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It’s just a bill

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Ana Soskic, founder of Protect Our Pets Illinois

Puppy mills are places of shocking neglect and inhumanity where dogs are horribly mistreated, run by unethical breeders who seek to churn out the maximum number of puppies possible. That’s why, in 2021, the Illinois legislature passed a bill ostensibly designed to protect animals from the cruelty of puppy mills. […]

First, the bill set up a false choice: shelter dogs or purebred dogs. While we can acknowledge that shelters play a vitally important role in matching animals with loving families, that shouldn’t mean someone who loves Golden Retrievers or Yorkies or Australian Shepherds shouldn’t be able to get one from an ethical source. But the authors of the 2021 bill required that pets be obtained only from shelters, never from breeders or small businesses that help breeders place puppies in good homes.

Yet puppies must come from somewhere, especially during the great American dog shortage — and that’s why the bill did not actually shut down puppy mills but merely diverted some of their traffic to shelters. The phenomenon, known as “retail rescue,” refers to the cycle of shelters paying puppy mills to “rescue” their dogs, then adopting out the dogs for a fee — thereby pumping more cash into the mill industry shelters claim to oppose. It’s a symbiotic relationship that keeps puppy mills thriving. […]

That’s why Illinois law desperately needs a tuneup. The proposed HB2793 would choke off demand for mill dogs at the source by prohibiting all entities — small businesses and shelters — from obtaining puppies from a mill. It would establish strict breeder standards of care that require humane, loving treatment in the form of regular veterinary attention and oversight, socialization and exercise, as well as rigid requirements for the way animals are housed and the amount of space they must have. These are the kind of standards that responsible breeders already have in place and will ensure unethical breeders can’t stay in business — which should be the goal we all share.

* NBC Chicago

A bill passed in the Illinois House that would allow businesses, universities and other building owners to have multiple-stall gender neutral restrooms has sparked debate. […]

“I am all for inclusivity and diversity but not at the expense and decency and not at the expense of risking the safety of older women or any women and even young children in their development,” said Steve Boulton, chairman of the Chicago GOP party. […]

[Brian C. Johnson, CEO for Equality Illinois,] disagrees with Boulton and believes this bill will be a benefit, citing the reasons why.

“[It will help] parents of children of opposite genders, seniors who have caregivers of opposite genders, LGBTQ+ people and businesses who want to cut back on regulations and red tape,” he said.

Johnson added that this bill is not mandatory, but optional.

* Rep. Maurice West…

Today, the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 2471 by a vote of 77 to 26 to create the “Healthy School Meals for All” program. Sponsored by State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford), the legislation, which received bipartisan support, provides a free breakfast and lunch to all students who need and want one.

“This legislation will help ensure every student has access to healthy food at school, an especially important support for the hundreds of thousands of Illinois children who are experiencing food insecurity,” said State Representative Maurice West. “Giving all children access to free, healthy school meals will improve their health, growth, development, mental health, and academic performance. This bill will also help remove the stigma for children who need breakfast or lunch at school while reducing the burden on families and providing a steady budget for school food service programs. I applaud the amazing advocates who helped get this bill over the finish line in the House, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate.”

Federal school meal waivers provided K-12 students with free school meals during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the waiver expired in June 2022, putting thousands of Illinois children at risk. The bill now goes to the State Senate for consideration.

* Center Square

Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would stop schools in Illinois from involving the police in issuing tickets to students for minor violations. […]

State Rep. Katie Stewart, D-Edwardsville, said she is worried the bill will limit the authority of school officials.

“I just worry that this is going to hamstring principals with real discipline problems in their schools,” Stuart said.

Ford said the measure does not prevent schools from calling the police on students who commit serious crimes.

* Sen. Laura Fine’s SB49

State Senator Laura Fine’s legislation, which would make official transcripts more accessible to students, passed the Senate on Friday.

“Students need their transcripts for a myriad of reasons after they graduate, including seeking employment to pay off their student debts. Without access to their transcript, they can lose out on many opportunities and take even longer to repay any debts they owe the university,” said Fine (D-Glenview). “This initiative would give students the opportunity to pursue more post-grad opportunities and address their student debts quicker.”

Senator Fine, a former college instructor, is a longtime advocate of supporting university students working to pay off their student debt. Last year, she passed legislation prohibiting universities from withholding transcripts from students with a past-due debt if the transcript is needed for a job application. This ensured students would be able to use their hard-earned transcripts to find a well-paying job, from which they could repay their debts to the university and pursue a career best suited to the skill set they developed in college.

Senate Bill 49 would expand on this legislation by requiring institutions to provide official transcripts to current or former students if the student requires the transcript to transfer to a different institution, to apply for financial aid, to join the U.S. Armed Forces or to pursue other post-secondary opportunities. The measure also would require higher education institutions to outline the process a current or former student must go through to obtain a transcript or diploma that has been withheld due to debt to the university — making sure students have a clear path to receive their transcripts if they are being withheld.

* Patch

Single-use foam containers and other items used by restaurants would be banned in Illinois starting in 2024 if a bill that passed the House of Representatives on Thursday gets through the Senate and is signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

House Bill 2376 prohibits the sale or use of disposable food containers and other foodware that is made wholly or in part of polystyrene foam. The bill, which was sponsored by Glenview State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D), passed the House 67-43 on Thursday and now awaits action by the Senate, where a similar bill was introduced. […]

In a statement issued after Thursday’s vote, Jen Walling — the executive director of the Illinois Environmental Council — called the vote a “huge step forward” toward recognizing “we cannot recycle our way out of a plastic pollution crisis.”

* Sen. Sara Feigenholtz

A measure sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz assures that Medicaid covers any newborn relinquished under the Act. It also extends the time of notice that the police or fire department can inform a parent to share information of the hospital the child was transported to.
“Senate Bill 1999 not only ensures that abandoned infants can receive Medicaid immediately once they arrive at the hospital, but also creates a path for biological parents to reconsider their options,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

Changing the time period from 72 hours to 30 days will provide a biological parent additional time to consider other options, such as putting in place a traditional adoption plan with a child welfare agency or deciding to parent the child if possible.

* Illinois Family Institute…

Last month we alerted you to tyrannical bills designed to shut down the operations of “limited services pregnancy centers.” State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) is looking to advance her bill SB 1909, which is titled the “Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act.” This overbearing proposal will probably be called in the Illinois Senate Executive Committee hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29.

Make no mistake, this bill takes direct aim at shutting down all pregnancy centers. No other way to say it. SB 1909 allows the Illinois Attorney General (AG) to investigate all centers it believes are providing any wrong information or omitting any correct information in any form (advertising, speaking to a client, offering services, denying services, answering questions, etc.).

nd guess who gets to define what qualifies as “wrong information”? That is correct, the far-left Illinois Attorney General.

The Illinois Attorney General has free reign to investigate any center it believes may be doing something “wrong,” or even about to do something “wrong,” based on any information that comes their way. If it is determined there is a violation of this Act, Pregnancy Care Centers can be fined up to $50,000 per incident and clients may take centers to court for other civil penalties with the AG’s blessing and detailed documentation against the centers.

We are living in scary times, my friends


The Illinois Department of Human Services could be tasked with tracking stolen SNAP benefits and card skimming that leaves low-income people without benefits.

Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) told her House colleagues Friday that her bill would also require state funds to be used to replace SNAP funding stolen during the period of Jan. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2022. The plan also calls for the department to replace cash assistance stolen from Link cards through skimming, closing, or other fraudulent activity from Jan. 1, 2022 through Sept. 30, 2024. […]

IDHS would be responsible for tracking and collecting data on the scope and frequency of SNAP fraud and where benefits are stolen. The agency will be required to report annual findings to the General Assembly starting on Jan. 1, 2024. […]

“My concern is if in fact we were able to secure $2 million from the federal government as they have allocated to other states, that would still leave Illinois on the hook for anywhere between $22 million and $46 million,” said Deputy Republican Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb).


  1. - Bothanspied - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 9:55 am:

    No Dog Left Behind?
    Good on them for narrowing the rule further to be more effective. Bad on them for using such subjective criteria for what constitutes proper care of a dog.

  2. - Amalia - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:12 am:

    Great American Dog Shortage? the shelters here have many dogs. want one, get one. PAWS makes rescue trips to downstate and out of state with disasters to rescue. The actual problem is that there are so many dogs bred and used for fighting. this affects smaller dogs and puppies and cats and kittens that are scooped up for bait. the actual problem is too many dogs.

  3. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:20 am:

    Dear Illinois “Family” Institute:

    Turn about is fair play. You would close every place that performs abortions if you could. What’s good for the goose . . .

  4. - JS Mill - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 10:43 am:

    =the Illinois House of Representatives passed HB 2471 by a vote of 77 to 26 to create the “Healthy School Meals for All” program. Sponsored by State Rep. Maurice West (D-Rockford)=

    They forget to mention that the bill is subject to appropriation and provides $0.15 or actual cost whichever is less. It looks like schools will be covering the cost of student lunches. Nice of them to pass on another underfunded mandate.

  5. - Techie - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:31 am:

    I hope the “Healthy School Meals for All” bill becomes law. Kids need healthy food to do their best in life and in school.

  6. - Suburban Mom - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 11:48 am:

    === not at the expense and decency and not at the expense of risking the safety of … young children in their development,”===

    Sounds like a man who has never been responsible for childcare, because as a parent you take young children in the opposite-gender restroom ALL THE TIME. This is a normal part of the bathroom. Women’s rooms constantly have little boys in them who are with their moms. I understand men historically have been less involved in childcare, but most dads of daughters have peeked in the men’s room and done the walk-in-with-eyes-covered with a 6-year-old.

  7. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    The anti choice crowd has supported legislation to require doctors to share medically irrelevant information with patients seeking to end their pregnancies, to delay treatment even when medically necessary, and to close clinics that don’t have unnecessary affiliations with hospitals. Now they’re upset that pregnancy centers may have to meet standards?

    Oh, please.

  8. - unafraid - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 12:39 pm:

    =House Bill 2376 prohibits the sale or use of disposable food containers and other foodware that is made wholly or in part of polystyrene foam=

    Long overdue.

  9. - very old soil - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 12:57 pm:

    $0.15 for a school lunch? Do they serve gruel?

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