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It’s just a bill

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Oof…


A new bill in Springfield would increase penalties for people who harm Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) workers.

The measure would make committing Aggravated Battery against a DCFS worker on the job a felony. It would apply to people 21 and older.

The proposal, called the “Knight-Silas Legacy Act,” comes one year after Diedre Silas was stabbed to death while on a welfare visit.

State Senator Doris Turner, the bill’s sponsor, said that this is a protection for those workers. […]

She introduced the proposal last year. It made it through the Senate, but not the House.

* Senate President Don Harmon

Proposes to amend the Judiciary Article of the Illinois Constitution. Provides that a Public Defender shall be appointed for each county in 2024 and every fourth year thereafter for a four-year term. Provides that in counties with a population of 1,000,000 or more the appointment shall be made by the president of the county’s board of commissioners with the advice and consent of the county board. Provides that the appointing authorities in other counties are the Circuit Judges of the Circuit Court of the Judicial Circuit in which the county is located. Authorizes 2 or more adjoining counties in the same Judicial Circuit, by joint resolution, to create a common Public Defender’s office for the counties joined. Requires individuals who are appointed as a Public Defender to be United States citizens who are licensed to practice law in the State. Specifies that the Public Defender’s salary is to be set by law. Effective upon being declared adopted.

* Illinois Newsroom

State Representative Mike Marron is one of many Republicans critical of Governor J-B Pritzker’s ambitious budget proposals to add new state spending for education, childcare, and anti-poverty efforts. […]

In Danville, Marron filed House Bill 2200, to help the city obtain $10 million in state funding to extend water and sewer lines to the Batestown along U.S. Route 150 just west of the city. […]

Another proposal (HB2199) would provide $10 million to help pay for a railroad viaduct over Curtis Road — and a one-mile “complete streets” renovation of the road — in the Champaign suburb of Savoy. The road gained importance when it was linked to I-57 in 2010. Windsor Road on the northern border of Savoy is its only east-west road with a viaduct, allowing it to pass unobstructed beneath Canadian National railroad tracks that run through the town. Marron says train traffic blocking traffic on Curtis Road a mile south of Windsor effectively splits Savoy in two, slowing the response time for first responders trying to get from one side of the town to the other. […]

In filing House Bill 2201, Marron would like $2.5 million in state funds to demolish vacant buildings at the former Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul. They were last used by Lincoln’s Challenge Academy, which moved to new buildings built nearby in 2018. But Rantoul village administrator Scott Eisenhauer said while available funding paid for construction the new Lincoln’s Challenge buildings, there was no money to demolish the old ones.

* Illinois News Joint

September 19, 2022, a ruling by the Appellate Court of Illinois (Third District) delivered the judgment that the “smell of burnt cannabis” alone did not provide an “officer with probable cause to search the vehicle.” According to Associate Judge Daniel P. Dalton of the Whiteside County Court, the decision hinged “on the changing landscape of cannabis law.” During this session of the 103rd General Assembly, three bills dealing with the smell of burnt or raw cannabis in a motor vehicle may solidify that Appellate Court ruling.

The same day of the Appellate Court decision, Senator Don Harmon sponsored an amendment to the Illinois Vehicle Code and Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. On January 24, 2023, Sen. Rachel Ventura filed with the Secretary SB0125, and February 7,2023, Rep. Curtis J. Tarver, II filed with the Clerk HB1205.

SB0125 amends the Illinois Vehicle Code and provides that “the odor of burnt or raw cannabis in a motor vehicle by itself shall not constitute probable cause for the search of a motor vehicle or person.” After the first reading of the bill, SB0125 was referred to Assignments.

HB1205 provides that “if a motor vehicle is driven or occupied by an individual 21 years of age or over, a law enforcement officer may not search or inspect the motor vehicle, its contents, the driver, or the passenger solely because a law enforcement officer or a police dog trained in the detection of cannabis smelled that cannabis is present in the private motor vehicle. Provides that a defendant aggrieved by such an unlawful search and seizure may move the court for the return of property and to suppress as evidence anything so obtained.”

* Daily Herald

For me, part of the draw of attending school in Illinois is the beauty of my campus — situated right on Lake Michigan, with grassy beaches and beautiful sunsets over the water. The unseen, zoomed-in version of that picture perfect scene, however, is the microtrash, the plastic pieces, the styrofoam that litter the lake’s shoreline.

It is this plastic, this unnecessary trash, that can and should be banned with the passing of a polystyrene foam ban by the Illinois state legislature. There is no legitimate purpose to single-use plastics; they are discarded, forgotten about, and (rarely) recycled in a pattern that perpetuates our destruction of the environment.

Illinois’ environment cannot afford the barrage of plastics, and we must begin to phase out plastics, starting with a ban on polystyrene foam.

Plastics not only litter our beaches, but they also litter humans and animals’ bodies. Recycled at a
rate of only 0.4%, single-use plastics easily break down into smaller pieces and are ingested by pets, and even by people themselves.

These plastics destroy the natural beauty of our state, they perpetuate a cycle of waste and they poison our bodies. It is now up to our state legislators to do their part to protect the environment and our bodies by supporting a ban on single-use polystyrene foam.

* Rep. Fran Hurley‘s HB4003

Amends the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. Provides that the mayor or president of the board of trustees of each city, village, or incorporated town and the president or chairman of the county board shall be the local cannabis control commissioner for his or her respective city, village, incorporated town, or county. Provides that the mayor, president of the board of trustees, or president or chairman of the county board may appoint a person or persons to assist him or her in the exercise of the powers and the performance of the duties of the local cannabis control commissioner. Provides for the powers, functions, and duties of a local cannabis control commissioner, including the power to recommend to the relevant Department that a license issued to a person within his or her jurisdiction be suspended or revoked for cause and to enter or to authorize any law enforcement officer to enter at any time upon any premises licensed under the Act to determine whether any of the provisions of the Act or any rules or regulations have been or are being violated, to examine the premises of a licensee, and to receive complaints from any citizen within the local cannabis control commissioner’s jurisdiction.

* Center Square

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, R-Dieterich, has House Bill 1575 to reduce Illinois’ gas tax to 19 cents a gallon.

“We have a $50 billion budget that the governor has put forth for this fiscal year and to look at the government inefficiencies, the spending, the out of control spending that’s going on in the state of Illinois, we have enough income coming in,” Niemerg told The Center Square.

[Note from Rich: Rep. Niemerg surely knows that the General Funds budget and the capital budget are separate entities. He’s just grandstanding, with enabling provided by Center Square.]

Back to the story

Kevin Artle with the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois is actively opposing Niemerg’s bill. He said the revenue is needed.

[Another note from Rich: Opposing this bill will be an easy job since it ain’t going anywhere, and Center Square surely knows this. Also, Kevin’s last name is Artl. No “e.”]


  1. - TNR - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:40 am:

    The cannabis “smell” question is an interesting one. I can see why that alone shouldn’t create probable cause to search the vehicle, but it darn sure should prompt a field sobriety test of the driver. I’m 100 percent for legalizing weed, but the amount of it I smell coming from passing vehicles is both obnoxious and alarming.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:44 am:

    Will Marron be voting “Green” on the budget and such?

    If Marron is already going to be opposed to the budget, and such, why exactly should the majority look to help pass his bill(s) and want(s)?

    They all “want”… but will the vote “Green” to make it happen?

  3. - Blue Bayou - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:45 am:

    Watch that Niemberg guy.

    If he gets any worse, the ILGOP is going to beg him to join.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    Artl, (no “e”) is a big cannoli fan… or so I’m told.

    To all that,

    ===look at the government inefficiencies, the spending, the out of control spending that’s going on in the state of Illinois, we have enough income coming in===

    I dunno if Niemerg understands things as to why someone like an Artl and his group oppose the bill.

    It’s says all you need to know about Niemerg’s grasp to governing… or is it just show business.

    Will Niemerg be “Green” on the budget?

    Gotta ask.

  5. - Stas - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:49 am:

    The smell legislation is bad. The cannabis is sold in prepackaged materials that is not supposed to allow the smell to emit. If the package does emit an odor and a search is done, that is easily explained and the police officer should know that. Therefore this bill would allow for the transportation and distribution of illegal cannabis.

  6. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    What’s the over/under on what Kneeburg knows?

  7. - Garfield Ridge Guy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 11:54 am:

    ==The cannabis is sold in prepackaged materials that is not supposed to allow the smell to emit.==

    That’s true, but people are allowed to legally smoke marijuana, and that smell often lingers on someone’s clothes or in someone’s car for hours or days after consumption. Something isn’t really a legally protected right if it readily opens up the right for police to search your car, especially since we know such searches are likely to target minority drivers. It’s true that illegal cannabis may also emit that smell, but it’s like saying that having large containers of water in your car should give police the right to conduct a search because you may use it for waterboarding; sometimes, the rules should err on the side of protecting people even if we can imagine bad outcomes.

  8. - MikeS - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    So if the smell of burnt cannabis is not enough to warrant a search, does that also mean the smell of alcohol follows the same standards?

  9. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    ===the smell of alcohol follows the same standards?===

    You can smell like cannabis just from being in a room when others are smoking it. Not that I have any personal experience with that…

  10. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    As said above weed smell should at least be grounds for a field test. I do not know for sure but I would think smoking weed while driving would be illegal so wouldn’t smell of smoked weed almost be same as open alcohol in a car?

  11. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:08 pm:

    – “Need to come up with a shell bill inspired cocktail” –

    May I present for your drink menu consideration “The Vehicle”:

    It’s an empty glass pitcher that three months from now, at last call, has everybody else’s drink order dumped into it at the last minute and you have to chug it on the way out the door.

  12. - very old soil - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:10 pm:

    “beautiful sunsets over Lake Michigan”? In Illinois?

  13. - James the Intolerant - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:14 pm:

    I don’t understand why the mayor needs to be the head of each cannabis commission.

  14. - Garfield Ridge Guy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==does that also mean the smell of alcohol follows the same standards?==

    I’d say (i) that alcohol and marijuana are materially different in terms of how long the smell lingers, (ii) the effects of alcohol are materially more likely to impair driving (not that marijuana can’t do so, but it’s silly to pretend they are equally harmful when it comes to driving), and (iii) the literal answer to this question is yes, a court may rule that the smell of alcohol follows the same standard, and that’s why codifying these standards in law is a good idea.

  15. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:19 pm:

    ===“The Vehicle”===


  16. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:35 pm:

    === (ii) the effects of alcohol are materially more likely to impair driving ===

    What basis do you have to say that?

  17. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:46 pm:

    When it comes to marijuana odor / smell, remember this chestnut. St. Louis PD article link behind paywall.

  18. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:50 pm:

    I wouldn’t assume Niemberg understands the difference between GRF and capital. I’m not sure he knows the difference between capital and Capitol. Don’t give him that much credit…

  19. - Garfield Ridge Guy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    ==What basis do you have to say that?==

    The following paper posted on the NIH’s website walks through a large number of studies and then states that “Case-control studies are inconsistent, but suggest that while low concentrations of THC do not increase the rate of accidents, and may even decrease them, serum concentrations of THC higher than 5 ng/mL are associated with an increased risk of accidents (Figure 2). Overall, though, case-control and culpability studies have been inconclusive, a determination reached by several other recent reviewers. Similar disagreement has never existed in the literature on alcohol use and crash risk.” We may not be exactly sure what the relationship between marijuana and driving impairment is, but we definitely know–or, at least, can be very sure–that alcohol is much more closely linked to bad driving outcomes.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 12:55 pm:

    == May I present for your drink menu consideration “The Vehicle”:

    It’s an empty glass pitcher that three months from now, at last call, has everybody else’s drink order dumped into it at the last minute and you have to chug it on the way out the door. ==

    It’s gotta contain Malört or it get re-assigned back behind the bar.

  21. - H-W - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:18 pm:

    @ Garfield

    I am not sure I read that the same way. I read your passage as suggesting we do not fully understand the impacts of THC, but the studies we do have suggest higher levels are associated with higher risks of accidents. They also say they current state of the literature on THC may be considered inconclusive, while the literature on alcohol is conclusive.

    As to the smell standard, I can speak to the effects of weed (yes, I said that).

    Generally, the effects of getting high last for 2-3 hours, once you stop. In that context, if I can smell weed, it is probably that the person has been around the smoking of weed recently, not hours ago.

    In that context, and in the association with operating a vehicle that can unintentionally kill others, I personally would say, “if you can smell it, it has been recently smoked, and thus the person operating the vehicle is suspect.

    Don’t drink and drive. Don’t toke and drive.

  22. - MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:19 pm:

    “Recycled at a rate of only 0.4%, single-use plastics easily break down into smaller pieces and are ingested by pets, and even by people themselves.”

    From a 2020 NPR/Frontline investigation entitled “How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled”:

    At Syracuse University, there are boxes of files from a former [plastics] industry consultant. And inside one of them is a report written in April 1973 by scientists tasked with forecasting possible issues for top industry executives.

    Recycling plastic, it told the executives, was unlikely to happen on a broad scale.

    “There is no recovery from obsolete products,” it says.

    It says pointedly: Plastic degrades with each turnover.

    “A degradation of resin properties and performance occurs during the initial fabrication, through aging, and in any reclamation process,” the report told executives.

    Recycling plastic is “costly,” it says, and sorting it, the report concludes, is “infeasible.”

    Plastics were never going to be recycled and industry leaders have always known it.

    – MrJM


  23. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:25 pm:

    ==and to look at the government inefficiencies==

    I love it when these people use that argument. It’s lazy and shows me that they really have no idea what they are talking about.

  24. - Proud Sucker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    ==“beautiful sunsets over Lake Michigan”? In Illinois?==

    Forget it, he’s rolling.

  25. - Hannibal Lecter - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    I just know that marijuana has a much more acute level of intoxication for certain people than alcohol. But in any event, both alcohol and marijuana have intoxicating effects that could problems with motor skills. I don’t think you can say one is safer than the other in terms of driving under the influence. You shouldn’t drink or use THC related products and drive. If there is a smell of marijuana in the car, it may not give a reason to search the car, but it certainly gives a reason to perform a field sobriety test.

  26. - DuPage - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:04 pm:

    Plastic near beaches should be collected by placing plenty of collection barrels nearby. If the plastic is not recyclable, it could be put into a special incinerator that burns up the smoke in a natural gas afterburner. While there is some CO2 formed it would not be that much of a volume, a few gas cars being replaced by electric would offset that. Also some of the heat generated could be utilized.

  27. - ChicagoBars - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:15 pm:

    Michelle Flaherty wins…cheers

  28. - Kevin Artl - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    Thank you. Extra vowels are fiscally irresponsible.

  29. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:53 pm:

    No I in TEAM, No E in ARTL.

  30. - Papa2008 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    I believe the sunset quote and the cannabis smell might have a correlation.

  31. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:17 pm:

    “You can smell like cannabis just from being in a room when others are smoking it. Not that I have any personal experience with that…”
    Mr/Mrs Fax we read the same reports on CenterSquare so that must be true

  32. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    ===No I in TEAM, No E in ARTL.===

    This should be on a T-Shirt… bumper sticker… maybe a cake.

  33. - DuPage - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 3:39 pm:

    Could the buildings at Chanute be used for temporary housing for refugee or other homeless people?

  34. - howdydo - Tuesday, Feb 28, 23 @ 9:20 pm:


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* Yes on operations and capital spending, No on revenues to pay for it
* Giannoulias on House floor while bill goes down
* Some budget react
* Governor rebuffs Rep. Crespo’s worries of future fiscal cliff
* Coverage roundup: House sends $53.1 billion FY25 budget to the governor
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

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