Dear fellow citizen,

In a few days I conclude forty years of elective service. It has been a great honor to serve you and our communities as a member of the Madison County Board, Madison County State’s Attorney and a member of the Illinois State Senate. I am very much grateful for all of the support people have given me over the years.

Indeed, I appreciate very much those that did not support me, but who influenced me by their considerate opposition to one or a number of issues. I believe you made me a much better office holder and contributed to the common good of our area.

As a former member of the Madison County Board, I am especially pleased with the continued development of the Madison County Transit District, which I formed in the early 1980’s while serving on the county board. This agency has dramatically improved express service to Missouri and local employment areas, and provides excellent door-to-door service for the elderly and those with disabilities. It is rated as one of the best transit districts in the country. The development of our wonderful bike trail system is also a part of that legacy, and will continue to improve and grow in the future.

In 1988, when I was elected State’s Attorney, the crime rate in Madison County was on the rise. We assembled a first-rate staff of prosecutors who worked closely with our local police to cut down the crime rate and assist victims. We were able to establish a child advocacy center as well as the first Drug Court in Illinois. While my office was not always perfect, I am proud of our administration of justice during my time in office.

Throughout my time in the Senate, I made it a priority to work in a bipartisan way to secure funding for important local projects, such as the completion of Interstate 255, the McKinley Bridge and other infrastructure improvements.
Working with a dedicated coalition of community officials, we secured additional funding for the new science building, new dormitories and other significant improvements at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. With these improvements, SIU-E has grown to a flagship school and become a valued asset in our region. I also took a special pride in securing the necessary funding for improvements for the SIU Dental School in Alton at the historic Shurtleff College campus.

Most importantly, I’m proud of the bipartisan work done in support of the protective levees in our region. It’s likely that without them, our major employers, like Conoco Phillips and the steel mill, would not have been able to expand. Homeowners would be forced to pay thousands of dollars more in flood insurance every year. Our entire region would be put under significant economic stress, but thanks to the continued support of the levees our region remains strong and prosperous.

I am confident that my replacement, Rachelle Aud Crowe will serve you with distinction and a sincere dedication to the common good.

I apologize if I have offended anyone with my votes or comments. I do believe I have been a faithful and creative public official, but I was neither infallible nor perfect.

We have a vibrant region filled with many opportunities, and I believe that by working together we will continue to prosper.

Sincerely,

Bill Haine
State Senator | 56th District

Category: News Releases

Untitled 1SPRINGFIELD – Nursing mothers will now be guaranteed reasonable break time at their place of employment under a proposal passed by State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) that was signed into law on Tuesday.

“Breastfeeding is natural and necessary for many mothers,” Haine said. “Women should not be penalized at work for needing a little more time to keep on track with their nursing schedule.”

Haine’s new law, passed under House Bill 1595, amends the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act by requiring employers provide paid and reasonable break time for nursing mothers for up to one year after their child’s birth. Current state law only requires employers provide unpaid break time to nursing mothers.

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Category: News Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), a longtime advocate for investing in the levee system in the Metro East, expressed disappointment in the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2368. The measure sponsored by Haine would have given Metro East residents a direct say in decisions about the makeup of the Metro East Sanitation District Board.

Under Haine’s legislation, the mayor of the largest municipality in Madison County, Granite City, would have served on the Metro East Sanitation District Board to oversee the levee system that protects Madison county families from the Mississippi River flooding. Currently, all positions on the board are appointed by the Madison and St. Clair County Board Chairmen.

“I am more aware than the governor is of the past problems of the Metro East Sanitary District. That is why when I crafted the levee reconstruction law we created a new governmental entity, the Flood Protection District Board in Madison and St. Clair counties, to manage $180 million not under the control of the Metro East Sanitary District. It has one-specific purpose – to reconstruct the levees to a federally certifiable 500-year level.

“My previous levee reconstruction bill assures that the Metro East is one of the few areas in the country with adequate flood protection, all done without the Metro East Sanitary District, which previously caused opposition to my proposal in 2007.

“While the current board has accomplished good things, it is still mired in political controversy and ill-advised ideas, including the current Executive Director attempting to use his position to run for higher office. My legislation was very simple. It reflects longstanding public policy of local mayors serving on local commissions, such as the Metro East Transit District and Central Port Authority. Some of these board members need to be directly accountable to voters, not to Democratic or Republican Party County machines.

“This proposal would have reformed the Metro East Sanitation District and reduced the power of the local party machines. Instead, today the governor decided to side with partisan politics over the needs and interests of the Metro East community.”

Category: News Releases

05292018CM0563SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) joined a bipartisan coalition in the Illinois Senate today to pass a fully balanced state budget that increases funding for SIU Edwardsville, K-12 schools and area hospitals.

The state budget, which passed with a bipartisan majority of 56-2, will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives for consideration.  

Under the proposal, SIU Edwardsville will see about a 2 percent increase in funding from the previous year.

“This budget is a stark contrast from years past for our universities, like SIU-E,” Haine said. “Instead of facing steep cuts that force layoffs and program eliminations, it offers stability to allow them to be an economic driver for the Metro East community. “

Additionally, a new grant pilot program called AIM HIGH will provide $25 million to universities that award scholarships to undergraduate students from Illinois based on merit and financial means. MAP grant funding, which helps low- and middle-class students pay for the increased cost of college, will also be held at the same level as last year.

“These grant programs once again make Illinois colleges affordable for Illinois families and will prevent future generations of students from leaving our state,” Haine said.

K-12 schools will receive an additional $350 million, to be distributed to the neediest schools first under the new funding formula passed last year.

“These additional funds further our commitment to last year’s historic education funding formula changes. The new funding will go directly to the classrooms with the highest need,” Haine said.
 
The plan also stopped cuts to Medicaid rates proposed by the governor to ensure hospitals are adequately funded.

“Ensuring our hospitals, like St. Anthony’s, have adequate funding is absolutely crucial to the well-being of our communities,” Haine said. “Furthering slashing our already low Medicaid rates would have jeopardized the safety of our area residents.”

Category: News Releases

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District Office
307 Henry Street, Suite 210
Alton, IL 62002
P. 618.465.4764
F. 618.465.4816

Springfield Office
311C Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.5247
F. 217.782.8287