05162018CM0110

CHICAGO—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 Aug. 10, 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.

“We must continue to do all we can to ensure positive relations between law enforcement and the communities they are charged with protecting and serving. Recent police encounters throughout the country have furthered strained these already frayed relations” said Sims. “This commission is an important part of Illinois’ efforts to improve training and licensing standards which will help ensure we are providing law enforcement with the tools they need to be successful while also addressing community concerns.”

The new law also prevents the director of the Illinois State Police from appointing auxiliary state police.

The commission was designed to review current training, the certification process of law enforcement and law enforcement duties and to determine whether some law enforcement officers should be licensed.

“This commission is all about working closely with law enforcement throughout our state to form better relationships between police and the communities they serve,” said Sims.

Senate Bill 3263 takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

9ftoy9

SPRINGFIELD—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.

Category: Press Releases

gun change

SPRINGFIELD—Legislation to extend the waiting period for all firearms has now been signed into law.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored legislation that would require applicants for any firearm to wait at least 72 hours before they can receive it.

“This sweeping ‘cooling off’ period for guns will protect people throughout the state by keeping guns out of the wrong hands,” said Sims. “The 72-hour waiting period provides a strong and effective tool in our efforts to keep our communities safe.”

Before this action, Illinois law mandated a 72-hour waiting period to obtain a handgun after purchase, but assault weapons, including the AR-15 and other military-style weapons, could be received in only 24 hours.

The governor vetoed a similar bill earlier in the legislative session. Senate Bill 3256 is the answer to his proposal within the amendatory veto.

“With all of the gun violence we’re seeing in our communities and around the country, we must have the proper regulations in place to keep someone from making a hasty decision that could end their life or someone else’s,” Sims said.

Senate Bill 3256 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

Sims 1

CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME overturning a 40-year decision regarding the ability of unions to collectively bargain. The ruling says government workers who are represented by a union, but choose not to join, do not have to pay to cover the costs of collective bargaining.

“The Supreme Court’s decision today continues the conservative assault on working families led by Gov. Rauner and President Donald Trump. This action must not be taken lightly and reinforces the need to have judges on the bench who see the judiciary as an opportunity to protect the rights of all citizens, not an opportunity to execute a political agenda or use the courts as a tool against working families in favor of big business and corporate profits. Unfortunately, today’s decision is another in a long line of decisions by this court to silence the voices of everyday Americans in favor of big business and special interests.

“These ‘fair share’ dues provide crucial protections to state workers and prevent ‘free riders’ – people who don’t pay the fees but benefit from the work of unions. This decision will cause the people represented by public unions to struggle while some undeservingly reap the benefit from their efforts.

“This decision by the Supreme Court will negatively impact our economy and lead to lower wages for teachers, police officers, fire fighters and other public workers.  The action will also have a disproportionate impact on African American workers, who make up a significant number of public sector employees.

“Today’s decision is, without a doubt, part of a much larger partisan plan to silence worker voices and the protections they have historically received by collectively bargaining.”

According to an analysis by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, today’s decision could lead to an annual decrease in economic activity across the United States of anywhere from between $11.7 billion and $33.4 billion.  The decision could also cause average wages of state and local government employees to fall by $1,810 or an average of 3.6 percent per worker and the salaries of public school teachers to drop by 5.4 percent.

Category: Press Releases

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