General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

It is great to be back in the 7th District after a very busy, extended legislative session in Springfield! I am thrilled to share that I passed a record number of bills (23) that will have a direct impact on the daily lives of 7th district constituents and Illinoisans addressing housing, transportation, access to health care, LGBTQ+ rights, expanding human rights, and much more. It has also been an incredible honor to serve as the Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Vice-Chair of the Behavioral and Mental Health Committee, as a member of the Education Committee, and the Transportation Committee and the Appropriations - Health and Human Services Committee. It has been an extremely productive spring session. For a detailed recap on the legislation I passed, please visit or click here to read my Spring 2023 update!

Last night I hosted our first ever “Traveling Office Hours” event at Spiteful Brewing Tap in Bowmanville. My staff and I enjoyed connecting and chatting with so many of our neighbors! The event was such a success with nearly 50 constituents attending that we will be doing these each month all around the 7th district.

More big news - this month my district office moved from our former location at 5533 N. Broadway to our new location at 1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave! We are at the intersection of Bryn Mawr and Kenmore, between Red Twist Theatre and Hooked on Fish. To make sure we are able to best assist you as we settle in, please reach us via phone at 773-769-1717 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We look forward to welcoming you to our new "home"! 

Caption: State Senator Mike Simmons and his district staff moving into his new office location at 1040 West Bryn Mawr Ave. on Wednesday, May 31st.

Additionally, my office is holding a virtual People’s Legislative Council focused on individuals living with disabilities on Thursday, June 22 at 4PM. If you would like to know more or RSVP to either of these events, call or email at 773-769-1717 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As we all know, the month of June is Pride Month. The LGBTQ+ community, of which I am a proud member, has so much to celebrate. Midsommarfest in Andersonville this past weekend was an incredible display of Swedish heritage and LGBTQ+ pride, and I loved every minute! I learned about new traditions, met hundreds of people, and enjoyed our local food and retail vendors. Next up, I am looking forward to hosting my annual Pride Press Conference in Rogers Park at Gerber/Hart Library on Friday, June 23.

While in celebration, it is important to simultaneously acknowledge the unprecedented opposition our LGBTQ+ community faces. Our nation currently faces the highest number of anti-LGBTQ+ and anti-reproductive rights bills ever introduced, our corporations are shrinking back from supporting us (Target and Anheuser-Busch, I’m looking at you), and books addressing LGBTQ+ topics and identities continue to be banned. Just a few weeks ago, I witnessed ignorance and threats of violence on the Senate floor against the option for businesses to provide all-gender restrooms to patrons. Now more than ever, it is time to come together. I am so proud of our local community. The northside of Chicago is seen as a safe haven for the LGBTQ+ community. I strive to make that a reality for the entire state of Illinois and beyond. During these tumultuous times, hold your head high, help one another, and know that I have your back.

In closing, I welcome you to stay connected with my office. Whether it is connecting to housing, healthcare, or sharing what is important to you, please reach out. And please visit us at our new district office on Bryn Mawr. We love to help the community.


Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

Legislative Updates

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons presenting his legislation on the Senate floor.

The second to last week of May was the official end to our spring legislative session in Springfield. I am extremely proud to share that I spearheaded and secured passage of 23 bills, and 3 resolutions. All of these bills are in response to the direct needs of 7th District constituents. I was also able to secure nearly $10 million in funding for local projects and facilities right here in our district!

The bills I passed focus on a range of issues, but the common thread is this: everyone deserves a quality of life that is safe, affirming, healthy, accessible, and sustainable. Fighting for a more just and equitable society is ongoing work, but I am so proud that together with my colleagues in the General Assembly, we made real progress this session.

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons attends the bill signing of HB2789 on June 12 at the Harold Washington Library.

Also, House Bill 2789, a book ban bill which I chief-cosponsored, was signed into law this week. House Bill 2789 protects the freedom of libraries to acquire materials without external limitations. Prior to this, Illinois law did not provide such protections and according to the Chicago-based American Library Association, there were 67 attempts to ban books in Illinois in 2022. Just this past year, PEN America reported 1,477 instances of books being banned nationwide during the first half of the 2022-23 school year, affecting 874 individual titles.

HB2789 tasks the Illinois State Librarian and the Illinois State Library with adopting the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, statewide. My anti-book banning bill, Senate Bill 689, which passed the Senate, complements and will expand upon this new law and protect books in school classrooms as well as in libraries. My bill specifically bars book banning by school boards and school districts, which we know are some of the biggest offenders on attempted book bans in surrounding states. My bill also would prohibit all libraries from banning books whether or not they receive state grants or decide to give up state grants. We are continuing negotiations on my bill over the summer so that Senate Bill 689 passes the House in the upcoming fall veto session.

When presenting these bills on the Senate floor, I kept close your lived experiences - the tragedy of losing a loved one to heat exposure, the trauma of losing a child while biking on a public street, the need to be able to ride public transit with ease, safety, and reliability, and accessing physical and mental health support for yourself and your family. There are many, many more, and every bill’s story begins with you. I am so grateful to be able to represent you as your senator.

In addition to bills passed, Illinois passed the budget for the 2024 Fiscal Year. The budget, Senate Bill 250, provides first-in-a-generation payment rate increases for hospitals, federally qualified health centers (FQHCs), community clinics, as well as provides rate increases for crisis response and critical support services. In the last year, I have visited almost every 7th District hospital, FQHC, and clinic and have seen the challenges they face. These across-the-board increases will be felt in our communities and will increase the availability and access constituents have to healthcare. In addition, our 7th District safety net hospitals will also receive significant funding boosts to support the delivery of quality health care while supporting our health care workers. I will also be spending time with our healthcare providers in the upcoming months to support efforts to increase the quality of healthcare our neighbors are getting. Ensuring our constituents get excellent healthcare and outcomes is personally very important to me.

I am also thrilled to have secured two new line items in the budget for a total of $2.5 million for HIV/AIDS reduction efforts targeted to helping communities access life-saving PREP medications as well as added capacity for STI screening.

In addition, included in the final budget is $85 million in increased funding to address homelessness which I strongly advocated for to support homelessness prevention, construction of 500 new units of permanent supportive housing, and outreach to those in need. This new funding is packaged under the newly created HOME program. It is a high priority for me to ensure we are aggressively finding new ways to house our unhoused neighbors while building on existing efforts that are effective.

Locally, I secured nearly $10 million for facilities and programs located in and throughout our 7th District neighborhoods. The funds I secured will provide funds to support expanded capacity for street-level violence prevention and community safety efforts, investments in aging school buildings in the 7th district, investments in early childcare facilities, investments in our small business corridors, investments in culturally competent mental health care for LGBTQ+ communities, expanded capacity for mentorship programs for refugee youth, funding to support overstretched food pantries in our district, funding for migrant resettlement services, and new funding for enrichment and counseling programs for 7th District youth. See below for categories:

  • $2M in funds that are being directly invested in our aging school buildings, early childcare facilities, cultural institutions, health care facilities, and other social service organizations 
  • $2.5M secured for our local chambers of commerce to support historically underserved small businesses located in the 7th District
  • $2.25M secured for expanded community safety and violence prevention in the 7th District; funding also secured for migrant resettlement efforts on far north side
  • $2.5M secured in new funding line items in the FY24 budget to help communities access life-saving HIV PREP medications, and expanded STI screening for communities

Below is a list of all bills I passed in the final weeks of Session from both chambers - Senate Bills are those I authored and passed, while House Bills are those I picked up and spearheaded through the Senate:

  • Senate Bill 2013 requires air-conditioning in all newly constructed state-funded affordable housing buildings and units; requirement also applies in state-refinanced affordable housing. Heating outages must be rectified within 24 hours; my bill also provides requirements for laundry access, day and night time minimum temps, and other protections for affordable housing residents. This is truly a landmark bill.
  • Senate Bill 2014 requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to make bike and pedestrian safety improvements to non-highway roadways under its jurisdiction whenever routine maintenance is being done on those roads. This is another landmark bill. I will not rest until our streets are safe for pedestrians, cyclists, public transit users, seniors, and those who are disabled.
  • Senate Bill 1282 eliminates co-pays and patient cost-sharing for preventative screenings for liver disease for those between 35-65 years of age regardless of insurer status. I am personally proudest of this legislative accomplishment. It took me two years to secure passage of this bill and it will save countless lives of our neighbors who are struggling in silence with alcohol dependency. I will continue to author legislation and fight for legislative wins that ensures folks struggling with mental health conditions get quality healthcare in a dignified setting. For too long our systems have failed those struggling with addiction.
  • Senate Bill 1892 will require public transit agencies including RTA, CTA, Metra, and Pace to automatically renew Ride Free and Discounted cards for riders living with disabilities and seniors. This bill was a fight and took a lot of negotiation. I am really thankful to the constituent, a Rogers Park resident living with a disability, who asked me to introduce and champion this bill. This was a true constituent-led effort that will make a difference for countless public transit riders living with disabilities and our senior citizens.
  • Senate Bill 2175 prohibits courts from ordering the payment of outstanding fees, fines, taxes or any costs arising from criminal proceedings for the first year after a person returns from incarceration. This bill will help give returning citizens some room to reacclimate to our communities and find work, housing, and get back on their feet.
  • Senate Bill 1710 expands the responsibility of any entity that owns a bike trail, requiring them to erect warning signs along the path warning pedestrians and cyclists of a vehicle crossing at least 150 feet before the crossing. The same requirement applies to roadways in advance of a bike trail crossing within 150 feet. This is another bill I authored and championed that will save lives.
  • Senate Bill 2278 helps us plan for complete streets for bikes and pedestrians and public transit riders by providing that local governments will not be required to design, construct, or widen a non-highway state road to accommodate large trucks between 55 and 65 feet in length. This reverses a 2017 law that imposed uniform design standards on roads to allow for large trucks which poses safety issues for cyclists and pedestrians on those routes. This bill was a tough sell and took countless hours of hard work and negotiation with the Midwest Truckers Association, the Illinois Truckers Association, Active Transportation Alliance, and other stakeholders. I am so proud that we were able to advance this important legislation that helps communities all across the state better plan their roads not just for large semi-trucks, but for those on foot, public transit users, and cyclists. A huge win also for sustainability.
  • Senate Bill 1709 will require the Illinois Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education to provide technical assistance to K-12 schools across the state for mental health care during school days to help increase the access students have to mental health services.
  • Senate Bill 1484 creates the Cooperative Housing Fund, which would be used by the Illinois Housing Development Authority to award up to $5 million in grants to organizations developing cooperative housing for residents with an income less than or equal to the median income within the municipality.
  • Senate Bill 1864, which accelerates the timeline for the RTA public transit systems (including CTA, Metra, and Pace) to electrify their bus fleets, was included in the transportation omnibus bill HB1342.
  • Senate Bill 1481 allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote! This bill, which also took me two years to get passed, was included in SB2123, the elections omnibus bill.
  • Senate Bill 209 appropriates roughly $50 million in funds for the prevention and treatment of HIV.
  • Senate Resolution 294 designates the month of May “Liver Disease Awareness Month” in Illinois.
  • House Bill 1596 amends various public statutes concerning children to contain more inclusive language, such as changing certain pronouns to general nouns or the nouns to which the pronouns refer, and replacing "biological" family or parent with "birth" family or parent.
  • House Bill 2297 adds state employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming to the list of women, minorities and persons with physical disabilities in regards to agencies tracking this information to help guide efforts to achieve a more diversified state workforce.
  • House Bill 1591 protects same sex marriages in Illinois by repealing the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act. This bill provides that same-sex couples can receive a marriage license in Illinois without requiring a signature from an official from their previous state.
  • House Bill 2131 creates the Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, which will report a detailed analysis of existing practices around speed limits, reduction of speed limits, steps to eliminate vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle fatalities on roads, and the impact of local bicycle and pedestrian plans.
  • House Bill 2562 ensures heating and cooling standards for properties that limit their ownership, rental and occupancy to people 55 years old or older. This legislation complements my bill SB2013 which is focused on requiring heating and cooling for all affordable housing residents; specifically House Bill 2562 ensures residents of condos who are 55+ and other rental buildings that house 55+ populations provide heating and cooling standards.
  • House Bill 3414 is intended to protect minors who are survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence, or other abusive situations. It gives judges some extra latitude to consider trauma, self-defense, and whether they have been abused in any sentencing cases. This is a major overhaul of our carceral system that will keep survivors – many of whom are young women under 17 – from being sentenced as adults or lengthy sentences. When the governor signs this bill it will make Illinois the 4th state in the nation to adopt some version of what’s known as Sara’s Law.
  • House Bill 2464 increases pedestrian safety by enabling crosswalks and intersections that lack traffic lights to use a traffic control device like a Hawk signal.
  • House Bill 2776 requires that, in addition to a written notice, a community water supply operator must send a notice via email to property owners and occupants of buildings affected by lead service line replacements, and requires the City of Chicago to publicly post data on their website on the progress of replacing lead service lines.
  • House Bill 3631 prohibits Pharmacy Benefit Managers from retaliating against pharmacists who disclose information to a court, administrative hearing, before a legislative commission or more, as long as the pharmacist reasonably believes the information they have disclosed is evidence of a violation. This is a consumer protection initiative that will protect our local pharmacists and help our neighbors access pharmacy benefits.

Senate Resolution 294: May “Liver Diseases Awareness Month”

Caption: State Senator Mike Simmons presenting his resolution on the Senate floor.

To bring awareness to those who are suffering from or at risk for liver disease, I passed a resolution declaring May 2023 as Liver Disease Awareness Month in Illinois. Liver disease is a silent killer and leading cause of death in the United States. It is important to bring awareness to this chronic illness so those who struggle with liver disease or any of its complications such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, portal hypertension, liver failure, and other conditions feel supported and obtain the resources they need to fight. This resolution corresponds with my bill, SB1282, now public law, which requires Medicaid, private insurance plans and government employee insurance plans to cover preventative screenings for liver disease for individuals who are at high risk for liver disease between the ages of 35 and 65.

Senator Simmons District Events

Traveling Office Hours at Spiteful Brewing Tap Room

Last night my staff and I had our first “Traveling Office Hours” event at 6:30PM at Spiteful Brewing Tap Room, located at 2024 W Balmoral. I was pumped to kick-off this initiative, and my staff and I loved meeting you in person for conversation, questions, and ideas. This event was kid and dog friendly, and it was so nice seeing you there! Next months’ traveling office hours will be in Rogers Park! Stay tuned for the location! 

People's Legislative Council

On Thursday, June 22 at 4PM, I am hosting a virtual People’s Legislative Council meeting focused on individuals living with disabilities. If you are living with a disability and would like to participate in this meeting by providing your experience, ideas for how the government can better serve you or to simply listen, please contact my office at 773-769-1717 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I regularly hold People’s Legislative Council meetings to connect about issues that impact and matter to you most, with the goal of listening, learning, and identifying potential future legislation. 

Simmons Holds Virtual End of Session Town Hall

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons and staff talking with constituents at his virtual town hall on Thursday, June 1.

Last week we held our second virtual town hall of the year! We talked about legislative wins, budget updates, and upcoming outreach and district events. If you missed this town hall don’t worry! You can view the recorded event here.  

Senator Simmons in the News

  • “Illinois adopts new LGBTQ+ protections for community deemed 'under attack' in the US” by ABC News
  • “Illinois adopts new LGBTQ+ protections for community deemed ‘under attack' in the US” by NBC 5 Chicago
  • “Illinois Legislature Sends Pro-Voting Reforms to Governor” by Democracy Docket
  • “A record 1,185 LGBTQ+ elected officials now serving in the United States” by Windy City Times
  • “Ill. lawmaker: All-gender bathrooms will 'cause violence from dads like me'” by The Washington Post
  • “Bill reforms sentencing for youth offenders” by BIGZ Media
  • “Bills to make Illinois "gender-inclusive"’ by BIGZ Media
  • “Lawmakers move optional gender-neutral bathrooms bill closer to passage”’ by Crain’s Chicago Business
  • “All-Gender Bathroom Bill Moves Closer to Becoming Law in Illinois” by NBC 5 Chicago
  • “Calls grow to protect renters from extreme heat” by Accuwheather
  • “Illinois All-Gender Bathroom Bill Awaits Gov. Pritzker's Signature” by NBC 5 Chicago
  • “GOP lawmaker threatens to beat people up if all-gender restroom bill passes” by LGBTQNation
  • “Illinois Gender-Neutral Bathroom Bill Was Tip of the Iceberg for Trans-Inclusive Legislation Passed This Session” by Illinois Answers Project
  • “Residents Express Concerns After Northwestern Student Shot in Rogers Park” by NBC 5 Chicago

Sen. Simmons and Rep. Cassidy Admonish Target for Pulling Pride Merchandise

Caption: State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) and State Representative Kelly M. Cassidy (D-Chicago) issued a joint statement after Target announced it would be removing certain Pride merchandise after employees claimed the items threatened their sense of safety following customer interactions.

Target announced that it would pull Pride merchandise from its shelves, citing threats, vandalism and unsafe workplace conditions due to confrontation and backlash from patrons. Target is more willing to cave to bigotry than stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, and specifically, for their LGBTQ+ employees.

With unprecedented repressive pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation proposed this past year along with the surge in violence targeting LGBTQ+ communities, we need our allies to STAND UP against hatred and bigotry with us.

See my joint statement with Rep. Cassidy calling out national retailer Target for caving to hate. With so many LGBTQ+ Americans patronizing Target, we expect better than this - especially during the month of June. Never forget that Pride began as a protest!  

Simmons Celebrates Andersonville Midsommarfest

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons with staff and volunteers from this past weekend’s Midsommarfest 2023 in Andersonville.

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons, Alderperson Vasquez, and Alderwoman Manaa-Hoppenworth kick off Midsommarfest 2023 around the maypole.

This past weekend my staff and I had a blast participating in Andersonville’s Midsommarfest 2023! On Friday, I was once again honored to support the Chicago Therapy Collective as they advocate for trans rights, and on Saturday I had an amazing time learning and participating in Swedish traditions, like raising the maypole. Thank you to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hello and learn more about my work and our office. Community events like this are vital to connecting everyone, and a huge thanks to the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, the Clark Street business corridor, and to the many volunteers who made this event happen!

Simmons Attends "Pride North Starts Here"

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons speaks at “Pride North Starts Here,” hosted by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, June 1.

On the first day of June, I addressed 7th District LGBTQ+ small businesses owners and constituents at the Pride North Starts Here event hosted by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. It was wonderful to come together, celebrate one another as Pride month kicks off, and stand in solidarity as we fight for continued progress for our rights.

Annual Chicago Pride Parade

The 52nd annual Chicago Pride Parade steps off at noon on Sunday, June 25, 2023 from Montrose and Broadway in the Uptown neighborhood. The parade treks (map) through the north side of the city, ending near the intersection of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road in Lincoln Park. 

Congratulations to our District Graduates

Simmons Attends McCutcheon Elementary 8th Grade Graduation

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons and Representative Hoan Huynh join McCutcheon Elementary administration in celebrating the 8th Grade Class of 2023 at their commencement.

Last week the 8th Grade Class of 2023 celebrated their commencement at a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Buttercup Park! I was so honored to attend this event this year, and was inspired by each student’s ability to embrace their gifts, persevere through the pandemic, and choose a path that fits them best in the years to come. Thank you to Principal Kehinde Longmire and everyone who made this event so special, and congratulations again to all the graduates!

Simmons Gives Walt Disney Magnet School 8th Grade Graduation Commencement Speech

Caption: Senator Mike Simmons with graduates of Walt Disney Magnet school on Monday, June 5.

Congratulations to the Walt Disney Magnet School 8th Grade Class of 2023! It was a sincere honor to be the commencement speaker at their graduation earlier this week. I was inspired by meeting so many students and families from the 7th district, and know that our future is in good hands.

Thank you to Principal Paul Riskus and all of the faculty and staff for hosting a wonderful morning celebrating our graduates!  

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Office Info

District Office
1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 769-1717 (Phone)
(773) 945-9979 (Text)

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
Stratton Building
Section F, Office G
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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