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Sims named chair of Council of State Governments Midwest

sims 121018SPRINGFIELD —The Council of State of Governments Midwest Leadership Conference, which includes lawmakers of 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces, swore in State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. as chair during the weekend.

“Serving in this role is a tremendous honor as it allows me to represent Illinois while working with and on behalf of my legislative colleagues from across the Midwest and Canada,” said Sims, a Democrat from Chicago.

“This honor would not be possible without the support of the people of Illinois’ 17th District. Each day, I am inspired by them to do more to better serve my constituents and people throughout the state.”

Sims will succeed Indiana State Sen. Ed Charbonneau.

The Midwest Leadership Conference brings together the region’s policymakers to advance efforts that improve state government.

“I take pride in working with CSG. It challenges legislators to move past today’s partisan politics to produce policy outcomes that are in the best interest of the people we represent,” Sims said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, to find common ground and advance initiatives to help the people of communities throughout the Midwest and in Canada.”

Sims will host the 74th annual meeting July 21-24, 2019, in downtown Chicago.

New Sims law aims to help students develop people skills

sims 060418SPRINGFIELD—The Senate voted today to override the governor’s veto of legislation that will help students develop the people skills employers are looking for in an effort to better prepare them for the workforce.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored House Bill 4657, which allows students to learn about emotional intelligence in schools and creates the Emotional Intelligence Task Force to help schools develop and implement the necessary curriculum guidelines.

“It’s crucial that we prepare our young people to be contributing members of society,” Sims said. “In addition to focusing on providing our students a strong foundation in the core subject areas, it is vitally important that we focus on the critical people skills our kids will need to excel in the workplace.  With so many of our kids spending a great deal of time on their phones, computers and other electronic devices rather than interacting face-to-face, we are missing out on developing the beneficial skills we learn from human interaction.”

The task force will develop age-appropriate emotional intelligence curriculum for elementary and high schools, including how to recognize, direct and positively express emotions.

House Bill 4657 takes effect immediately.

Sims echoes McDonald family’s request for peace

sims 041218CHICAGO—Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement ahead of the verdict in the trial of Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was charged with murder in the shooting death of Laquan McDonald:

“Tensions are high as we await this much anticipated verdict, but I echo Mr. McDonald’s family in asking for peace and constructive responses no matter what the verdict is. 

Violence in and the destruction of our communities will not take away any pain felt as the city of Chicago and our entire nation grapple with issues of race, violence and the strained relationship between many communities and law enforcement.

No matter the outcome, it is understandable to be angry and upset, because another young life has been lost, but I urge all to channel any negative feelings into work that produces positive change. 

We send a stronger message to the world with peaceful solidarity and constructive action.

Let us work together toward progress and a better future together. 

For my part, I will continue to work to establish better police-community relations and reform our state’s criminal justice system to provide communities with the futures they expect and deserve.”

Nearly $14M in overdue capital funding coming to Chicago State

sims 041118CHICAGO — The state is investing nearly $14 million in long overdue renovations at Chicago State University (CSU), State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) announced Friday.

Public universities and colleges suffered as a result of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. The impasse ended with a bipartisan budget passed with an override of the governor’s veto. CSU struggled just to keep its doors open, laid off 400 people and enrollment suffered. As a budgeteer, Sims has been an outspoken advocate in the effort to restore funding and support to these institutions.

“It’s unfortunate that it took so long to deliver these funds to this great institution,” said Sims. “The Rauner administration has not made higher education a priority, so during this last round of budget negotiations, I’m glad I was finally able to successfully fight to invest in CSU.  The future of our students is one of my highest priorities and I will continue to fight to make CSU along with all of our colleges and universities the world class institutions we all know them to be.”

The construction funds CSU will receive include: $7.5 million for renovations at the Robinson Center and other capital improvements, $3.6 million to replace inoperative generators and $2.6 million for elevator renovations.

“While I appreciate the administration releasing these funds, the fact is that over the last several years this governor has attempted to ignore and devalue higher education in general and Chicago State University and its students in particular, and I will not allow that to happen. It is well past time that we make the investments in our higher education institutions the students, faculty and staff deserve,” said Sims.

 

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

Years served: 2012–2018 (House); 2018–Present (Senate)

Committee assignments:

Biography: Attorney; born in Chicago; B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University; M.P.A., University of Illinois; J.D., Loyola University Chicago School of Law; married, has two children.

Associated Representative(s): Marcus C. Evans Jr.