Sims Photo for Site

SPRINGFIELD—The Senate voted today to override the governor’s veto of legislation that will help students develop the people skills employers are looking for in an effort to better prepare them for the workforce.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 4657, which allows students to learn about emotional intelligence in schools and creates the Emotional Intelligence Task Force to help schools develop and implement the necessary curriculum guidelines.

“It’s crucial that we prepare our young people to be contributing members of society,” Sims said. “In addition to focusing on providing our students a strong foundation in the core subject areas, it is vitally important that we focus on the critical people skills our kids will need to excel in the workplace.  With so many of our kids spending a great deal of time on their phones, computers and other electronic devices rather than interacting face-to-face, we are missing out on developing the beneficial skills we learn from human interaction.”

The task force will develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence curriculum for elementary and high schools, including how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions.

House Bill 4657 takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

Sims Verdict

CHICAGO – Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after a jury found Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald:

“Today’s verdict represents a positive step in the effort to repair strained relations between law enforcement and many communities. This is not a time for celebration as much as it is an opportunity for action and reflection about where we go as a community.  I hope this case sets a precedent where the men and women who bravely wear the uniform of law enforcement continue to serve and protect without the inappropriate actions of a few damaging the reputation of all.

“I applaud the jury for carrying out the very difficult task that came before them, and for delivering justice for the family of Mr. McDonald.  This verdict shows that justice can prevail and provides a message to our communities that their voices will be heard.  We must continue moving forward and being committed to improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

Category: Press Releases


CHICAGO — The state is investing nearly $14 million dollars in long overdue renovations at Chicago State University (CSU), State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

Public universities and colleges suffered as a result of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. The impasse ended with a bipartisan budget passed with an override of the governor’s veto. CSU struggled just to keep its doors open, laid off 400 people and enrollment suffered. As a budgeteer, Sims has been an outspoken advocate in the effort to restore funding and support to these institutions.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to deliver these funds to this great institution,” said Sims. “The Rauner administration has not made higher education a priority, so during this last round of budget negotiations, I’m glad I was finally able to successfully fight to invest in CSU.  The future of our students is one of my highest priorities and I will continue to fight to make CSU along with all of our colleges and universities the world class institutions we all know them to be.”

The construction funds CSU will receive include: $7.5 million for renovations at the Robinson Center and other capital improvements, $3.6 million to replace inoperative generators and $2.6 million for elevator renovations.

“While I appreciate the administration releasing these funds, the fact is that over the last several years this governor has attempted to ignore and devalue higher education in general and Chicago State University and its students in particular, and I will not allow that to happen. It is well past time that we make the investments in our higher education institutions the students, faculty and staff deserve,” said Sims.

Category: Press Releases

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

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