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

Sims on Rauner Gun AV

CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement on the governor’s amendatory veto (AV) of House Bill 1468, which prevents the delivery of assault weapons until 72 hours after application for purchase:

“It’s clear that the governor’s rewrite of HB 1468 is a partisan ploy to kill this legislation.

This plan originally focused on a 72-hour wait period for the delivery of assault weapons. His change to extend this to all weapons is something that we could discuss as a legislative body, but to combine multiple bills and throw in death penalty policy, isn’t.

Gov. Rauner’s had HB 1468 on his desk since March 15. He decided to make changes just one day before his deadline to take action to limit the amount of time the General Assembly has to consider it. He essentially wants the plan to die.

During the governor’s State of the State address he said he wanted ‘bipartisan dedication to restore public trust,’ yet he plays these political games with legislation that’s meant to prevent gun violence and mass shootings.

We have little more than two weeks left in session. It’s time to work together to do what’s best to protect working families throughout our state, not play partisan politics.”

Category: Press Releases

Sims website photo

CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to testimony from Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah stating that gun violence is a public health crisis:

“I am glad Director Shah agrees with me that the level of gun violence plaguing our communities is unacceptably high and is a public health crisis requiring our immediate attention.  Now that we can agree that gun violence is in fact a health crisis, Gov. Rauner and the Department of Public Health need to allocate funds and start research on the matter so we can figure out how to best address this epidemic affecting our communities.

“We continue to see tragedies across our state and nation resulting from gun violence. Three people were killed and at least seven were wounded in shootings over last weekend in the city of Chicago, and on Sunday, an Illinois resident took the lives of four unsuspecting victims at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee.

It is time for us to address the root causes of gun violence as opposed to bowing to the whims of the gun lobby, so we can do everything possible to prevent gun violence from continuing to harm our communities.”

Category: Press Releases

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Chicago Office:
8233 S. Princeton
Chicago, IL 60620
PHONE: 773.933.7715
TEXT: 773.839.4737

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