SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago and Senate Criminal Law Committee chairperson, released the following statement after the governor took executive action to form the Justice, Equity and Opportunity (JEO) Initiative, which aims to centralize and modernize the state’s criminal justice reform efforts:

“Communication, research and action are crucial to reform our state’s criminal justice system. For that reason, I commend Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton for forming this initiative, which aims to tackle this issue on all three fronts.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to ensure that we are best serving at-risk communities, and actively working to help individuals gain stability once they are released from prison.

“I appreciate that the executive order includes efforts to improve economic development in struggling communities, reduce recidivism and build stronger lines of communication between related agencies.

“Lt. Gov. Stratton has my full support on this initiative. I know she is a passionate advocate on these issues and will be a capable leader in this effort. I look forward to working with her and the administration on the issues of equity, justice and opportunity and reading the first report in the next three months.”

Category: Press Releases

030118 KS 1331

SPRINGFIELD—Legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 passed the Senate on Thursday.

“Raising the minimum wage throughout the state is crucial to help struggling, working families in Illinois,” Sims said. “This effort was unfortunately blocked by the past administration, but the time is now to provide Illinoisans across our state with a fair wage and provide them the stability they deserve.”

Senate Bill 1 would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025.  This extended roll-out will allow businesses to prepare for the change and provide businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees the ability to take a payroll tax credit.

The minimum wage has remained at $8.25 since 2010.

The first pay bump will take place on Jan. 1, 2020 to $9.25. 

“I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this historic legislation and help improve the lives of hard-working individuals throughout the state.” Sims said. “I know this plan will help working families by bridging the pay gap for seniors, women and minorities across our state.”

Senate Bill 1 passed with a vote of 39-18. It will now head to the House for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

031318 KS 2470

CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) commends the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, the City of Chicago and Chicago Police Department (CPD) on their work and negotiations that resulted in the approval of a consent decree to reform the department.

“I applaud the efforts that made this consent decree possible,” Sims said. “The trust between Chicagoans and police has been strained for various reasons, including the lack of accountability for bad actors within the department. This is a key step to help rebuild police-community relations in this great city,” said Sims.

The consent decree requires changes in CPD’s policies, practices, training and accountability practices to address the use of force, ensure police accountability, increase public and officer safety, and strengthen the relationship between CPD and Chicago residents.

Judge Robert M. Dow approved the decree on Thursday and will enforce it. An independent monitor will assess CPD’s progress in implementing the requirements until the city and CPD have fully complied with the decree.

“I will be following public reports issued by the independent monitoring team, and I look forward to seeing the results of the consent decree throughout Chicago, especially within the 17th District,” said Sims.

You can read the full decree here.

Category: Press Releases

Prop Tax Stock Image

SPRINGFIELD Property taxes will be lower for some homeowners and business owners in South Suburban communities thanks to a new state grant program that seeks to lift some of the burden on school districts that are heavily taxed.

The Property Tax Relief Grant is part of the education funding reform package that has been put in place to level the playing field to better serve struggling school districts.

“For far too long struggling communities were faced with paying higher property taxes in an attempt to provide students in the area a quality education, and more often than not the students still weren’t receiving adequate resources,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “Going forward this program will provide the relief necessary to help keep families in Illinois and boost local economies.”

Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include: 

  • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215: $1,906,225.40
  • Lansing School District 158: $1,836,888.06
  • Bloom Township High School District 206: $2,168,029.38

Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then give the money to the school districts once they have received all of the abatement certificates.

“This grant program is a crucial step to help change how we fund the education of our future leaders,” Sims said. “It is high time we shift some of the burden from property tax payers to the state in order to help provide a quality education to every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live.”

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

Category: Press Releases

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