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Simmons Youth CommitteeCHICAGO – To better inform and raise awareness for health issues that particularly effect men, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) led 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 law 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 was signed into law last week and takes effect next January.

Category: Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement from Illinois General Assembly LGBTQ Caucus & Equality Illinois:

This week in response to an outcry from a hateful few, Illinois-based insurer State Farm dropped their support for The GenderCool Project, which provides LGBTQ-affirming books to schools across the country on a voluntary basis. We are disappointed State Farm chose to make a knee- jerk concession to bigotry rather than stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ community and our allies who support inclusion. Given the rise of hate crimes and discrimination, decisions like this embolden those peddling hatred and make our society a more dangerous place.

While other states push intolerance and try to roll back the clock on our hard-fought rights, Illinois has been a champion in affirming the dignity our LGBTQ community. We have taken active steps to ensure Illinois schools teach students about the struggles and history of the LGBTQ community, as well as Black history and the history of communities of color broadly. In fact, Illinois recently became the first state to mandate teaching Asian American history.

State Farm promotes itself as 'standing in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations' to 'ensure all communities are valued and treated with respect and dignity.' This latest action to rescind support for GenderCool and the teaching of gender identity to families that want it is in direct contradiction to State Farm's purported values. Unless State Farm reverses its course of action, we will be compelled to call out State Farm's hypocrisy, including, but not limited to, any LGBTQ marketing State Farm plans on doing during Pride month.

Senator Mike Simmons

Majority Leader Greg Harris

Representative Kelly Cassidy

Representative Lamont Robinson

Representative Sam Yingling

Brian Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois

Category: Press Releases

SIMMONS SB 4028 rCHICAGO- Youth in Illinois will now begin to receive specialized education on mental health resources after a measure championed by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) becomes law.

“This measure addresses a critical gap in the support systems that we need to offer our youth to be able to remain emotionally well,” Simmons said. “Our youth have been so resilient during these past few years, but many of the broader issues amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic have put a severe strain on the mental health of our young people. It’s imperative that we prioritize the mental health and well-being of our young people and center the experiences they are voicing and actually living through.” 

Senate Bill 4028 will ensure that the curricula for elementary and secondary schools would be required to include how and where to find mental health resources in the state. The measure helps make students aware of mental health services that are available to them and helps erase the broader stigma behind mental health.

The measure was in part inspired by two of Simmons’ Youth People’s Legislative Councils, where Simmons discussed with young people themselves the issues that are salient to them such as violence and access to mental health as part of his mission to empower young people to become more involved in policy making.

“The struggle to find adequate resources for mental health is an issue that I hear time and time again when I meet with young people in the district I represent,” Simmons said. “I am pleased that we will begin to deliver practical resources to support our youth directly in our schools.”

Senate Bill 4028 was signed into law and takes effect immediately.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons HIV NEW rCHICAGO – To better advocate for the interests of children with incarcerated parents in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

“Today in Illinois, nearly 200,000 children – or one in every 20 – have had a parent in jail or prison. We need to improve the system so that the bond between a parent and their child is honored and strengthened despite the incarceration.”

The Commission, housed within the Department of Human Services, will be tasked with implementing and coordinating the recommendations of the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents within state agencies. The task force, created in 2020 will propose the changes, and the Commission will work with agencies on how to properly implement the changes.

Children whose parents are incarcerated can experience multiple negative effects such as greater mental health symptoms, difficulty with school, housing instability, and overall trauma.

“I am so glad we passed this legislation and look forward to working with House sponsor Rep. Delia Ramirez, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, and the other advocates and stakeholders who worked hard on this effort to implement the commission, said Simmons. We will see this work through so children of incarcerated parents can maintain the most important relationship they have and have their overall needs met across the entire system.”

House Bill 5525 was signed into law on Friday and takes effect on January 1st, 2023.

 

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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