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Sims: New law provides relief to workers exposed to toxic substances

sims 030619SPRINGFIELD — A plan to help workers who have been exposed to toxic substances was signed into law on Friday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsored the bill, which helps workers who have developed latent illnesses or injuries after coming in contact with asbestos, radiation or beryllium in the workplace.  

“For far too long, employees have suffered from bad workplace conditions with no source of relief,” Sims said. “Often they do not see symptoms until 30 to 50 years after exposure. We must end the statute of limitations and ensure their right to recovery.”

Sims efforts would allow Village of Manteno to renovate golf course

sims013119CHICAGO—A plan at the statehouse would allow the Village of Manteno to do renovations at a public golf course.

The village has been unsuccessful in renovating a golf course club house because a state clause is preventing them from getting a bank loan. State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) is working to change that with a proposal that would remove the state’s interest in the property.

“This simple change would greatly benefit the people of Manteno and the village’s bottom line,” Sims said. “Renovations would help the golf course better compete with surrounding courses, which would potentially lead to higher profits for the village.”

The bill would require the Department of Central Management Services to execute and record a release of the reverter clause, which would eliminate the state’s stake in the land.

That clause states the land must be used for a public purpose and not be sold. If Manteno ever did sell the land to a private entity, it would owe the state 25 percent of the proceeds.

“I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for their support on this very local issue in the 17th district,” Sims said. “I hope the House will also help us send this plan to the governor’s desk.”

Senate Bill 1597 is set to head to the House for consideration.

Sims plan to protect right to public defender at bail hearings passes the Senate

bail 042419CHICAGO—A plan that would protect Illinoisans’ right to a public defender passed the Senate recently.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) sponsors the proposal, which creates the Public Defender Bail Reform Grant Program. The aim is to assist counties in following the current law, which requires counsel to be present at bail hearings.

“We cannot continue to deny Illinoisans their right to an attorney,” Sims said. “Bail hearings are a crucial part of the justice process, and everyone deserves an attorney at every step.”

Currently, many counties do not provide public defenders for bail hearings. Some small counties do not even hire a full time public defender.

There have been instances in these smaller counties where a defendant is not given a bail hearing. Instead a county sheriff calls the judge and tells them the name of the individual and their charges, and the judge will communicate the bail amount over the phone to the sheriff.

“In many cases, the handling of bail hearings in Illinois have been completely unjust and unacceptable,” Sims said. “The livelihood of these people, who have not been convicted of a crime, is affected by the bail amount. These defendants have the right to have legal representation to ensure that the bail fits the crime.”

Senate Bill 1966 is set to head to the House for consideration.

Sims plan to attract more film business to Illinois passes Senate

sims film 041619SPRINGFIELD—A plan to attract more film and TV companies to Illinois recently passed the Senate.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the proposal, which would expand the state’s film production tax credit with the aim of raising Illinois’ national standing in the film and television industry.

“This effort will help us gain momentum in the media production industry,” Sims said. “We have seen much growth in this area, but expanding the film tax credit would help us attract more film companies and really thrive.”

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr.

17th District

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

Committee assignments: Appropriations I; Appropriations II (Vice-Chairperson); Criminal Law (Chairperson); Judiciary; Telecommunications & InfoTechnology; Subcommittee on Capital.

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 Representatives:
Marcus C. Evans, Jr.
Nicholas K. Smith