CHICAGO — State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. — the Senate’s chief budget negotiator — led efforts that allowed Illinois to repay the remaining $1.36 billion unemployment insurance Trust Fund debt.


“This plan was the right thing to do for businesses, labor organizations and everyday Illinoisans,” said Sims (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I want people to know that if they need temporary help providing for their families, no matter the reason, Illinois has their back.”

The payment was made possible after an historic agreement was reached between the state, and representatives from business, labor, and bipartisan members of the General Assembly. Smart spending decisions and balanced budgets of recent years led by Sims put the state on track to be able to make the payment.

In addition to the repayment of the federal loan, which was necessary to supplement the state's Trust Fund to ensure payment of unemployment insurance benefits during the pandemic, the plan also has allocated $450 million to be placed into the Trust Fund from state funds as an interest-free loan. As the loan is repaid over the next ten years, funds will be deposited directly into the state's Rainy Day Fund.

“Paying down debt is the fiscally responsible move that could lead to another credit upgrade,” said Sims. “We have provided a sense of security for Illinois residents, including current and retired state workers and their families.”

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – a longstanding advocate of protecting a person’s right to reproductive health care – supported a measure today that further enshrines those rights for Illinoisans. 011023HAO00576

“The ability to make decisions and be able to access health care is fundamental to gender equity, equality and justice,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Through this legislation, we are ensuring all people have access to the reproductive health care they need while protecting our health care workers from the overarching hands of anti-choice states.”

While Illinois already has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws in the country on the books, many neighboring states have severely diminished people’s rights and have threatened to intrude upon the rights of those in other states.

Through House Bill 4644, that can’t happen. Illinois health care providers will not be able to be penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state but legal in Illinois, and people in Illinois won’t be punished for seeking reproductive health care that is lawful here.

The measure also calls for a number of other avenues to protect choice, including protecting in vitro fertilization, creating grants to provide abortion training, clarifying advance practice nurses can perform abortions, and more.

“This is about protecting people’s personal decisions – people should be able to control their own bodies and destinies,” said Sims. “Gender equity and reproductive rights go hand-and-hand.”

House Bill 4644 passed the Senate Tuesday.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD – Too often Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. wakes up and sees the news, he’s devastated by yet another headline about a deadly shooting across our state. That is why he fought tirelessly to end the gun violence plaguing our communities, most recently doing so by voting for a measure to ban assault weapons in Illinois.


“Each deadly shooting is yet another tragic reminder that the gun violence epidemic has only worsened in our country,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “It’s another reminder that we must act now in a meaningful way to address this problem and end the blood that flows onto the floors of churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, city streets and malls.”

Just six months ago, tragedy struck the Highland Park community when a gunman opened fire on the community 4th of July parade, killing seven and injuring dozens more. That same night five people in Chicago were injured by gunfire and another died. Over that holiday long weekend, Chicago saw 68 people shot and eight killed.

In response to ongoing gun violence epidemic, Sims sponsored and passed a measure to ban the sale and transfer of assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

Studies show that approximately one-third of public mass shooting events include the use of an assault weapon, and nearly 40% involve a high-capacity magazine. When an assault weapon and/or a high-capacity magazine is used in a public mass shooting, nearly 14 times as many people are injured, and twice as many people are killed. Not only are there more injuries when assault weapons are used, but the types of injuries are far worse.

Senator Sims has been a longstanding advocate in the fight against gun violence. In 2018 he passed a measure requiring a person to wait 72 hours after applying to purchase a firearm before taking possession of it.

“Limiting access to high-capacity magazines and military-style assault weapons will save countless lives,” said Sims. “Today’s action is owed to every person, child and family – giving them greater peace of mind that their workplaces, schools and grocery stores will become safer.”

Senate Bill 2226 passed the Senate on Monday.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) took the oath of office and was sworn in for a new term Wednesday as the Illinois Senate officially began the 103rd General Assembly. He released the following statement:

“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve my constituents and will continue working tirelessly to provide positive change in our community and across the state of Illinois. I am eager to continue my work on behalf of the amazing people and families of the 17th District. In this session, my focus will be on growing economic opportunities, providing a quality education to all students, addressing the root causes of crime and community instability, including our continuing work to reform our state’s criminal justice system, preventing gun violence, and passing a full, balanced budget. Our agenda is full, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to improve the lives of all Illinoisans, because they deserve progress, and I stand ready to give it to them.”

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