Sims

  • 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.”

  • sims 042618SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago and Senate Criminal Law Committee chairperson, released the following statement after the governor took executive action to form the Justice, Equity and Opportunity (JEO) Initiative, which aims to centralize and modernize the state’s criminal justice reform efforts:

    “Communication, research and action are crucial to reform our state’s criminal justice system. For that reason, I commend Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton for forming this initiative, which aims to tackle this issue on all three fronts.

  • sims013119SPRINGFIELD – Property taxes will be lower for some homeowners and business owners in South Suburban communities thanks to a new state grant program that seeks to lift some of the burden on school districts that are heavily taxed.

    The Property Tax Relief Grant is part of the education funding reform package that has been put in place to level the playing field to better serve struggling school districts.

    “For far too long struggling communities were faced with paying higher property taxes in an attempt to provide students in the area a quality education, and more often than not the students still weren’t receiving adequate resources,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “Going forward this program will provide the relief necessary to help keep families in Illinois and boost local economies.”

    Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include: 

    • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215: $1,906,225.40
    • Lansing School District 158: $1,836,888.06
    • Bloom Township High School District 206: $2,168,029.38

    Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then give the money to the school districts once they have received all of the abatement certificates.

    “This grant program is a crucial step to help change how we fund the education of our future leaders,” Sims said. “It is high time we shift some of the burden from property tax payers to the state in order to help provide a quality education to every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live.”

    More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

  • sims 052418CHICAGO–State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after an unknown gunman shot and killed an 18-year-old man and wounded another person at Orland Square Mall Monday night: 

    “Last night, I, unfortunately, witnessed two tragedies. The first was yet another senseless shooting, as a young man was gunned down literally a few feet away from where I was shopping with my family, along with other families, at Orland Square Mall.

  • sims 060418CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order for a full audit of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ (IDVA), health, safety and security procedures in response to one of the residents at the Manteno Veterans’ Home testing positive for Legionnaires’ Disease:

    “We have to do all we can to prevent a repeat of what happened in Quincy at the Manteno Veterans’ Home. These men and women have sacrificed so much for the people of this great state and country.

    “For that reason, I commend Gov. Pritzker. His swift action is exactly what we need—a fresh start. The lack of transparency in how the last administration handled the Legionnaires’ outbreak in Quincy was despicable. I join the governor in his commitment to treat this situation with the urgency it demands. I just sent a letter to the director of the Manteno Veterans’ Home this week requesting detailed information on how the case of Legionnaires’ disease is being handled and what protocol is being taken.

    “We have an obligation to protect our heroes as they have protected us, and this means collecting as much information as possible so we can be transparent with them, their families and the public and take all necessary precautions to protect them from any harm, particularly Legionnaires’ disease.”

  • sims 121018SPRINGFIELD —The Council of State of Governments Midwest Leadership Conference, which includes lawmakers of 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces, swore in State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. as chair during the weekend.

    “Serving in this role is a tremendous honor as it allows me to represent Illinois while working with and on behalf of my legislative colleagues from across the Midwest and Canada,” said Sims, a Democrat from Chicago.

    “This honor would not be possible without the support of the people of Illinois’ 17th District. Each day, I am inspired by them to do more to better serve my constituents and people throughout the state.”

    Sims will succeed Indiana State Sen. Ed Charbonneau.

    The Midwest Leadership Conference brings together the region’s policymakers to advance efforts that improve state government.

    “I take pride in working with CSG. It challenges legislators to move past today’s partisan politics to produce policy outcomes that are in the best interest of the people we represent,” Sims said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to find common ground and advance initiatives to help the people of communities throughout the Midwest and in Canada.”

    Sims will host the 74th annual meeting July 21-24, 2019, in downtown Chicago.

  • sims 060418SPRINGFIELD—The Senate voted today to override the governor’s veto of legislation that will help students develop the people skills employers are looking for in an effort to better prepare them for the workforce.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 4657, which allows students to learn about emotional intelligence in schools and creates the Emotional Intelligence Task Force to help schools develop and implement the necessary curriculum guidelines.

    “It’s crucial that we prepare our young people to be contributing members of society,” Sims said. “In addition to focusing on providing our students a strong foundation in the core subject areas, it is vitally important that we focus on the critical people skills our kids will need to excel in the workplace.  With so many of our kids spending a great deal of time on their phones, computers and other electronic devices rather than interacting face-to-face, we are missing out on developing the beneficial skills we learn from human interaction.”

    The task force will develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence curriculum for elementary and high schools, including how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions.

    House Bill 4657 takes effect immediately.

  • Illinois Black Caucus

  • sims 060418SPRINGFIELD-State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) passed HB 3256, which would extend a 72-hour waiting period to all firearms in Illinois.

    "Having an across-the-board 'cooling off' period for firearms could prevent people from causing harm to themselves or others," said Sims. "Requiring a 72-hour waiting period is a commonsense reform that will help keep our communities safe."

  • sims 052418SPRINGFIELD — Arguing that important social skills can sometimes be lost in the rush to prepare students for future disciplines, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. passed legislation through the Senate today aimed at helping students learn the people skills that are often crucial to being successful in the workforce.

    “It’s important that we give our young people all the tools they need to be contributing members of society,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “There’s never been a greater need for people skills with many of our kids spending so much of their time on their phones and computers rather than interacting face-to-face.”

  • blackcaucus 051718

  • jjc 051418

  • sims 042718CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to testimony from Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah stating that gun violence is a public health crisis:

    “I am glad Director Shah agrees with me that the level of gun violence plaguing our communities is unacceptably high and is a public health crisis requiring our immediate attention.  Now that we can agree that gun violence is in fact a health crisis, Gov. Rauner and the Department of Public Health need to allocate funds and start research on the matter so we can figure out how to best address this epidemic affecting our communities.

    “We continue to see tragedies across our state and nation resulting from gun violence. Three people were killed and at least seven were wounded in shootings over last weekend in the city of Chicago, and on Sunday, an Illinois resident took the lives of four unsuspecting victims at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee.

    It is time for us to address the root causes of gun violence as opposed to bowing to the whims of the gun lobby, so we can do everything possible to prevent gun violence from continuing to harm our communities.”

  • sims 042618SPRINGFIELD—Businesses along Illinois’ borders will be able to better take advantage of state resources thanks to legislation that passed the Senate today.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) is the sponsor of Senate Bill 3285, which aims to help businesses located in Illinois identify existing and often underused state resources.