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Sims passes plan to help workers exposed to toxic substances

sims 030619SPRINGFIELD — A plan to help workers who have been exposed to toxic substances passed the Senate Wednesday.

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. “Many times symptoms do not manifest until 30 to 50 years after exposure. We must end the statute of limitations and ensure their right to recovery.”

The Workers’ Compensation Act and Workers’ Occupational Disease Act currently have 25-year statutes of limitations, SB 1596 would create exceptions to these rules for cases of exposure to toxic substances.

“The law as it stands is inhumane and often a death sentence for people diagnosed with serious illnesses who aren’t given the proper time to take care of their poor health,” Sims said. “I am grateful to my colleagues in the Senate for the supporting this plan to help employee victims throughout the state.”

SB 1596 passed the Senate 41-16 and now heads to the House for consideration.

Sims effort to attract more TV and film production to Illinois

sims013119CHICAGO—A new plan to expand the state’s film production tax credit could make Illinois more of a national leader in the film and television industry.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago, stood with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. JB Pritzker to discuss record-breaking numbers in film, television and media production in the city of Chicago.

“I am proud of Chicago’s growth in media production, but I know we have the ability to be even more competitive nationally,” Sims said. “For that reason, I am working on legislation to expand the film tax credit to help our state more aggressively attract production companies.”

Sims sponsors Senate Bill 1595, which changes the Film Production Services Tax Credit Act to allow the first $200,000 of out-of-state wages paid or acquired by production companies to qualify for the film production services tax credit.

“I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and local leaders, so we can break even more records in film, TV and media production,” said Sims.

Sims supports new criminal justice reform efforts

sims 042618SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr., a Democrat from Chicago and Senate Criminal Law Committee chairperson, released the following statement after the governor took executive action to form the Justice, Equity and Opportunity (JEO) Initiative, which aims to centralize and modernize the state’s criminal justice reform efforts:

“Communication, research and action are crucial to reform our state’s criminal justice system. For that reason, I commend Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton for forming this initiative, which aims to tackle this issue on all three fronts.

State grant provides millions in tax relief for South Suburbs

sims013119SPRINGFIELD – Property taxes will be lower for some homeowners and business owners in South Suburban communities thanks to a new state grant program that seeks to lift some of the burden on school districts that are heavily taxed.

The Property Tax Relief Grant is part of the education funding reform package that has been put in place to level the playing field to better serve struggling school districts.

“For far too long struggling communities were faced with paying higher property taxes in an attempt to provide students in the area a quality education, and more often than not the students still weren’t receiving adequate resources,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) said. “Going forward this program will provide the relief necessary to help keep families in Illinois and boost local economies.”

Local school districts that are eligible for the grant include: 

  • Thornton Fractional Township High School District 215: $1,906,225.40
  • Lansing School District 158: $1,836,888.06
  • Bloom Township High School District 206: $2,168,029.38

Eligible school districts must submit an abatement resolution to their county clerks by March 30 to receive the grant. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will then give the money to the school districts once they have received all of the abatement certificates.

“This grant program is a crucial step to help change how we fund the education of our future leaders,” Sims said. “It is high time we shift some of the burden from property tax payers to the state in order to help provide a quality education to every student in Illinois, regardless of where they live.”

More information on the Property Tax Relief Grant and a listing of each eligible school district can be found at www.ISBE.net/proptaxrelief.

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