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Simmons Assyrian Press conferenceSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to ensure people enrolled in Medicaid see continuous coverage, State Senator Mike Simmons supported a newly signed law to create an automatic renewal process for qualifying individuals.

“Because of the bureaucratic re-enrollment process, many families either don’t realize they need to re-apply or simply don’t have time,” Simmons (D-Chicago) said. “This law streamlines the process, cuts red tape and ensures people have the coverage they need.”

According to the Heartland Alliance, up to 30% of people eligible for Medicaid lose coverage at renewal, with Black families being disproportionately affected. The law will remove the administrative hurdles Medicaid recipients face.

Under current law, individuals receiving Medicaid benefits must report changes in income during the 12 months following their approval or last redetermination. House Bill 4343 will remove this reporting requirement during that time, allowing for continuity of coverage for those whose work hours and income aren’t consistent each month. The legislation will also automatically re-enroll individuals with zero income.

The legislation also requires the Department of Human and Family Services to provide information on how to request a hardship waiver in Spanish and a number of other languages.

“Our city has a wealth of diversity,” Simmons said. “It only be fair that we increase access to benefits so people don’t miss out on coverage simply because English isn’t there first language.”

House Bill 4343 was signed into law took immediate effect.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Mens Health Floor rCHICAGO – 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 passed a law to allow students to attend classes remotely.

“I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the Senate for supporting this legislation,” said Simmons (D-Chicago) 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’ law will 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 toward their Bachelor’s Degree. Research from the Cal Matters Organization show such programs have contributed to improving opportunities and lowering recidivism rates.

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

House Bill 5016 was signed into law and took immediate effect.

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Category: Press Releases

SIMMONS HB 4430 rCHICAGO – To make it easier for people to access HIV preventative care, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) championed a recently signed law to allow pharmacists to provide HIV tests and preventative medications to help reduce new HIV infections.

Simmons’ law will allow pharmacists to dispense and administer drugs, order laboratory tests, and consult individuals on HIV pre-exposure drugs and post-exposure drugs. Pharmacists will first have to complete an educational training course on the administration of tests and medications prior to being permitted to assist patients. 

“This law will effectively cut down on wait times and provide life-saving care to thousands of Illinoisans,” Simmons said. “Doing so will especially help reduce new HIV infections among cisgender Black women, LGBTQ+ people, Latinos, and those who lack health insurance.”

Under the previous law, pharmacists in Illinois were not permitted to consult or assess individuals on HIV infections. Pharmacists were also not permitted to administer or dispense preventative medications without a prescription from a health care provider.

“Far too many people in Illinois lack regular access to a doctor,” Simmons said. “Increasing access to these medications through community-based pharmacies will save lives.”

It is believed this law will help reduce new HIV cases by up to 90% by 2030, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Biomedical solutions PrEP and PEP medications are up to 99% effective in preventing HIV when taken as prescribed, according to the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

House Bill 4430 was signed into law on Friday and is effective immediately.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Parent MentorCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) released the following statement regarding the 2022 Parent Mentor Graduating Class with more than 1,300 Parent Mentors and more than 200 Parent Mentor coordinators and organizers from 40 community organizations and 200 schools in 39 school districts across the state of Illinois.

“It is an honor for me to provide some thoughtful words to the amazing Parent Mentors of this year’s class. They help fill a systemic gap in our education system by volunteering their time a couple hours a day to assist our teachers in instruction and organizing. They help our young students dream big and chart their course toward success, both in and out of the classroom.

“This program helps create stronger classrooms, stronger families, and stronger communities. This program works so well that many Parent Mentors go on to serve in faculty and staff roles for their schools.

“I am proud to have helped appropriate the necessary funds to not only continue, but expand, the Parent Mentor program.”

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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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