simmons hb3262gSPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker gave his annual Budget and State of the State addresses Wednesday, after which State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

“I am pleased to see that this budget proposal recommends $70 million in appropriations for the new 9-8-8 hotline crisis response services for our neighbors who are living with chronic mental health challenges. This is one piece of a larger set of systemic changes that must take place soon to address the unprecedented toll on mental health caused in part by the pandemic and by chronic economic injustice and violence.”

“It’s also reassuring to see that the budget provides $240 million for violence prevention through the Reimagine Public Safety Act.  Proactive community-led public safety strategies are being deployed by grassroots organizations within the district I represent, however we need to dramatically increase the funding available for these proven programs to scale up violence reduction efforts in my district and across the state. I am also happy to see that this budget will fund the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention so that we can get guns off our streets and save lives.”

“Our constituents deserve much needed economic relief from the hardships of the past two years.  I am proud to highlight the one-year holiday from sales taxes on groceries as part of the Illinois Family Relief Plan in the Governor’s proposed budget. Yet, this relief should go a lot further.”

“That is why I introduced Senate Bill 2132 to establish a $600 tax credit for single parents and working families who struggle to survive below the median income line and who have carried the brunt of economic trauma from the pandemic. I will continue to push for more relief, especially for our single parents, through the child tax credit and the Single Parents Bill of Rights, Senate Bill 4040.” 

“I appreciate the appropriations from the Governor’s office and I look forward to continuing to negotiate these measures, which I believe are absolutely essential for the people of Illinois.”  

Category: Press Releases

SimmonsHB1063Springfield- In an effort to support single working parents, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) initiated a measure that will allow them to claim unpaid time off from work to support their child's needs.

“Single parents deserve the same rights and protections as parents who have partners,” said Simmons. “When I had the opportunity to meet with a group of these parents, many of them talked about the need for time off from work to meet with their children’s teachers or tend to other well-being needs of their kids.”

Senate Bill 4040 would allow employees who are single parents to take either five days or up to 40 hours of unpaid time off to care for a child’s needs- provided that the employees give their employers a sufficient period of notice. Needs include education, child care, or any duty a single parent may reasonably be responsible for. 

Additionally, the measure would prevent an employer from discriminating in any way against an employee because they happen to be a single parent. 

“One out of three households in my district are headed by single parents,” said Simmons. “I feel it is critical that my legislative work this spring should address their concerns about how to balance parental responsibilities with their work.”

The measure originated from a people’s legislative council that Simmons held with a group of single parents in 2021. The measure awaits a committee hearing.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Mike Simmons Springfield- In an effort to remove a barrier to full inclusion for immigrant communities in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is championing a measure that removes the use of “alien” in any Illinois statute when referring to people who have mixed statuses and referring to commerce outside of Illinois and the country.

“As a proud son of a first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia, I am happy to support building community by assisting in removing barriers to access much needed resources,” Simmons said. “I want Illinois to send a clear message that we welcome immigrants and that we are working to eliminate the historic barriers that many of these communities have faced.”

Senate Bill 3865 would remove the use of "alien" in any Illinois statute when referring to people who have mixed statuses and referring to commerce outside of Illinois and the country.  Eliminating references to “alien” in Illinois law would remove a regressive and outdated legal term and symbolize the full inclusion of immigrant communities in Illinois. Similar legislation has recently passed in California and Colorado.

Continued use of the term “alien” as a legal term sends a negative message that recent immigrants, including many who have begun the naturalization process, are not welcome and not valued as full members of their communities.

“I believe that these efforts will facilitate a pathway to build trust between the government and immigrant communities,” Simmons said. “No one is illegal and no one doesn't deserve to be here.”

Simmons filed the measure in time to celebrate the Lunar New Year with the Vietnamese American Association and other ethnic groups. It awaits a committee hearing. 


Category: Press Releases

SimmonslakeviewfoodpantryChicago- Following his MLK Day visit to Lakeview Pantry, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) encourages residents to take a stand against food insecurity in their communities by supporting local food pantries.

“Many of our families and neighbors in the 7th district have fallen on hard times, especially these last few years,” Simmons said. “I want to remove the social stigma that prevents us from confronting the issue of food insecurity head on.”

One out of four people in Uptown, and up to half of residents in West Ridge and Rogers Park, struggle with food insecurity. Neighbors of Rogers Park, West Ridge, Uptown, Edgewater, and Lakeview are coming together with the support of Simmons to establish mutual aid. There are over 15 mutual aid organizations within the district offering resources to those who are in need of essentials. Of those 15, five specifically serve those who face food insecurity.

“Access to food is a basic right, not a privilege,” Simmons said. “If you or someone you know needs help finding out where to go to gain access to food, we will connect you with an organization ready to help.  Our office is a non-judgement zone and a safe space for all those in need.”

To learn more about food insecurity, click here. To get in contact with one of the pantries in the district, click here.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office
1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 769-1717

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

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