s veto. CSU struggled just to keep its doors open, laid off 400 people and enrollment suffered. As a budgeteer, Sims has been an outspoken advocate in the effort to restore funding and support to these institutions.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to deliver these funds to this great institution,” said Sims. “The Rauner administration has not made higher education a priority, so during this last round of budget negotiations, I’m glad I was finally able to successfully fight to invest in CSU.  The future of our students is one of my highest priorities and I will continue to fight to make CSU along with all of our colleges and universities the world class institutions we all know them to be.”

The construction funds CSU will receive include: $7.5 million for renovations at the Robinson Center and other capital improvements, $3.6 million to replace inoperative generators and $2.6 million for elevator renovations.

“While I appreciate the administration releasing these funds, the fact is that over the last several years this governor has attempted to ignore and devalue higher education in general and Chicago State University and its students in particular, and I will not allow that to happen. It is well past time that we make the investments in our higher education institutions the students, faculty and staff deserve,” said Sims.

 

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