Simmons HIV Floor rSPRINGFIELD – To allow more people to access HIV preventative care easier, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to allow pharmacists to provide HIV tests and preventative medications to help reduce new HIV infections.

Simmons’ measure would allow pharmacists to dispense and administer drugs, order laboratory tests, and consult individuals related to HIV pre-exposure drugs (PrEP) and post-exposure drugs (PEP). Pharmacists would first have to complete an educational training course on the administration of tests and medications prior to being permitted to assist patients. 

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Children of Incarcerated Parents Floor r

SPRINGFIELD – To better advocate for the interests of children with incarcerated parents in Illinois, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the Commission on Children of Incarcerated Parents.

“Today in Illinois, nearly 200,000 children – or one in every 20 – have had a parent in jail or prison. We need to improve the system so that the bond between a parent and their child is honored and strengthened despite the incarceration.”

The Commission, housed within the Department of Human Services, will be tasked with implementing and coordinating the recommendations of the Task Force on Children of Incarcerated Parents within state agencies. The task force, created in 2020 will propose the changes, and the Commission will work with agencies on how to properly implement the changes.

Children whose parents are incarcerated can experience multiple negative effects such as greater mental health symptoms, difficulty with school, housing instability, and overall trauma.

“I am so glad we passed this legislation and look forward to working with House sponsor Rep. Delia Ramirez, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, and the other advocates and stakeholders who worked hard on this effort to implement the commission, said Simmons.  We will see this work through so children of incarcerated parents can maintain the most important relationship they have and have their overall needs met across the entire system.”

House Bill 5525 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

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Category: Press Releases

Simmons Lead Floor rSPRINGFIELD - To protect communities across Illinois from the deadly impact of lead, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to strengthen lead mitigation procedures.

“Virtually every community across the state is affected by lead in our water supply,” said Simmons. “This bill provides a systemic response to a problem that is systemic in nature, is decades in the making, and often does the most injury to Black and Brown communities.”

House Bill 4369 would require the Illinois Department of Public Health to follow up on lead mitigation notices by carrying out inspections to ensure the work has been completed. The current law merely permits an inspection, while this legislation will require and enforce lead mitigation efforts.

Lead is a heavy metal and suspected carcinogen that was frequently used in paint, plumbing materials, and many other items before the 1980s. Today, it is mostly found in aging water pipes, contaminated soil, and peeling paint found on windows, baseboards, trim, and doors. No amount of lead exposure is considered safe for children or adults.

“Removing lead from all housing and facilities is long overdue and is critical towards overall health equity and racial equity across Illinois,” Simmons said. “I am hopeful we can continue to work together on this systemic solution that ensures the people of Illinois can have access to clean drinking water.”

House Bill 4369 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

Simmons Mens Health Floor rSPRINGFIELD – To better inform and raise awareness for health issues that particularly effect men, State Senator Mike Simmons (D-Chicago) is leading a measure to create the division of men’s health within the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Health Promotion.

“We know that men are less likely to go see a doctor or other healthcare professional when they are not feeling right,” Simmons said. “They may end up missing their body’s signs of sickness and eventually progress to disease – especially if they are not educated on signs to lookout for.”

Life expectancy of men remains more than five years less than women, and men lead in nine of the top ten causes of death in the United States. Simmons’ measure would raise awareness of health issues particular to men that are not currently or adequately addressed by IPDH, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, smoking cessation, heart disease, and mental health.

“This measure will raise awareness of health issues millions of men suffer from each day,” Simmons said. “I am proud to help usher in a new era of communication and prevention for men across the state.”

House Bill 4589 passed the Senate and awaits further consideration.

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Category: Press Releases

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(773) 769-1717

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