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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

Fair Tax Thumbnail

SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims (D-Chicago) supported a constitutional amendment that would allow Illinois to implement a fairer income tax.

Illinois has had the same flat tax structure for decades. The Illinois Constitution currently locks in a flat income tax rate. The proposed plan would lower taxes for 97 percent of Illinoisans and only raise rates for those making more than $250,000.

“Right now, the tax burden rests heavily on low-income, working families,” Sims said. “A cashier at a corner store on Cottage Grove and a futures trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange pay the same percentage on their incomes. We have to change that. It has long been time for millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share.”

Sims has been an advocate for a fair tax for years, acting as a chief co-sponsor of similar legislation while he served in the House. The current flat tax system contributes to the deficit by preventing the revenue growth needed to invest in crucial services, he said.

“A fair tax will provide a sense of stability in Illinois that has not been felt in years,” Sims said. “For far too long the state has careened from crisis to crisis. My district and the people of Illinois deserve a larger investment in education, infrastructure and social services.”

The plan is headed to the House for consideration. If approved there, the constitutional amendment would require voter approval in 2020.

Senate Bill 687, a proposed rate structure also passed the Senate Wednesday.

The Senate Rate Proposal is as follows:

SENATE RATE PROPOSAL

Single Filers

Married / Joint Filers

Rate

Income Range

Rate

Income Range

4.75%

$0 - $10,000

4.75%

$0 - $10,000

4.9%

$10,000 - $100,000

4.9%

$10,000 - $100,000

4.95%

$100,000 - $250,000

4.95%

$100,000 - $250,000

7.75%

$250,001 - $350,000

7.75%

$250,001 - $500,000

7.85%

$350,001 – $750,000

7.85%

$500,001 - $1,000,000

7.99%

Over $750,000*

7.99%

Over $1,000,000*

*If over this income threshold, all income is taxed at 7.99% rate

Corporate Rate

Current Rate

7.0%

Adjusted Rate

7.99%

Applies to all corporate income.

Category: Press Releases

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CHICAGO—A plan at the statehouse would allow the Village of Manteno to do renovations at a public golf course.

The village has been unsuccessful in renovating a golf course club house because a state clause is preventing them from getting a bank loan. State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) is working to change that with a proposal that would remove the state’s interest in the property.

“This simple change would greatly benefit the people of Manteno and the village’s bottom line,” Sims said. “Renovations would help the golf course better compete with surrounding courses, which would potentially lead to higher profits for the village.”

The bill would require the Department of Central Management Services to execute and record a release of the reverter clause, which would eliminate the state’s stake in the land.

That clause states the land must be used for a public purpose and not be sold. If Manteno ever did sell the land to a private entity, it would owe the state 25 percent of the proceeds.

“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for their support on this very local issue in the 17th district,” Sims said. “I hope the House will also help us send this plan to the governor’s desk.”

Senate Bill 1597 is set to head to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

bail

CHICAGO—A plan that would protect Illinoisans’ right to a public defender passed the Senate recently.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsors the proposal, which creates the Public Defender Bail Reform Grant Program. The aim is to assist counties in following the current law, which requires counsel to be present at bail hearings.

“We cannot continue to deny Illinoisans their right to an attorney,” Sims said. “Bail hearings are a crucial part of the justice process, and everyone deserves an attorney at every step.”

Currently, many counties do not provide public defenders for bail hearings. Some small counties do not even hire a full time public defender.

There have been instances in these smaller counties where a defendant is not given a bail hearing. Instead a county sheriff calls the judge and tells them the name of the individual and their charges, and the judge will communicate the bail amount over the phone to the sheriff.

“In many cases, the handling of bail hearings in Illinois have been completely unjust and unacceptable,” Sims said. “The livelihood of these people, who have not been convicted of a crime, is affected by the bail amount. These defendants have the right to have legal representation to ensure that the bail fits the crime.”

Senate Bill 1966 is set to head to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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District Office:
8658 S. Cottage Grove Ave.
Chicago, IL 60619
P. 773.933.7715

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P. 217.782.3201