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

CHICAGO – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. will host his annual back to school festival in August, joined by co-hosts State Representative Nick Smith and Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore.

Sims Back2School

The festival will take place from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6 at Tuley Park, located at 501 E. 90th Pl. in the Chesterfield neighborhood.

“Our students have had some of the most challenging times of their lives since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “It is critical that we continue supporting parents, kids and teachers as they transition back to their regular academic schedules, which is why I’m proud to host this event again this year and provide resources to families in the 17th district. My office is working hard to make sure kids in Chicago and across Illinois will have a great start to this school year.”

Event sponsors include the University of Illinois—Chicago’s CHANCE Program and the West Chesterfield Community Association, among others. All residents and their families are welcome and will receive resources, school supplies, entertainment, food and more.

For more information, please contact Senator Sims’ office at (773) 933-7715 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – To kick off Parks and Recreation Month, State Senator Elgie Sims announced funding for investments at the Marian R. Byrnes Park within the Chicago Park District.

Public Park In Cheltenham, United Kingdom

“Chicago has a number of beautiful parks that allow families to get out and be active together,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “By making critical improvements to our local parks and outdoor spaces, we are prioritizing the overall well-being of our residents.”

Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program grants are administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and support local park projects. When combined with local matching funds, the latest OSLAD grants provide more than $56 million in local park development projects and land acquisitions statewide. The Marian R. Brynes Park within the Chicago Park District will receive $500,000 of the funds.

“This park is a staple of our community, and I look forward to the improvements that are brought forth, but the jobs these projects will create to give the local economy a boost and the benefits it provides to families in our community” said Sims. “As we kick off Parks and Recreation Month, I encourage you to get outside and check out all the lovely parks our state has to offer.”

Learn more about OSLAD grants and see a full list of projects on the Illinois DNR website.

Category: Press Releases

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Chicago Office:
8233 S. Princeton
Chicago, IL 60620

P. 773.933.7715

Springfield Office:
Stratton Building,                Section C - Office H
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.3201