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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

* Clarence Page

Amid rising attacks against a line of academic debate called “critical race theory,” I was surprised to see a Black state lawmaker from Chicago’s West Side, La Shawn Ford, introduce a bill calling for its inclusion in police officer training.

As a practical matter, I’d rather see, for example, more violence de-escalation training to help officers avoid shooting unarmed suspects. Just a thought.

“Critical race theory,” or CRT, has become a trigger term for politicians, activists and media voices, particularly on the right wing where it’s competing with “cancel culture” on the hit parade of things we are all supposed to be angry about or afraid of — or both.

But the political allure of the term is understandable, considering how often it has been appearing in the fevered narratives of conservative media and Red State politicians. Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Arkansas and Arizona have either passed or are working on bills that would drop CRT or anything that looks like it from public schools curricula.

That’s a lot of agitation over an esoteric school of thought found mostly in graduate schools and law schools.

The bill was introduced a few days before the House’s Third Reading deadline and hasn’t moved an inch.

* Sun-Times

State Sen. Mike Simmons knows what it’s like to be “humiliated” in front of other kids because of a lack of understanding or acceptance of his hairstyle.

The North Side Democrat made history as the first Black person to represent his North Side area in the state Senate. Decades earlier, his family was one of the first Black families to move into the Lincoln Square neighborhood.

Now the rookie state senator has introduced a bill to address “hair discrimination,” racism related to a person’s hair.

“I understand what this feels like personally, to be made to be humiliated in front of your classmates. To have authority figures belittle you and humiliate you in front of other people because of something that is God-given is entirely unacceptable,” Simmons said.

The bill’s deadline was extended until May 21 - a month after the original deadline.

* CBS 2

Dozens of homeowners living near O’Hare International Airport tell us they’re living in limbo, not wanting to spend money to fix up their homes.

The reason? They fear a bill moving through Springfield is a scheme to allow Elk Grove Village to take their property. […]

The 36-acre community may be independent of any municipality, but residents fear they’ll lose their freedom if Elk Grove Village annexes their land. […]

“Senate Bill 658 does not relax the guidelines local governments currently have to adhere to when annexing properties. Recent court rulings have thrown existing statutory requirements into confusion, making it harder not only for municipalities to follow these requirements, but also for residents to know whether their government’s annexation decision is legal. Senate Bill 658 would clarify the laws already in place, providing straightforward language for governments seeking annexation and for residents keeping a check on their local governments,” said [Sen. Laura Murphy] in an emailed statement to CBS 2.

Looks like a story based on a Facebook post. The bill unanimously passed the Senate.

* Capitol News Illinois

The Senate Education Committee advanced several bills Tuesday, including measures addressing special education, hairstyle discrimination and teaching Asian American history in public schools.

Those were among more than a dozen bills to pass the committee, the majority of which passed unanimously without debate or discussion.

Springfield Democrat Sen. Doris Turner’s House Bill 41 would add a new responsibility for the state when placing children in special education facilities. Under the proposal, before a child could be placed in an out-of-state residential facility, the entity behind that decision – whether it is a school district, Illinois agency or court – must refer the child’s guardians to a comparable in-state facility to consider.

The provision would also require the entity behind an out-of-state placement of a special education student to review that placement annually, and each year refer an in-state facility to the child’s guardians.

House Bill 40, sponsored by Sen. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, would change how students using special education services age out of the program. Under current Illinois law, special needs students lose their eligibility and are removed from school the day before they turn 22.


Free menstrual products might become available to college students in Illinois under a plan moving through the Senate.

The proposal that passed out of the House last month would require public universities and community colleges to provide the products in bathrooms of buildings they own and lease.

Sen. Karina Villa says period poverty is real. The West Chicago Democrat says her legislation could truly help students in need. […]

The proposal passed out of the Senate Higher Education Committee on a partisan 9-4 vote. It now heads to the Senate floor for consideration. The plan would head to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk if approved by the Senate.

* There was no committee vote on this bill

Child care on the campaign trail?

State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Naperville) began her first campaign in 2018 as a mother of two small children, got pregnant with her third, and then took on three more kids because of her campaign manager’s illness. The result, she said, was a debt that was only paid off this past year.

She’s now sponsoring a bill which would make child care a legitimate campaign expense.

“We shouldn’t be limiting people’s opportunities to be government representatives because we’re not allowing for simple expenses that are incurred because of running for office,” Stava-Murray told a committee. “Prior to that, I had been a stay-at-home parent, so these child care expenses. 100 percent due to me running for office for my election.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Just Me 2 - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 12:47 pm:

    Re: childcare as a campaign expense - what other personal/family expenses can be reimbursed by campaign accounts? If we’re going to go down that road we should just allow campaigns to give the candidate a salary.

  2. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==Looks like a story based on a Facebook post.==

    Re: the municipal annexations bill. I look for our beloved Channel 20 to follow up on CBS2’s story with a similar report from one of the “doughnut hole” properties surrounding Springfield soon. Maybe one of them that the city’s trying to annex that’s on Lake Springfield. Or perhaps a live report from Laketown.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 12:58 pm:

    === She’s now sponsoring a bill which would make child care a legitimate campaign expense.===

    “Why didn’t I think of this?”

    - Sam McCann or Frank Mautino, maybe

  4. - The Gringo - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 1:00 pm:

    Hair style is a choice. Next.

  5. - DuPage Saint - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 1:07 pm:

    Would not be surprised if Elk Grove took those homes and ended up with 36 acres of warehouse close to airport

  6. - Pot calling kettle - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 1:09 pm:

    === She’s now sponsoring a bill which would make child care a legitimate campaign expense.===

    I don’t see this as a slippery slope or a way to dodge campaign finance laws. If we want gender equity, we need to provide this support. As we have seen during COVID, women still bear most of the child care responsibility in our society; that is a reality a woman with a child must deal with in order to run for office. It would be reported quarterly just like every other expense.

  7. - DuPage Dave - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 1:23 pm:

    If a candidate takes a cab or Uber on the way to a campaign event, is that a legitimate expense? If the candidate needs to pay someone to watch the kids while at a campaign event, is that not the same? I don’t see a slippery slope here.

    This would apply to any candidate, male or female, I believe.

  8. - Interim Retiree - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 1:51 pm:

    When I was a school administrator, I had a (very) few teachers that would send students to the office because of hairstyle, a t-shirt, tatoos/rings, etc. Unless it was dangerous in some way to him/her/others, I sent them right back to class. They got the message. If something doesn’t interfere w/learning or safety why should it matter?

  9. - OneMan - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    The local freak-out over the idea of Critical Race Theory is schools is very real.

    Had someone file a FOIA on the local district on it, all they found were some references in a generic e-mail that was sent by a teacher organization, a parent complaint e-mail and a presentation by one of the Naperville districts.

    Also not surprisingly there is overlap between the ‘get them back in school 5 days a week’ folks and the complainers about this.

  10. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 2:44 pm:

    - allow campaigns to give the candidate a salary. -

    Not a terrible idea as long as there is a cap.

  11. - thechampaignlife - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===Free menstrual products===

    We should encourage them to provide a reusable menstrual cup instead of disposable products. I have several family members that rave about them, and it seems something much more sustainable environmentally and practically to not have to worry about constant supply and disposal needs.

  12. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 4:15 pm:

    =Hair style is a choice. Next.=

    Agreed. Adults discriminating against and humiliating a child because of hair style is also a choice. One is a choice that does no harm. The other is a choice that does do harm.

  13. - Levois J - Wednesday, May 12, 21 @ 7:45 pm:

    I haven’t done a lot of research on critical race theory however I think it needs to remain in graduate school or law school. And perhaps it doesn’t even belong in law schools let alone being offered in police training. Although it could be recognized that it’s mention is being used for partisan purpose and to stir up a base.

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