Call for Volunteers
Hey 7th District!

The summer is upon us and with that comes a large array of opportunities to get involved and engage in all the communities across the 7th district! I am always looking to expand our team of volunteers, and we would love to have you join the team! If you are interested in helping me continue to engage in community events and outreach throughout the summer, please sign up to join the team by completing the form below. My office will contact you with further details about opportunities to get involved in the 7th district! Action with my team or I could include anything from attending block parties to answering phone calls or even walking in the Chicago Pride Parade! Sign up Here!

Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month

More than 6 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s. This Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, I want to highlight ways to improve care and preventative strategies to spread awareness on ways to end this devastating disease. If you or a loved one needs any help in accessing state resources in combating these conditions, please visit the Illinois Department of Aging’s website, and do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions. Additionally, the Alzheimer’s Association is always working to support people with dementia and their families. Learn more at www.alz.org.

State Farm Letter with LGBTQ Colleagues

Last Thursday, I was proud to join my LGBTQ colleagues in the General Assembly in condemning State Farm for pulling its support for The GenderCool Project. This organization provides LGBTQ+ affirming books in classrooms, and State Farm’s decision to step back from supporting this important work while claiming to stand with our community is hypocritical and reeks of insincerity in light of the repressive attacks we’re seeing around the county on LGBTQ+ communities. This Pride Month, we will not allow them to market themselves as inclusive and allies of queer communities until the company reverses this abrupt decision.

Learn more about our statement here.

State of Uptown 2022 Recap

I recently attended Uptown United and Uptown Chamber of Commerce’s State of Uptown 2022 and had an informative discussion on the state of affordable housing, public safety, and local businesses in the community. It was great to connect again with some of Uptown’s key leaders, including the inspiring Jackie Taylor of Black Ensemble Theater. I look forward to working with all of these leaders, aldermen, and Representative Harris further to help continue to keep Uptown strong in our district! Big thank you to Sarah Wilson and Greg Carroll of Uptown Chamber of Commerce for running such a great event, and thank you to Furama for serving some delicious food!

Peterson Elementary Visit

I was so glad to visit Peterson Elementary in the North Park section of our district last week for their career fair and speak with some of the students as they planned for high school and beyond. We talked about recent school shootings, a typical day in the life of an elected official, how exceptionally diverse our neighborhoods are in this part of the state, and how many options they have for their futures. It was an inspiring visit, and I want to give a hearty thank you to Principal Nieves, Assistant Principal Hurley, and all the teachers and students who welcomed me to your classrooms!

Constituent Museum Pass

With the school year coming to an end and so much extra free time, what better way to enjoy the summer than by exploring Chicago’s world-class museums! I have partnered with Museums in the Park to provide residents of our district with a museum passport that grants complimentary General Admission at the following institutions:

  • Adler Planetarium
  • The Art Institute of Chicago
  • Brookfield Zoo/CZS
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Chicago Children’s Museum
  • Chicago History Museum
  • DuSable Museum of African American History
  • The Field Museum
  • Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center
  • Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museum of Mexican Art
  • National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
  • John G. Shedd Aquarium

How it works:
The Constituent Education Resource Card provides admission for the cardholder plus three guests.
The Resource Card can be rented directly from my district office. Contact my district office at 773- 769-1717 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for additional details.
You must be a resident of the 7th district to rent the pass.

SCAM ALERT: Medicare Scams Notice

Unfortunately, I have been getting many phone calls from constituents questioning the legitimacy of supposed medicare eligibility documents they are receiving in the mail. Below are a few examples of mail that is NOT government-affiliated. If you ever have any questions about the legitimacy of any medicare-related mail you are receiving, please give my office a call at 773-769-1717 or reach out via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. My team would be happy to help you figure out if the piece of mail is legitimate.

Resources for Reporting Medicare / Medicaid Fraud or Scams

Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Information (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services)
1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) TTY: 1-800-377-4950

Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
Investigates long-term care facility complaints related to Medicaid Fraud, Abuse and/or Neglect
To report Medicaid Fraud, Abuse or Neglect, call 1-888-557-9503

Senior HelpLine (Illinois Department of Aging)
Toll-free: 1-800-252-8966
For deaf and speech-impaired communication over the telephone, dial Illinois Relay at 711.
Phone: 217-524-6911

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

Indigenous Edgewater Historical Society and Museum

Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff if you have questions or would like to voice your opinion about legislative or budget issues. I would like to reiterate that our office is here to help. We are a non-judgment, welcoming place where 7th district residents are encouraged to contact us to request constituent services.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

Category: Newsletters

Dear Neighbor,

We’ve wrapped up the spring legislative session! We passed a historic budget that includes a provision to expand the earned income tax credit, which I personally fought hard for. Alongside the budget, I was able to secure the passage of 10 pieces of legislation covering a range of issue areas including youth mental health. I also helped drive the passage of several bills as a chief cosponsor including groundbreaking gun safety legislation and a Medicaid expansion. The Senate finished its final session going late into the night and adjourning at 3 am! 

 

Here are some highlights from the budget:

$1.83 Billion in Tax Relief for Working Families

  • Permanently expands the earned-income tax credit for those currently eligible– putting an additional $105 million per year back into the pockets of low-income households
  • Expands eligibility for the earned-income tax credit to adults 18-24 years old, ITIN filers, and seniors 65 and older
  • Provides direct checks to working families: $50 per individual and $100 per child, up to three children per family
  • Helps teachers buy supplies for their classroom through a tax credit up to $500
  • Back to school tax relief on school clothes and materials for families and teachers – saving consumers $50 million
  • Suspends the tax on groceries for one year – saving consumers $400 million
  • Freezes the motor fuel tax for six months – saving consumers $70 million
  • Doubles the property tax rebate – up to $300 per household

We also secured a wage increase for 60,000 of our homecare workers who often care for seniors and help ensure seniors can remain living in their communities. My bill, SB4030, originally called for a $1.56 increase and was partially included in the final budget providing these workers a 70 cent an hour pay increase. We will continue to fight for pay equity for our frontline workers who do the hardest jobs and are absolutely indispensable and deserve a dignified wage. 

Supporting Arts, Theater and Music Venues, Restaurants, Breweries, and Small Businesses – All Key Wins for Our District

The budget also includes $50 million for new grants for arts organizations, music and theater venues, and an additional $50 million for restaurants, bars, and breweries. License fees for bars and restaurants are also being suspended. 

And it supports small businesses by providing $16 million for community navigators for technical assistance, and funding increases for the creation of low-interest loans for small businesses looking to grow or expand and that need access to capital. 

And the budget allocates $20 million for grants to attract and retain businesses in Illinois – encouraging people to start businesses here in Illinois and, in turn, create jobs – and another $350,000 for job training and employee development. It also includes $50 million for the Employer Training Investment Program -- $5 million of which will be used for the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment’s small business support efforts.

 

Paying Down Debt and Fulfilling Pension Promises

The budget meets the state’s full pension commitment while adding $200 million to pay down debt, bringing the total pension payment over what is required to $500 million dollars and saving taxpayers more than $1.8 billion. To save for an unforeseen crisis and protect the budget from future expenses, the Rainy Day Fund is appropriated $1 billion.

 

Investing in Education

The FY 23 budget invests in our children’s future by appropriating nearly $600 million in early childhood education and keeps our commitment to fully funding K-12 schools by dedicating an additional $350 million to fund the evidence-based funding formula.

College applicants would also see an additional $122 million for the needs-based MAP grant program – a total of $601 million in assistance would be available. This investment will make financial aid available to at least 24,000 more students and increase the maximum grant award to $8,508 – which is nearly half a year’s worth of tuition at a state university.

Prioritizing Mental Health

The budget puts $5 million in funding for Crisis Response services for individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis and call into the 9-8-8 hotline. Additionally, it calls for an increase of $50 million for addiction treatment services.

 

Legislative Updates

I am proud to share that I have ten bills heading to the governor’s desk for signing. The bills are: 

  • HB 4369 : Mandates lead inspections during lead abatement activities, adding enforcement teeth so we can reverse a decades old public health issue 
  • SB 4028 : Requires all Illinois K-12 schools to instruct on how and where K-12 youth can access mental health resources; sets up a diverse statewide Student Metal Health Council inclusive of queer youth voices and youth voices from across the diaspora. The council will recommend systemic changes to the mental health system for state legislators to act on.  
  • HB 4430: Groundbreaking legislation that will give those at risk of or recently exposed to HIV the option to access PreP and PEP medications at a local pharmacy. This is a big step in ending the HIV epidemic, ensuring those lacking health insurance or who don’t feel safe in medical settings to access life-saving medications. 
  • SB 702: Creates a statewide Senior Residents’ Council which will review the impact of COVID-19 on senior housing, living arrangements, and overall livability. The council will recommend formal policy and program changes ranging from improving outreach to seniors to addressing food insecurity. 
  • SB 3865: Removes the word “alien” from all Illinois state statutes, programs, etc., in reference to noncitizens and undocumented immigrants. We are a sanctuary state and a district of immigrants. The word alien has got to go. 
  • SB3136: Helps those who are houseless or housing insecure access health care by automatically re-enrolling them in Medicaid annually if they have no income, and ensuring at least 12 months of continuous coverage for those whose income fluctuates (especially helpful for our neighbors in between gigs or who have multiple sources of very small income). They deserve consistent and reliable health care! This bill was included in the Medicaid omnibus HB4343
  • HB 4589: Creates a Division of Men’s Health within the Illinois Department of Public Health, which will focus on preventing chronic diseases that reduce life expectancy for men. This agency will work alongside the existing Division of Women’s Health and Family Services. 
  • HB 5016: Provides remote learning for incarcerated young adults in custody. This will help give these folks the chance to complete a degree and better position themselves to re-enter their communities and secure work. 
  • HB 5201: Establishes an Agricultural Equity Commission which will identify ways to bring equity to the agricultural sector across Illinois and may look at issues such as land ownership for black farmers, economic opportunities for growers, and even health, food safety, and pay equity for black and brown agricultural workers. The commission will include socially disadvantaged farmers, business, and policy experts to begin to rectify historical injustices in this space. 
  • HB 5525: Creates the Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents within the Department of Human Services to begin implementing recommendations from a two year working group co-led by Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton that identified scores of policies and program improvements to better serve children whose parents are incarcerated, including ensuring they can maintain a healthy relationship with their parents. 

I also am proud to have helped secure passage of HB4383, groundbreaking legislation that outlaws untraceable “ghost guns” in Illinois. These are guns that are often assembled from parts purchased online and when the guns are recovered, they lack serial numbers. There were 455 ghost guns recovered in Chicago in 2021 alone. We absolutely need to get them out of our communities and this was a key step in driving down gun violence.

 

Sen. Simmons’ Community Event

Join us Saturday, April 30th for our Northside Resource Day Event at Swift Elementary. The Secretary of State's Office is joining us from 10:00am - 2:00pm and will be offering a variety of services for State IDs and Driver's Licenses (no Real ID services will be offered).

You can find more information about fees and required documentation you will need to provide at here.

 

7th District Candid Photo!

7th District Candid! Bowmanville garden is a charm every time and sits next to Rosehill Cemetery, itself a wonder.

 

Sen. Simmons’ Community Resources 

 

Illinois has received approval from the U.S. Department of the Treasury on its Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund (ILHAF) program to provide assistance to Illinois homeowners who have struggled to pay their mortgage due to COVID-19. The state is now accepting applications from homeowners for grants of up to $30,000 to eliminate or reduce past-due mortgage and property tax payments. Apply here 

Cook County is seeking to award $65 million in grants for programs designed to prevent and reduce gun violence in Chicago and Cook County. These gun violence prevention grants hope to fund a variety of violence prevention strategies including mental health and employment services, street outreach and case management as well as other programs which support residents at-risk of being involved in community violence. These grants are part of nearly $1 billion of federal funding the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act. Applications for proposals under $1.5 million are due by May 9. For more information visit here.

The Illinois Works Pre-Apprenticeship Program seeks to increase diversity in the building trades by expanding pre-apprenticeship skills training in underserved communities. Those interested in enrolling in training should fill out the interest form here.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me or my staff if you have questions or would like to voice your opinion about legislative or budget issues. I would like to reiterate that our office is here to help. We are a non-judgment, welcoming place where 7th district residents are encouraged to contact us to request constituent services.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 if we can help you with anything.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District  

Category: Newsletters

Dear Neighbor,

The last two weeks have been highly productive. I secured passage of several equity-focused bills that will lead to better health outcomes and well-being for many underserved people. 

Legislative Updates

             Sen. Simmons during Senate floor debate on HB4430

Read more ...

Category: Newsletters

Dear Friend,

The legislative session is well underway, and last week I secured passage of three equity-focused bills out of the Senate! All three came directly from our People’s Legislative Councils, or from constituent phone calls and meetings. I am so proud that we consistently lift up the voices of residents of the 7th District, and we will continue to take a participatory approach to introducing and passing legislation. Your eagerness to participate and communicate with our district office has made it clear that residents' voices matter.

I would like to reiterate that our office is here to help. We are a non-judgment, welcoming place where 7th District residents are encouraged to contact us to request constituent services or to voice their opinions about legislative issues.

The Senate will reconvene next week. I will continue asking thoughtful questions in legislative committees, researching each bill under review, and working to ensure we produce quality and equitable legislation.
 
Continue reading for information on COVID-19 resources, my upcoming community town hall, and other community resources you or those you love may need.

Read more ...

Category: Newsletters

Covid-19 Resources

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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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