Area residents have considered Lakeside Tower in Waukegan a blight on the community for years. Those people took the opportunity yesterday to ask the Illinois Senate Legislative Petition Committee to encourage housing officials to investigate and take action.

Eleven witnesses, including neighbors, city officials and the Lakeside Tower property manager, provided testimony during a hearing at Waukegan City Hall. Senator Terry Link represents Waukegan and sponsored the petition on behalf of his constituents calling for a full investigation by Housing and Urban Development. Lakeside Tower is a concern because of unsafe and deteriorating conditions of the property and some indications of increased crime activity in the area.

Witnesses for the city suggested conditions are improving since they suspended the owner’s business license, while neighbors testified they have not seen improvements.

The issue came to the attention of the Illinois Senate as a petition from concerned citizens. Senator Link responded by sponsoring a legislative measure and bringing it to the committee. Link pledged to the committee and the petitioners a report on Tuesday’s hearing will be posted online and forwarded to HUD.

Related: Committee hears first Senate legislative petition


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 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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