Senator Terry LInk was pleased to welcome representatives of several area park districts on Tuesday for Parks Day at the Capitol. Link greeted professionals from Gurnee, Mundelein, Vernon Hills, Waukegan and Wheeling Park Districts.

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To help residents of Lake County in need of affordable housing, State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) introduced Senate Bill 1244.

The legislation would add a $3 surcharge to any real-estate related document to fund the Lake County Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

“For young people just getting their feet wet and for older people who no longer have a fixed income, it can be difficult to find affordable housing,” Link said. “My hope is that this surcharge will help the hardest-hit residents of Lake County find an affordable place to live.”

Potential projects to be funded with the surcharge include: housing production, including new construction, redevelopment and rehabilitation; down-payment assistance to homebuyers; rehab assistance to homeowners; preservation of existing affordable assistance; and more. 

All funds generated from the surcharge would stay in the county. According to the Lake County Affordable Housing Trust Fund, one in five renters is severely cost-burdened.

SB1244 was assigned to the Local Government Committee and awaits further action.

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SPRINGFIELD, IL –A new law, sponsored by Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan), will ensure the rights of crime victims are protected under state law.

 “I believe it is important that those who suffer a violent crime have the right to know what happens with the accused,” said Senator Terry Link.  “This new law will not only provide some safeguards for crime victims, but it also includes measures to help police officers learn to better communicate and explain  a persons’ rights if they have been a victim of a crime.”

House Bill 5187 amends the Rights of Crime Victims and Witnesses Act and provides that any law enforcement agency must provide a crime victim with a written statement and explanation of the rights of crime victims within 48 hours of initial contact with the victim. 

This legislation also provides that that when a defendant has been committed to any Department of Human Services facility, such as a mental health facility, the victim can request to be notified of any pass given to the defendant to leave the facility, as well as, being notified when the defendant is released, has escaped, or if the defendant has died.

Under current law, a statement and explanation of the rights of crime victims must be given to a crime victim at the initial contact with the criminal justice system by the appropriate authorities and must be conspicuously posted in all court facilities.   There is nothing in current law stating that the victim be notified of a change in the status of the defendant.

“Those who have been victims of crime have asked for these safeguards for years,” said Senator Link.  “This new law is supported by the Attorney General, the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, and both the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Abuse.”

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SPRINGFIELD, IL -- State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) voted with the Senate Democratic Caucus today to pass a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2013.

“The budget that we passed today manages to do the best we can with the state’s limited resources,” stated Link.  “My goal was to make sure that education funding was not cut and that the state can continue to provide vital services to those who most need them.” 

Another important aspect of the budget is that there are dollars allocated to start to pay down the backlog of state bill that have been accumulating for the past two years.

“I am glad that the Ann M. Kiley Developmental Center, located in Waukegan, will continue to remain open and be able to receive the funding they need from the state to provide care to those with developmental disabilities,” Senator Link noted.  “The community needs this facility to keep loved ones close to home.”

The budget fully funds the pension payment for all five pension systems, Medicaid, and group insurance obligations for the coming fiscal year.  However, it does rely on finding $2.7 billion in Medicaid savings

“This budget reins in spending and will help to pay down our debts,” Senator Link stated.  “At the same time we are able to continue to fund education, the Monetary Awards Program, and the Community Care Program.”

Senate Bills 2404, 2455, and 2461 now go to the House of Representatives for the representatives’ consideration.

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