051023SC5491SPRINGFIELD – To ensure Chicago residents are notified of lead service line replacements and have access to a clean water supply, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced a bill out of the Senate Thursday.

“Replacing lead pipes in our communities is about doing right by our Chicago residents,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “People need to know when improvements are being made that affect their water supply, especially anything involving the removal of lead pipes.”

House Bill 2776 requires that, in addition to a written notice, a community water supply operator must send a notice via email to property owners and occupants of buildings affected by lead service line replacements, and requires the City of Chicago to publicly post data on their website on the progress of replacing lead service lines.

This initiative will address concerns regarding installation and the progress of lead pipe replacement and will only apply to the City of Chicago.

“Lead pipe replacement is necessary and we want people to be prepared,” Simmons said. “We need to make certain that the city is effectively communicating the risks and construction timelines so that residents can plan ahead.”

House Bill 2776 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

042723CM0884SPRINGFIELD –State Senator Mike Simmons advanced a measure to provide safer heating and cooling standards for homes in 55 and up communities.

“Every resident in our state should live with the confidence that their housing conditions are safe,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “It is our responsibility to ensure our older resident neighbors, both in the 7th District and across the state, live in safe and humane housing conditions.” 

House Bill 2562 would create heating and cooling standards for properties that limit their ownership, rental and occupancy to people 55 years old or older.

Between June 1 and Sept. 30, cooling systems would be required to operate when the heat exceeds 80 degrees. Between Oct. 1 and May 31 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., heat would have to register at least 68 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 55 degrees, and between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., heat would be required to register at least 62 degrees. If the property does not have a building-wide cooling system for individual units, then at least one indoor common gathering space with a cooling system must be provided.

This bill is in tandem with Simmons’ Senate Bill 2013, which requires any residential building that is state-funded to meet minimum standard of living conditions to continue receiving funding from the program, including proper air-conditioning and heating. That measure was inspired when three residents of a Rogers Park senior living complex tragically died of suspected heat exhaustion last May. SB2013 ensures all residents of state-supported affordable housing have adequate cooling in the hot months and heating in the colder months, while HB2562 extends those protections to residents of condo buildings and all other buildings that house residents 55 years of age and older. 

“No one should have to gamble their life over operational housing,” Simmons said. “This bill is not a comfort bill – this bill protects the well-being of some of our most vulnerable populations.”

House Bill 2562 passed the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

050423CM0609SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons advanced a measure to protect minors who are survivors of human trafficking, and other trauma-related factors, from being tried as adults in a number of criminal court cases.

“Survivors of human trafficking should be provided support and empathy,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “For decades our court systems have failed our youth. It is especially shocking and defies logic that youth who have been forced into abusive relationships and who have been traumatized end up being tried as felons. Trying survivors who are defending themselves while escaping their abusers adds to the trauma they’ve experienced. This is not a humane or civil response to a child who has experienced horrific abuse.”

Inspired by a survivor of child trafficking, Sara Kruzan, who was released and pardoned after being sentenced to life at 17 years of age, House Bill 3414 would reform the justice system to clarify whether a minor should be tried as an adult in a self defense act if the court finds through the evidence that it is highly and substantially more true than not that the abuser/trafficker committed sex and trafficking offenses against the minor within 3 years of the minor's conviction for the self defense act. If that is the case, the court would be able to transfer them to juvenile court.

This bill would also expand the number of factors judges can consider in deciding whether or not to issue an order to prosecute a minor as an adult for a felony offense. These factors include child welfare involvement, mental health issues, having been subject to sexual violence and other trauma, or outside pressure from a minor’s peers, family or community.

“This legislation protects future survivors,” Simmons said. “A survivor of child sex trafficking has already experienced unimaginable trauma and we need our court systems to compassionately consider how that plays a role in their cases.”

House Bill 3414 passed the Senate.  

Category: Press Releases

032423CM0682SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons’ bill expanding coverage for preventative screenings for liver disease advanced out of the House on Monday, May 8.

“Liver disease is a silent killer and leading cause of death in the United States,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This bill will help improve health outcomes for people who are both underinsured and at-risk for liver disease.”

Senate Bill 1282 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, 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 best chance at fighting any disease is early detection,” said Simmons. “This bill will prevent avoidable and premature deaths by providing equitable preventive health care, especially for those who struggle with substance abuse and addiction.”

Having passed both chambers of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 1282 will be sent to the governor for final approval.

Category: Press Releases

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