2021.04.22 Simmons PassingSB828

SPRINGFIELD – As one of his first acts after being appointed to represent the 7th Illinois Senate District, State Senator Mike Simmons passed legislation out of the Senate Thursday to require that meetings to fill a vacancy in the General Assembly be recorded and broadcast by electronic means for public consumption. The bill also requires election authorities to notify the public of all proceedings related to appointments in the future.

“The appointment process established by the state constitution is intended to ensure representation during interim periods when an official retires or is incapable of serving,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “It’s our duty to ensure Illinois citizens have as much input and transparency as possible in the process.”

When an office in the Illinois House or Illinois Senate becomes vacant and a process begins to fill it with an appointee, Senate Bill 828 would require the legislative or representative committee of the district to notify the public about the replacement process. That would include providing the public with notice of an impending vote to fill the vacancy at least six days prior.

The legislation would also require any meeting held to fill a vacancy be open to the public, electronically recorded and broadcast for public consumption. The same requirements would apply to any appointment filled by the governor.

“We must ensure the process is as open to public scrutiny and input as possible,” Simmons said. “The people of Illinois deserve to participate in this process, and these requirements take the steps necessary to bring transparency to constitutionally required appointments.”

Having passed the Senate, Senate Bill 828 awaits consideration before the Illinois House.

Category: Press Releases

Dear Neighbor,

I’m writing to you to talk about some important developments in child care here in Illinois. As I said when I spoke earlier this month about the child tax credit I’m proposing, we can’t forget the effect COVID-19 has had on working parents. A big part of that has been the harm done to child care facilities. We need to build back these providers if we’re to truly recover from the devastation of this pandemic.

That’s why the news this week that Illinois will use $1.6 billion in federal relief to target early childhood services for recovery is so welcome. Of that, $140 million will be allocated for grants to child care providers. These funds can be used to pay rent or maintain staff, supplies and training.

As part of this plan, Gov. Pritzker has also announced the creation of a new office within the Illinois Dept. of Human Services called the Division of Early Childhood, scheduled to begin work in July.

I am gratified to see Illinois is prioritizing the child care sector as we allocate federal relief. Working families need child care to be safe, affordable and available, now more than ever. We can’t get there without targeted relief efforts like these.

Start your application for early learning today

On that same topic, the time has come to start thinking about your child's options for early learning. Applications open today, and you can begin the process online here. You can find providers in your area right now by entering your address here and seeing what’s available. You can also call 312-229-1690 with questions about preschool programs for your 3- or 4-year-old.

If you have any questions or concerns about child care, my legislation, or what’s going on in Springfield or the 7th Senate District, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

Category: Newsletters

State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on news of the verdict in Derek Chauvin’s trial:

“With today’s verdict, Derek Chauvin has been held accountable for the murder of George Floyd. At a basic minimum, this is what we need, and I am relieved to see the verdict. But we must ask ourselves now what justice will look like for George Floyd.

“Justice is broad and systemic, and this verdict tells us that the system must change from the ground up. George Floyd was executed on camera in a matter of minutes. His daughter will never see him again. Derek Chauvin has had many months and more of due process, all while communities across the country anxiously awaited this decision, not at all confident that Chauvin would face consequences even in light of the fact that his crime was caught on film.

“That this was in doubt, that we feel relieved that there will be consequences, speaks to how much the system needs changing. Chauvin is one officer whose misconduct will be punished. This must cease to be the exception, or more Black lives will be routinely taken from us.”

Category: Press Releases

Simmons LGBTQCovidData PASS COMMITTEE

"We can't protect these communities if we refuse to see them."

SPRINGFIELD – To better determine how the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed LGBTQIA+ communities in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) passed legislation out of an Illinois Senate committee Thursday that would require state agencies and hospitals to gather more specific data on age, sex, disability status, sexual orientation and gender identity when dealing with COVID-19 patients.

Simmons, the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate, said visibility is the first step to ensuring justice in how services are delivered to these historically marginalized communities.

“For members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, who already disproportionately face challenges in getting medical care or sadly lack the support of family, COVID-19 has the potential to be even more devastating,” Simmons said. “We can’t protect these communities if we refuse to see them.”

The AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Equality Illinois have called for the legislation, citing a lack of routine data collection that has prevented an accurate outlook of the coronavirus’ effect on the LGBTQIA+ community in Illinois. Studies have shown members of those communities are more likely to have chronic conditions and other risk factors that can increase vulnerability to COVID-19. As one example of how the pandemic can exacerbate existing challenges, older LGBTQIA+ people already face higher rates of social isolation.

“The effects of COVID-19 will have consequences for years to come,” Simmons said. “As we mobilize our health care system to respond, it is our duty to leave no community behind.”

Senate Bill 2133 passed the Senate Human Rights Committee Thursday and awaits consideration before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

IL Rental Payment Program Webinar

Covid-19 Resources

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

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.