In an effort to save our state money and improve transportation, State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) filed Senate Bill 1594 that would combine the Regional Transportation Authority and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning to create a new agency. 

The new 18-member board would be appointed by several different groups including the mayor of Chicago, president of the Cook County Board and governor. 

Other groups that would have representation on the board include:
     •  Five members appointed by the Chairmen of Dupage, Kane, Lake, McHenry Counties and the County Executive of Will County
     •  Three members appointed by the Governor
     •  A 19th non-voting board member appointed by the Kendall County Chairman

The consolidated board would receive no compensation. 

“We need to avoid excessive bureaucracy and run our state more efficiently. This is a great opportunity to make that happen,” Link said. “Combining transit and regional planning will not only reduce overhead costs, it will lead to better investments and bring together area leaders to focus less on competing and more on doing whatever it takes to make our region great.”

Link said SB 1954 would eliminate unnecessary and duplicative functions within CMAP, RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace. 

The legislation was recently filed in the Illinois Senate and awaits debate. 

Category: Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan), accompanied by his wife, Susan, and other family members, took the oath of office this week in the Illinois State Senate. The inauguration ceremony, held on the Senate floor at the State Capitol in Springfield, marks the beginning of the 98th General Assembly.

After the proceedings, Senate President John J. Cullerton named Link to the leadership role of assistant majority leader.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle during this new General Assembly,” Link said.  “I will continue my efforts as senator to find solutions to the pension problems faced by the state as well as bringing in additional revenues to the state that will help to increase funding for education and our human service programs.”

Link was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 1996 and is starting his sixth term in office.

During the 97th General Assembly Link served as majority caucus whip and was the chairman of the Gaming Committee.  He also served as the vice chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions and Local Government committees, as well as serving as a member of the State Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Category: Releases

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Members of the Illinois Senate voted today to make the roadways safer throughout the state. Illinois Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) voted in favor of a measure that will allow those who are undocumented to attain a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License through the Secretary of State.

 

“In the end, the immigration debate is one that needs to be resolved in Washington. Our responsibility here in Illinois is to provide for safe highways and well-trained drivers. And that’s what I voted for today,” said Senator Link.

 

Senate Bill 957 will provide a means for those without a Social Security number to apply for a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License. Specifically, applicants will have to provide the Secretary of State’s Office with documentation that established they have lived in Illinois for over a year and can prove their identity with a valid passport or consular identification document.

 

Once a Temporary Visitor Driver’s License has been obtained, the holder will be subject to the same examination requirements, mandatory insurance provisions, and the same traffic violation penalties as any other driver within the state of Illinois.

 

Recently, Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran announced his support of this measure in the Sun Times commenting that undocumented residents would like to not violate the law, but they have no choice, they have to get to work so they can feed their families.”

Category: Releases


SPRINGFIELD, IL –Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) voted with his Democratic colleagues on a measure that will not only increase the tax on cigarettes $1.00 a pack, but also apply that tax to “roll your own” (RYO) cigarettes.  This closes a loophole that currently exists in state law.

“By increasing the cigarette tax, we are not only ensuring the stability of the Medicaid program, but also making sure hospitals in Illinois that provide charity care can keep their exemptions,” said Senator Link.  “The services they offer are vital to those who can’t afford health care by any other means.”

Senate Bill 2194 will cover a number of issues.  The measure will cover tobacco taxes for not only “roll your own machines” but also for cigarettes, snuff, cigars, and chewing tobacco.  The tax will help pay for the Medicaid program and provides for hospital property, sales, and income tax exemptions.

One benefit of this increase is that property tax exemptions for hospitals that provide charity care will remain intact.  In addition, $240 million will be put towards shoring up the Medicaid program.   Almost 2.7 million people in Illinois currently rely on Medicaid.   More than 60 percent of the recipients are children, about nine percent are adults with developmental disabilities, and just over six percent are seniors who primarily receive help paying for nursing home care.   

RYO machines use loose pipe tobacco and are currently taxed lower than commercially manufactured cigarettes.  In addition, cigarettes produced by these machines, or at “filling stations” as they are sometimes referred to, do not comply with current state and federal regulations concerning warning labels or fire standards.

Category: Releases

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