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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Jan 14, 2021

* Sun-Times

A push to create 75 additional cannabis dispensary licenses fell short on Wednesday, further stymying state lawmakers’ lofty goal of diversifying Illinois’ overwhelmingly white weed industry.

Though state senators approved the measure earlier Wednesday, their counterparts in the House failed to call it for a vote before the lame duck session ended.

State Rep. La Shawn Ford, a Chicago Democrat who was part of a legislative working group that contemplated the additional licenses, said the bill fell flat because legislators “failed at the art of compromise.” […]

Ford said the major sticking point was the prospect of allowing existing medical dispensaries to relocate without losing their ability to sell recreational weed — something some major pot firms have long been pushing for. Industry insiders have estimated the state is missing out on roughly $100 million in tax revenues by blocking dispensaries from moving.

The (white-owned) dispensaries, which has been making money hand over fist, also killed the cannabis bill last year over this same issue. Proponents don’t want to give those owners yet another leg up before more people can get into the business. Meanwhile, the whole program is massively messed up because there are a ton of cleanup items in that bill that have to be passed.

* Meanwhile, let’s move on to a Tribune editorial

A bill on its way to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk would make it easier for Chicago Public Schools teachers to go on strike. It carries the potential to return Chicago to the days of almost-annual strikes. Remember those? For one stretch starting in 1969, teachers in Chicago went on strike that year, again in 1971, 1973, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1987. The union threatened to strike eight other times.

It took Republicans in Springfield and then-Mayor Richard M. Daley to pass a sweeping CPS reform bill to stop the constant disruption to students’ lives of teacher walkouts.

And now the Democrat-led legislature, tightly wound politically with the Chicago Teachers Union, wants Pritzker to sign legislation allowing the city to backtrack. He should veto it. Current CTU leaders have demonstrated time and again their willingness to obstruct, to expand their agenda way beyond the confines of education and into defunding police departments, for example, and to be unreasonable at the bargaining table.

The governor was asked about this bill earlier in the week…

I’ve favored passage of that bill before I was a candidate. I know that bill is coming to my desk and I’ll obviously take a serious look at it, but you know where I’ve stood for several years already.

So, the Trib wants him to flip-flop on a campaign promise, essentially.


1969: Two-day strike results in salary increases, teacher aides, and class size maximum.
1971: Four-day strike results in salary increases and full health benefits.
1973: Two strikes, of 12 and 11 days, yield improved salary, benefits, preparation time, supplies, and class sizes.
1979-1980: Multiple strikes over a payless payday during holiday break in 1979, results in salary increase and improved sick leave and maternity/paternity leave.
1984: Four-day strike results in medical care increase and PAC checkoff.
1985: Two-day strike for salary and sick leave.
1987: Record-breaking 19-day strike under CTU President Jacqueline B. Vaughn wins raises and improvements to health care.

* Related…

* Petition urges Pritzker to veto Illinois police reform bill

* Emotions high during Illinois lawmakers’ votes on Black caucus’ criminal justice reforms

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 4:03 pm:

    Passing cannabis changes are going to require Pritzker to act.

    What does Toi say?

    Welch can force action by demanding the reforms be included in the BIMP.

  2. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 5:18 pm:

    The strike bill is going to get signed. Pritzker promised so that is that. It is bad legislation though.

    I bargain with our union, and they are generally a good group to work with. We have been able to find common ground and compromise. That isn’t how CTU works. They are a rogue operation and very nasty. Not a credit to public education.

  3. - Been There - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 6:00 pm:

    I am one that will defend the process and understand how and why things get dropped at the last minute. That being said when they dropped the new cannabis amendment right before midnight on Tuesday that was tough. And to watch it pass the senate and wait until 4:15 to not have it called and have to wake up a few hours later. And then it doesnt pass. Brutal

  4. - Al - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 6:02 pm:

    On a Sunday afternoon when only medical patients are allowed, the Cannabis dispensery in town has a line out the side of the building. Cannabis is sold for $640 an ounce (think $640 for a pack of cigarettes). So many millions are being made by insiders it is by Statute a State secret to make public the embarrassingly large windfall. Two dispensaries for a commercial population of a quarter million? We need more Sunshine, more Producers and more dispenseries. Go back and look at the Ammon Bill.

  5. - M - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 6:54 pm:

    ==”It is bad legislation though.”==

    Why is it bad legislation? It allows CTU to bargain for things that the rest of the state is allowed to. Including other very large districts.

    ==”I bargain with our union, and they are generally a good group to work with. “==

    The union represents their members. If I remember correctly, you work at a pretty small school. Bargaining is massively different in small vs. large schools.

    ==”We have been able to find common ground and compromise.”==

    That requires good faith on both sides. You can’t tell me that the city went above and beyond in trying to find common ground with CTU. They absolutely did not.

    ==”That isn’t how CTU works. They are a rogue operation and very nasty.”==

    I don’t agree with this. CTU is rogue in the sense that their ability to bargain compared to the rest of the state was restricted. They represent a very large group of teachers and needs. Despite the restrictions they’ve had, they have fought to make things better for their students.

    ==”Not a credit to public education.”==

    The strike in 2012 actually helped inspire the statewide strikes in West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona and the strike in LA. That arguably made public education a heck of a lot better in those states.

    Are they perfect? Absolutely not, but no union that represents a very large number of people is going to be.

  6. - Ashland Adam - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 7:06 pm:

    To the commenter at 5:18, I’ve noted your input here on previous occasions as positive and well informed.

    That’s not the case in this comment.

    CPS (under multiple leadership teams) has not participated in good-faith partnership with teachers. There is a long history of very painful and ill-informed policy decisions that have had a negative impact on students’ experiences in the classroom. Your average CPS teacher (CTU members) have had decades of this.

    You reference your teachers being a ‘good group to work with.’ You should know that during the 2019 CTU strike, CPS leadership and CTU leaders had come to agreement on major issues, only to have those agreements blown up by a vengeful and angry Mayor (who doesn’t understand schools, the classroom or teaching).

    I suggest you walk in the shoes of a CPS teacher, find out how ’school reform’ has played out for the 400K CPS students (and teachers who are committed to them).

    Your comment was a disappointment. CTU reflects the teachers they represent, who are at wits end with CPS.

  7. - JS Mill - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 7:50 pm:

    =Bargaining is massively different in small vs. large schools.=

    Not really. I have been in large, medium, and small districts.

    When a union calls the mayor the “murder mayor” they lose their standing as a reasonable organization. The union leaders speak for the membership, unless membership immediately ousts them for these offensive statements, it reflects on them as well.

    =I suggest you walk in the shoes of a CPS teacher=

    Tell me more about what I have and have not done, I mean since you think you know.

    I spent a year at Bogan. The union was a serious impediment to good practice at least as much as the central leadership.

    =CTU is rogue in the sense that their ability to bargain compared to the rest of the state was restricted.=

    Many districts in Illinois have transitioned back to some in person learning. Only CTU is attacking leadership for the decision (and it is a management decision and not subject to collective bargaining anywhere)to bring kids back. CPS has arguably done more to make their buildings suitable. But CTU isn’t following science with their refusal to return to the classroom. Mask, distancing, and proper sanitation protocols make in person learning safe as it has in many districts. But CTU members are engaging in spectacle and a dismissable action by not returning to the classroom.

    Management at CPS is no treat, but CTU is not pro-student and they display that all of the time.

    @M and @Ashland Adam- if you spent some time in other schools where the union and their membership put students first and then spend time in CPS you might understand. Time to leave your bubble.

  8. - northside reformer - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 8:04 pm:

    JB has a major 2022 problem with the failure to get cannabis right.

  9. - John - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 8:22 pm:

    I remember the 1979 strike being two weeks and my Mom made me go to a different school during the strike. I was in sixth grade in February 1979. All my friends were playing outside in the snow.

  10. - I don’t think so... - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 8:24 pm:

    CTU had gone on strike 2 of the last 3 times its contract was up, so if the existing law is design to prevent strikes, it’s not very good at it.

    BTW, the current contract has a no-strike clause — no change in state law can undo that.

  11. - SSL - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 8:54 pm:

    Having teachers strike annually will drive more parents out of the city.

  12. - Ashland Adam - Thursday, Jan 14, 21 @ 10:23 pm:


    Typo: “…do not want to return their children …” was intended.

  13. - M - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 6:01 am:

    @JS Mill

    I’m not a CTU memeber and don’t even work in the Chicagoland? For jumping on Ashland Adam for assuming things, you sure assumed things quick about me.

    ==Not really. I have been in large, medium, and small districts.==

    Bargaining in small districts is done by volunteers who have minimal training. They have to balance union needs with still being evaluated by the same admin. Bargaining in large districts is done by full time union members who have some of the best training and support available. They can push back on things with less fear of retribution. That is a major difference.

    ==I spent a year at Bogan.==

    You spent 1 year and you think that makes you an expert in how CPS works… You spent 1 year that was not teaching during a pandemic and doesn’t have any of the same concerns.

    ==Management at CPS is no treat, but CTU is not pro-student and they display that all of the time.==

    Their job is to be pro-teacher. Their job is to look out for the interests of teachers. Many times teacher and student interests are mutual but sometimes they are not.

    ==Many districts in Illinois have transitioned back to some in person learning.==

    What is right for one district is not right for all districts. I don’t think other districts are also subject to a Stay-at-Home order either.

    ==Only CTU is attacking leadership for the decision (and it is a management decision and not subject to collective bargaining anywhere)to bring kids back. ==

    Ummm…maybe because CPS is one of the few schools that hasn’t worked with their union to actually make a return to work agreement? Every teacher I have talked to that has returned to work, have an agreement between the union and the school.

    There is a difference between being an administrator during a pandemic and actually being in the classroom every single day. Oh and now try to teach in person and remotely at the same time.

    Since you think you could do the job, why don’t you go replace one of those CPS teachers. Show us how it is done. Time to leave your cozy little admin bubble.

  14. - Commisar Gritty - Friday, Jan 15, 21 @ 10:48 am:

    Comment section is 🔥 today

    Also I have a few friends who are part of CPS/CTU and the consensus is that they’re being offered up like lambs to the slaughter. They’re legitimately afraid for their lives. And we still don’t know what the long term impacts of covid are. It’s not a great situation for them or for parents who have to work.

    I sympathize with parents too, as the cost of childcare was astronomical even before all this. But if Covid has taught us anything it’s that essential workers are not who we once thought. Grocery store workers, health care professionals, teachers, waste disposal, etc are all the obvious choices. People who actually stop our society from crumbling.

    That’s why I balked at the Governor’s list of 1st priority for vaccines including things like financial professionals and lawyers. I know plenty of lawyers who are working from home unimpeded, and the finance worker in particular just seemed like a slap in the face for those of us actually working to help people. Goldman Sachs to the very back of the line for all I care.

    Alright, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk

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