maternal pic

SPRINGFIELD— Two bills sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) to help lower the alarming maternal death rate in Illinois passed the General Assembly this week.

“We’ve lost far too many mothers to child birth, especially women of color,” Sims said. “We have to do all we can to prevent this from happening in the future, including ensuring our medical professionals are receiving the proper training to save women who find themselves in crisis as they bring life into this world.”

According to the Illinois Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Report released by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) in October 2018, an average of 73 women die annually within a year of giving birth, and black women are six times more likely than white women to be one of them because of a pregnancy-related condition.

Under House Bill 2895, IDPH must work toward birth equity by developing best practices for birthing facilities and ensuring all of them do yearly maternal hypertension and postpartum hemorrhage training for providers that care for pregnant and postpartum women. The department’s report showed these were among the top pregnancy-related conditions.

“Black women need to see more people that look like them in our doctor’s offices and hospitals,” Sims said. “Far too often they are not taken seriously when they seek medical attention. We must strive to diversify the field of physicians to make sure they receive sound medical advice.”

House Bill 2896 would create a Diversity in Health Care Professions Task Force to find ways to encourage more inclusion of minority physicians in Illinois. The bill requires the task force to prepare annual summary reports and recommendations to the governor and legislature starting Dec. 1, 2020.

HB 2896 was approved by the legislature and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

While HB 2895 was sent back to the House for approval of Senate amendments. If they approve those amendments, the bill will then be sent to the governor.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD—More money could soon be set aside to make sure disadvantaged communities have clean drinking water.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) is sponsoring a plan that requires the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize a portion of water infrastructure funding for low-income areas for five years to provide sustainable and equitable water management.

“Clean water should be in every Illinois home, no matter the zip code,” Sims said. “This plan is key to ensuring that water infrastructure in struggling communities is not underfunded.”

The bill also allows assistance to be used for a variety of research and improvement options, including water rate studies, training activities and aid for replacement of lead services lines.

“What we saw in Flint will not happen here,” Sims said. “I thank my colleagues for their support in putting the health and well-being of all Illinoisans first.”

House Bill 2650 is now set to head to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Sims airport security

SPRINGFIELD—A plan to update driver’s license services in Illinois to follow federal ID rules passed the Illinois General Assembly Tuesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr., a Chicago Democrat, sponsors the plan, which puts in place the REAL ID standards established by the federal government. Adopting the plan would prevent major travel difficulties for Illinoisans as air travel security standards are set to mandate REAL ID standards for IDs.

“Bringing Illinois IDs in line with the REAL ID Act will most importantly boost security for Illinoisans while preventing numerous headaches for them,” Sims said. “This measure will ensure that the people of Illinois don’t run into issues going through airport security or other forms of federal security.”

Illinois is compliant with the REAL ID Act. Current non-Real ID compliant driver’s license and identification cards will be accepted at airports until October 1, 2020. 

After this date, persons with Illinois driver’s licenses and identification cards will need to provide additional documentation in order for their cards to become REAL ID compliant.

The legislation passed both chambers, and now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Category: Press Releases


SPRINGFIELD — A plan to help workers who have been exposed to toxic substances was signed into law on Friday.

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. “Often they do not see symptoms 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 limitation. SB 1596 would create exceptions to these rules for cases of exposure to toxic substances.

“The past law was 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 thank my colleagues in the General Assembly and the governor for their support in helping these working men and women.”

Senate Bill 1596 is effective immediately.

Category: Press Releases

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