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It’s just a bill

Monday, Feb 22, 2021

* Sen. Jason Barickman wants to recriminalize small amounts of cannabis possession for those under 21 with SB299

Amends the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Provides that a person under 21 years of age who possesses 30 grams or less of cannabis is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor (rather than a civil law violation). Provides that a person under 21 years of age who possesses more than 30 grams of cannabis is subject to the penalties provided in the Cannabis Control Act. Effective immediately.

* Meanwhile, similar telehealth legislation was proposed last May and didn’t survive…

The Coalition to Protect Telehealth has announced support for a legislative proposal to protect Illinoisans’ access to the innovative telehealth services they have relied on receiving from health care professionals and providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduced by State Rep. Deb Conroy (46th House District), House Bill 3498 ensures quality, affordable and safe virtual healthcare that improves patient outcomes by reducing access barriers will continue to be provided after the COVID-19 pandemic. Critically, the legislation aligns telehealth coverage and payment with in-person care, making appropriate patient access to care the priority.

“Over the last year, we’ve seen significant, rapid development in telehealth technology. Initially spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, both state and federal government enacted policy changes to make telehealth services easier to access and, as a result, healthcare providers, professionals and patients have seen that virtual care preserves quality and safety, while also accommodating patients’ individual needs,” said Rep. Conroy. “Illinois should support this continued investment in telehealth and the important role it will play in modernizing healthcare delivery and empowering patients.”

Importantly, House Bill 3498 prohibits geographic or facility restrictions on telehealth services, and allows patients to be treated via telehealth in their home. The legislation establishes patients will not be required to use a separate panel of providers or professionals to receive telehealth services, nor would they be required to prove a hardship or access barrier in order to receive telehealth services. The legislation further protects patient preference by establishing a patient cannot be required to use telehealth services.

Additionally, House Bill 3498 gives healthcare providers and professionals the professional latitude to determine the appropriateness of specific sites and technology platforms for telehealth services, while upholding federal and state privacy laws.

Even as in-person visits have resumed, telehealth use has remained at a persistent and significant level, with strong indication from patients, healthcare providers and professionals that this flexibility to access care must be maintained permanently.

Telehealth use has been demonstrated to increase care plan adherence and improved chronic disease management, and in recent surveys, over 70% of Illinois hospital respondents and 78% of community-based behavioral healthcare respondents reported that telehealth has helped drive a reduction in the rates at which patients missed appointments. Surveys of Illinois physicians, community health centers, and specialized mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers have also revealed similar dramatic reductions in missed appointments.

* Newspapers ain’t happy… again

Like clockwork, an Illinois lawmaker proposes a bill each legislative session to remove public notices from newspapers and instead post them only on government websites.

This session is no different. Rep. Jonathon Carroll (D­-Northbrook) has introduced House Bill 811 with two co-sponsors — Rep. Daniel Didech (D-Buffalo Grove) and Rep. Sam Yingling (D­- Round Lake Beach). So far, the proposal has not been assigned to a committee.

But just as bills that have come and gone before it — Rep. Joseph Sosnowski introduced a similar proposal that was defeated in 2017 — HB 811 is a bad idea. And again, lawmakers should reject it.

Newspapers have played a vital role in providing transparency about government by publishing public notices. It has worked for more than 150 years. As the neutral third party, newspapers help protect government from denying the public information they have the right to know about such as meetings, hearings, court actions, contract bidding, unclaimed funds and more. Along with open meetings, freedom of information laws, public notices are an essential element to keeping government transparent.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:03 pm:


    Just no on the re-criminalization of any pot possession and man, let the papers have something at this point.

  2. - simple mind - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:09 pm:

    Okay, what were the demographics on Newspaper subscriptions?

  3. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:31 pm:

    Just.Stop. with more failed cannabis prohibition. Stop staining people’s records and instead use cannabis revenue to invest in teen drug use prevention programs, mental health and activities for youths to help steer them away from drugs.

  4. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 12:36 pm:

    Yes lets start re criminalizing pot. maybe we could call it The War on Drugs Bill. Worked so well last time. /s
    I am sure in grand scheme of things cost not that much, but I wonder what all the legal notices cost state and local government in a year? Put it on a web site might actually be easier to process

  5. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:15 pm:

    ===Provides that a person under 21 years of age who===

    Someone that wants to create criminal records for people under the age of 21 missed the whole boat on criminal justice reform and is operating on some outdated views of criminal justice.

  6. - thechampaignlife - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:16 pm:

    I would say that a copy of public notices belong on a central state or county portal, rather than on the various websites of every township, school district, park district, etc. Arguably, publishing them in a newspaper that requires payment to access and has only a small portion of the population reading is less transparent.

    That said, I fully support some form of public support for our 4th branch of government. This just ain’t it.

  7. - Carbondale Chronicle - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:21 pm:

    I know the Illinois Press Association is just trying to protect its turf, but isn’t it disingenuous when newspapers criticize local governments for high property taxes and wasteful spending but spending public funds on notices that very, very, very few people read is a legitimate expense? I am all for open government but believing the notices in newspapers is a benefit to the public is the same as saying that notices posted in video rental stores is a benefit to the public. The time has come and gone my friend.

  8. - Intheknow - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 1:54 pm:

    Carbondale Chronicle-

    I can tell you in my school district, we spend enough money every year on legal notices to pay the salary of a first year teacher.

  9. - WillRez - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 2:22 pm:

    Posting legal notices in newspapers are a vestigiality remaining from a long bygone era of the law. Other than public meetings and foreclosure notices, I wonder whether anyone reads them. I can’t imagine why someone seeking to change their name, open a probate estate, disavow liability for debts incurred by another, adopt a child, divorce by publication, etc., shouldn’t be able to do so by posting in a centralized website managed by the State. Arguably, it’s more likely that notices posted through a central website maintained by the State would be reviewed and acted upon (the ultimate reason for requiring posting in the first place) than a thrice published posting in the Bugtussle Weekly Yodel.

  10. - charles in charge - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Wow, Barickman voted for legalization, but now he wants to re-criminalize youth for possessing weed? What is wrong with these people?

  11. - GC - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 2:40 pm:

    My opinion on the Press Assoc.’s favorite nightmare has changed. Why should gov. help Alden Capital line their pockets? Maybe some intrepid progressive legislator out there will see some value in adding ownership requirements to the newspapers entitled to public notice dollars the same way we (in theory) prioritize cannabis equity licensing and MBE/WBE spend.

  12. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 2:42 pm:

    Support the legal ads staying in newspapers. I don’t trust all 6,918 units of local government (2017 Census Bureau data) to maintain all public notices online, into perpetuity, free of charge. And don’t only about 50% have functioning websites? Now, if someone can come up with an eternal website, both free to post and access, that would be a different story.

  13. - Frank talks - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    Really? they’re going to go with calling themselves a neutral third party- that may be best snark all day.

    Barickman just stop. Probably help you in a primary though.

  14. - Right Field - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 3:17 pm:

    If newspapers truly believe it is vital, I’m sure they would be fine with a bill that mandates they print them for free in the interest of the public good.

  15. - JS Mill - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    =If newspapers truly believe it is vital, I’m sure they would be fine with a bill that mandates they print them for free in the interest of the public good.=

    Whew, you had me there for a minute, had to stop and compose myself.

    This is the last grift of a dying industry. We pay 3x the regular rate for any public notices because we have to post them in the paper. We have a great website and we post everything there, but then we have to go to the local paper which is almost all ads these days.

  16. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 5:09 pm:

    Just as an FYI, there is a central website that publishes public notices & it’s run by the Illinois Press Association:

  17. - thisjustinagain - Monday, Feb 22, 21 @ 6:09 pm:

    My Two Cents, doesn’t that site publish the print ads? Yes, it’s very helpful, but until the requirement to actually publish all these notices in “newspapers of general circulation within the municipality” to quote some law I read once, it doesn’t undo the publication expense itself. Even name changes require multiple postings at the person’s expense. But I can also argue that not everyone has stopped buying or reading newspapers, especially outside populated areas. Nor is everyone Internet and computer friendly, or has access to the internet all the time (especially rural areas and the poor).

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