Sims photo

SPRINGFIELD—Businesses in Illinois will now be able to more easily access resources to help them better compete with companies in neighboring states.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr., a Chicago Democrat, sponsored the Illinois Home Grown Business Opportunity Act, which aims to help Illinois businesses identify existing state resources.

“Business owners have enough on their plate with the day-to-day challenges of running their businesses. That’s why it’s important that we make it easy for them to find resources to help them prosper in Illinois,” Sims said. “As a state we need to focus our attention on economic development to attract new businesses, but we also need to nurture the companies that are currently in Illinois. I’m confident this legislation will help these businesses better compete and thrive.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will create a plan to assist cities, towns and villages located along the borders of Illinois. The information will be posted on the department’s website, so businesses throughout the state will have access to it.

“These resources will specifically help businesses along Illinois’ border, but they could help all businesses, which is why we’re making the information available statewide,” Sims said. “Entrepreneurs in my district have made it clear that they need help competing with their out-of-state neighbors, and this law will help Illinois’ businesses do just that.”

Senate Bill 3285 was signed by the governor Friday. It takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases


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


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

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