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SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools passed the Senate Wednesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, sponsored the bill that would create a requirement that Illinois history be taught in public schools.

“To create a better Illinois, we must teach our future leaders its rich history,” Sims said. “It is crucial that our students learn where our state has been, so they will have a better idea of where it needs to go, a better understanding of our society, a deeper sense of identity and hopefully be prompted to create change in their communities.”

Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois history be taught as part of the U.S. history requirement in K-12 schools.  The law does require the course to include a comprehensive idea of our democratic form of government, the role and contributions of African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups, and the role of labor unions.

“State government has a major impact on many aspects of our young peoples’ lives, especially their education,” Sims said. “As state leaders, it’s important that we make it a priority to educate students about how government works and our great state’s history.

Senate Bill 1601 is now headed to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD—A proposal to make Illinois more attractive to film companies passed out of the State Revenue Committee Wednesday.

The plan, sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), would expand the state’s film production tax credit with the aim of raising Illinois’ national standing in the film and television industry.

“This move could put Illinois a step above other states in the media production industry,” Sims said. “We have seen exponential growth over the years, and this tax credit would boost that by making the state more attractive to film and television companies around the world.”

Senate Bill 1595 changes the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act to allow the first $200,000 of out-of-state wages paid or acquired by production companies to qualify for the film production services tax credit.

“With the out migration of business in recent years, we must do all we can to attract and keep businesses here in Illinois” Sims said. “Expanding the film tax credit will help us increase momentum in this industry.”

SB 1595 is set to head to the Senate floor for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

data centers

SPRINGFIELD—A plan to make Illinois more competitive in the data centers industry is one step closer to becoming law.

Under the plan sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), companies operating data centers in Illinois would not have to pay sales or use tax for materials used in the construction or operation of a data center.

“Illinois has the opportunity to be a leader in the data center industry,” Sims said. “Right now, we are fourth in the nation in this fast-growing industry. Investing in companies that bring data centers to Illinois will bring revenue and jobs to the state.”

To qualify for the tax exemption, a data center must be located in Illinois, create at least 20 new jobs over a 60-month period and be carbon-neutral or get a certification under green building standards.

New data centers must have $250 million in new capital over a five-year period. Existing data centers must make that same amount over five years on or before Jan. 1, 2020.

Indiana and other neighboring states are building data centers that border the state of Illinois, putting the pressure on Illinois to stay competitive, Sims said.

“We cannot allow states like Indiana to monopolize this industry,” Sims said. “This tax exemption would make Illinois very attractive for those looking to start or relocate in this growing business.”

Senate Bill 1591 passed out of the State Revenue Committee Wednesday. It is set to head to the Senate floor for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD—A plan to require Illinois history to be taught in schools is one step closer to becoming law.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a democrat from Chicago, is the sponsor of the bill, which passed the State Senate Education committee on Tuesday.

“If we want to shape the future of Illinois, we have to teach our kids its history,” Sims said. “It will help them better understand society, provide a sense of identity and potentially inspire them to work to create change within their communities. Teaching state history is the foundation for a better Illinois.”

Currently, there is not a specific requirement that Illinois History be taught as part of U.S. history. The law does require the course to include a comprehensive idea of our democratic form of government, the role and contributions of African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic groups and the role of labor unions.

“State government plays a major role in students’ lives in many ways, including funding their education,” Sims said. “The impact extends into adulthood. Our young people need to understand Illinois history, in addition to how our government works, so they can make informed decisions and be productive members of society.”

Senate Bill 1601 is set to be sent to the Senate floor for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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