050323CM0364SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Simmons led an initiative to lower the speed limit on highways with designated bicycle lanes to reduce bicycle accidents on roads.

“We want everyone to be safe on the roads,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This means drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists.”

House Bill 2131 creates the Zero Traffic Fatalities Task Force, which will report a detailed analysis of existing practices around speed limits, reduction of speed limits, steps to eliminate vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle fatalities on roads, and the impact of local bicycle and pedestrian plans.

“Cycling infrastructure throughout the state could use improvement, but we also know that speed is a leading factor in vehicular casualties,” said Simmons. “Reducing speed near these designated bicycle lanes helps create more cyclists-friendly communities.”

Senator Simmons has also sponsored Senate transportation bills regarding bike safety. Senate Bill 1710 requires the installation of signage along with bike paths warning pedestrians and cyclists of a vehicle crossing at least 150 feet ahead of an intersection. In addition, Senate Simmons’ Senate Bill 2278 helps plan for complete streets for bikes, pedestrians and public transit riders by providing that local governments will not be required to design, construct, or widen a non-highway state road to accommodate large trucks. 

House Bill 2131 passed with bipartisan support in the Senate.

Category: Press Releases

042623CM0948SPRINGFIELD – To establish a rebate program for e-bike purchases in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons brought forth a bill in a subject matter hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee.

“We must use every resource available to reduce carbon emissions,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Providing incentives for e-bike purchases complements our existing plans to bring one million electric vehicles online across Illinois by 2030. I was proud to represent this important issue in the Revenue hearing.”

Subject matter hearings on revenue matters help inform deliberations as the final Fiscal Year 24 budget is crafted in the coming weeks. 

Senate Bill 2015 expands the Electric Vehicle Rebate Act to include rebates for the purchase of new or used electric bikes. This will encourage the purchase and use of electric bicycles and help reduce carbon emissions from the transportation sector within Illinois. The rebates would be targeted for lower-income earners modeled after Colorado’s new program. 

“More people are moving to electric vehicles – cities are replacing diesel bus fleets with electric buses, and motorists are choosing to use public transit and bikes to commute. E-Bikes provide a sustainable and motorized transit option that is quick, efficient, and green,” said Simmons. 

Simmons has also introduced SB1864, ambitious legislation that would accelerate the timeline for bringing online a fully electric bus fleet for the Regional Transit Authority, including the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and Pace transit systems. His e-bike proposal is another proposal that advances improvements in sustainability, accessibility, and equity in our transportation systems. 

“Offering a rebate to Illinois residents for purchasing e-bikes will make this practical, sustainable mode of travel more accessible to those who could not otherwise afford an e-bike. More trips made by e-bike, instead of a motor vehicle, will have a positive impact on individuals, families and the communities in which they live. For these reasons and more, Ride Illinois and the Active Transportation Alliance are proud to voice our support of SB2015,” said Dave Simmons, Executive Director for Ride Illinois. 

Currently forty states define electric bicycles using the three-class system. States using the three-tiered e-bike classification system, such as Illinois, have it so e-bike users are exempt from registration, licensure, or insurance requirements. In states where e-bikes are classified as mopeds or scooters, they usually require licensing and registration. These rebates would encourage more people in Illinois to purchase and use e-bikes, and those without a license in Illinois may still operate an e-bike under the three-class system.  

For more information on the bills Simmons is sponsoring and where they are in the legislative process, visit here

Category: Press Releases

050423CM0608SPRINGFIELD – To strengthen marriage equality for same-sex couples looking to get married in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced a bill from the Senate on Thursday.

“There have been attacks on same-sex couples and marriages all across the nation, and the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to repeal Roe v. Wade has raised questions of the court’s intention to undermine Obergefell v. Hodges, which protects same-sex couples’ right to marry,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “This bill will protect same-sex marriages in Illinois and help same-sex couples in other states coming to Illinois.”

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.

“As the first openly gay senator in Illinois, this initiative was very important to me,” Simmons said. “Love is love, and everyone should have the right to marry whomever they wish.”

House Bill 1591 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

032923CM1392SPRINGFIELD – To prioritize gender inclusivity across the state of Illinois and within state agencies, State Senator Mike Simmons advanced two House Bills out of the Senate on Thursday.

“Everyone deserves to be addressed and represented with the pronouns they use and prefer, especially by their state agencies and laws,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “These bills will ensure the language we use in state statutes and codes is inclusive of all identities, and will quantify non-binary and gender non-conforming people accurately within the state workforce.”

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.

House Bill 2297 adds state employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming to the list of women, minorities and persons with physical disabilities in regards to agencies tracking this information to help guide efforts to achieve a more diversified state workforce.

“It is someone’s basic human right to be referred to by their preferred pronouns in everyday life, and these laws will reflect that right in our state systems,” Simmons said.

House Bill 1596 and House Bill 2297 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

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