Simmons Lead Floor rSPRINGFIELD - To protect communities across Illinois from the deadly impact of lead, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to strengthen lead mitigation procedures.

“Virtually every community across the state is affected by lead in our water supply,” said Simmons. “This bill provides a systemic response to a problem that is systemic in nature, is decades in the making, and often does the most injury to Black and Brown communities.”

House Bill 4369 would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to follow up on lead mitigation notices by carrying out inspections to ensure the work has been completed. The current law merely permits an inspection, while this legislation will require and enforce lead mitigation efforts.

Lead is a heavy metal and suspected carcinogen that was frequently used in paint, plumbing materials, and many other items before the 1980s. Today, it is mostly found in aging water pipes, contaminated soil, and peeling paint found on windows, baseboards, trim, and doors. No amount of lead exposure is considered safe for children or adults.

“Removing lead from all housing and facilities is long overdue and is critical towards overall health equity and racial equity across Illinois,” Simmons said. “I am hopeful we can continue to work together on this systemic solution that ensures the people of Illinois can have access to clean drinking water.”

House Bill 4369 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Mens Health Floor 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 and awaits further consideration.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Alt School Floor rSPRINGFIELD – To allow students in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections the opportunity 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 thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate for supporting this legislation today. This removes a systemic barrier for youth in custody who ought to be able to continue their education. We are giving them a better chance of finding employment and thriving when re-entering their communities”

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 show such programs have contributed to improving opportunities and lowered recidivism rates.

“This is a great step toward shoring up the gaps that exist in serving the needs of those who are incarcerated. Doing so will help buttress our overall efforts to lower recidivism rates and increase public safety.”

House Bill 5016 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

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Category: Press Releases

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

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(773) 769-1717

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