Mike Simmons HeadshotDear Neighbor,

I am writing to provide you with an update. My first few weeks as your state senator were spent visiting with small businesses, health care facilities, social service agencies, food pantries, and schools across Rogers Park, Lincoln Square, Uptown, Edgewater, and West Ridge. I heard directly from mom-and-pop business owners who have weathered the pandemic, physicians and nurses making COVID-19 vaccines available to our most vulnerable neighbors, food pantry workers who risk their health every day to feed our neighbors who have lost their livelihoods through no fault of their own, and school leaders who have seen firsthand the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of our young people. I will continue to be out and about all across the 7th District in the weeks ahead to meet you and listen to the experiences of our community. And I will be in touch with you as the legislative session continues in Springfield.

 

Legislative Update

This past week, the Senate came back into session and I finished filing my first bills. My first proposal would create a $600-per-child tax credit intended to provide economic relief to our parents. Only a handful of other states have a state-level child tax credit, and my proposal would be one of the more generous in the country. If passed, this measure would work in tandem with the recently passed federal child tax credit to begin to address child poverty rates in the 7th District.

My second measure would provide health insurance to more of the uninsured by expanding Medicaid eligibility for our neighbors whose income is low, but who nonetheless earn just above the current threshold of 138% of the federal poverty line. They cannot afford to purchase health insurance on the exchanges. These are our neighbors who are in transient jobs, scraping by as gig workers, or are empty nesters who have very little income but don’t currently qualify for Medicaid. Last year nearly 900,000 people across Illinois lacked health insurance coverage. This bill would be a major first step in finishing the important work of the Affordable Care Act to provide health care for more people in our community.

I have introduced another key bill that would ensure consistent data collection for the LGBTQIA population being served by hospitals and state agencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data would help advocates address health disparities and effectively target state resources.

I look forward to these pieces of legislation being assigned to and taken up in committee. Feel free to contact my office at https://senatormikesimmons.com/contact-us if you’d like to share your ideas, your opinion on any of these bills, or any other legislation in the General Assembly.

 

Community Update: Standing with Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders

I stand with all of our neighbors and community members who are Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islanders. We have seen an increase in episodes of violence and discrimination against Asian-Americans over the last year, with the group Stop Asian American Hate reporting 3,800 incidents over the last year. Many incidents simply go unreported. White supremacy, misogyny, xenophobia, and violence will have no home in our community. I encourage you to report incidents of violence or property damage to 911 or your local police department. Incidents of discrimination and mistreatment can be reported to the Chicago Commission on Human Relations at https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/cchr.html or you may dial 312.744.4111 to file a report. 

I will always be looking for ways we can center the experiences of women of color, including Asian-American women, in my legislative work. That work includes making sure that we have a more equitable curriculum in our schools that teaches the contributions of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders throughout American history. I have co-sponsored the Teach Asian American Community History measure (the TEAACH Act), which would require that this history be taught in our schools. This work also requires more immediate efforts like ensuring reports of hate crimes against Asian-Americans are taken seriously and aggressively investigated. I will be working to ensure that hate crimes targeting members of our community are reported, investigated, and addressed promptly. I will continue to use my voice to speak out on these issues and ensure the breadth of diversity we have in the 7th Senate District is honored and celebrated at every opportunity.

 

Support Small Businesses

Finally, I’d like to ask you to please consider patronizing your local shops, restaurants, and businesses in your immediate community. The 7th Senate District is home to such a rich variety of places to get basic goods and services, including restaurants that serve delicious food from all over the world, and I encourage you to support your local small businesses at every opportunity. We will get through this pandemic together.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

Covid-19 Resources

Office Info

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1717

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
M115 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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