030118 KS 1331

SPRINGFIELD—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.

Category: Press Releases

03132019CM2052

SPRINGFIELD — 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.

Category: Press Releases

03052019CW0184

SPRINGFIELD—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.

Category: Press Releases

03062019CM0719

SPRINGFIELD — 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 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.

Category: Press Releases

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