Sims Verdict

CHICAGO – Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after a jury found Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke guilty of second degree murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald:

“Today’s verdict represents a positive step in the effort to repair strained relations between law enforcement and many communities. This is not a time for celebration as much as it is an opportunity for action and reflection about where we go as a community.  I hope this case sets a precedent where the men and women who bravely wear the uniform of law enforcement continue to serve and protect without the inappropriate actions of a few damaging the reputation of all.

“I applaud the jury for carrying out the very difficult task that came before them, and for delivering justice for the family of Mr. McDonald.  This verdict shows that justice can prevail and provides a message to our communities that their voices will be heard.  We must continue moving forward and being committed to improving relations between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

Category: Press Releases


CHICAGO — The state is investing nearly $14 million dollars in long overdue renovations at Chicago State University (CSU), State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

Public universities and colleges suffered as a result of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. The impasse ended with a bipartisan budget passed with an override of the governor’s veto. CSU struggled just to keep its doors open, laid off 400 people and enrollment suffered. As a budgeteer, Sims has been an outspoken advocate in the effort to restore funding and support to these institutions.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to deliver these funds to this great institution,” said Sims. “The Rauner administration has not made higher education a priority, so during this last round of budget negotiations, I’m glad I was finally able to successfully fight to invest in CSU.  The future of our students is one of my highest priorities and I will continue to fight to make CSU along with all of our colleges and universities the world class institutions we all know them to be.”

The construction funds CSU will receive include: $7.5 million for renovations at the Robinson Center and other capital improvements, $3.6 million to replace inoperative generators and $2.6 million for elevator renovations.

“While I appreciate the administration releasing these funds, the fact is that over the last several years this governor has attempted to ignore and devalue higher education in general and Chicago State University and its students in particular, and I will not allow that to happen. It is well past time that we make the investments in our higher education institutions the students, faculty and staff deserve,” said Sims.

Category: Press Releases

Sims photo

SPRINGFIELD—Businesses in Illinois will now be able to more easily access resources to help them better compete with companies in neighboring states.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr., a Chicago Democrat, sponsored the Illinois Home Grown Business Opportunity Act, which aims to help Illinois businesses identify existing state resources.

“Business owners have enough on their plate with the day-to-day challenges of running their businesses. That’s why it’s important that we make it easy for them to find resources to help them prosper in Illinois,” Sims said. “As a state we need to focus our attention on economic development to attract new businesses, but we also need to nurture the companies that are currently in Illinois. I’m confident this legislation will help these businesses better compete and thrive.”

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will create a plan to assist cities, towns and villages located along the borders of Illinois. The information will be posted on the department’s website, so businesses throughout the state will have access to it.

“These resources will specifically help businesses along Illinois’ border, but they could help all businesses, which is why we’re making the information available statewide,” Sims said. “Entrepreneurs in my district have made it clear that they need help competing with their out-of-state neighbors, and this law will help Illinois’ businesses do just that.”

Senate Bill 3285 was signed by the governor Friday. It takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases


CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, is pleased to announce the Commission on Police Professionalism will continue to review police practices to ensure better police-community relations.

The commission was established when a groundbreaking law enforcement reform package became law in 2015. This legislation, signed into law Aug. 10, includes many recommendations issued by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and extends the commission’s sunset date from Dec. 31, 2018 to July 1, 2019.

“We must continue to do all we can to ensure positive relations between law enforcement and the communities they are charged with protecting and serving. Recent police encounters throughout the country have furthered strained these already frayed relations” said Sims. “This commission is an important part of Illinois’ efforts to improve training and licensing standards which will help ensure we are providing law enforcement with the tools they need to be successful while also addressing community concerns.”

The new law also prevents the director of the Illinois State Police from appointing auxiliary state police.

The commission was designed to review current training, the certification process of law enforcement and law enforcement duties and to determine whether some law enforcement officers should be licensed.

“This commission is all about working closely with law enforcement throughout our state to form better relationships between police and the communities they serve,” said Sims.

Senate Bill 3263 takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Category: Press Releases

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