Sims Cooling Off Period

SPRINGFIELD-State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) passed Senate Bill 3256, which would extend a 72-hour waiting period to all firearms in Illinois.

"Having an across-the-board 'cooling off' period for firearms could prevent people from causing harm to themselves or others," said Sims. "Requiring a 72-hour waiting period is a commonsense reform that will help keep our communities safe."

Current Illinois law requires a 72-hour waiting period to obtain handguns after purchase, but assault weapons, including the AR-15 and other military-style weapons can be collected in just 24 hours.

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed waiting period legislation earlier this legislative session. SB 3256 matches a proposal he made in that amendatory veto.

This plan will bring all firearms in line with handguns, which are already regulated under a 72-hour waiting period.

"We must take every step we can to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. I believe this measure will help save lives by preventing someone from making a violent snap judgment that leads to actions that could have been prevented," said Sims.

This waiting period will give law enforcement ample time to do proper background checks as well as provide a "cooling off" period for people who may hurt themselves or someone else.

Passage of SB 3256 is a prelude to National Gun Violence Awareness Day today, which further highlights the need to prevent gun violence in Illinois and across the country.

SB 3256 heads to the governor's desk for approval.

Category: Press Releases

Sims Budget

 SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement on the Senate’s passage of the state’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget:

“I’m pleased the Senate was able to pass a full-year, balanced, bipartisan budget which makes significant investments in areas needed to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the state of Illinois, particularly those of the 17th District.

“This budget makes significant investments in improving the quality of our schools and institutions of higher education, like Chicago State University. The budget also seeks to keep students in Illinois as they seek to obtain a quality higher education, while simultaneously focusing on protecting our most vulnerable populations and addressing the issue of gun violence in the 17th District and across the state.

“Gun violence impacts communities across Illinois, raising legitimate public safety concerns among my constituents.

“As one of the budgeteers, I kept public safety concerns and the alternative strategies needed to prevent the root causes of violence foremost in my mind as we negotiated this year’s budget. This budget plan restores funding for youth employment programs, after school programming and youth programs, including Teen REACH.

“Jobs and afterschool programs go hand in hand with violence prevention. Providing our young people with constructive activities and employment is crucial to keeping them focused on their futures, off the streets and most of all, alive.

“I’m glad my colleagues and I were able to work together in a bipartisan manner to craft a balanced spending plan that prioritizes the success of our young people in at-risk communities, invests in education and improves the quality of life for citizens across our state. 

“I look forward to the budget passing the Illinois House of Representatives and being signed into law by the Governor to further put Illinois on the road to fiscal stability and make a difference in the lives of the people of the 17th District and across the state of Illinois.”

Category: Press Releases

Sims jury duty

SPRINGFIELD—Under a new proposal that passed the Senate today, mothers may be excused from jury duty if they’re currently breastfeeding.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. is the chief Senate sponsor of House Bill 5745, which allows nursing mothers to be exempt from jury duty upon request.

“It’s important that we respect and acknowledge many mothers’ need to breastfeed their babies,” said Sims. “This plan prioritizes their responsibilities as parents because their children come first before anything else.”

This legislation is designed to create parity between the Jury Commission Act and the Jury Act, which already allow nursing mothers to be excused from jury duty.

Currently, the JCA authorizes the exemption for counties with populations that are between 75,000 and 3 million. HB 5745 would excuse all nursing mothers in Illinois regardless of county population size.

Sims is also sponsoring a similar plan, Senate Bill 3503, which requires circuit courts in Illinois to provide a lactation room.

“We would hope that if these courthouses don’t already have lactations rooms, they will in the near future,” said Sims. “In instances where they don’t, or mothers don’t feel comfortable, they should be exempt from jury duty.”

HB5745 is now headed to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases


Sims Emotional Intelligence

SPRINGFIELD — Arguing that important social skills can sometimes be lost in the rush to prepare students for future disciplines, State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. passed legislation through the Senate today aimed at helping students learn the people skills that are often crucial to being successful in the workforce.

“It’s important that we give our young people all the tools they need to be contributing members of society,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “There’s never been a greater need for people skills with many of our kids spending so much of their time on their phones and computers rather than interacting face-to-face.”

Sims is the Senate sponsor of House Bill 4657, which allows schools to teach lessons on emotional intelligence and creates the Emotional Intelligence Education Task Force to develop curriculum guidelines.

The task force would develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence curriculum for elementary and high schools, including how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions.

“Just as we teach our students important subjects like history and math, we must help them have a better understanding of their interactions in the world. This basic skill is crucial to advancing in any career,” said Sims.

The legislation now heads to the governor’s desk.

Category: Press Releases

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Chicago Office:
8233 S. Princeton
Chicago, IL 60620

P. 773.933.7715

Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.3201