042016CM0621ResizeSPRINGFIELD— Seventeen-year-olds throughout the state could have the ability to become more involved in the political process thanks to a measure pushed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

The Suffrage at 17 movement started at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, in Lincolnshire, Illinois, when students felt they should have a say in general election primaries about who would represent them in the general election. In 2013, it became law that all 17-year-olds who would be 18 by the general election could vote in the primary. House Bill 6167 would expand on that law.

House Bill 6167 would allow 17-year-olds to vote in a consolidated primary as long as they would be 18 at the consolidated election. This would allow them to have a say in many local primaries, including city councils, school boards and other forms of local governments.

“Restricting a 17-year-old from having a say in who represents them at the local level is unfair and undemocratic,” Link said. “We should be opening the doors to them, not shutting them out.”

The legislation also would  allow 17-year-olds to participate by passing nominating petitions for candidates or for a question to be put on a ballot.

HB 6167 passed the Senate unanimously and returns to the House for a final vote before going to the governor for approval.

Category: Releases

052616CM0471RSPRINGFIELD—State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) is fighting to change the way defendants are informed about the consequences that could face them if they plead guilty to or are convicted of a crime.

House Bill 2569, sponsored by Link in the Senate, would require judges inform defendants of the maximum and minimum penalties they may face.

“Our judicial system is built on due process and individual rights,” Link said. “How can we say that the judicial system is fair when defendants may not fully understand the consequences they face if they are convicted or plead guilty?”

The legislation also requires judges to inform defendants that they could face increased penalties if they commit additional crimes in the future.

“Many defendants may plead guilty or be convicted without any idea what the future will bring in their lives,” Link said.

The legislation now moves to the House for a final vote.

Category: Releases

040716 js 0053ResizeSPRINGFIELD—Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) voted with his colleagues to fully fund the MAP grant program for the current fiscal year.

House Bill 4167 would fund the MAP grant with an additional $227 million to fully fund the program for the fiscal year. This would join Senate Bill 2059, which passed both chambers in a bipartisan manner, to fund MAP grants.

“This is about prioritizing our college students who needed this assistance and keeping our promise to them,” Link said. “I urge the governor to join us in keeping our promises to our students and universities.”

The legislation now heads to the governor for his approval.

Category: Releases

051816CM0737ResizeSPRINGFIELD—Seventeen-year-olds throughout Illinois could see expanded voting rights because of legislation Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) is pushing through the Illinois Senate.

House Bill 6167 would allow 17-year-olds throughout the state to vote in the consolidated primary election if they will be 18 by the consolidated election. This is an expansion of the law that allowed 17-year-olds to vote in the general primary election if they were 18 by the general election.

“Local officials make decisions that directly affect the lives of their constituencies. Yet we tell 17-year-olds they don’t get a say in the primaries of their local elections,” Link said. “Many 17-year-olds want to have that say, and we shouldn’t stand in their way.”

The legislation passed the Senate Executive committee and moves to the full Senate for final passage.

Category: Releases

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