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Senator Terry Link News

Link: If striking teachers aren’t getting paid, neither should administrators

Link-flagWith the Waukegan teachers strike headed for a fourth week, State Senator Terry Link said he’s looking into proposing a state law that would force administrators to go without pay whenever schools shut down because of contract disputes.

Waukegan School District 60 teachers have been on strike since Oct. 2. Negotiations have stalled, resulting in school closures for 17,000 students.

“Perhaps administrators would be more interested in resolving this situation if they had more skin in the game,” said Link, a Waukegan Democrat. “Superintendents shouldn’t collect their salaries for showing up and turning on the lights when the classrooms are empty.”

Read more: Link: If striking teachers aren’t getting paid, neither should administrators

 

Link honored as Environmental Champion

IEC-2014-LinkIn a time when it seems that doing the right thing environmentally may not align with doing the profitable thing, the Illinois Environmental Council acts as a guiding light. Every year, the organization awards top legislators with the “Environmental Champion - 100% Scorecard” award and places them on their environmental scorecard. Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) was one of the recipients this year.

“It is an honor to receive this award from the Illinois Environmental Council,” Link said. “While our job as legislators is to work for the people of this great state, if we didn’t also do our part to look after the environment of Illinois the people would wind up in some sorry shape.”

In order to receive the honor, legislators needed to vote for 11 pieces of legislation that the IEC deemed key to their environmental goals. Legislators who did not receive 100 percent awards needed to vote in favor of at least eight of the ten. Those bills for 2014 include:

  • HB5657, which sought to change regulations for vendors at farmer’s markets, allowing them to sell in multiple counties with greater ease.
  • HB4227 streamlines requirements for electronics recyclers, making it easy to comply with the Electronic Products Recycling Act.
  • HB2427, which authorizes a one-time $30 million supplemental procurement from the Renewable Energy Resources Fund for solar energy.
  • SB2727 bans plastic microbeads from use in facial scrubs and body washes.
  • SB2780 which creates funding for green stormwater infrastructure and pollution prevention projects.

While not one of the bills on the scorecard, Link sponsored SB2928 in an effort to keep prescription drugs out of Lake County’s water system by creating a drug disposal pilot program in that area.

"Senator Link has been a constant advocate for the environment in Springfield throughout his career,” said Jen Walling, the IEC’s executive director. “This year, he did excellent work to protect water from pollution from pharmaceuticals and also was a leader on renewable energy. I am pleased to congratulate him on his perfect record this year."

   

Link's campus smoking ban a breath of fresh air for Illinois colleges

campus-smoke-banWAUKEGAN – A new ban on tobacco use on college campuses that passed the General Assembly in the spring has been signed into law by the governor’s office. The measure, Senate Bill 2202, was sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan).

 The new law was introduced as a supplement to the existing Smoke Free Illinois Act of 2008. That measure blocked the use of tobacco products within public buildings and within 15 feet of entrances to those buildings.

 “While the ability to smoke cigarettes and other tobacco products is the right of the individual, I don’t believe non-smoking individuals should have to suffer,” Senator Link said. “Second-hand smoke has been proven to be just as dangerous and this new law will help keep non-smokers safe from damaging tobacco smoke.”

 Smoking within dormitories and school buildings was banned under the 2008 law. Under the new law, any building that is owned or operated by the college or university is responsible for ensuring compliance. Further, open air areas of college campuses are now deemed to be smoke free under the new law. The state-funded colleges and universities will be required to set up a “Smoke-free campus” task force by December 31, 2014.

 SB2202 was signed into law on Sunday and becomes effective July 1, 2015 for all state-funded colleges and universities.

   

Link: Waukegan Harbor cleanup successful

Link-flagGood news for Waukegan residents: Waukegan Harbor is officially off of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. The location has been on the list since 1987, but recent cleanup efforts have removed the dangerous contaminants from the harbor and that area of Lake Michigan.

“Waukegan Harbor should be a point of pride and beauty for residents, but unfortunately for a long time it has been riddled with waste that keeps people from enjoying it,” Link said. “I am proud that finally the harbor has been removed from the list of areas deemed concerning and can now be a source of fun and leisure for all area residents.”

Area dune and swale habitats have seen additional cleanup efforts since the early 1990s. The City of Waukegan has worked tirelessly in an effort to offer the best possible marina and beach areas for residents while removing sewer overflows from the area. State and federal agencies assisted in the removal of PCB-contaminants as well as additional toxic elements.

For more information, visit:

http://www.epa.gov/region5/cleanup/outboardmarine/

http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/aoc/waukegan/

http://www.glri.us/

   

Link: Accessibility improvements to homes will be exempt

Link-assessments-040114SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) is sponsoring legislation that will exempt homeowners from increased assessments if they make improvements for accessibility.

“This issue was brought to me by a local resident who remodeled her bathroom to make it safer, she added hand rails and a bench to help prevent a fall. However, because she applied for all appropriate permits, the assessor reassessed the value of her home, and her property taxes went up,” said Link. “It is unfair to punish our seniors and returning veterans who may need to make their homes more accessible.”

Senate Bill 343 states that any improvements a homeowner makes to their property to help improve accessibility, such as adding a wheelchair ramp, retrofitting a bathroom or putting in a lift to help someone get up stairs, will not increase the property’s assessed value and therefore not increase their property taxes.

This measure passed the Senate unanimously and now goes to the House of Representatives for their consideration.

   

Link works to ensure safe prescription drug disposal

Link-022514 js 0278State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) is sponsoring legislation that will help keep prescription drugs off the streets, away from children and out of the water supply.

“Although there is a collection program counties can take part in statewide, Lake County does not receive any funding for disposal of these pharmaceutical drugs,” said Link.  “It is left up to local police departments to use their own resources to collect, transport and store these prescription drugs for up to six months. Unfortunately, many don’t have the financial means to do this.”

A lack of storage space has discouraged smaller police agencies in the Lake County region from participating in the statewide drug collection program. When these drugs are turned into police departments, it cuts down on the number of these drugs on the streets and accidental overdoses that can occur when children get a hold of these drugs. In addition, this program helps to keep people from flushing the drugs down our sewers, which can lead to increased levels of drugs turning up in the water supply.

Senate Bill 2928 creates the Lake County Prescription Drug Disposal Pilot Program, which will facilitate the collection, transportation, and disposal of pharmaceutical drugs throughout the county. There is also corresponding funding for the program, Senate Bill 3116.

This legislation is an initiative of the Lake County Underage Drinking and Drug Prevention Task Force. Currently, Lake County has 13 prescription drug collection sites, with 12 of the boxes located in police departments. Lake County has been very successful at collecting prescription drugs, taking in around 8,000 pounds of medication in 2012.

   
Assistant Majority Leader Terry Link

link-2014-150

30th District
Assistant Majority Leader

Years served:
1997 - Present

Committee assignments: Executive; Financial Institutions (Vice-Chairperson); Local Government; Transportation; Committee of
the Whole; Subcommittee on Gaming (Sub-Chairperson); Special Comm. on Watercraft Safety (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Partner, Lake County Industrial Equipment; born March 20, 1947, in Waukegan; attended Stout State University; married (wife, Susan McCall Link), has four children.