3Link FBSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) released the following statement after the Illinois Senate’s passage of a state budget for Fiscal Year 2021:

“These are uncertain times, but what we passed this evening is a budget that keeps essential services available for Illinoisans in the midst of a pandemic. 

“Under this budget, we’re taking care of the things we need to keep our state running. For instance, we’re fully meeting our funding obligations to retain stability for our pension system. We’re also fully funding our public schools, ensuring that no school district will receive less funding than it did last year. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has been difficult for everyone, but I’m glad we have a new budget that retains critical services Illinois residents will need to help them cope with the pandemic.”

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votebymail2 052220

SPRINGFIELD - A measure championed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) to help voters participate safely in the November 2020 General Election passed the Illinois Senate Friday.

“There’s no guarantee that voters won’t still be at risk for contracting COVID-19 when they come to the polls in November,” Link said. “We have a responsibility to put measures in place to keep them safe.”

Senate Bill 1863 expands Illinois’ vote-by-mail program for the 2020 General Election. Under the legislation, anyone who has voted in the last two years will receive a vote-by-mail application. Voters registering online may also automatically request a vote-by-mail ballot rather than having to apply. 

The measure also establishes Election Day, November 3, 2020 as a holiday for Illinois schools and universities. Some schools and universities will be used as polling locations and will be properly cleaned before students and staff return. 

The legislation also allows election authorities to establish a curb-side voting program and extends early voting hours at polling locations.

“If this virus is still present in the fall, we could see a lot of people staying home from the polls,” Link said.  “This legislation will help ensure everyone has a way to exercise their democratic right.”

Senate Bill 1863 passed the Senate 37-19. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

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CommitteeINDIAN CREEK – State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) is highlighting new guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health allowing dental providers to resume routine care and encouraging residents to donate personal protective equipment to local dental offices.

“It’s critical that dental care remains available in the safest possible conditions,” Link said. “I’m glad to see that dentists will now be able to provide the everyday care that Illinoisans need.”

According to IDPH guidelines, oral health providers should consider their patients’ health care needs, asses the risks and benefits of procedures, and appropriately screen patients for COVID-19. Patients must be symptom free and have their temperature taken. Dental professionals should also use PPE and take other precautions to prevent potential spread of COVID-19. 

Early in the pandemic, dental professionals gave up their PPE to support hospitals, first responders and nursing homes. They now face challenges acquiring the equipment they need to operate safely. Link is encouraging residents help out by donating any extra PPE they may have.

“It’s critical that as these dental offices reopen, they’re able to do so in a way that prioritizes the health of patients and employees,” Link said. “If you have unneeded protective equipment, I urge you to consider donating it to a local dental office.”

More details on the IDPH guidelines are available here

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Link floorWAUKEGAN – A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility in Waukegan is now open to area residents, State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) announced.

“It remains critical that we continue to test as many individuals as possible to help us better understand the presence of this virus in Lake County and help limit its spread,” Link said. “If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, I highly encourage you to stop by this new site and get tested.”

The new Waukegan testing site is located at 2161 Northwestern Avenue in Waukegan and will be open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. while supplies last.

All individuals experiencing COVID-like symptoms are encouraged to seek testing. Testing is also available for the following individuals regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms:

  • Health care workers
  • First responders
  • Employees of correctional facilities
  • Individuals exposed to confirmed COVID-19 patients
  • Employees that support critical infrastructure (grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, restaurants, public utilities, factories, childcare and sanitation)
  • Individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions

People seeking tests must be seated at a functioning window and are not permitted to exit their vehicles for the safety of testing personnel. Testing is free, but individuals will be asked to show photo identification and a health care employee or first responder identification, if applicable. 

For a full list of testing sites in Illinois and for contact information and guidelines on eligibility for testing, visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/testing-sites

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