Link CommitteeSPRINGFIELD – A comprehensive proposal aimed at ending the stigma surrounding mental health issues among firefighters and law enforcement officers passed the Senate on Wednesday.

The legislation – House Bill 2766 – is sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

“Our brave first responders often work in traumatic environments that can be extremely stressful,” Link said. “Over time, these exposures can have an impact on the mental health of an individual. Ensuring there are services available when needed acknowledges these often tough working conditions and is vital to maintain the overall health of police officers and firefighters.”

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policefireSPRINGFIELD – Firefighters and law enforcement officers would have expanded access to mental health services under a proposal by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate recently.

“The men and women who dedicate their lives to the protection of their neighbors do so under extremely stressful situations that can have an impact on the mental health of an individual,” Link said. “Ensuring there are services available when needed acknowledges these often tough working conditions and is vital to maintain the overall health of our brave first responders.”

Link’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 730, expands access to counseling services by allowing agencies to train personnel in peer counseling and establishing a training program for law enforcement officers to recognize signs of work-related cumulative stress.

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train crossingSPRINGFIELD – Freight trains in Illinois would be required to be operated by a crew of at least two people under a safety proposal introduced by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate this week.

“Incidents across the country continue to highlight the importance of two-person crews on freight trains,” Link said. “It is simply a matter of public safety. Two-person crews can react more efficiently to mechanical failures or equipment malfunctions and can potentially save lives in a serious situation.”

Link’s measure – contained in Senate Bill 24 – requires freight trains to be operated by a crew of at least two individuals until a federal rule or law is adopted that addresses how many crew members should operate a freight train.

If passed and signed into law, Illinois would join Wisconsin, California and Arizona in enacting some form of train crew requirement.

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04122019CM0607RSPRINGFIELD – County board members and elected local governmental officials would no longer have the ability to take a salary and draw from their pension while still in office under a reform measure passed this week by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek).

“No elected official should be both serving in office while also drawing a retirement check for the work done in that capacity,” Link said. “It is a clear violation of the public trust and an integrity issue, as county board members have the ability to pass measures that could increase the retirement benefits of that board.”

Link’s proposal – contained in Senate Bill 1236 – closes a loophole that came to light after several Lake County board members took advantage of the law to draw their Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) pension while still serving on the county board.

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