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SimmonsWhiteHouseEventCHICAGO – To promote child care access and affordability, State Senator Mike Simmons took part in the White House State Legislative Convening on Tuesday, speaking on Illinois’ paid leave legislation and his proposed child tax credit.

“It was an honor to meet with White House officials and fellow Federal and State legislators today,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Working parents are struggling more than ever before, and it is time we find solutions at State and Federal levels to help provide families with affordable and accessible child care and services. I want the next generation of moms, dads, caretakers, aunts, uncles, grandparents and children to live dignified and abundant lives where they are not always struggling to meet the most basic expenses.”

During the meeting, Simmons highlighted Senate Bill 1444, which would create an Illinois Child Tax Credit for eligible low- and middle-income Illinois families. Families would receive a $700 tax credit for each child under the age of 17, benefitting joint filers earning less than $75,000 and single filers earning less than $50,000. 

“Children need to feel secure that their needs are being met,” said Simmons. “And every parent deserves to raise their children without chronic economic stress. I am proud of the recent steps forward Illinois has taken to support childcare access, and the proposals that are being considered this session, such as the state-level child tax credit I’ve introduced. The Biden Administration has made many important strides in passing policy that has provided families with relief, and I am honored to join the White House today for this timely discussion.” 

Simmons also spoke about the recent signing of the Paid Leave for All Workers Act, chief-sponsored by Illinois Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood). The Act made Illinois the third state in the U.S. to guarantee paid leave. Under the new law, employees in Illinois will be provided a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave per year that can be used for any reason. Starting on March 31, 2024, or 90 days following commencement of employment, workers can begin using their earned time off for any reason without the requirement of providing documentation to their employer.

The virtual event included White House officials Julie Chavez Rodriguez, senior advisor to the president and director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs; and Jennifer Klein, assistant to the president and director of the Gender Policy Council; as well as state legislators from Indiana, Maryland, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Washington and Virginia. 

Category: Press Releases

billsigningGOODCHICAGO – The Paid Leave for Workers Act that allows employees to take up to 40 hours of paid leave was signed into law Monday, thanks to support from State Senator Mike Simmons.

“In my People’s Legislative Council initiative, single moms from our district told me that they often struggle to get time away from work to attend their kid’s parent teacher conferences, attend sporting events, or get a sick child to the doctor,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “It is important all employees in Illinois, especially working single-parents and those with families, have the time they need to handle what is happening at home without worrying about missing a paycheck.”

Senate Bill 208, passed in January in the 102nd General Assembly, creates the Paid Leave for Workers Act, which provides employees in Illinois with a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave which can be used for any reason within a 12-month period. Employees may use their paid leave starting on the 90th day of employment. Senator Simmons was proud to be a chief-cosponsor of the legislation.

“I am thrilled to see this legislation being signed into law today,” said Simmons. “The Paid Leave for Workers Act will help everyday people balance family time with work.”

The measure corresponds with another proposal Senator Simmons sponsored in the 102nd General Assembly, the Single Parents’ Bill of Rights. That bill would allow employees who are single parents to claim up to 40 hours of unpaid time off of work to care for their child’s needs. With the signing of SB 208, all employees, including single parents, will now have 40 hours of paid time off.      

Senate Bill 208 was signed into law by the governor on Monday, March 13.  

Category: Press Releases

chairhumanrightsSPRINGFIELD – To support returning citizens with outstanding fees, State Senator Mike Simmons presented legislation to the Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety on Thursday.

“I am dedicated to serving all 7th District constituents, which includes returning citizens,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “SB2175 provides a returning citizen with the opportunity and time to establish stability in their life and take care of basic human needs, such as finding gainful employment, housing and healthcare before owing fees from prior criminal proceedings.”

Senate Bill 2175 prohibits courts from ordering the payment of outstanding fees, fines, taxes or any costs arising from criminal proceedings for the first year after a person returns from incarceration. Currently, Illinois does not have a law striking fees for a certain amount of days post-confinement. However, under the Unified Code of Corrections, the court may revoke a fine if good cause is shown.

“This legislation will address a cruel cycle where returning citizens are expected to start over, but already have the cards stacked against them. Successful rehabilitation means giving returning citizens practical support as they reintegrate into the community,” Simmons said. “This bill does not erase fees, but rather provides a reasonable amount of time so they can get back on their feet.”

Senate Bill 2175 passed out of the Senate Special Committee on Criminal Law and Public Safety on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons1709SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons presented legislation to the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Wednesday that would increase the availability and accessibility of mental health resources for students.

“Young people today are faced with unprecedented mental health challenges exacerbated by social media, toxic stress, and underlying trauma,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This legislation will help guide schools in initiating and establishing mental health infrastructure within schools that currently lack it. This also destigmatizes mental health support for youth, and provides access to mental health care and resources for students in a way that is practical and accessible - at their school, during the school day.” 

Senate Bill 1709 would require the Illinois Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education to provide technical assistance for mental health care during school days to help increase the access students have to mental health services and information. 

“There is a critical gap in the mental health support systems that we offer our youth,” Simmons said. “This bill will address that gap, provide assistance and make resources more accessible to our state’s schools and students.”

Senate Bill 1709 passed out of the Senate Behavioral and Mental Health Committee on Wednesday and now heads to the Senate floor.

Category: Press Releases

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

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
Stratton Building
Section F, Office G
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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