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."

Category: Releases

linktWAUKEGAN – With 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.”

Link said he has asked Senate staff to look into drafting legislation. His idea would prohibit tax dollars from being used to pay administrative salaries during a teachers strike when educators are going without pay.

Link said Waukegan teachers are among the lowest paid in the state. The administrators are not.

“I think we all want this resolved quickly so our children can get back to learning,” Link said. “I think we could prevent these types of situations if both sides had a financial stake in the process.”

Link said he would like to be able to have legislation ready for the upcoming fall session in November or the spring session, which starts in January.

Category: Releases

CHICAGO – In response to concerns and complaints about potential abuse of nursing home residents, Illinois State Senator Terry Link (D-Waukegan) is sponsoring legislation that would put video cameras in nursing homes and assisted living centers to protect residents and provide their families peace of mind.

“Our society has cameras installed in a myriad locations to deter negative and abusive behavior in those places, so why not where we entrust our family in the care of others,” Senator Link asked. “In this day and age, it is a simple question of a good practice to ensure consumer protection from a few bad apples.”

The new law was introduced as a response to complaints across Illinois regarding abuse and poor care of family members who are currently in the care of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. A recent law was passed in Maryland after a hidden camera was installed in a relative’s room and the footage confirmed the suspected abuse of the patient.

As many as five states have already passed similar legislation. However it is currently unclear as to where the support of health insurance companies and the agencies covering these facilities lies as no bill has been drafted yet.

Senator Link was present on Monday at a press conference held by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. With a number of months before the spring legislative session, lawmakers and interested parties will have ample time to hash out the details of any upcoming bill.

Category: Releases

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.

Category: Releases


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