030916CM0221ResizeSPRINGFIELD—Illinois soon will take steps towards becoming REAL ID compliant due to legislation signed into law on Friday.

A measure pushed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills) would change multiple state statutes to bring Illinois into compliance with the federal government’s REAL ID standards.

In January, Illinois was put on notice that it had two years to fully comply with REAL ID requirements or Illinois residents might not be able to get into government buildings with their driver’s license. It would also cause more headaches in TSA lines all over the country.

“Illinois citizens need easy access to many federal buildings and airports to utilize federal services,” Link said. “Becoming compliant with REAL ID standards was a long process but one that we need to finish before it negatively affects our residents.”

Senate Bill 637, which will go into effect on July 1, will do the three following things to bring them into compliance with federal law:

  1. Require proof of lawful presence in the United States. If proof is not available the applicant for a driver’s license will be given a temporary visitors driver’s license.
  2. Bar residents from having both a driver’s license and an ID card at the same time.
  3. Limit the validity of a driver’s license or ID card to no more than eight years.
Category: Releases

052616CM1176RESIZESPRINGFIELD—Illinois residents could avoid security problems at airports and other federal buildings thanks to legislation passed by Senator Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills).

In January, Illinois officials were told they had two years to comply with federal REAL ID requirements or Illinois residents would have extra headaches in TSA lines throughout the country. The Illinois Secretary of State’s office implemented many changes, but others required legislative approval.

“Ensuring that Illinoisans can enter federal buildings and utilize the services of airports is critical for our economy and general well-being,” Link said. “It is time that we comply with the federal law and make sure all Illinoisans follow the REAL ID act.”

Senate Bill 637 would pave the way for Illinois to be in compliance with federal law by doing the three following:

1.    Require proof of lawful presence in the United States. If proof is not available the applicant for a driver’s license will be given a temporary visitors driver’s license.
2.    Bar residents from having both a driver’s license and an ID card at the same time.
3.    Limit the validity of a driver’s license or ID card to no more than eight years.

The Senate voted to pass the legislation and it now goes to the governor’s desk for final approval.

Category: Releases

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

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