2021.05.04 Simmons Hair bill passes committeeSPRINGFIELD – A bill outlawing discrimination against natural and ethnic hairstyles in Illinois schools sponsored by State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) will have its first hearing later today as the Senate Education Committee meets at 1 p.m.

Senate Bill 817 would protect the right of students to wear their hair in styles historically associated with race, ethnicity, or hair texture including braids, dreadlocks, and twists.

“I proudly wear my hair natural out of respect for my African-American and Ethiopian heritage,” Simmons said. “No student should be forced to compromise their identity, nor should we continue to allow young people to be traumatized like this in 2021.”

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Category: Press Releases

2021.04.29 Simmons Floor photoSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ (D-Chicago) plan to require hospitals and state agencies to gather more data in order to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has harmed LGBTQIA+ communities in Illinois passed the Senate Thursday.

Simmons, the first openly gay member of the Illinois Senate, said requiring 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 is the first step to ensuring visibility and justice for historically marginalized communities as Illinois recovers from the pandemic.

“I’m gratified to see this measure pass, and I am ready to urge the Illinois House to vote to affirm the lives of members of the LGBTQIA+ communities, who disproportionately face challenges that have made this pandemic even deadlier for them,” said Simmons.

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Category: Press Releases

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

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

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