SPRINGFIELD — State Elgie R. Sims, Jr. is honored to be named Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader and to serve as chair of the Appropriations Committee during the 103rd General Assembly. 


“I am proud to continue my work prioritizing fiscal responsibility and smart spending for the people of this great state,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “We have made immense fiscal progress in recent years, and I look forward to building upon those efforts.”

Senator Sims has served in the General Assembly since 2012, first serving in the House until 2018. While Sims previously served as chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and as the Senate’s lead budget negotiator, this is his first year on the Senate President’s leadership team.

“Senate President Don Harmon has led our caucus — and the entire Senate — with immense poise and leadership,” Sims said. “I am honored he trusts me to serve as the Majority Caucus Appropriations Leader.”

Sims will also serve as vice chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be a member of the Senate Financial Institutions and Revenue Committees.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – A longtime advocate of bettering the criminal justice system, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. was named vice chair of the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council.


“To truly combat racism within our criminal justice system we must understand and evaluate our sentencing policies,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “We must use data and academic research to evaluate and improve outcomes in our criminal legal system. The color of your skin or the location of your zip code should never determine the length of your sentence.”

In his role, the Senator will be joined by nearly two dozen other state and local criminal justice system stakeholders including retired judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, victims’ rights advocates and more.

The group will review sentencing policies and practices and examine how those policies impact the criminal justice system as a whole. The non-partisan, independent commission will then report on its findings as it pertains to effectiveness and efficiency of the current sentencing practices.

Sims has served as a leading voice in the effort to reform the state’s criminal justice for many years. He spearheaded efforts to pass a comprehensive criminal justice reform bill that will change the current use of force policy, how courts impose bail and sentence individuals, and advance rights to all Illinois citizens, including detainees and prisoners, to better improve interactions with law enforcement professionals.

“We can’t just put people in jail and forget about them – there needs to be a path back from prison and that starts with how we look at sentencing,” said Sims. “People deserve the opportunity to remake their lives.”

Senator Sims will hold the position of vice chair until next January.

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO — State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. — the Senate’s chief budget negotiator — led efforts that allowed Illinois to repay the remaining $1.36 billion unemployment insurance Trust Fund debt.


“This plan was the right thing to do for businesses, labor organizations and everyday Illinoisans,” said Sims (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I want people to know that if they need temporary help providing for their families, no matter the reason, Illinois has their back.”

The payment was made possible after an historic agreement was reached between the state, and representatives from business, labor, and bipartisan members of the General Assembly. Smart spending decisions and balanced budgets of recent years led by Sims put the state on track to be able to make the payment.

In addition to the repayment of the federal loan, which was necessary to supplement the state's Trust Fund to ensure payment of unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic, the plan also has allocated $450 million to be placed into the Trust Fund from state funds as an interest-free loan. As the loan is repaid over the next ten years, funds will be deposited directly into the state's Rainy Day Fund.

“Paying down debt is the fiscally responsible move that could lead to another credit upgrade,” said Sims. “We have provided a sense of security for Illinois residents, including current and retired state workers and their families.”

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – a longstanding advocate of protecting a person’s right to reproductive health care – supported a measure today that further enshrines those rights for Illinoisans. 011023HAO00576

“The ability to make decisions and be able to access health care is fundamental to gender equity, equality and justice,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Through this legislation, we are ensuring all people have access to the reproductive health care they need while protecting our health care workers from the overarching hands of anti-choice states.”

While Illinois already has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws in the country on the books, many neighboring states have severely diminished people’s rights and have threatened to intrude upon the rights of those in other states.

Through House Bill 4644, that can’t happen. Illinois health care providers will not be able to be penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state but legal in Illinois, and people in Illinois won’t be punished for seeking reproductive health care that is lawful here.

The measure also calls for a number of other avenues to protect choice, including protecting in vitro fertilization, creating grants to provide abortion training, clarifying advance practice nurses can perform abortions, and more.

“This is about protecting people’s personal decisions – people should be able to control their own bodies and destinies,” said Sims. “Gender equity and reproductive rights go hand-and-hand.”

House Bill 4644 passed the Senate Tuesday.

Category: Press Releases

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