Openly gay Illinois state Sen. Mike Simmons was among more than 90 state legislators from 41 states to attend a July 19 in-person convening of state leaders at the White House on efforts to improve access to affordable, quality child care.
According to a White House press release, First Lady Jill Biden, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Assistant & Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Tom Perez, and Minnesota Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan also attended the convening.
At the event, state leaders shared successes from the past legislative session and discussed next steps for further state action on child care, such as serving more working families, lowering costs and supporting providers.
In an open letter to constituents, Simmons said, "I was especially proud to lift up the needs of 7th District single moms who participate in my People's Legislative Council initiative, which has directly informed several bills I've introduced and carried in the Senate. Amplifying the needs of our district at the national level was a tall honor.
"I met several like-minded state legislators from around the country who are also fighting hard for proposals like a permanent child tax credit, paid leave for struggling parents (which we got passed this January thanks to the advocacy of 7th District moms!), better pay for child care providers, and other solid legislative ideas that help parents better care for their children."