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  • police fire 032019SPRINGFIELD –Firefighters and law enforcement officers would have expanded access to mental health services under a proposal by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate recently. 

    “The men and women who dedicate their lives to the protection of their neighbors do so under extremely stressful situations that can have an impact on the mental health of an individual,” Link said. “Ensuring there are services available when needed acknowledges these often tough working conditions and is vital to maintain the overall health of our brave first responders.”

     

  • Senator LinkSPRINGFIELD – Freight trains in Illinois would be required to be operated by a crew of at least two people under a safety proposal introduced by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate this week.

    “Incidents across the country continue to highlight the importance of two-person crews on freight trains,” Link said. “It is simply a matter of public safety. Two-person crews can react more efficiently to mechanical failures or equipment malfunctions and can potentially save lives in a serious situation.”

    Link’s measure – contained in Senate Bill 24 – requires freight trains to be operated by a crew of at least two individuals until a federal rule or law is adopted that addresses how many crew members should operate a freight train.

    If passed and signed into law, Illinois would join Wisconsin, California and Arizona in enacting some form of train crew requirement.

    “We feel this is a commonsense measure until there is a federal law put in place,” said Bob Guy, SMART TD Legislative Director for Illinois. “Trains break down on a daily basis. A minor issue can bring a train to a halt. What happens when that is in the middle of a community?”

    Senate Bill 24 passed the Senate on Thursday on a 35-19 vote. Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) will be sponsoring the proposal in the Illinois House.

  • Senator LinkSPRINGFIELD – County board members and elected local governmental officials would no longer have the ability to take a salary and draw from their pension while still in office under a reform measure passed this week by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

    “No elected official should be both serving in office while also drawing a retirement check for the work done in that capacity,” Link said. “It is a clear violation of the public trust and an integrity issue, as county board members have the ability to pass measures that could increase the retirement benefits of that board.”

  • link 040419SPRINGFIELD –Childhood sexual abuse victims would be reaffirmed in their right to bring civil charges against their perpetrator and those who fraudulently concealed their crime under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate today.

    “Our laws should reflect our values that victims and their rights should be protected,” Link said. “While it is impossible to go back in time and prevent these horrific crimes from occurring, we should be doing everything in our power to seek justice for these individuals.”

    Link’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 1868, reaffirms the ability of victims of childhood sexual abuse cases to bring a civil claim against an abuser or an individual who fraudulently concealed the crime. The legislation builds off a law Link passed in 2013 that eliminated the statute of limitations on bringing civil claims for damages from childhood sexual abuse.

    Link introduced the plan after a report issued by former Attorney General Lisa Madigan in December of 2018 revealed accusations of child sexual abuse against nearly 700 Catholic priests throughout Illinois.

    Link’s measure would ensure victims are able to recoup civil damages if there is evidence that their perpetrator intentionally tried to conceal the crime.

    “Confronting an accuser is often part of the healing process for victims,” Link said. “It is especially important for childhood sexual abuse survivors, who experience extreme traumas that often leave scars for life.”

    Senate Bill 1868 passed the Senate this afternoon on a 52-3 vote and will now head to the Illinois House for further debate.

  • Care for dementia patients SPRINGFIELD – Families of individuals who reside in facilities that care for dementia patients would have the ability to install video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room under a plan sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate this afternoon.

    “No one who is being cared for by medical staff should ever have to worry about being abused or taken advantage of,” Link said. “While we know most care staff treat their patients with dignity and respect, allowing video monitoring equipment will serve as a deterrent to misconduct and offer peace of mind to family members.”

  • Senator LinkSPRINGFIELD – Childhood sexual abuse victims would be reaffirmed in their right to bring civil charges against their perpetrator and those who fraudulently concealed their crime under a proposal advanced today by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

    “Victims of childhood sexual abuse experience extreme traumas that often leave scars for life,” Link said. “While it is impossible to go back in time and prevent these horrific crimes from occurring, we should be doing everything in our power to seek justice for these individuals.”

    Link’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 1868, reaffirms the ability of victims of childhood sexual abuse cases to bring a civil claim against an abuser or an individual who fraudulently concealed the crime. The legislation builds off a law Link passed in 2013 that eliminated the statute of limitations on bringing civil claims for damages from childhood sexual abuse.

    Link introduced the plan after a report issued by former Attorney General Lisa Madigan in December of 2018 revealed accusations of child sexual abuse against nearly 700 Catholic priests throughout Illinois.

    Link’s measure would ensure victims are able to recoup civil damages if there is evidence that their perpetrator intentionally tried to conceal the crime.

    “Our laws should reflect our values that victims and their rights should be protected,” Link said.

    Senate Bill 1868 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon without opposition and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

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  • link 031219SPRINGFIELD – Families of individuals who reside in facilities that care for dementia patients would have the ability to install video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room under a proposal sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate Public Health Committee this afternoon.

    “Dementia patients are especially vulnerable to abuse at the hands of their caretakers,” Link said. “While we know most care staff treat their patients with dignity and respect, allowing video monitoring equipment will serve as a deterrent to misconduct and offer peace of mind to family members.”

    Senate Bill 109 allows for electronic monitoring in patient rooms in a building or wing of a building solely dedicated to dementia care. Link’s proposal builds off a 2015 law he passed that allowed for video and audio monitoring equipment in facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities or in long-term care facilities.

    The original proposal came in response to multiple complaints received by the Illinois Department of Public Health about abuse, neglect and theft against nursing home residents.

    “We must continue working to ensure that anyone who is susceptible to abuse or mistreatment is protected and cared for,” Link said.

    Senate Bill 109 passed the Senate Public Health Committee without opposition this afternoon and will now head to the Senate floor for further debate.

  • link 030719SPRINGFIELD –Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) advanced legislation today to provide a property tax credit for surviving spouses of veterans killed or disabled in the line of duty.

    “Our veterans and their families have dedicated their professions and their lives to serving our country and the ideals we hold high,” Link said. “As a state, it is important we recognize that sacrifice and ensure we acknowledge the importance their service continues to play,” Link said.

    Link’s Senate Bill 110 expands the Disabled Veterans’ Standard Homestead Exemption, providing property tax relief to veterans with service-connected disabilities. The legislation addresses oversights of a 2007 law by adding qualifying spouses to the property tax credit program. 

    Link’s proposal seeks to clarify eligibility to include the spouses of veterans killed or disabled in the line of duty prior to 2007.

    Link passed a similar proposal out of the Senate in 2017 that was not called for a vote in the Illinois House.

    Senate Bill 110 passed the Senate without opposition this afternoon and will now head to the Illinois House for further debate. 

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD –Freight trains in Illinois would be required to be operated by a crew of at least two people under a safety proposal introduced by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that was discussed Tuesday in the Senate Transportation Committee. 

    “Incidents across the country continue to highlight the importance of two-person crews on freight trains,” Link said. “It is simply a matter of public safety. Two-person crews can react more efficiently to mechanical failures or equipment malfunctions and can potentially save lives in a serious situation.”

    Link’s proposal, contained in Senate Bill 24, would require freight trains to be operated by a crew of at least two individuals until a federal rule or law is adopted that addresses how many crew members should operate a freight train.

    If passed and signed into law, Illinois would join Wisconsin, California and Arizona in enacting some form of train crew requirement.

    “We feel this is a common sense measure until there is a federal law put in place,” said Bob Guy, SMART TD Legislative Director for Illinois. “Trains break down on a daily basis. A minor issue can bring a train to a halt. What happens when that is in the middle of a community?”

    Subject-matter testimony on Senate Bill 24 was heard Tuesday afternoon in the Senate Transportation Committee.

  • Sen. Terry LinkSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) led the Senate today in approving Carol M. Pope as new Legislative Inspector General, a post responsible for investigating complaints made against lawmakers and legislative employees.

    “Judge Carol Pope has all of the necessary experience and background to be an excellent Legislative Inspector General,” Link said. “It is vitally important that allegations of misconduct are investigated and properly handled. I have the upmost trust that Judge Pope will live up to those expectations.”

    Judge Pope was recommended unanimously by the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission in December to fill the post full time after Julie Porter was appointed to serve as temporary inspector general until a permanent appointment was made.

  • link 042618SPRINGFIELD – Senator Terry Link offered his support for Judge Carol Pope to be the next Illinois Legislative Inspector General, the top ethics watchdog for the General Assembly and its employees.

    “Judge Carol Pope has a long career in public service and the experience, qualifications and character that are necessary for the important role of Legislative Inspector General,” said Senator Terry Link, a Vernon Hills Democrat. “The people of Illinois can trust Judge Pope to investigate and take proper action regarding any cases that come through the office.” 

    Link is a member of the Illinois Legislative Ethics Commission that is recommending Pope be hired.  

    Judge Pope currently serves as a member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee, which provides ethics advice to judges throughout Illinois. Pope previously served seven years as a State’s Attorney in Menard County, 17 years as a Circuit Court Judge and nine years as Appellate Justice in the Fourth Appellate District.

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD – A longtime champion of stricter tobacco legislation, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) moved today to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a proposal to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old.

    “For the first time in years, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise,” Link said. “Raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 will cut down on access for teenagers and curb the next generation of adult smokers.”

    It has been more than 10 years since Link’s Smoke Free Illinois legislation banning smoking in most public places went in to effect. Since Smoke Free Illinois, there has been a 20 percent decrease in hospitalization of various smoking-related diseases. But with the advent of e-cigarettes, tobacco use among teenagers is on the rise for the first time in years.

    “Smoke Free Illinois was a major step forward in improving the health of our residents and making Illinois a better place to live,” Link said. “Tobacco 21 builds on those efforts and moves us one step closer to a healthier, smoke-free Illinois.”

    Limiting access to cigarettes has proven effective in reducing the rate of tobacco use among teens. In October 2014, Evanston became the first Illinois community to adopt Tobacco 21. Since then, tobacco use among high schoolers has dropped by 37.5 percent.

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  • link 042618SPRINGFIELD – Veterans establishments across Illinois would be allowed to apply for video gaming licenses under a measure from Senator Terry Link that passed out of the Senate today.

    “Our service members and veterans have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Link (D-Vernon Hills). “I strongly believe that their service should warrant them special permission to allow video gaming in their facilities if they so choose.”

    Senate Bill 3166 allows the Illinois Gaming Board to issue video gaming licenses to licensed veterans establishments within cities or counties which have otherwise prohibited video gaming.

    “Allowing veterans’ establishments special permission to have video gaming machines in their facilities is just one more way we can show our support and gratitude for their service to our country,” Link said.

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  • link 041218SPRINGFIELD – A measure from Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) that will make Illinois a leader in wireless technology advancements and create 100,000 new Illinois jobs was signed into law today.

    “As technology continues to advance and smartphone data use continues to increase, it's important that we have the infrastructure in place to support those advancements,” Link said. “This measure will help ensure a smooth transition to 5G and allow Illinois to stay at the forefront of new wireless technology.”

  • IL School Buses

    Illinois schools will soon see millions in new money through the education funding overhaul passed by the Senate last year.

    The Illinois State Board of Education on Thursday issued vouchers to the state comptroller that clear the way for local school districts to begin receiving money under Illinois’ new evidence-based model of funding public schools.

    The distribution – which is based on detailed enrollment figures, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data – is the first step toward right-sizing state support for every school district. No schools will ever receive less state funding than they do today under the new plan.

  • link 040618SPRINGFIELD – Some of Lake County’s most underfunded school districts will receive a significant boost under Illinois’ new education funding formula, Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) announced today.

    Schools in Waukegan and North Chicago specifically will receive close to $17 million in new state support because they are among Illinois’ least funded districts and unable to adequately educate their students.

    “When we passed education funding reform last year, we recognized that each school district in our state has unique needs that should be taken into consideration when we distribute funds,” Link said. “When these funds are released, the neediest districts will get the most funding, giving every student in Illinois an equal opportunity for a quality education.”

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) issued vouchers to the Illinois Comptroller today that clear the way for schools around the state to begin receiving money under the new evidence-based model.

    ISBE worked with school districts and lawmakers for months to calculate the distribution, taking into account enrollment, district-specific student learning needs, available local resources and other data.

    The overhaul of education funding reform passed by the Senate last year created a tiered system in which money is prioritized for the districts furthest from the adequacy target. 

    No school district in the state received less money today than it did last year.

    The distributions for schools in Link’s district are as follows:

    School district

    Percent of adequacy

    Tier

    New Money

    Total State Contribution

    GURNEE SCHOOL DIST 56

     

    76%

    2

    $87,941.57

    $2,612,975.89

    WAUKEGAN C U SCHOOL DIST 60

     

    50%

    1

    $14,333,114.59

    $124,538,347.73

    RONDOUT SCHOOL DIST 72

     

    283%

    4

    $190.85

    $103,333.04

    HAWTHORN C C SCHOOL DIST 73

     

    82%

    2

    $108,504.27

    $3,834,239.36

    MUNDELEIN ELEM SCHOOL DIST 75

     

    67%

    2

    $146,130.92

    $3,923,325.03

    KILDEER COUNTRYSIDE C C S DIST 96

     

    120%

    4

    $4,584.24

    $2,472,869.67

    APTAKISIC-TRIPP C C S DIST 102

     

    111%

    4

    $3,275.33

    $1,762,112.12

    LINCOLNSHIRE-PRAIRIEVIEW S D 103

     

    134%

    4

    $2,358.37

    $1,030,560.75

    MUNDELEIN CONS HIGH SCH DIST 120

     

    91%

    3

    $50,496.96

    $1,952,852.54

    ADLAI E STEVENSON DIST 125

     

    166%

    4

    $6,239.15

    $2,547,512.13

    LIBERTYVILLE COMM H SCH DIST 128

     

    168%

    4

    $5,101.21

    $2,116,554.57

    NORTH CHICAGO SCHOOL DIST 187

     

    53%

    1

    $2,499,168.12

    $27,116,808.10