Sims

  • sims 112119CHICAGO—To respond to recent allegations involving Springfield lawmakers and prevent future wrongdoing, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. has been named as the co-chair of a new joint legislative commission that will recommend changes to state ethics laws. Senator Cristina Castro has also been appointed to the commission.

    “The last several months have seen very troubling developments and the people of Illinois expect us to be and do better,” Sims said. “For the people to have faith in their government we must hold ourselves to the highest of standards, and when public officials do wrong, they should face the consequences. Those are the beliefs that will guide me as I serve on this commission.”

     

  • film productionSPRINGFIELD—A proposal to make Illinois more attractive to film companies was signed into law today.

    The plan, sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), extends the length of the state’s film production tax credit with the aim of raising Illinois’ national standing in the film and television industry.

    “This move will help put Illinois a step above our competition,” Sims said. “We have seen exponential growth over the years, and this tax credit would boost that by making the state more attractive to film and television companies around the world.”

    The new law extends the end of the Film Production Tax Credit from Jan. 1, 2022 to Jan. 1, 2027.

  • Sen. Elgie R. Sims Jr.SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the Reproductive Health Act was signed into law Wednesday:

    “The historic step we took today will protect women’s access to safe, legal reproductive health care for years to come. I am proud that we took a stand to ensure that the people of Illinois are able to make the very personal decision of whether or not to become a parent.

  • Illinois State Police Forensic Science Center

    CHICAGO – Lawmakers joined members of the Illinois State Police at the Forensic Science Center earlier this week to learn about its evidence collection process.

    State senators Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) were among those in attendance.

    In December 2018, ISP implemented the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) to use new developments to assist in the delivery of complete, accurate and timely crime scene evidence collection and forensic laboratory analysis.

  • sims013119CHICAGO—A plan at the statehouse would allow the Village of Manteno to do renovations at a public golf course.

    The village has been unsuccessful in renovating a golf course club house because a state clause is preventing them from getting a bank loan. State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) is working to change that with a proposal that would remove the state’s interest in the property.

    “This simple change would greatly benefit the people of Manteno and the village’s bottom line,” Sims said. “Renovations would help the golf course better compete with surrounding courses, which would potentially lead to higher profits for the village.”

    The bill would require the Department of Central Management Services to execute and record a release of the reverter clause, which would eliminate the state’s stake in the land.

    That clause states the land must be used for a public purpose and not be sold. If Manteno ever did sell the land to a private entity, it would owe the state 25 percent of the proceeds.

    “I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for their support on this very local issue in the 17th district,” Sims said. “I hope the House will also help us send this plan to the governor’s desk.”

    Senate Bill 1597 is set to head to the House for consideration.

  • bail 042419CHICAGO—A plan that would protect Illinoisans’ right to a public defender passed the Senate recently.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsors the proposal, which creates the Public Defender Bail Reform Grant Program. The aim is to assist counties in following the current law, which requires counsel to be present at bail hearings.

    “We cannot continue to deny Illinoisans their right to an attorney,” Sims said. “Bail hearings are a crucial part of the justice process, and everyone deserves an attorney at every step.”

    Currently, many counties do not provide public defenders for bail hearings. Some small counties do not even hire a full time public defender.

    There have been instances in these smaller counties where a defendant is not given a bail hearing. Instead a county sheriff calls the judge and tells them the name of the individual and their charges, and the judge will communicate the bail amount over the phone to the sheriff.

    “In many cases, the handling of bail hearings in Illinois have been completely unjust and unacceptable,” Sims said. “The livelihood of these people, who have not been convicted of a crime, is affected by the bail amount. These defendants have the right to have legal representation to ensure that the bail fits the crime.”

    Senate Bill 1966 is set to head to the House for consideration.

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  • sims film 041619SPRINGFIELD—A plan to attract more film and TV companies to Illinois recently passed the Senate.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the proposal, which would expand the state’s film production tax credit with the aim of raising Illinois’ national standing in the film and television industry.

    “This effort will help us gain momentum in the media production industry,” Sims said. “We have seen much growth in this area, but expanding the film tax credit would help us attract more film companies and really thrive.”

  • sims 032719CHICAGO--Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago is the recipient of a $1.5 million grant for energy improvements, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. announced today.

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is taking advantage of the United States Department of Energy’s State Energy Program to reduce the energy burden for Illinois residents.

    “This grant will provide long-term savings for the plant, which ultimately helps lift the burden on Chicagoans,” Senator Sims said. “These savings are crucial for many throughout Chicago, especially low-income, working families.”

    The grants go through May 2020 and allow plant recipients to make energy-efficient upgrades to equipment based on past energy audits, in some instance at no charge by the Office of Energy.

  • Data StorageSPRINGFIELD—A plan to make Illinois more competitive in the data center industry passed the Senate Wednesday.

    The bill, sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), would exempt the purchase and sale of materials used in the construction or operation of a data center from sales or use taxes. The bill provides further incentives for locating in areas of high unemployment or low wages in an effort to spur economic growth in low income areas.

    “We cannot pass up the opportunity to be a leader in the fast-growing data center industry,” Sims said. “Growing Illinois’ presence in this industry will bring revenue and jobs that are desperately needed in our state.”

    To qualify for the tax exemption, a data center must be located in Illinois, create at least 20 new jobs over a 60-month period and be carbon-neutral or get a certification under green building standards.

    New data centers must also make $250 million in new capital investments over a five-year period. Existing data centers must make that same amount over five years on or before Jan. 1, 2020.

    Indiana and other surrounding states are targeting Illinois’ data center industry and this legislation will help us remain competitive and respond to attempts to draw jobs away from Illinois, Sims said.

    “We do not want neighboring states to dominate this industry,” Sims said. “With this plan I know Illinois will keep and attract businesses looking to grow or relocate.”

    Senate Bill 1591 is now headed to the House for consideration.

  • il history 041019SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools passed the Senate Wednesday.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, sponsored the bill that would create a requirement that Illinois history be taught in public schools.

    “To create a better Illinois, we must teach our future leaders its rich history,” Sims said. “It is crucial that our students learn where our state has been, so they will have a better idea of where it needs to go, a better understanding of our society, a deeper sense of identity and hopefully be prompted to create change in their communities.”

  • Sens. Elgie R. Sims Jr., Emil Jones III, Iris Y. Martinez and Kimberly A. Lightford

    SPRINGFIELD – Senate lawmakers and advocates gathered Thursday to stress the importance of getting a full and accurate count in Illinois during the 2020 Census.

    Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke to the potential consequences of an undercount.

    “The census is used to determine federal funding and representation for our state,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “That means, if we are undercounted, we stand to lose billions in federal funding, along with two congressional seats and two Electoral College votes.”

    Martinez is the sponsor of legislation, contained in Senate Bill 1408, that would appropriate $25 million to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to provide grants to community providers and local governments for the purposes of encouraging full participation in the 2020 federal census.

  • TV ProductionSPRINGFIELD—A proposal to make Illinois more attractive to film companies passed out of the State Revenue Committee Wednesday.

    The plan, sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), would expand the state’s film production tax credit with the aim of raising Illinois’ national standing in the film and television industry.

    “This move could put Illinois a step above other states in the media production industry,” Sims said. “We have seen exponential growth over the years, and this tax credit would boost that by making the state more attractive to film and television companies around the world.”

    Senate Bill 1595 changes the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act to allow the first $200,000 of out-of-state wages paid or acquired by production companies to qualify for the film production services tax credit.

    “With the out migration of business in recent years, we must do all we can to attract and keep businesses here in Illinois” Sims said. “Expanding the film tax credit will help us increase momentum in this industry.”

    SB 1595 is set to head to the Senate floor for consideration.

  • sims 032719SPRINGFIELD—A plan to make Illinois more competitive in the data centers industry is one step closer to becoming law.

    Under the plan sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), companies operating data centers in Illinois would not have to pay sales or use tax for materials used in the construction or operation of a data center.

    “Illinois has the opportunity to be a leader in the data center industry,” Sims said. “Right now, we are fourth in the nation in this fast-growing industry. Investing in companies that bring data centers to Illinois will bring revenue and jobs to the state.”

    To qualify for the tax exemption, a data center must be located in Illinois, create at least 20 new jobs over a 60-month period and be carbon-neutral or get a certification under green building standards.

    New data centers must have $250 million in new capital over a five-year period. Existing data centers must make that same amount over five years on or before Jan. 1, 2020.

    Indiana and other neighboring states are building data centers that border the state of Illinois, putting the pressure on Illinois to stay competitive, Sims said.

    “We cannot allow states like Indiana to monopolize this industry,” Sims said. “This tax exemption would make Illinois very attractive for those looking to start or relocate in this growing business.”

    Senate Bill 1591 passed out of the State Revenue Committee Wednesday. It is set to head to the Senate floor for consideration.

  • Old State CapitolSPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools is one step closer to becoming law.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a democrat from Chicago, is the sponsor of the bill, which passed the State Senate Education committee on Tuesday.

    “If we want to shape the future of Illinois, we have to teach our kids its history,” Sims said. “It will help them better understand society, provide a sense of identity and potentially inspire them to work to create change within their communities. Teaching state history is the foundation for a better Illinois.”

    Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois History be taught as part of U.S. history. The law does require the course to include a comprehensive idea of our democratic form of government, the role and contributions of African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups and the role of labor unions.

    “State government plays a major role in students’ lives in many ways, including funding their education,” Sims said. “The impact extends into adulthood. Our young people need to understand Illinois history, in addition to how our government works, so they can make informed decisions and be productive members of society.”

    Senate Bill 1601 is set to be sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

  • Voting BoothsSPRINGFIELD — A plan to give students time off from school to vote is one step closer to becoming law.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) decided to bring this bill forward after running into issues during an event encouraging students in his district to vote.

    “We have to make voting accessible to everyone, including our young people,” Sims said. “A March to the Polls event in my district was unsuccessful because school district officials would not allow the students to leave during school hours. Just as state workers get time off to vote, students should as well.”

    Senate Bill 1970 amends the Election Code to allow students who are 18 or older to be absent for up to two hours to vote in a primary, general or any other election in the state that requires a popular vote.
    The school can designate which hours students can leave to vote.

    The plan is modeled after current rules for employers and employees.

    “Students have the right to be heard,” Sims said. “We encourage our young people to embrace their civic responsibility and this change, done in partnership with local school officials, will make it easier for students to be heard and cast their vote.”

    SB 1970 passed out of the Senate Executive Committee and now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

  • handcuffs 031219SPRINGFIELD—A new plan to hold businesses that publish criminal history records accountable is headed to the Senate floor for debate.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the bill, which requires companies that make errors on criminal history reports to correct them within five business days.

    “These inaccuracies have a real impact on people’s lives,” Sims said. “Errors on a criminal history report can cost someone a job or affect their ability to find proper housing. We must ensure companies that publish this information swiftly fix any mistakes or face consequences for their actions.”

    Senate Bill 1599 expands the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act so that a person or entity that publishes a person's criminal record information on a criminal history report that charges a fee for removal or correction of the information must correct any errors within five business days after notification of the error.

    A person who faces harm as a result of a failure to correct published criminal record information within that time frame is entitled to damages of $100 per day, plus attorney's fees. 

    “We cannot take this issue lightly when Illinoisans have so much to lose,” Sims said. “I know this plan will help people around the state better protect their reputation and quickly correct any issues.”

    The plan passed through the Senate Criminal Law Committee and now heads to the Senate floor for consideration.

  • sims 030619SPRINGFIELD — A plan to help workers who have been exposed to toxic substances passed the Senate Wednesday.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored the bill, which helps workers who have developed latent illnesses or injuries after coming in contact with asbestos, radiation or beryllium in the workplace.  

    “For far too long, employees have suffered from bad workplace conditions with no source of relief,” Sims said. “Many times symptoms do not manifest until 30 to 50 years after exposure. We must end the statute of limitations and ensure their right to recovery.”

    The Workers’ Compensation Act and Workers’ Occupational Disease Act currently have 25-year statutes of limitations, SB 1596 would create exceptions to these rules for cases of exposure to toxic substances.

    “The law as it stands is inhumane and often a death sentence for people diagnosed with serious illnesses who aren’t given the proper time to take care of their poor health,” Sims said. “I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for the supporting this plan to help employee victims throughout the state.”

    SB 1596 passed the Senate 41-16 and now heads to the House for consideration.

  • sims013119CHICAGO—A new plan to expand the state’s film production tax credit could make Illinois more of a national leader in the film and television industry.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, stood with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. JB Pritzker to discuss record-breaking numbers in film, television and media production in the city of Chicago.

    “I am proud of Chicago’s growth in media production, but I know we have the ability to be even more competitive nationally,” Sims said. “For that reason, I am working on legislation to expand the film tax credit to help our state more aggressively attract production companies.”

    Sims sponsors Senate Bill 1595, which changes the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act to allow the first $200,000 of out-of-state wages paid or acquired by production companies to qualify for the film production services tax credit.

    “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and local leaders, so we can break even more records in film, TV and media production,” said Sims.

  • Illinois Legislative Black Caucus SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s first budget address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed some of the main issues facing black communities, ranging from criminal justice reform to higher education.

    State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford, Chairman of the ILBC:

    “The governor’s budget plan is a great start to tackle some of the key challenges we are facing including ensuring a living wage for working families and that students around the state receive a quality education.

    “His speech was very realistic about the hole that we are in and how we can climb out of it over time, while continuing to support crucial services like mental health support and violence prevention programs.

    “We look forward to working with our colleagues and the governor’s administration to guarantee that the issues facing the black community are prioritized in the next state budget.”