simmonslegupdatesSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s budget address today:

“I applaud Governor Pritzker for including a child tax credit in his budget proposal. I believe we should go bolder and more ambitious to ensure the child tax credit puts a sizable dent in child poverty across Illinois. As I wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times this week, and have championed for three years since taking office, it is important for us to enact a permanent and refundable child tax credit for households in every part of Illinois who are scrimping to get by and deserve economic relief and financial security. This is a day long coming, and now we have to fight for a more robust child tax credit that will have a broader impact.

“I’m also pleased to see clear commitments from the Governor that support healthy communities, including additional investments in early childhood, higher education, funding for K-12 schools, health care and eliminating food insecurity. I also appreciate that the Governor has proposed $10M in funds that will help erase medical debt for more than a quarter million people.”

“I look forward to being a leading voice in budget negotiations on the child tax credit and other critical priorities to address the needs of children, working families and low-income households across our state. That will be my north star in the weeks ahead.”

Category: Press Releases

PLC SingleMomsCHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons reconvened his People's Legislative Council for Single Moms, bringing together moms and caregivers to hear from them how a permanent child tax credit in Illinois would benefit their daily lives.

“A child tax credit in Illinois would make a major difference in the livelihoods of 7th District families,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Hearing firsthand from local mothers on how this would help provide them economic relief and financial security makes it even more pressing to enact a permanent state-level child tax credit.”

With the cost of living on the rise across the country, children are often the most affected. Mothers on the People's Legislative Council for Single Moms shared that they used funds from the Federal American Rescue Plan in 2021 to cover childcare, diapers, clothes for their children, therapy costs, and to counter the rising costs of food, rent and other basic needs.

As a fierce supporter and legislative leader of creating a child tax credit since taking office in February 2021, Simmons has been to the White House twice in the last year to advocate for a permanent child tax credit in Illinois, promoting the beneficial impact it would have on families across the state and the state’s economy. Because of his own experience growing up in a single parent household where his mom struggled to make ends meet while raising him and his sister, this was one of the first bills he filed as a state senator. Simmons has since worked tenaciously to garner support to finally get it done.

“Households all across Illinois are making painful choices to pay for necessities like food and rent, while scrimping on other basic needs like keeping the lights on and paying for prescriptions,” said Simmons. “No Illinois family should ever have to make choices like these, and no child in Illinois should have to see their parents struggle like that.”

Simmons’ legislation, Senate Bill 1444, would create a $700 state-level child tax credit for eligible low- and middle-income families beginning in the tax year 2025. If enacted, Illinois would become the 15th state to enact a state-level child tax credit.

Senate Bill 1444 awaits discussion in the spring legislative session.

 

Category: Press Releases

Simmons 02142024

Caption: State Senator Mike Simmons delivers more than 200 valentines to senior facilities within the 7th District on Feb. 14.

CHICAGO – To celebrate and spread joy to senior residents across the 7th Senate District, State Senator Mike Simmons visited senior residential buildings on Wednesday to deliver Valentine’s Day cards created by students from local public schools and community members as part of his card collection drive.

“It was a joy to deliver these beautiful, heartfelt valentines to our senior residents this Valentine’s Day,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This collection drive was a community effort, and its success is a testament to the compassionate hearts of our schools and neighbors. Thank you to our educators and students who made sure as many seniors as possible received a card, and to all our neighbors who dropped off valentines.”

More than 200 valentines were delivered to six senior residential buildings across the 7th District, thanks to contributions from participating schools and local residents.

“Our seniors are the pillar of our communities,” said Simmons. “It was incredible to see their faces light up when we handed them a valentine letting them know they are celebrated and loved.”

Category: Press Releases

020724CM0362resizedSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons stood with the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity today for Black HIV/AIDS Advocacy Day to celebrate the accomplishments in HIV prevention and care and to recognize the work still needed to overcome structural barriers to testing, prevention and treatment in Black communities.

“We have taken steps to reduce the disproportionate impact of HIV and AIDS on Black communities, but disparities continue to exist,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). "It is crucial that we have conversations about HIV/AIDS to increase education, testing, community involvement and treatment among Black communities.”

First observed in 1999, Feb. 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. The day serves to acknowledge how HIV disproportionately affects Black people and spark conversations to overcome barriers such as racism, discrimination and mistrust in the health care system that may affect whether Black people seek or receive HIV prevention services.

Research shows racial disparities often stem from limited access to high-quality HIV prevention and treatment services. Coverage of PrEP — an HIV preventative medicine — for example, is lower among Black communities. Studies from the CDC show only 8% of Black people who could benefit from PrEP were prescribed it in 2019, compared to 23% of people overall. Simmons is proud to have secured $2.5 million in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget for HIV/AIDS reduction efforts targeted to helping communities access life-saving PrEP medications, as well as added capacity for STI screening.

Simmons joined the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity for a day of advocacy and presented them with a proclamation to commend their work of uplifting and providing equitable resources for Black communities living with HIV/AIDS.

“Identifying and dismantling systemically racist policies and funding processes in the health care system is essential to bringing HIV diagnoses down to zero by 2030,” said Simmons. “National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day uplifts those engaged in this work, like the Black Leadership Advocacy Coalition for Healthcare Equity, and encourages others to join the fight in supporting access to equitable and culturally-competent care.”

For more information and HIV/AIDS prevention tips, please visit HIV.gov.

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Category: Press Releases

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