Text Size

The Majority Report 01/29/18 - Sims sworn in, will focus on families and communities


Sims sets families, communities as his priorities in Senate

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Elgie R. Sims Jr. was sworn in Friday as state senator for the 17th District of Illinois, replacing longtime and widely respected State Senator Donne Trotter, who resigned Jan. 19 to pursue other opportunities.

Sims, a Chicago Democrat, has been state representative for the 34th House District for nearly six years. He’s also an attorney and second-generation small business owner. He said it was his honor to accept the appointment to succeed Trotter, whom he described as an outstanding legislator and tireless community advocate.

“I want to thank Senator Trotter for his many years of service to the people of this diverse district with its rich history, culture and amazing people, and for his work in improving the quality of life for all of the citizens of the state of Illinois,” Sims said.

“His unwavering commitment to the mentorship of young people, including both non-elected and elected officials alike, myself included, is a testament to his desire to move our great state forward.”

Sims was born in Chicago and has degrees from Illinois State University, the University of Illinois and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. He said his priorities in the Senate will be families and communities.

“I will continue focusing on issues that are important to my constituents,” he said, “including fighting for working families, protecting our most vulnerable populations, providing the best education, creating new jobs and economic opportunities throughout this community, reforming our state’s criminal justice system and reducing recidivism.”

Read more: Learn more about Sims’ appointment
Read more: Reaction to Trotter’s resignation announcement


Senators plan to connect schools to high-speed internet

Senator Jacqueline Y CollinsState Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins joined Chicago activists last week in opposing the Rauner administration’s move to impose a double-digit increase in fee caps for check cashing at Illinois currency exchanges.

Speaking at the headquarters of The Woodstock Institute, Collins (D-Chicago) announced legislation that would cut check-cashing rates and expand consumer protections for customers.

“It makes difficult jobs with long hours even harder when these families see their paycheck taken away by fees and penalties,” Collins said. “Hard-working families from low-income areas and communities of color often depend on currency exchanges for an alternative means of check-cashing. What Gov. Rauner and IDFPR are proposing would only make this state of affairs worse for low-income families.”

Read more about Collins’ legislation, the Check Cashing Fairness Act.



Steans: Governor should expand medical marijuana program

Sen. Heather SteansGiven a choice between showing compassion for those suffering from chronic pain or pursuing a costly legal battle, the Rauner administration should choose compassion, Senator Heather Steans said last week.

Steans (D-Chicago) called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to expand access to Illinois’ medical marijuana program by adding intractable pain to the qualifying condition list rather than appeal a judge’s order that the condition be added.

Intractable pain is a severe form of chronic pain that is constant and incurable. It can be resistant to treatment, but some patients can benefit from using medical cannabis.

“Gov. Rauner needs to drop the appeal and allow patients with intractable pain to have access to medical cannabis,” Steans said. “Patients should have an alternative to opioids that doesn’t force them to turn to the black market for medicine.”

A patient with intractable pain recently sued the Illinois Department of Public Health over rejecting her petition to add intractable pain to the list of qualifying medical conditions for medical cannabis.

A Cook County judge ordered the IDPH director to add it to the list.

“It’s time for the governor to show some compassion for Illinoisans who are suffering from severe, life-altering pain and allow them to access medical cannabis for relief,” Steans said.

In the news: Judge orders Illinois to expand medical marijuana qualifying conditions


In case you missed it


Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Area teens to tackle road safety | Danville Commercial-News

Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: State lawmakers preview upcoming legislative session | Chicago Tonight, WTTW-TV

Senator Bill Haine, Alton: Haine announces grants for public school libraries | riverbender.com

Senator Napoleon Harris III, Harvey; Senator Toi Hutchinson, Chicago Heights; Senator Emil Jones III, Chicago: Southland lawmakers fight to save funding for safety-net hospitals | Daily Southtown

Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: State legislators meet for roundtable in Naperville | Naperville Community Television

Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Bill would give rural schools high-speed internet | Jacksonville Journal-Courier

Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: North suburban schools receive grants for library books | Deerfield Patch

Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Citizens group promotes bringing passenger rail service back through Rockford | WIFR-TV, Rockford


Copyright 2018 - Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus - All Rights Reserved