Simmons and Caucus rSPRINGFIELD – To support Illinois homecare workers who endured a great burden during the pandemic, Senate Democrats are proposing a measure to deliver a $1 per hour raise to bolster the homecare workforce.

“It is our duty as lawmakers to ensure that our seniors are taken care of and our responsibility to provide for the workers who care for them,” Simmons said. “A stable, consistent homecare workforce is vital for this entire state.”

As of 2022, Illinois currently has approximately 100,000 seniors that require homecare assistance from a professional. According to SEIU, the state’s leading service employee labor group, the population of people over the age of 65 will grow by one third by 2025.

Simmons is spearheading the measure in the senate to provide an increase in wages to homecare workers to help build a durable and robust homecare workforce.

“When you look at the turnover rates of this industry, we cannot not do this,” Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) said in Thursday’s press conference. “If we do not have a robust workforce, seniors will be forced to go into a nursing home which is four times more expensive on average compared to at-home care.”

“We are here to ensure a robust an equitable economy for us all,” said SEIU-HCII President Greg Kelley at Thursday’s press conference. “I am optimistic that we have taken the first steps toward recognizing the contributions of our health care workers, who we have all called essential workers.”

Senate Bill 4030 awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Remote LearningSPRINGFIELD – To provide students in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections a chance to continue to earn an education while serving their time, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to allow students to attend classes remotely.

“I want the youth of our state, regardless of their situation, to be able to access a quality education,” Simmons said. “Allowing students in custody to continue their education will give them a better chance at having a positive outcome when re-entering society.”

Simmons’ measure would create a pilot program to allow remote learning for students of Consuella B. York Alternative High School that are in the custody of the IDOC. If successful, the program could roll out in other alternative schools across Illinois. California currently has programs that allow inmates to work towards their Bachelor’s Degree. Research from the Cal Matters Organization shown such programs have contributed to improving opportunities and lowered recidivism rates.

“The goal of any incarceration program is to reform people of past actions and provide opportunities for education and career placement,” Simmons said. “This program will provide such opportunities and will provide youth a second chance.”

House Bill 5016 passed the Senate Education Committee and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons KidsSPRINGFIELD – To better protect the interests of children with incarcerated parents in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

“The youth that fall into this tragic category are in some of the greatest need of help,” Simmons said. “They experience untreated trauma that hinder their unrealized potential in life.”

The Commission, housed within the Department of Human Services, shall be responsible for implementing and coordinating the recommendations of the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents with state agencies. The task force, created in 2020 will propose the changes, and the Commission will work with agencies on how to properly implement said changes.

Children with incarcerated parents are more likely than other children to experience poor health and unmet health care needs, as well as poor eating and sleep behaviors. Children with incarcerated parents are also associated with greater mental health symptoms, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, lower educational attainment, and higher rates of aggressive behavior.

“I hope this work will bring forth the necessary change at the agency level for the youth affected,” Simmons said. “We focus a great deal of the person who commits the crime and not enough at the collateral effect of people connected to the situation.”

House Bill 5525 passed the Senate State Government Committee and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Men rSPRINGFIELD – To better inform and raise awareness for health issues that particularly effect men, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the division of men’s health within the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Health Promotion.

“We know that men are less likely to go see a doctor or other healthcare professional when they are not feeling right,” Simmons said. “They may end up missing their body’s signs of sickness and eventually progress to disease – especially if they are not educated on signs to lookout for.”

Life expectancy of men remains more than five years less than women, and men lead in nine of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Simmons’ measure would raise awareness of health issues particular to men that are not currently or adequately addressed by IPDH, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, smoking cessation, heart disease, and mental health.

“This measure will raise awareness of health issues millions of men suffer from each day,” Simmons said. “I am proud to help usher in a new era of communication and prevention for men across the state.”

House Bill 4589 passed the Senate Healthcare Access and Availability Committee and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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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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