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New Sims law cracks down on criminal history errors

gavel 082119SPRINGFIELD—A new law sponsored by Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) will hold businesses that erroneously publish criminal history records accountable.

The plan requires companies that make errors on criminal history reports to correct them within five business days.

“Errors on criminal history reports can wreak havoc on a person’s life,” Sims said. “It can cost them a job or make it hard for them to find proper housing. This law will ensure companies that publish this information fix mistakes in a reasonable amount of time or face consequences for their negligence.”

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. 

“I am grateful to my colleagues and the governor for taking this issue seriously and helping to prevent loss of opportunities for people throughout the state,” Sims said. “This new law will help Illinoisans better protect their reputation and quickly correct any issues.”

SB 1599 was signed into law Tuesday and is effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Sims: New law will help lower alarming maternal death rate

sims 060619SPRINGFIELD— A plan sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) that aims to help lower the alarming maternal death rate in Illinois was signed into law Friday.

The plan will create a Diversity in Health Care Professions Task Force in an effort to develop strategies that will lead to increasing the number of minority health care professionals in Illinois.

“It is important that the health care field is a diverse one, as diversity improves the quality of the services and care provided,” Sims said. “Our health care providers are providing good, quality services; however, many times the health care needs of women, particularly black women and other women of color, aren’t taken seriously until it’s too late. This new law will help diversify the field of physicians and other health care professionals to ensure these mothers receive sound medical advice and the highest quality of care.”

The bill requires the task force to prepare annual summary reports and recommendations to the governor and legislature starting Dec. 1, 2020.

House Bill 2896 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

New Sims law will require students to learn Illinois history

sims 030619SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools was signed into law Friday.

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.

“Teaching our future leaders their state’s history is a major step toward a better Illinois,” Sims said. “It is important that our students learn how our state got to this point, so they can get a deeper understanding of society and, hopefully, join the process of improving Illinois.”

Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois history be taught as part of the U.S. history requirement in K-12 schools. 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.

“Illinois government has a considerable effect on young people’s lives, especially when it comes to their education,” Sims said. “As state leaders, it’s important that we make it a priority to educate students about how the legislative process works and our great state’s history.”

Senate Bill 1601 requires schools to start teaching Illinois history during the 2020-2021 school year.

New Sims law brings Illinois IDs up to travel standards

sims ID 080519SPRINGFIELD—A plan to update driver’s license services in Illinois to follow federal ID rules was signed into law Friday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr., a Chicago Democrat, sponsored the plan, which puts in place the REAL ID standards established by the federal government. Adopting the plan would prevent major travel difficulties for Illinoisans, as air travel security standards are set to mandate REAL ID standards for IDs.

“Updating Illinois IDs to REAL ID standards will prevent confusion and, more importantly, help to protect the people of Illinois as they travel,” Sims said. “The new law will help people avoid headaches as they go through airport or any other federal security.”

Illinois is compliant with the REAL ID Act. Current non-Real ID compliant driver’s license and identification cards will be accepted at airports until October 1, 2020. 

After this date, people with Illinois driver’s licenses and identification cards will need to provide additional documentation in order for their cards to become REAL ID compliant.

House Bill 2315 takes effect on Jan. 1.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

Years served: 2012–2018 (House); 2018–Present (Senate)

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Criminal Law (Chairperson); Judiciary; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Attorney; born in Chicago; B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University; M.P.A., University of Illinois; J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law; married, has two children.

Associated Representatives:
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Nicholas K. Smith