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Nearly $14M in overdue capital funding coming to Chicago State

sims 041118CHICAGO — The state is investing nearly $14 million in long overdue renovations at Chicago State University (CSU), State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

Public universities and colleges suffered as a result of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. The impasse ended with a bipartisan budget passed with an override of the governor’s veto. CSU struggled just to keep its doors open, laid off 400 people and enrollment suffered. As a budgeteer, Sims has been an outspoken advocate in the effort to restore funding and support to these institutions.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to deliver these funds to this great institution,” said Sims. “The Rauner administration has not made higher education a priority, so during this last round of budget negotiations, I’m glad I was finally able to successfully fight to invest in CSU.  The future of our students is one of my highest priorities and I will continue to fight to make CSU along with all of our colleges and universities the world class institutions we all know them to be.”

The construction funds CSU will receive include: $7.5 million for renovations at the Robinson Center and other capital improvements, $3.6 million to replace inoperative generators and $2.6 million for elevator renovations.

“While I appreciate the administration releasing these funds, the fact is that over the last several years this governor has attempted to ignore and devalue higher education in general and Chicago State University and its students in particular, and I will not allow that to happen. It is well past time that we make the investments in our higher education institutions the students, faculty and staff deserve,” said Sims.

 

New Sims law to help protect mothers’ rights in courts

breastfeeding 080618CHICAGO—A bill was signed into law that will help protect mothers’ rights in courts throughout Illinois.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored Senate Bill 3503 that will require circuit courts to have a room for mothers to breastfeed or pump.

“When mothers enter our courthouses, they should not be concerned about where they can pump breastmilk and breastfeed their children,” Sims said. “Providing a safe, clean and private space is a simple solution to help nursing mothers remain active in our court system.”

New Sims law reestablishes commission to review police practices

sims 052418CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, is pleased to announce the Commission on Police Professionalism will continue to review police practices to ensure better police-community relations.

The commission was established when a groundbreaking law enforcement reform package became law in 2015. This legislation, signed into law today, includes many recommendations issued by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and extends the commission’s sunset date from Dec. 31, 2018 to July 1, 2019.

New Sims law prioritizes motherly duties over jury duty

breastfeeding 080618SPRINGFIELD—Mothers who are breastfeeding can now be exempt from jury duty in Illinois.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 5745 that allows nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty upon request.

“We have to respect and defend a mother’s need to breastfeed,” Sims said.  “It is important for us to allow nursing mothers to prioritize their responsibilities as a parent because it’s the most important job they have.”

This legislation is designed to create parity between the Jury Commission Act and the Jury Act, which already allow nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty.

Currently, the Jury Commission Act authorizes the exemption for counties with populations that are between 75,000 and 3 million. The new law excuses all nursing mothers in Illinois regardless of county population size.

The governor signed House Bill 5745 into law today.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

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

Committee assignments:

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 Representative(s): Marcus C. Evans Jr.