040716 js 0053ResizeSPRINGFIELD—On Monday, a measure to change the way defendants are informed about the consequences they could face became law, thanks to State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

“We have a legal system built on the foundation of due process and individual rights,” Link said. “We couldn’t say our judicial system is fair when defendants might not have understood the consequences they were facing.”

House Bill 2569, sponsored by Link in the Senate, would require judges to inform defendants of the maximum and minimum penalties they may face before being allowed to accept a guilty plea.

“Many defendants under extreme stress may plead guilty without any idea of what that will mean for their lives,” Link said. “This law can help change that.”

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

Category: Releases

051816CM0737RSPRINGFIELD—Seventeen-year-olds soon will be receiving more rights when it comes to getting involved in the political process.

House Bill 6167, which was sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), was signed into law today. The new law would allow 17-year-olds to vote in the primary of a consolidated election if they would be 18 by the time of the consolidated election. Consolidated elections are held primarily for local offices, like school boards, city councils and village boards.

“We should be opening up access to the voting booth for those who will be 18 to have a full say in who represents them at every level of government,” Link said.

The new law would also allow 17-year-olds, who will be 18 by the general election, to pass nominating petitions for candidates or for a question to be put on the ballot.

“This is about our next generation getting involved. The last thing we should do is tell them no,” Link said. “It gives our democracy a breath of new life when the next generation gets involved.”

The new law went into effect immediately upon the governor signing the legislation.

Category: Releases

042115CM0706ResizeSPRINGFIELD—A measure restricting the amount of time that unclaimed property can sit with government entities was signed into law on Friday.

Senate Bill 2783, sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), will change the time that a government entity can hold on to unclaimed property from 7 years to 5 years. Currently, after 7 years, it has to be sent to the state treasurer to be put into the I-Cash system that tries to return unclaimed property to its rightful owner.

“This new law will allow the state treasurer to get someone’s rightful property to them sooner,” Link said. “We are talking about unclaimed checks that are doing nothing but collecting dust. Now we can work towards getting it to where it can be utilized.”

The proposal was an initiative of State Treasurer Michael Frerichs who has made it a priority to get unclaimed property where it belongs.

“This simple step can make a big difference to thousands of families in our state,” Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said. “Cities and other units of local government do not mean to retain this property. This change can relieve a government burden, reduce paperwork, and return money to where it belongs.”

The legislation passed both chambers with bipartisan support.

Category: Releases

042116CM0708ResizeSPRINGFIELD—On Thursday, State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) voted to approve Senate Bill 2047, a bipartisan stopgap budget for the first half of FY 2017. The proposal would send stopgap funding to human service providers throughout Lake County and ensure that schools open on time in August.

“This plan protects those human service programs that have been devastated by the budget impasse,” Link said. “We are investing more money than we ever have into educating the next generation. Every school district will be able to receive more resources than the previous fiscal year.”

The bipartisan agreement would send schools the full funding they are owed and end proration in the education budget. The plan also would send stopgap funding to institutions of higher education and allow road construction throughout the state to continue.

The legislation would send the following amounts to local Lake County school districts:

  • Waukegan School District 60 would receive an appropriation of more than $102.6 million, an increase of about $5.2 million when compared to the previous fiscal year.
  • North Chicago School District 187 would receive an appropriation of nearly $23.2 million, an increase of more than $1.2 million.
  • Mundelein High School District 120 would receive an appropriation of about $1.3 million, an increase of more than $77,000.
  • Hawthorn School District 73 would receive an appropriation of about $2.1 million, an increase of more than $240,000.
Category: Releases

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