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

SPRINGFIELD – Building upon the fiscally responsible budget decisions Democrats in Springfield have made in recent years, State Senator Elgie Sims, Jr. – the Senate’s lead budget negotiator – championed sending billions of dollars to mental health care, crime prevention, job creation and saving for our state’s future.


“This plan builds upon the responsible budget decisions and balanced budgets of the last few years. The state was able to pay off our bills, saw our credit rating improve and found itself with a sizeable surplus. We spent much of that surplus by putting $1.83 billion back in taxpayers’ pockets,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Even with that, we found ourselves with additional funding to provide even more assistance to address the needs facing communities and families across our state.”

The measure – found within House Bill 969 – promotes fiscal responsibility by putting additional revenue in the state’s Rainy Day Fund and spurs economic deployment by encouraging big employers to come to Illinois.

It also prioritizes the people and sectors who need help the most. To continue providing support for community-based organizations, nonprofits and the City of Chicago to respond to the challenges faced by asylum seekers arriving in Chicago sent by political leaders in other states, this bill provides $162 million for costs associated with care and services provided to these individuals and families.

“Illinois is a welcoming state – one that treats human beings with dignity and respect,” said Sims. “Because the state has prioritized responsible spending and payments to reduce our debt, resulting in a sizeable surplus, the ability to cover these costs is both the fiscally and morally responsible thing to do.”

Further, the supplemental budget prioritizes mental health services, affordable housing and public safety.

“Thanks to the remarkable strength and tenacity of the people of Illinois, our economy rebounded in a way we didn’t expect, and we ended up with additional revenue – even after the relief we provided to taxpayers,” said Sims. “Following the mess that was the Rauner budget impasse, we’ve been more conservative with our investments because we refused to make the same mistakes. I’m proud of the work before us.”

House Bill 969 passed the Senate Monday.

Category: Press Releases

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