General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

I am happy to announce that work on my district office is now complete! We made some changes that I believe will make the space even more welcoming for constituents, including an outside space for folks to meet and enjoy the warm weather. Please stop by and say hello soon. We are here for you.

In other updates, I tested positive for COVID-19 last week and had to quarantine and spend a few days recovering. I want to encourage everyone to keep healthy in the weeks ahead, and remember to follow health department guidelines if you feel ill or think you may have had a recent exposure. Free testing is available at many local stores and pharmacies. As always, feel free to call my office if you need help finding healthcare or lack a primary health care home. We will help guide you.

On another topic, I have great news: I passed a youth mental health bill last year, SB4028 in the 102nd General Assembly, that among other things creates the first statewide Student Mental Health Council, which will be comprised of diverse 14-25 year olds from diverse backgrounds (including LGBTQ+ youth among others) whose voices are needed to better shape state-level mental health policy. I want to encourage young people between 14-25 to apply for the newly created Student Mental Health Council here. The deadline is Sept. 22.

A handful more of my bills were signed into law recently. Read on for details on those as well as key community updates and word about new resources available.

Finally, a huge THANK YOU to our summer interns Ochii, Justin, and Byron who are wrapping up their internships soon. Each played pivotal roles on our district team this summer and I enjoyed seeing them gain valuable experience.


simmons sig

Mike Simmons
State Senator | 7th District

 Legislative Updates

Senator Mike Simmons


Caption: Senator Mike Simmons led passage of three bills signed into law this July.

This month, several more bills I authored and passed were signed into law, including: Senate Bill 1710 and Senate Bill 2014.

Additionally, I played a key role in shaping and leading several House Bills through the Senate that were also signed into law this month, including House BIll 2131, House Bill 1342, House BIll 2297, and House Bill 3631.

Bike and pedestrian safety improvements: A key legislative accomplishment of mine that the governor signed last Friday is Senate Bill 2014. The bill will require that IDOT complete bike and pedestrian safety improvements to state-managed roadways within 500 feet of the site of any routine maintenance or improvements otherwise being done. This will help ensure bike and pedestrian safety improvements are efficiently completed in tandem with routine work such as pothole or street lighting repairs. The improvements could include high-visibility signage, crosswalk upgrades, curb bump outs, barrier-protected bike lanes and bus shelters. This bill was a major win for statewide bike and ped safety improvements. This follows the new MOU signed by IDOT and CDOT that also will enable more coordination of similar infrastructure improvements more locally here in Chicago.

Warning signs on bike trails and roadways: Last year, on two separate occasions, we experienced the loss of two children to traffic violence. I want our residents to feel safe by providing them with the security of increased protections for pedestrians and cyclists to bring about a less stressful experience while walking and cycling. Senate Bill 1710 requires bike trails to have warning signs along the path to let pedestrians and cyclists know of a vehicle crossing at least 150 feet in advance; the same requirement applies to roadways 150 before a bike trail crossing. Senate Bill 1710 was signed into law on Friday, July 28.

Comprehensive public transportation plan: Improving public transportation and increasing the number of clean energy buses is essential to improving the lives of 7th District residents. As chief cosponsor of House Bill 1342, I played a key role in shaping and leading this legislation through the Senate. I am excited to announce this newly signed law will accelerate the rollout of electric buses, reduce ride fares for youth and survivors of domestic violence, create work opportunities for youth, make public transit systems more efficient and accessible, and provide assistance to recover and regain ridership to pre-pandemic levels. House Bill 1342 was signed into law on Friday, July 28. The Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Regional Transit Authority Public Transportation Assistance Program and requirements for PACE and METRA to create youth employment opportunities went into immediate effect, and the rest take effect January 1, 2024.

The Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force: All residents should have peace of mind in knowing that they are safe and secure when traveling. Pedestrians, cyclists, and non-motorists should be just as safe and secure as those traveling by car. As a lifelong cyclist and in honor of the lives lost to traffic violence, I led House Bill 2131 in the Senate. This law creates the Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force to help reduce bicycle accidents on roads by reporting detailed analysis of existing practices around speed limits, the reduction of speed limits, the steps to eliminate vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle fatalities on roads, and their lasting impact. House Bill 2131 was signed into law on Friday, July 28.

Achieving a more diversified state workforce: I believe that it is a basic human right for everyone to be referred to by their preferred pronouns in everyday life, and our state’s workforce should be a leader in reflecting the diversity of our population. I passed House Bill 2297 through the Senate, which 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 and bring visibility to gender-expansive state workers. House Bill 2297 was signed into law on Friday, July 28 and goes into effect on July 1, 2025.

Protecting pharmacists and consumers: It is imperative that we protect our pharmacist’s ability to serve our communities. I was proud to lead passage through the Senate of House Bill 3631, which was signed into law on August 4. This law prohibits Pharmacy Benefit Managers from retaliating against pharmacists who disclose information in a legal setting if they have reasonable cause to believe that the disclosed information is evidence of a violation of a state or federal law, rule, or regulation.

Here are all additional bills I passed that have been signed by the governor into law so far this summer:

  • Senate Bill 1282 removes copays from liver disease screening tests for those who may be at high risk and who are between 35 and 65 years old. I am personally very proud to have brought forward and fought hard for two years to secure passage of this new law in Illinois!
  • Senate Bill 2013 requires air-conditioning in state-supported affordable housing and makes living conditions safer for affordable housing residents.
  • Senate Bill 1709 fills in gaps in mental health care access for K-12 students, requiring that the Illinois Department of Human Services and the State Board of Education provide technical assistance and support to K-12 schools for mental health care during school days to help increase the access students have to mental health services. This law was in direct response to needs that have been articulated by 7th District constituents – specifically high school youth.
  • Senate Bill 2175 supports returning citizens and encourages reduced recidivism, prohibiting 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 law will reduce recidivism by offering reasonable payment requirements for formerly incarcerated individuals giving them time to find work, housing, and healthcare as they reenter their communities.
  • Senate Bill 2278 ensures bike lanes, walkways and open spaces remain available to community residents to use by protecting an agency or local government from requirements to design, construct, widen or alter a non-designated highway to accommodate trucks between 55 and 65 feet in length.
  • Senate Bill 1892 fights for transportation equity for seniors and people living with disabilities by allowing senior citizens and people living with disabilities to automatically renew eligibility for public transportation services. This law was directly inspired by a Rogers Park constituent who brought the idea to me last fall!
  • Senate Bill 1484 establishes a Cooperative Housing Fund dedicated to the development and preservation of cooperative housing for assistance in addressing the affordable housing shortage in Illinois and gives lower income earners a pathway to homeownership.
  • Senate Bill 2123 allows 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote so they can vote when they turn 18. (This bill was originally introduced as Senate Bill 1481).
  • House Bill 1591 protects marriage equality in Illinois by repealing the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution Act, which contained several arcane laws that would outlaw interracial marriages, and eliminates the required sign off from other states for same sex couples wanting to marry in Illinois.
  • House Bill 3414 protects youth survivors of trafficking from being tried as an adult if the crime the minor commits is against someone who was convicted of human trafficking or of a sex crime targeting the minor within the last three years.
  • 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 2562 ensures heating and cooling standards for seniors in properties that limit their ownership, rental, and occupancy to people aged 55 years or older.
  • 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 1596 makes technical changes to the law to respect gender-expansive youth in our welfare and state systems by containing language that is more inclusive.

 Senator Mike Simmons In the News

  • “Senator Mike Simmons speaks out against anti-trans attack on Springfield YMCA” by Windy City Times
  • “What’s the controversy around a bill that permits multi-stall all-gender restrooms?” by Illinois Public Media
  • “Schools respond to mental health crisis by connecting students” by Chicago Sun Times
  • “Simmons celebrates signage of comprehensive public transit bill” by Illinois Senate Democrats


Senator Mike Simmons’ Updates

Portrait by Megan Williamson

Portrait of Senator Mike Simmons

Caption: Portrait of Senator Mike Simmons, painted by Megan Williamson for her solo exhibit “Zoom.”

I am honored to be an inspiration to an exceptionally talented artist, Megan Williamson, who featured me in her solo exhibit, “Zoom,” on display at the Swope Art Museum in Terre Haute, IN. Williamson’s solo exhibit features a hundred individual art pieces and portraits. Thank you Megan for your muse and for your thoughtful work!


Illinois Launches the First Statewide Student Mental Health Council


Last year, I authored and passed Senate Bill 4028, a law which creates a statewide Student Mental Health Council made up of diverse voices including queer youth, Black and Brown youth, as well as diverse mental health workers to help shape youth mental health policy and ensure more folks with lived experiences are helping shape and guide statewide policy.

I am thrilled to announce that the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership is now accepting applications for the first ICMHP Youth Council created by Senate Bill 4028!!! If you are a passionate young person aged 14-25 and interested in advocating for your peers and improving mental health across Illinois – please APPLY! Additional info about the council may be found on the ICMHP Youth Council website.

This council sends a message to our youth that they are loved and that their mental and emotional health matters. I am excited for the convening of the ICMHP Youth Council this fall. A huge shout out to the youth members of my youth people’s legislative councils from Mather High School in West Ridge and Uplift High School in Uptown who helped seed the idea for this legislation.

To read my full newsletter, click here!

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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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