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Black Caucus prompts second criminal law hearing to tackle sentencing

courtroom 091520CHICAGO—Illinois lawmakers from both chambers will come together to discuss the current condition of sentencing reform on Tuesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) of the Senate Criminal Law Committee and State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) of the Senate Public Safety Special Committee will co-chair the Senate Criminal Law Committee hearing. State Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago), chair of the House Judiciary-Criminal Law Committee, and other members of the committee will be active guests during the hearing.

Sims announces $258 million in road projects for 17th District

Road workCHICAGO—As a result of an infrastructure package backed by Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), the 17th District will see $258 million in infrastructure projects during the six-year span of the plan, with $24 million in road improvements set to begin in the next year.

“This is a meaningful investment to preserve local roads and bridges,” Sims said. “We are taking a responsible approach to not only address safety and traffic issues, but to prevent them before they arise.”

The largest project will be overlaying work in Crete and Beecher. It will cost $5.5 million and involve repairing deficiencies and resurfacing roads.

Another $4.3 million project will span Lynwood and Glenwood. It will include widening the road, bi-directing a left turn lane and improvements to help people with disabilities.

Burnham will see $1.6 million worth of bridge repairs and maintenance.

A $1.2 million project will also be done in Burnham and Calumet City. It will include surface maintenance at the right time (SMART) overlaying work, which is resurfacing an area that has previously had an overlay before major repairs are needed. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, if it is done at the right time, it can prevent serious distress. This project will also involve improvements for people with disabilities.

"Aside from making our roads safer, these projects will provide quality jobs and help people recover from the financial impact of the pandemic,” Sims said.

Passed in 2019, the historic and bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan is the largest capital program in state history. In its first year, the program improved 1,706 miles of roadway, and repaired or reconstructed 128 bridges across Illinois.

IDOT’s complete Multi-Year Plan can be found on its website.

Sims: Illinois’ minimum wage increase to $10 is long overdue

sims 021420CHICAGO—The minimum wage in Illinois increased to $10 on Wednesday because of a 2019 law co-sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago). 

“We are seeing many years' worth of efforts to help working families finally come to fruition,” Sims said. “I take pride in our work here in Illinois to provide a wage that matches the rising cost of a family’s basic needs.” 

The state’s minimum wage increases to $10 per hour July 1, the second in a series of increases required by the law passed last year. That legislation requires the wage to increase by $1 on Jan. 1 of each year going forward until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025. 

Sims also disagreed with business leaders who have sought to delay or repeal the law because of the pandemic and its associated economic downturn. 

“Those earning minimum wage haven’t seen an increase since 2010,” Sims said. “I understand that this is a difficult time for businesses, but we cannot continue to make working families wait for a pay raise. This is already long overdue.” 

The law raises the minimum wage statewide, though some communities, including Cook County and Chicago, have set higher local minimum wages – measures which Sims supports. 

Sims urges African Americans to get counted for Black Census Day

black census day 061920SPRINGFIELD – To celebrate 155 years of emancipation and encourage accurate representation of all Illinois communities, State Senator Elgie R. Sims (D-Chicago) urges African Americans to respond to the 2020 Census on Black Census Day.

“It’s no accident that Black Census Day falls on Juneteenth this year. Both are opportunities for us to stand united and amplify black voices,” Sims said. “It is so important to make sure that black communities are counted to help close funding gaps and provide desperately needed resources to African Americans throughout Illinois.”

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