CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the 2020 murder of George Floyd:

“There is no amount of prison time that could have brought justice to George Floyd or to the family that he was stolen from. 

“Furthermore, one police officer facing accountability for murdering an unarmed Black man does not erase countless similar tragedies that have occurred and continue to happen with numbing frequency. It’s time for active allyship from those who hold power and privilege to agitate for systemic changes right now that bring integrity to our systems that regularly steal black lives away from us.” 

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today on the passage of a balanced state budget:

“It’s good that the General Assembly came together to pass a budget that meets the immediate needs of the communities across the state in areas of violence reduction, affordable housing, education and health, and ensures we strengthen child care.

“Besides increased funding for our K-12 schools and more money for need-based grants for our college students, it includes funding for violence reduction programs and youth summer employment. Medicaid coverage and funding is expanded, and we’ve made investments in the child care that parents need right now.

“Most importantly, this budget was achieved without increasing the burden on the working people of Illinois, in part by closing four corporate loopholes worth $655 million to the state and $42 million to local governments. That is a true reflection of how we should approach state finances as we look forward to Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond.”

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ (D-Chicago) plan to prohibit schools from issuing rules that discriminate against hairstyles historically associated with race, ethnicity or hair texture cleared the Illinois House today.

Simmons sponsored Senate Bill 817, now known as the Jett Hawkins Act, after hearing 4-year-old Jett Hawkins was sent home from school in March for having braids that violated the dress code of his school, Providence-St. Mel School. 

“I know all too well the feeling that comes with being singled out by one’s school for proudly wearing hair that’s true to myself and my culture,” Simmons said Thursday after the legislation passed the House. “This came about because Jett and his mother stood up and spoke out about the harm these policies do. I thank them for their resolve.”

The Jett Hawkins Act passed the House 89-22 Thursday. It awaits a final confirmation vote in the Senate to pass the General Assembly.

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD – An antiquated part of the criminal code that penalizes Illinoisans living with human immunodeficiency virus would be repealed under a measure co-sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago), which cleared its final vote in the General Assembly Tuesday.

“The law this measure repeals is a relic of homophobia,” Simmons said. “HIV is an illness that must be treated, not stigmatized. The Senate did the right thing today by passing this measure, and I urge Gov. Pritzker to act quickly to sign it.”

House Bill 1063 repeals the portion of the criminal code that gives prosecutors the ability to charge people living with HIV with a Class 2 Felony for having consensual sex, sharing needles, or donating organs or bodily tissues and fluids. HIV is currently the only communicable disease subject to such criminalization.

“The fact that no other condition is treated this way under the law should tell everyone all they need to know about the motivations behind criminalizing HIV positivity,” Simmons said. 

The Senate passed House Bill 1063 on Tuesday. It awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

Category: Press Releases

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