dorm roomCHICAGO— Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) moved legislation to give community college boards of trustees, and local housing authorities, permission to develop affordable housing for community college students.

“This is about bettering the college experience for every student in this state,” said Sims. “Research shows that students who live on campus have higher GPAs. When students live on campus they are more plugged-in to the campus community and have more opportunities to join clubs, attend events, meet new people.”

Under current law, community colleges do not have the right to own student housing. In order for community schools to develop affordable housing for students, the process must be administered through a local Housing Authority or nonprofit organization.

Proponents of the bill also suggest that restricted housing on community college campuses fails to meet the need of every student. Traditionally, community colleges catered to students living within reasonable driving distance of the school. And while that arrangement works for some students, now-a-days a lengthy and costly commute poses a challenging barrier to those living at a distance, including international students.

House Bill 374 passed out of the Senate Higher Education Committee and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases


george floyd 5342710 1920

SPRINGFIELD- Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement following the guilty verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin:

“Today, the jury got it right. It confirmed what the entire world watched in horror, George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight with complete disregard for his humanity by disgraced former officer Derek Chauvin.

While this is the verdict the evidence supported and we were hoping for, we should not be distracted from the fact that there is still more work to do to ensure our system of justice is fair and equitable for everyone.

It is important to realize that it takes more than just convicting officers of police misconduct to achieve real equity and justice.

Police reform goes beyond only holding those accountable who misuse their power, it calls for us to reimagine public safety and improve the profession of policing.

Read more ...

Category: Press Releases

Sims Committee

SPRINGFIELD- Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) advanced legislation today to require that no child in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) store his or her belongings in plastics bags or inappropriate baggage while moving around within the system.

“Some of these children are forced to leave behind toys and other keepsakes because they simply do not have enough storage space for their belongings,” said Sims. “And what do you think that says to a child, when they can’t get a stuffed animal or family photo into a trash bag? This measure simply removes one of the challenges these children face within the DCFS system that seems small but is really about not being cruel.”

Under current law there are no restrictions or requirements for what kind of baggage can be used in the relocation processes of youth. Senate Bill 2177 seeks to ban the use of giving children in custody plastic bags, trash bags, pillow cases and similar containers to store their personal items.

The initiative, led by the National Association of Social Workers Illinois Chapter, passed out of the Senate Health Committee and moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Category: Press Releases

SPRINGFIELD- Three Illinois police agencies testified before Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) and the State Law Enforcement Appropriations Committee to present their budget requests for fiscal year 2022, 02192019CM1155Tuesday. The State Police Merit Board, Illinois State Police and the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) highlighted requests for additional staffing purposes, equipment and other line items.

Answering a question on whether State Police’s budget request includes any additional resources to implement the criminal justice reforms under the recently signed SAFE-T Act, ISP Director Brenden Kelly noted that although the department is less affected by the SAFE-T Act than some of the other police agencies, their budget includes a funding request for body cameras and new funding for staffing issues. Kelly also highlighted the continual efforts to hire a more diverse staff, as that remains a serious challenge for the department.

“Creating diversity within Illinois police agencies is a significant priority of the General assembly,” Sims said. “It’s crucial that our officers mirror the communities they serve, and this is why we need to continue efforts to develop good community police relations.”

The Illinois Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) proposed similar requests for funds to address department staffing issues. ILESTB’s budget included appropriations for 15 new positions, equipment for training and squad cars and a plan to modernize logging systems. Director Brent Fischer also mentioned the hurdle of gaining hiring approval from the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) and asked the General Assembly to streamline that and the procurement process.

The hearing comes after the SAFE-T Act which was signed into law Feb. 22. The SAFE-T Act includes several reforms to Illinois’ policing processes, such as prohibiting the destruction of records, removing cash bail; mandating the use of body-warn cameras by all police; and much more.

Category: Press Releases

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