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Democratic Co-Chairs Remain Committed to Ethics, Lobbying Reform

sims 020620SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Elgie Sims – co-chairs of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform – released the following statement Tuesday regarding ongoing efforts to enact meaningful ethics reform in Illinois:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated that we all put the health and safety of our state and our communities first. The Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform remains committed to our task of developing recommendations for meaningful reforms to the way lobbyists and elected officials conduct themselves. We have completed our meetings, heard from stakeholders and are working through the proposals that have been put before us.

Sims congratulates students on winning National Teach Kindness Challenge

sims 022620SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) today congratulated students at a Sauk Village elementary school on winning a national kindness award.

Wagoner Elementary School in Community Consolidated School District 168 in Sauk Village, Illinois was one of over 650 schools from across the country that registered for the Fall 2019 cohort of the Teach Kindness Challenge.

“Now the nation knows what I already knew about Wagoner Elementary students and teachers. They are a stellar bunch who consistently go above and beyond to achieve results,” Sims said. “I am so incredibly proud of their efforts to spread kindness, which the world could always use more of.”

The “Teach Kindness” initiative is a national social-emotional learning program organized by Stand for Children that provides high-quality classroom lessons from national experts.

Wagoner has been selected as the 2019 National Winner of the Teach Kindness Challenge, a national recognition that carries a $5,000 credit at DonorsChoose.org.

In push for reform, joint committee hears from people affected by criminal justice system

sims 021420CHICAGO—A joint committee heard feedback from witnesses on what the current state of criminal justice reform in Illinois.

The hearing was called by co-chairs State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) of the Senate Criminal Law Committee, State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) of the new Senate Public Safety Special Committee and State Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago) of the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee.

“Hearing all sides of the issue is crucial to working toward a system that is fair and just,” Sims said. “We have to work together to develop a focused strategy. That is the only way we will protect our communities, ensure fairness in sentencing and allow for life after prison.”

Lifting property tax burden on South Suburban residents

Senator SimsSPRINGFIELD— Property taxes could 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.

“This grant brings needed relief to struggling communities paying higher property taxes to provide a quality education for our students, and many times students still don’t receive adequate resources,” Sims said. “The program will provide necessary relief to help keep families in Illinois and boost the economy.”

Local school districts that are eligible for the Property Tax Relief Grant include:

  • Community Consolidated School District 168, Sauk Village
  • Dolton School District 149
  • Hoover-Schrum Memorial School District 157, Calumet City
  • Lansing School District 158
  • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215, Lansing

The Property Tax Relief Grant helps school districts with high tax rates relative to other school districts with an opportunity to lower the property tax burden on local taxpayers with the state replacing a portion of foregone tax revenue with state funds.

The amount the school districts receive will be included in future calculations of those districts.

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

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 (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Subcommittee on Capital (AP); Subcommittee on Special Issues (CL) (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance (Sub-Chairperson); Sub. on the Const.& Redistricting (Sub-Chairperson); Subcommittee on Civil Rights (Sub-Chairperson); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

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