CHICAGO – It’s been over a year since the death of Illinois State University student Jelani Day, and his family and the community still have questions about his death. State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – who championed what is known as the “Jelani Day” bill – will celebrate Day’s life and legacy Saturday. jelaniday

“A year has passed since the tragic loss of Mr. Jelani Day, yet his family, the community – and I – continue to mourn,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Mr. Day’s family – and the families of missing people across this state – deserve our continued help, support and assistance.”

When Day went missing, it took two weeks to find his body and another three weeks to identify his remains. This led Sims to champion a law – Senate Bill 3932 – to allow county coroners and medical examiners to receive federal assistance in identifying missing persons. Day’s family played an instrumental role in the passage of the measure.

The new law will require a coroner or medical examiner with custody of human remains that are not identified within 72 hours of discovery to immediately notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation for assistance in identification.

While both Day’s family and Sims himself are proud of the steps the legislature took to ensure no other Illinois family has to experience the tragedy Day’s family felt, they believe more awareness still needs to be brought forth.

That’s why Sims is standing with Day’s family as they launch the Jelani Day Foundation, an effort to fight for change and equity to ensure families of color have the help and momentum needed during the search for missing loved ones.  

The celebration of life and further announcements regarding the launch of the foundation will be held at the Bone Student Center at Illinois State University Saturday, Aug. 27 from 5-9 p.m.

People can get tickets for the event by clicking here. Members of the media who would like press credentials for the event should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Building upon the smart infrastructure investments supported by State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. the Illinois Department of Transportation announced nearly $13 million in road and bridge improvement projects coming to the area this year.

Evening view UK Motorway Services Roadworks Cones.

“This is a meaningful investment to preserve local roads and bridges,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “We are taking a responsible approach to not only address safety and traffic issues, but to prevent them before they arise.”  

As part of IDOT’s latest Multi-Year Plan under Rebuild Illinois, the district Sims represents will see 10 infrastructure projects totaling more than $37 million over the next six years.

Some of the most vital projects coming to the area this year include:

  • Intersection improvement at Burville Road
  • Lighting improvements in Calumet City on Sibley Boulevard to 154th Street
  • Reconstruction of 1.5 miles of roads near S Butler Drive and S Stony Island Avenue

These projects are part of IDOT’s multi-year plan, a $34.6 billion investment in construction projects for the next six fiscal years.  

The $34.6 billion will go to highway reconstruction and preservation, bridge improvements, strategic expansion, system support such as engineering and land acquisition, and safety and system modernizations. Over six years, the funding will be dispersed to improve more than 2,500 miles of roads and nearly 10 million square feet of bridges.

"Aside from making our roads safer, these projects will provide quality jobs and help people recover from the financial impact of the pandemic,” Sims said.  

To find a full list of projects slated for the 17th Senate District, visit IDOT’s website.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Thanks to support from State Senator Elgie Sims, Calumet City and Lansing will both see major investments as part of the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets program.

Downtown Lansing

“Local business districts are the backbones of our communities – from being great places to work to great places for entertainment,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Investing in our business community helps us make equitable recovery from the pandemic and inflation by creating jobs and growing a stronger local economy.”

With new federal funding made available through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity administered grants to 50 commercial corridors throughout the state. Calumet City will see more than $685,000 to improve the Burnham Avenue corridor, while Lansing will see $875,000 to replace to sidewalk in the business district.

The Rebuild Illinois program is a historic $45 billion investment in Illinois’ transportation infrastructure and state facilities, passed in 2019 with support from Senator Sims.

DCEO originally administered $50 million for the program in 2021. Due to federal funding, the state allocated an additional $56 million to support 29 more projects. With matching funds from recipients, a total investment of $215 million was made in downtowns across Illinois.

For a full list of recipients, visit

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – Building upon the General Assembly’s responsible spending and balanced budget of recent years, Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – the Senate’s chief budget negotiator – pushed for a sales tax holiday to make school supplies more affordable for Illinois families. That 5% state sales tax break begins Friday.


“While the state saw a surplus of funds this year thanks to responsible spending and balanced budgets of recent years, residents of Illinois faced years of financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then an onslaught of struggles due to inflation,” said Sims (D-Chicago) “As chair of the Senate’s Appropriations Committee, I knew we had to help our residents who have faced immense economic challenges – and providing a sales tax holiday does just that.”

The sales tax holiday will take effect from Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. Senate Bill 157 created a 5% reduction on the states sales tax for qualifying school supplies and clothing. During the 10-day holiday, people can shop at stores throughout the state and pay a 1.25% state sales tax instead of the usual 6.25%.

Shoes, coats, winter accessories, ties and school uniforms under $125 will qualify for the tax break, as well as binders, folder, backpacks, lunch boxes, calculators, notebooks and writing supplies.

“This tax holiday helps our state’s families while setting our students up for success,” said Sims. “By providing people with relief, we are also incentivizing them to spend locally. It’s a win-win for our families and businesses alike.”

The sales tax holiday takes place from Aug. 5 to Aug. 14.

Category: Press Releases

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