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
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) voted with the Senate Democratic Caucus today to pass a Medicaid overhaul measure that will ensure the continued viability of the program. “Illinois’ Medicaid program is one of the most concerning spending pressures on the state budget,” stated Link. “And without a fix, that backlog will balloon to $21 billion in just five years.” Almost 2.7 million people in Illinois, or about 21 percent of the state’s population, currently rely on Medicaid. More than 60% of those are children, about nine percent are adults with developmental disabilities, and just over six percent are seniors that primarily receive help paying for nursing home care. Since 2000, Medicaid enrollment has nearly doubled – 1.4 million to 2.7 million. More recently, the number of people on Medicaid has increased due to the recession. In fact, since 2007, almost 700,000 more people have qualified for Medicaid and by 2013, it is estimated that more than 150,000 more people will be eligible. Senate Bill creates the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together Act which aims to curb the State’s Medicaid programs growth and costs in the years to come without taking important services away from the neediest populations in Illinois. This measure has passed the Illinois Senate and the House of Representatives and now goes to Governor Quinn for his consideration.
Category: Releases

Senate President John J. Cullerton and Sen. Terry Link accepted awards this week from the American Lung Association of Illinois for their work and advocacy of Smoke Free Illinois.

This year marks the 5 year anniversary of the laws approval.

On January 1, 2008, all indoor workplaces and public places, including bars/taverns, restaurants, private clubs and casinos became smoke-free. Smoking was also prohibited within 15 feet of all entrances and exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes.

Kathy Drea, the American Lung Association Policy Director, praised the both Senators for their work on the issue. Drea thanked Sen. Link for keeping Illinois casinos smoke free while working with the gaming industry. Sen. Link has worked the past several years to bring more revenue to Illinois by expanding gaming in the State. Drea expressed gratitude towards Sen. Link for rejecting any plan to add exemptions to the original plan passed in 2008, particularly casinos.

Category: Releases

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