General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

March is coming to a close, and I wanted to send out this newsletter to wrap up this month’s community updates. I hope you and your families are all doing well whether you are partaking in the holy month of Ramadan, preparing for Easter this Sunday, fasting for Fasika, celebrating Holi Festival of Colors, or simply spending time with family and friends. We’ve also included a GoFundMe link for a pillar in our community, Ethiopian Diamond Restaurant, an Edgewater family-owned restaurant that is recovering from challenges brought on by the pandemic.

On the legislative side, budget hearings are underway and as a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Committee, I attended a hearing Wednesday morning in Chicago at the Bilandic Building. Some of the bills discussed included SB3593 which appropriates $40 million to the Illinois Department of Human Services for the Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Professional Support Grant Program. Of note, I asked for a report on the number of Black-led and the number of LGBTQ+ - led organizations that are recipients of these grants, as culturally competent care is consequential for many communities across our state. We also discussed SB3626 which would create a collaboration between child care and early childhood programs (such as Head Start) and SB3399 which would provide a $3 per hour wage increase for Direct Support Professionals (DSP’s) that work in residential and day programs and service coordination agencies. We also heard SB3462 which establishes a Guaranteed Income Task Force. Hearings like this are crucial as lawmakers invite stakeholders to provide input on potential budgetary appropriations.

Next week, I will send out a newsletter more focused on legislative updates, including info on additional bills I’ve authored and details regarding other bills I’ve co-sponsored (at many constituents’ requests!) and am excited to champion when I return to Springfield in early April. Until then, please take a look at the community updates below.

I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you around the district.



Mike Simmons
State Senator | 7th District

 To read my full newsletter, click here.