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 –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


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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