Haine 1SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) was honored with the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Distinguished Service Award at their 2018 Spring Commencement for his commitment to the university and the state of Illinois.

“Senator Haine has been an enthusiastic advocate for both SIUE and the SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton,” SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook said.

In the Senate, Haine has played a vital role in supporting the university by securing funding for various school buildings, including the science building, residence halls and construction of the new lab at the SIU School of Dental School Medicine.

During the two-year budget impasse, Haine fought against cuts to the university and supported crucial MAP grant funding to ensure students from middle-and low-income families would be able to continue their education. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the SIU School of Medicine.

“I greatly appreciate receiving this great honor from such a prestigious institution,” Haine said. “The impact of the university in our area and in our entire state cannot be overstated. I’m committed to continuing to support the university and its mission for the rest of my tenure in the Illinois Senate.”

Haine was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 2002 and currently serves as the assistant majority leader. He represents portions of Madison, Jersey and St. Clair counties. He has announced this will be his last term in the Illinois Senate.

Category: News Releases

04232018CM0603SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate recently passed a proposal requiring individuals who threaten gun violence against schools on social media to reimburse police departments for added security and emergency costs. State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) co-sponsored and voted for the proposal.

The proposal seeks to stop the string of threats made toward schools, including Alton, Cahokia and other Metro East schools. Currently, individuals convicted of making threats are required to reimburse public safety agencies for response-related costs only if the threat is made over the phone or they specifically threaten to use a bomb.

“Our current laws are outdated with the rise of social media,” Haine said. “Updating these laws gives law enforcement another tool to ensure they are able to take threats towards schools seriously.”

The legislation also gives law enforcement agencies the ability to bring in individuals who threaten schools for a psychiatric evaluation. The proposal, Senate Bill 563, passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 52-0. It is now in the Illinois House.

Category: News Releases

05012018CM0187SPRINGFIELD – After a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Maryville killed Pastor Fred Winters and injured another churchgoer, the Illinois Senate passed legislation to increase penalties on those that carry weapons into churches with an intent to harm others. State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) sponsored the measure.  

“These are sacred spaces where people go to worship and feel safe in their community,” Haine said. “People committing illegal, harmful activities here should be put in prison for a significant amount of time.”

The proposal was brought to Sen. Haine by Lt. Rich Dustman, a retired member of the Edwardsville Police Department and member at the church who was in attendance during the shooting.

“This was truly a heinous act committed by a criminal,” said Dustman. “Thanks to Senator Haine for giving law enforcement and prosecutors an additional tool to ensure these criminals are off the streets for a significant time.”

Under Haine’s proposal, when an attack happens within a church, synagogue, mosque or other place of worship, an individual can be charged with aggravated assault, a Class A misdemeanor, or aggravated battery, a Class 3 felony.  

The legislation also provides that an individual can be charged with a Class 2 felony if they carry or possess a firearm, knife or other dangerous weapon with the intent to harm in a place of worship.

Haine’s legislation, Senate Bill 561, passed with a vote of 51-0. It will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives for a vote.

Category: News Releases

01312018CM1150SPRINGFIELD – To help spur the continued economic growth of communities in Madison County, State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) passed legislation to extend Tax Increment Financing districts for the communities of Edwardsville and Granite City.

These districts allow local governments to re-invest property tax dollars into the development of the community.  

“Extending these TIF districts gives our local leaders the tools to ensure continued economic development and the availability of good-paying jobs in our communities,” Haine said.

Both TIF districts were established in 1997 and are set to expire within the next two years. The Edwardsville TIF, located south of the downtown area, has helped promote economic development through small business growth. In Granite City, the TIF district has helped promote and stabilize good-paying jobs in the volatile steel industry. Haine’s proposal would extend the Granite City TIF district through 2030 and the Edwardsville TIF district through 2032.

“Each of these TIF districts is vital to the economic growth of our region. I strongly encourage my colleagues in the Illinois House to pass the legislation to provide economic stability for these communities for years to come,” Haine said.

Haine’s legislation, Senate Bill 2445, passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 50-1. It will now head to the Illinois House for consideration.

Category: News Releases

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