* When I read this the other day, I thought of the governor’s massive and complicated 2019 legislative agenda that is still not yet implemented and the myriad issues brought to fore by the pandemic…
* As I told subscribers earlier today, this anger about IDES is not at all confined to Republican legislators…
Illinois legislators are still struggling to get ahold of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), while subsequently thousands of Illinoisans are still waiting in the callback queue.
State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, said he has tried everything he can to get ahold of IDES, but after weeks of calling, he never got a response.
McClure said he called the legislative liaison, the department, and even the governor’s liaison, but no one ever got back to him.
So, in a last ditch effort on Tuesday, Jan. 26, he went down to both IDES offices in Springfield to see if someone would talk to him, but they said no one in the office is qualified to do so.
* Another bone of contention with cranky legislators…
After being stifled by the coronavirus outbreak and a series of lawsuits from jilted applicants, state officials confirmed Tuesday that the process for issuing the next round of highly sought-after cannabis licenses is again moving forward.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture issued the latest round of notices detailing specific problems that hopefuls for the upcoming craft cultivation, infusion and transportation licenses can remedy in their applications. Similar notices will also be sent “in the coming days” to applicants who didn’t initially qualify for an upcoming lottery to determine the winners of the next 75 lucrative dispensary licenses, according to Charity Greene, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office.
The move follows months of delays and criticism from applicants of color who have lambasted the governor and other officials for allegedly falling short of their goal of diversifying the state’s overwhelmingly white weed industry.
Long way to go, but this is at least a start (or restart, as the case may be). Even Rickey Hendon is quoted as saying something favorable.
* Legislators in both parties have been getting lots of calls from angry constituents who can’t obtain a vaccine and at least some members are blaming the governor, so this may help…
With Illinois in the first week of ramping up its COVID-19 immunization effort to include elderly residents and “essential” workers, state officials on Tuesday were told to expect a welcome boost in vaccine shipments.
In a phone call with the nation’s governors, including Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Biden administration pledged to increase vaccine shipments to all 50 states starting next week, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said in a statement.
(According to the Illinois State Board of Elections, 2022 nominating petitions can be circulated on August 31st.)