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Link’s safety initiative would require two-person freight train crews

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.

Link leads Senate in appointing new ethics watchdog

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.

New ethics watchdog backed by Senator Link

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 moves to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21

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.

Sen. Terry Link

Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link

30th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served:
1997 - Present

Committee assignments: Assignments; Energy and Public Utilities; Executive Appointments; Executive; Financial Institutions (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Subcommittee on Gaming (Sub-Chairperson).

Biography: Partner, Lake County Industrial Equipment; born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.

Associated Representatives:
Daniel Didech
Rita Mayfield