DSC 8457SPRINGFIELD – To increase the safety of pedestrians and cyclists following a fatal cyclist accident in the 7th District, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced multiple measures out of both chambers.

“People using alternative forms of transportation, whether it’s children going for a bike ride with friends or an employee biking to work to save on gas, should know they are just as safe and secure as those traveling by car,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Requiring crossing signs on bike trails and roadways is a common-sense action we can take to keep everyone safer.”

Senate Bill 1710 expands the responsibility of any entity that owns a bike trail, requiring them to erect permanent signs along the path warning pedestrians and cyclists of a vehicle crossing at least 250 feet before the crossing. Simmons brought forth this measure after a cyclist on a bike trail was hit by a car when crossing a busy street. The intent of this bill is to ensure cyclists on a trail have ample warning to know when to slow down and stop before a busy intersection. 

Senate Bill 2014 requires the Illinois Department of Transportation to develop a policy which ensures the safety of pedestrians and cyclists on roadways in Illinois. The policy will require that improvements — such as high-visibility signage, crosswalk upgrades, curb bump outs, barrier-protected bike lanes and bus shelters — are made during routine maintenance and within 500 feet of the maintenance work to any state roads located within a municipality.

“Biking along a path or road can be stressful enough when worrying about oncoming cars, especially for parents biking with their children,” Simmons said. “These initiatives will help ensure bike and pedestrian safety improvements are completed in tandem with routine work such as pothole or street lighting repairs.”

Having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 1710 and Senate Bill 2014 will be sent to the governor for final approval.

Category: Press Releases

051823AL3200SPRINGFIELD – To help returning citizens reintegrate successfully into their communities and reduce recidivism, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced legislation out of the House on May 17.

“Returning citizens deserve the same rights and opportunities of every other individual,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Regardless of past mistakes or decisions, everyone deserves a second chance to establish stability in their life and take care of basic human needs, such as finding gainful employment, housing and health care before owing fees from prior criminal proceedings.”

Senate Bill 2175 prohibits 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. Currently, Illinois does not have a law striking fees for a certain amount of days post-confinement. However, under the Unified Code of Corrections, the court may revoke a fine if good cause is shown.

“This bill does not erase fees, but rather provides a reasonable amount of time to help break the cruel cycle where returning citizens are expected to pay back fees with savings they may not have,” Simmons said. “If we truly want to see those who were incarcerated rehabilitate and change, then we need to support them.”

Having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 2175 will be sent to the governor for final approval.

Category: Press Releases

010523CM0861SPRINGFIELD – To improve public transportation and increase the number of clean energy buses, State Senator Mike Simmons secured passage of a bill that will accelerate the rollout of electric buses under the Regional Transportation Authority, Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace as part of a broader bill.

“As a lifelong user of public transit, I know how important it is to improve our public transit systems by making strides in accessibility, reliability and sustainability,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This broad piece of legislation addresses many issues in our public transit system, including rolling out a more environmentally friendly bus fleet at-scale within multiple transit systems across northern Illinois, and I was proud to help lead and secure its passage.”

Simmons legislation, SB1864, accelerates the timeline for electrification of the RTA transit systems so that beginning on January 1, 2026, the transit agencies may not enter into a contract or purchase any buses that are not zero-emissions buses for service. 

The broader bill, House Bill 1342, chief-cosponsored by Simmons, includes many positive initiatives including reduced ride fares for young people and survivors of domestic violence. The bill creates a program requiring the RTA to distribute preloaded fare cards to service providers of survivors of domestic violence and their dependents, as well as requires the CTA to provide reduced fares for youth-involved jobs programs and requires PACE and Metra to create or participate in a youth jobs or internship program. The bill also initiates a study looking into reduced ride fares for returning citizens and veterans. Lastly, the bill provides CTA with flexibility on the fare box recovery ratio to help the agency recover and regain ridership to pre-pandemic levels. 

“This is a timely and terrific piece of legislation,” Simmons said. “So many people rely on public transportation, and this initiative not only helps them, but puts us on the path toward clean energy.”

House Bill 1342 passed the Senate on Wednesday.

Category: Press Releases

032923CM1392SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ bill to improve the quality of life for residents staying in affordable housing advanced out of the House on Thursday, May 11. Senate Bill 2013 is in direct response to the deaths of three Rogers Park residents who lived in a senior living complex and died of suspected heat exhaustion last May.

“It was a senseless tragedy to lose three beloved members of our community. No one should have to live in a home that is too cold in the winter and sweltering in the summer,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This bill will hold housing providers accountable in making sure our neighbors, both in the 7th district and across the state, live in safe, humane housing.”

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.

The measure would require specific air conditioning and heating provisions to be included in all affordable housing. It also clarifies language in regards to maintenance, upkeep and laundry.

“It is a basic human right to live in safe, accessible, and clean environments, with air-conditioning, heating, working laundry machines and basic maintenance provisions,” Simmons said. “Residents of affordable housing deserve the same respect and care afforded to everyone.”

Having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 2013 will be sent to the governor for final approval.

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Category: Press Releases

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