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

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.

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Category: Releases


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