050423CM0638SPRINGFIELD – With attacks on same-sex couples and marriages on the rise across the nation, State Senator Mike Simmons successfully sponsored a law signed Friday to strengthen marriage equality for same-sex couples in Illinois.

“As the first openly gay senator in Illinois, protecting and strengthening same-sex marriage laws in this state is significant to who I am and what I fight for,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “I am proud to support legislation that protects same-sex marriages in Illinois and creates avenues for same-sex couples in other states coming to Illinois seeking those same protections.”

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. This will make it easier for same-sex couples who resided in other states to marry in Illinois.

“With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, many are suspecting of the Supreme Court’s intentions regarding Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects marriage equality,” said Simmons. “This bill makes marriage equality stronger for Illinoisans and provides security to same-sex couples.”

House Bill 1591 was signed into law on Friday, June 9 and takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases

 051023SC5603CHICAGO – In response to attacks on transgender individuals around the nation, State Senator Mike Simmons championed a law to increase inclusivity of gendered language in pre-existing state laws and initiatives.

“This law will ensure the language we use in state statutes and codes is more inclusive. Everyone deserves to be addressed and represented with the pronouns they use and prefer, especially by their state’s agencies and laws,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Encouraging inclusive language at the state level is an important step for people to feel safe and accepted by their government while attacks are raging against the LGBTQ+ community in other states.”

House Bill 1596 changes various public acts 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.

“It is someone’s basic human right to be referred to by their preferred pronouns in everyday life,” Simmons said. “I am happy to see this bill being signed into law during the month of Pride, a time where we reaffirm our commitment to making sure everyone is seen, heard and respected.”

House Bill 1596 was signed into law on Friday, June 9 and goes into effect on Aug. 8, 2023.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Mike SimmonsSPRINGFIELD – Illinois residents will have more options when it comes to affordable housing through cooperative housing developments, thanks to State Senator Mike Simmons’ legislation that was signed into law.

“This law will create a Cooperative Housing Fund, which is an important step to ensuring everyone has access to affordable housing,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Housing is a human right, and living in good, decent, and stable housing is an option everyone should have.

This law will promote cooperative housing, a form of housing where entities own the residential building, but its residents are shareholders of the entity. Cooperative housing provides a viable alternative to homeownership for low- to middle-income earners who may not be able to buy a home, while adding a key affordable housing option to those who need it.

The Cooperative Housing Fund will 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.

“Having a place to call your own and develop into a home is important for individuals and those who are raising a family,” Simmons said. “Cooperative housing is a great way to build community and foster a sense of stability for those needing housing. It also helps ensure that rapidly changing communities remain diverse and accessible to all.”

Senate Bill 1484 was signed into law on Friday and goes into effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

State Senator Mike SimmonsSPRINGFIELD – Coverage for preventative screenings for liver disease will be expanded thanks to a new law authored and championed by State Senator Mike Simmons.

“Often when it comes to liver disease, there are little to no symptoms for years until the disease is very advanced, so early detection can be vital to saving lives,” said Simmons (D- Chicago). “This law will help those who are both underinsured and at risk for liver disease.”

This new law 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, ages 35-65 years old. Those screenings can include high-quality preventative screenings such as liver ultrasounds, liver function tests, MRIs, and other screenings that can help with early detection and management of liver disease.

According to the CDC, in 2021, 56,585 adults in the U.S. died from liver disease, making it the ninth leading cause of death.

“The cost of any screening should never be a reason to forgo care — this law will help prevent deaths by making screenings more affordable,” said Simmons. “This is especially important for those struggling with substance abuse and addiction, as they are at an increased risk of developing liver disease. This law will provide equitable preventative health care for all Illinoisans.”

Senate Bill 1282 was signed into law Friday, June 6th, and applies to insurance plans entered into or renewed on or after Jan 1, 2025.

Category: Press Releases

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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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