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Senate cancels next week’s scheduled session

Thursday, Jan 21, 2021

* Welp…

Senate President Don Harmon & Minority Leader Dan McConchie
January 21, 2021

To the Members of the Illinois Senate:

Legislating in the midst of a global pandemic has presented unprecedented challenges, and we are diligently working together to overcome each one. Our goal is to conduct a Spring Session that is as normal as possible while ensuring the safety of legislators, staff, and the public.

As we continue to develop policies and implement best practices that will allow us to safely conduct legislative business, it is in our best interest to announce that legislative session scheduled for the week of January 26th is canceled. It is our intent to have the proper procedures in place for a safe return to Springfield in February, hopefully by our next scheduled date, Tuesday, February 9 , 2021.

Between now and our return, we plan to begin conducting Senate business by way of remote committee hearings. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our respective Chiefs of Staff, Jake Butcher or Dale Righter.


Don Harmon Senate President
Dan McConchie Minority Leader

This new virus variant has public health officials totally spooked, with expectations of a massive third wave heading our way because of the absolutely unconscionable fiddling by Washington, DC since the vaccine was approved.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - blue line - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 4:39 pm:

    amazing that there was no vaccination plan in place when the new president arrived in dc. lets be real. session this year is a long shot at best. with the governor and mayors bucking to pressure to reopen bars and restaurants, the closure of which has been the single biggest factor that numbers began to decline, ensures that numbers will never reach a level safe enough for a return to springfield this spring.

  2. - Third Reading - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 5:06 pm:

    News Flash: Chamber no one covered last week won’t be covered next week.

  3. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 5:08 pm:

    “This new virus variant has public health officials totally spooked”

    I hope that some of those spooked public health officials make some calls to CPS.

    “the absolutely unconscionable fiddling by Washington, DC since the vaccine was approved”

    Just so we’re clear: The now-former Republican President and his toadies and cronies fiddled.

    – MrJM

  4. - Leslie K - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 5:11 pm:

    Ugh on that 3rd wave possibility. Maybe my one word for 2021 shouldn’t have been “improving.”

  5. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 5:22 pm:

    But let’s force teachers back to the classroom now, when there’s a viable remote alternative.

  6. - DuPage Moderate - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 5:46 pm:

    “Viable remote alternative”

    You must not have kids. This is no alternative to in person education. On the spectrum, we’re closer to child abuse than anything else.

    But, if this is a “viable alternative”, let’s fire all the teachers and administrators and just let google or apple put out a daily curriculum on youtube with one teacher teaching America’s kids via the internet.

  7. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 6:05 pm:

    “On the spectrum, we’re closer to child abuse than anything else.”

    Such a measured and thoughtful contribution to the discussion.

    – MrJM

  8. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 6:28 pm:

    **You must not have kids.**

    I have kids. And I’ve chosen remote over in-person. And is it perfect? No. Is it working? Yes.

  9. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 6:34 pm:

    I have kids who recently returned to hybrid. Actually feels like a step backwards so far.

  10. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 7:28 pm:

    Exposing teachers, children and their families to covid-19 strikes me as a very ineffective way of addressing the needs of those children.

    – MrJM

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

    Wife teaches in optional system. She is not a fan of the remote learning. Might work for some, but she will tell you the in-class learners are far ahead of remote learners as a whole. Our schools have a lower positivity rate than then general public.. People fighting in school learning are fighting science while claiming we should follow the science.

  12. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 21, 21 @ 8:50 pm:

    ===This new virus variant has public health officials totally spooked===

    Very rightfully so. What happened in the UK was a shocking acceleration, and while we’re now easing mitigation efforts, there were numerous regions that never fully adopted them.

    ===strikes me as a very ineffective way of addressing the needs of those children.===

    While some seek to create a society through a veil of ignorance, many choose to live wearing a hood of indifference.

  13. - O-Man - Friday, Jan 22, 21 @ 10:41 am:

    Unless someone has been a teacher during this pandemic, no one knows what it is like. A vast, vast majority of teachers want to help their students and go to great lengths to not only teach them the content but also be a positive influence in countless of other ways. Now try doing that with your hands tied.

    School boards and district administration aren’t always consulting teachers on the best way to bring kids back both safely and with an eye toward best instructional practices. There is a huge confluence of priorities here — not all of them willing to collaborate — between parents, teachers, union, students, politicians, etc. This is not to mention those students who just do not engage online. There is very little a teacher or district can do about that (and the arguments around equity drive that debate).

    There is no win-win. Hybrid works for some, but the minute you give parents a choice to keep their kids home for remote learning, that brings with it its own problems — both from the parental side and the instructional side. Expecting teachers to “double plan” an asynchronous lesson and a live lesson for in-person bodies is easier said than done, and often neither are executed well. That will only speed teacher burn-out.

    Mitigations work, but they are not bullet-proof. There will be no normal school for at least the rest of the school year. The best we can do is get as many students back, but parents will have the final say if they will send them or not depending on where we are with a vaccine and their comfort level of school mitigation plans.

    Other questions to ask (looking to Fall 2021) — will students be required to be vaccinated to attend in person? Will teachers? If not, will remote learners be taught by the classroom teacher (like many districts are doing now), or will those students be handled through a 3rd party contracted by the school districts? How will any of this be much different than what we are doing now?

    And that is just the beginning.

    And, yes, I teach.

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* 1,442 new confirmed and probable cases; 33 additional deaths; 1,166 hospitalized; 263 in ICU; 2.2 percent average case positivity rate; 2.8 percent average test positivity rate; 83,115 average daily doses
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* Unemployment applications rose nationally last week, fell slightly in Illinois
* Kass (no, not that Kass, the smart one) argues against austerity
* Democrats, business leaders argue for phased approach to full reopening, and they want it to start soon
* Chicago Sun-Times: “Illinois Can’t Sit Back And Wait For The Federal Government To Do The Job.” CEJA Can’t Wait.
* Durbin agreed to back Harris before flipping to Kelly
* *** UPDATED x1 - Local 150 responds, criticizes plaintiffs *** Appellate ruling: Transportation lock box amendment doesn't apply to home rule units
* ALPLM hires first person of color as executive director
* Support The Illinois Healthy Youth Act – SB266
* Open thread
* Yesterday's stories

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