CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons, a Chicago Democrat who is the first openly gay member of the Illinois State Senate, was joined by community leaders, organizations, activists, and advocates to host a Pride Month reflection press conference Friday afternoon.

“This is a very special Pride Month, since it is the first I am celebrating as the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Illinois Senate,” Simmons said. “We have had a lot of wins in the fight for LGBTQ+ people, but there is still a lot more urgent and important work that needs to be done. It’s an honor to be here today with all of these amazing advocates and leaders as we continue the fight for justice for LGBTQ+ people and for queer liberation.”

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Category: Press Releases

CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the 2020 murder of George Floyd:

“There is no amount of prison time that could have brought justice to George Floyd or to the family that he was stolen from. 

“Furthermore, one police officer facing accountability for murdering an unarmed Black man does not erase countless similar tragedies that have occurred and continue to happen with numbing frequency. It’s time for active allyship from those who hold power and privilege to agitate for systemic changes right now that bring integrity to our systems that regularly steal black lives away from us.” 

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today on the passage of a balanced state budget:

“It’s good that the General Assembly came together to pass a budget that meets the immediate needs of the communities across the state in areas of violence reduction, affordable housing, education and health, and ensures we strengthen child care.

“Besides increased funding for our K-12 schools and more money for need-based grants for our college students, it includes funding for violence reduction programs and youth summer employment. Medicaid coverage and funding is expanded, and we’ve made investments in the child care that parents need right now.

“Most importantly, this budget was achieved without increasing the burden on the working people of Illinois, in part by closing four corporate loopholes worth $655 million to the state and $42 million to local governments. That is a true reflection of how we should approach state finances as we look forward to Fiscal Year 2023 and beyond.”

Category: Press Releases

Mike Simmons HeadshotSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ (D-Chicago) plan to prohibit schools from issuing rules that discriminate against hairstyles historically associated with race, ethnicity or hair texture cleared the Illinois House today.

Simmons sponsored Senate Bill 817, now known as the Jett Hawkins Act, after hearing 4-year-old Jett Hawkins was sent home from school in March for having braids that violated the dress code of his school, Providence-St. Mel School. 

“I know all too well the feeling that comes with being singled out by one’s school for proudly wearing hair that’s true to myself and my culture,” Simmons said Thursday after the legislation passed the House. “This came about because Jett and his mother stood up and spoke out about the harm these policies do. I thank them for their resolve.”

The Jett Hawkins Act passed the House 89-22 Thursday. It awaits a final confirmation vote in the Senate to pass the General Assembly.

Category: Press Releases

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