General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

Spring is right around the corner and things are ramping up both in the 7th District and Springfield. Of my 29 bills filed this legislative session, 7 were heard and passed out of committee this week. These bills, ranging from supporting schools and students with mental healthcare access, to requiring air-conditioning in state-financed affordable housing, to supporting returning citizens, and a package of transportation bills focusing on bike and pedestrian safety, disability justice, and sustainability, are a direct result of the advocacy and voices of 7th district constituents. I am excited to move more people-inspired bills through committees in the next few weeks on the topics of prohibiting book banning in Illinois, child tax credits, Medicaid expansion, eliminating hospital billing for low income patients, compensating our neighbors whose SNAP benefits have been stolen, and procurement transparency for major municipal contracts.

While not in Springfield, I have had so many opportunities to visit stakeholders in the district and beyond. I visited the Erie Foster Avenue Health Center, attended a walk in support of Sarah’s Circle, toured Lurie Children’s Hospital Cardiac Care wing, and visited Uptown’s Institute of Cultural Affairs. I was reminded of how incredibly dedicated our community is to serving one another, finding creative solutions to big problems like equitable healthcare, staffing challenges, language access, and sustainable and cooperative living.

I want to take a moment to point out one very important update: Medicaid redeterminations are no longer on hold! If you are a current recipient of Medicaid, you must make sure your mailing address is up-to-date in their system, or you could be in danger of losing your coverage. Click here to make sure your information is correct or update your address. If you need help, please reach out to my district staff at 773-769-1717. They are more than happy to help you with this process.

As we “spring forward” this weekend, I am looking forward to the warm weather season and all it brings - biking across our district, block club parties, youth events, farmer’s markets, and so much more. Most of all, I look forward to seeing you all in the neighborhood and continuing to bring local government to you in a tangible, helpful way.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

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State Senator | 7th District


Legislative Updates

Simmons Fights for Improvements to Affordable Housing After Residents’ Deaths

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Caption: Senator Mike Simmons presented Senate Bill 2013 to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, March 7.

To improve the quality of life for residents residing in state-funded affordable housing I passed Senate Bill 2013 out of the Judiciary committee this past Tuesday. This bill is directed at State-Funded affordable housing facilities, requiring them to provide safe and responsive air conditioning and heating for residents, working laundry machines and other basic maintenance provisions. This bill is in direct response to three residents of a Rogers Park senior living complex who died of excessive heat exposure last May.

Senate Bill 2013 requires any residential building that is financed under the Illinois Affordable Housing Program to meet minimum standard of living conditions to continue receiving funding from the program. SB 2013 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and now heads to the Senate floor.

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Category: Newsletters

General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

The new legislative session is off to a quick start with new committee assignments, new bills, and lots of anticipation. Last week I was proud to introduce 29 pieces of legislation covering key areas such as ensuring access to health care, making our streets safer for cyclists and pedestrians, increasing affordable housing options and protections, building on human rights for our communities and bringing transparency into government contracting. I will keep you posted on key bills as they are reviewed in committees. As a reminder, you can look up any bills I’ve sponsored or cosponsored on the General Assembly’s website here.

021523CM0739Caption: Senator Mike Simmons listens to the State of the State Budget Address.

Earlier this week I also sat in the House chamber with Rep. Hoan Huynh and Rep. Kelly Cassidy to listen to Governor Pritzker’s State of State Address. The governor presented his recommended budget for Fiscal Year 2024. It was exciting and encouraging to hear about commitments to supporting early childhood education, bolstering human services including significant new investments towards building new permanent supportive housing and scattered-site housing for the unhoused, increasing rate payments for Medicaid, increasing funds for MAP grants so that lower-income students can afford college, and other investments in our communities’ long-term growth. There is more work to be done. I am eagerly looking forward to further examining the budget proposal, asking pointed questions during budget hearings in the weeks and months ahead and crafting a final budget that continues to prioritize and invest in people while keeping our state on the right track.

Sincerely,
Mike Simmons
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State Senator | 7th District

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Category: Newsletters

General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you had a safe and relatively quiet holiday season. The 2023 year is off to a very busy start. I am personally proud of the historic, nine-day Lame Duck Legislative Session we wrapped up last week that included passage of major legislation including one of the strongest assault weapons bans in the country, sweeping protections for reproductive rights and gender-affirming care, paid leave for workers, name change and birth certificate legislation, and new year-over-year funding for affordable housing.


Caption: Being inaugurated holding a photo of my mom and me together at my college graduation! Even though she could not physically be here, her memory and legacy shape who I am, how I show up, and my deep dedication to our diverse communities of the 7th District.

I also took the oath of office and was sworn in to a second term representing our diverse communities in the Illinois Senate! I was inaugurated holding a photo of my mother Ramona, who until her untimely passing in 2020, was a longtime salon owner in Rogers Park running Salon Pastiche on Loyola Avenue for 25 years. Our first day of the Lame Duck Session was Jan. 4, which is her death anniversary, and I intentionally decided to recommit to fighting for a world she’d want to raise her children in and didn’t live long enough to see. I’ll be fighting for our district this term and doing so in her memory. Read on for specific legislative and community updates, and for a photo recap from my swearing-in!

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

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Category: Newsletters

General Updates from Senator Mike Simmons

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings 7th District residents! I wanted to provide you with a recap of key updates from the last couple weeks.

Last week I had the incredible opportunity to sit on a panel with our nation’s top doctor, US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Dr. Vivek Murthy to discuss efforts to protect youth mental health. Also participating were Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, and Dr. Colleen Cicchetti, Executive Director of the Center for Childhood Resilience at Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Murthy and I discussed my efforts to elevate youth voices in policy discussions about mental health. Specifically, he asked about my People’s Legislative Council initiative that has given youth from our district a space to shape legislation I’ve authored and passed. The legislation ensures all Illinois schools provide instruction on how and where to access mental health resources and creates a Student Mental Health Council which includes queer youth voices, voices of youth of color, and diverse mental health professionals. It was truly a joy to welcome Dr. Murthy to Chicago, and I am happy we had a chance to talk about a top legislative and personal priority of mine which is protecting and dramatically increasing access to mental health and health care more broadly for our communities. The two are inextricably bound and I will continue to fight for more access for our neighbors.

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Image: Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Senator Mike Simmons, Dr. Allison Arwady and Dr. Colleen Cicchetti gathered before presenting their panel on Youth Mental Health at the City Club of Chicago.

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Image: Senator Mike Simmons discusses his People’s Legislative Council initiative focused on youth mental health with Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Allison Arwady and Dr. Colleen Cicchetti.

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Category: Newsletters

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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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