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It’s just a bill

Wednesday, Feb 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Sen Willie Preston…

State Senator Willie Preston advanced new legislation to ban harmful chemicals in candy, soda and other food items sold and produced in Illinois.

“People should be able to trust that the food they buy is safe,” said Preston (D-Chicago). “As a father, it really concerns me that some of my family’s favorite food items have harmful chemicals in them.”

Senate Bill 2637 will ban specific, dangerous food additives from being used in the manufacturing, delivering, distributing, holding or selling of food products. These additives include brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye no. 3.

As a father of six, Preston stressed that the legislation prioritizes children, who face heightened risks from these chemicals due to their developing bodies and increased consumption of these types of food products.

“These food additives are linked to extreme health risks and have not been properly regulated,” said Preston. “As legislators, we have a responsibility to our constituents to prioritize their health and set a precedent for consumer safety.”

Preston intends to work alongside his colleagues this legislative season to include additional additives in the scope of the bill, such as titanium dioxide. Additionally, his proposed legislation will call for studies on the potential health risks of BHA and BHT.

Senate Bill 2637 passed the Senate Public Health Committee on Tuesday. It now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

* More from WAND

Sen. Willie Preston (D-Chicago) explained stores would not be able to sell products with brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben, or Red Dye No. 3 by Jan. 1, 2027. Preston is considering an amendment to include titanium dioxide in the list of banned additives.[…]

However, the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association told the committee the bill could set a dangerous precedent for food regulation in Illinois by usurping experts and scientists at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

IMA Vice President of Government Affairs Donovan Griffith encouraged lawmakers to reject the well-intentioned plan to avoid a confusing and costly patchwork of regulations that would impact consumers and Illinois food manufacturers. Food manufacturing generates more than $135 billion in economic impact for Illinois annually.

“These type of food regulations should be handled at the federal level by the Food & Drug Administration,” Griffith stressed. “The FDA requires evidence that each food additive is safe at its intended level of use before it may be added to food.”

* National Confectioners Association…

In response to an Illinois General Assembly committee hearing on a bill that would ban certain FDA-approved food additives, the National Confectioners Association released the following statement:

NCA STATEMENT

Food safety decisions should be based on rigorous review of the entire body of scientific evidence, as they have been for more than a century. In this case in Illinois, thorough process – and the facts – have been swept aside, resulting in misinformation in debate over SB 2637. Illinois legislators should reject SB 2637 and reaffirm their commitment to our national food safety system. Without a central, science-driven food safety authority, we are left with a state-by-state patchwork of inconsistent state requirements that increase food costs, create confusion around food safety, and erode consumer confidence and trust in our food supply.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Not only is FDA doing its job on these ingredients under Deputy Commissioner of Foods Jim Jones, but it is also making progress on modernizing its review process, including overhauling its technology and hiring additional staff to meet the growing demands of the organization. FDA is currently reviewing both Red Dye 3 and titanium dioxide and is expected to announce its findings later this year.

FDA recently conducted its own studies and has initiated steps to remove Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO) from the U.S. food supply. This is how our food safety system was designed to work, and it’s a real-time example of it working.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office submitted formal opposition to the bill. Steve Walsh, the Bureau Chief of Legislative Affairs and Policy at the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, submitted the opposition to SB 2637 here.

* Here’s the FDA on brominated vegetable oil

On November 2, 2023 the FDA proposed to revoke the regulation authorizing the use of brominated vegetable oil (BVO) in food. The FDA conducted studies that clearly show adverse health effects in animals in levels more closely approximating real-world exposure. Therefore, the FDA can no longer conclude that this use of BVO in food is safe.

The studies were conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’(NIEHS) Division of Translational Toxicology (formerly the Division of the National Toxicology Program), to assess unresolved toxicological questions. Results from these studies demonstrate bioaccumulation of bromine and toxic effects on the thyroid – a gland that produces hormones that play a key role in regulating blood pressure, body temperature, heart rate, metabolism and the reaction of the body to other hormones.

* Capitol News Illinois

Rep. Larry Walsh, D-Elwood, who chairs the Public Utilities Committee in the Illinois House, was behind a push last year that would have granted a temporary “right of first refusal” to Ameren Illinois and MidAmerican Energy. A ROFR policy would grant existing utilities the option of controlling transmission line projects before other companies can bid on them.

But Gov. JB Pritzker vetoed that measure last summer, saying the proposal would hurt ratepayers, and its sponsors declined to bring it for an override vote when lawmakers returned to Springfield for their annual fall veto session.

Now, Walsh is advocating for a new proposal that would grant a permanent right of first refusal to all existing electric utilities in the state. Like its predecessor, the measure is backed by the unions that represent the construction and electrical workers who handle these types of projects. […]

On Tuesday, Walsh’s committee held a subject matter hearing to discuss a potential right of first refusal in Illinois. While no vote was taken, representatives of the energy sector and consumer advocates testified to lawmakers.

* Here’s the synopsis of Rep. Walsh’s HB5234

Creates the Transmission Efficiency and Cooperation Law within the Public Utilities Act. Provides that an incumbent electric transmission owner has the right to construct, own, and maintain an electric transmission line approved in a transmission plan that will connect to facilities that are owned by that incumbent electric transmission owner and that are or will be under the functional control of a regional transmission operator. Specifies that the right to construct, own, and maintain such an electric transmission line belongs individually and proportionally to each incumbent electric transmission owner, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing. Provides that proportionality shall be determined based on the location of the electric transmission line relative to each incumbent electric transmission owner’s retail service territory. Authorizes an incumbent electric transmission owner to assign its right to construct, own, and maintain an electric transmission line to a transmission affiliate. Provides that an owner may notify the Illinois Commerce Commission that it will not construct any or all of the electric transmission line, and the Commission may grant permission and approval for the construction to another entity. Effective immediately.

* Sen. Doris Turner is sponsoring SB3216, you can tune in to its executive hearing at 2:30

* WTVO

New legislation proposed in Illinois would let prison inmates earn a day of credit for each day served, leading to an early release.

HB5219, filed by Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-50th Dist.) on February 9th, would eliminate mandatory prison sentences carried by criminal charges.

If the bill is signed into law, it would give every inmate a day of credit for each day spent in custody, reducing “the incarcerated person’s period of incarceration set by the court.”

If it goes into effect, the law would require the Department of Corrections to recalculate each prisoner’s sentence by applying the accrued daily credits. […]

Currently, it has been referred to the Rules Committee for consideration.

* Illinois Press Association

Illinois state Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-8th) has introduced legislation that would require any law enforcement agency in Illinois that encrypts police scanner transmissions to provide real-time access to those transmissions to accredited media in the state.

House Bill 4339 amends the Public Records Act to require that any law enforcement agency that encrypts radio transmissions provide, by license or otherwise, access to those transmissions to FCC-licensed broadcasters and accredited newspapers as defined in the act.

Under the Lori Lightfoot administration, the Chicago Police Department instituted a program designed to encrypt police scanner transmissions across all police districts in the city.

Ford presented a different view.

“I understand the desire to prevent members of the public from using real-time police scanner information to commit crimes or to evade law enforcement,” Ford said. “However, the media has an obligation to report on events in a timely manner, and its use of real-time information from police scanners is essential. Blocking accredited media from real-time access is counter to governmental transparency and does not lend itself to the original stated purpose of the encryption program.”

* Rep. Jed Davis…

Following the assignment of House Bill 4247 to the Judiciary - Civil Committee, State Representative Jed Davis (R-Yorkville) released the following statement:

“House Bill 4247 helps protect children by creating the Online Age Verification for Material Harmful to Minors Act,” said Rep. Davis. “This act will require websites containing inappropriate materials for children under 18 to verify someone’s age before granting access.

“We know accessing pornographic materials at young ages negatively impacts a child’s mental health. So, why aren’t we doing more to protect our children, especially given the unprecedented access to content through cell phones and tablets? If websites distributing harmful content refuse to add safeguard measures for children, then we will.

“I welcome discussions from legislators and stakeholders from both sides of the aisle, fully anticipating their support. In the end, protecting children should easily be a bipartisan issue.”

       

18 Comments
  1. - TJ - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:03 am:

    Police departments blocking real time scanners is just as illegitimate as past attempts to make filming cops in public a criminal offense. There is no legitimate reason to do this other than blatantly made-up fearmongering.


  2. - Macon Bakin - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:13 am:

    Fascinating electricity hearing yesterday, wish it was replayable without having to FOIA.


  3. - loyal virus - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:16 am:

    Jed, the problem lies in your definition of ‘pornographic’ - I think we all know what you are trying to ‘protect’ children from. Youth need access to supportive orgs and community - you would use the legislation to deny them the ability to visit affirming - and life saving - sites.


  4. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:23 am:

    Re: Senator Preston

    Preston represents the FDA findings.

    Does IMA = ADM?


  5. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:23 am:

    If the bill is signed into law, it would give every inmate a day of credit for each day spent in custody, reducing “the incarcerated person’s period of incarceration set by the court.”

    This is a well-meaning but misguided bill. IDOC currently has several ways for incarcerated individuals to get sentence reductions they all require positive behavior on the part of the incarcerated individual such as education or program-related good time, good time that eventually results in moving to a transition work release facility which makes time day for day. No need to make it the default - reduces the incentive to work on rehabilitation.

    https://idoc.illinois.gov/aboutus/faq.html#faq-1whatissentencecreditclickhereforedscfaqsupdateddecember2021-faqhas mant ways to get sentances e


  6. - Amalia - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:31 am:

    @DonnieElgin and remember when the IDOC abused the day for day goodtime provision and gave extra? the system is confusing, especially to victims.


  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:39 am:

    “you would use the legislation to[…]”

    Go after libraries.


  8. - Duck Duck Goose - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:43 am:

    =There is no legitimate reason to do this other than blatantly made-up fearmongering=

    Have you never seen a movie where the bad guy has a police scanner or police radio? The legitimate reason’s kind of obvious.


  9. - TJ - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 11:55 am:

    ==Have you never seen a movie where the bad guy has a police scanner or police radio? The legitimate reason’s kind of obvious.==

    I’ve seen lots of movies. Let me know when a random plotline becomes an actual legitimate area of concern in reality.


  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 12:56 pm:

    =HB5219, filed by Rep. Barbara Hernandez (D-50th Dist.) on February 9th, would eliminate mandatory prison sentences carried by criminal charges.=

    No. These are not people awaiting trial stuck in endless incarceration because they could not make bail. These are convicted criminals and they should serve their sentences. A politician should not usurp the work of prosecutors or juries.


  11. - JoanP - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 1:04 pm:

    = IDOC currently has several ways for incarcerated individuals to get sentence reductions they all require positive behavior on the part of the incarcerated individual such as education or program-related good time, =

    That’s not true, as you would know if you read your own link.

    Inmates currently earn good time credit at different rates, depending on the class offense for which they are incarcerated.

    They can LOSE good time credit for bad behavior, but otherwise it is statutorily required.


  12. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 1:16 pm:

    @ JS Mill

    I am not on the same page as you, but in some respects, you are pointing out a larger issue with which I do agree in part.

    Eliminating mandatory sentences is a significantly broader concern. One alternative is akin to a wild west where courts have complete discretion. That cannot work in a civil society. On the other hand, in the absence of a range, there is no motive to change.

    I do believe assuming one day less for one day served is neither the stick nor the carrot as pointed out by others. Indeed, it is not even a sentence. It is a half a sentence which is somewhat irrational.

    Credit for good behavior (the carrot) makes sense to me at least. For me, things like restorative justice and humane incarceration as well as rehabilitation are theoretical for the most part. I support them in principle. But I am not a party to the criminal justice system so I cannot speak with authority on these matters.


  13. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===It is a half a sentence which is somewhat irrational===

    Judges know (or should know) the state sentencing laws when they impose the penalty. It’s not some surprise. It’s factored in.


  14. - Palamite - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 1:54 pm:

    @loyal virus

    == Jed, the problem lies in your definition of ‘pornographic’ - I think we all know what you are trying to ‘protect’ children from. Youth need access to supportive orgs and community - you would use the legislation to deny them the ability to visit affirming - and life saving - sites.==

    If you think children need access to material, defined by the bill as “nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse” that screams groomer to me. It’s insane that anyone would be opposed to legislation that protects children from explicitly defined online abuse. Please seriously reevaluate your beliefs if exposing children to nudity is an integral part of your community.


  15. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 2:52 pm:

    @ Palamite

    Nudity in and of itself is not problematic, nor does its existence online, in print, or in reality make it dangerous. Nudity is also not the same as sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse which you suggest are equivalents. These are not equivalents.

    Lumping all of these terms under the “groomer” and pornography is to create a false model of what is and is not acceptable at the community level. Even the courts have historically disagreed with your assertion. Your’s is an unworkable proposition. It is also prudish.

    Then there is the term children. Everyone under 18 years of age is not a child, and everyone over 18 is not an adult. Using arbitrary dates to assign people to classes of humanity is always problematic. As Alex Kotlowitz argued, a 14 year old in the Henry Horner Homes is different from a 14 year old in Naperville. One is not a child - they have seen too much. Age does not make a concrete, deterministic reality. The human condition is much more variable than you suggest.

    Your assertion that “exposing children to nudity” (is problematic) is itself problematic. My children saw naked bodies every time they took a bath. They saw nearly completely human bodies every time we took them to the beaches of North Carolina, every summer. My young teenagers saw portrayals of naked bodies in the sex education courses. My children were not in anyway harmed by learning the names of parts of the body, nor in seeing human bodies, nor in learning how babies are made.


  16. - Friendly Bob Adams - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 2:53 pm:

    Does listening to too much bro-country music cause one to end up brominated?


  17. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 2:55 pm:

    ===brominated? ===

    I had to look that up yesterday. At first I thought it was some Silicon Valley thing.


  18. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 21, 24 @ 2:57 pm:

    =Credit for good behavior (the carrot) makes sense to me at least. For me, things like restorative justice and humane incarceration as well as rehabilitation are theoretical for the most part. I support them in principle. But I am not a party to the criminal justice system so I cannot speak with authority on these matters.=

    H-W, I do not think we are that far apart and I agree with the ability to grant credit for good behavior to an extent.

    With regard to social justice…that is a thing in education as well. I have not observed the rewards happening as promised. I worked in some “tough” schools (by some people’s opinion) and always had good results and reduced suspensions, not because of some magic but because we held students (and staff) accountable, spoke to them as young adults, and had clear expectations that were clearly communicated and consistent.

    As with students, we don’t have to get fancy with this whole thing but we need clarity, consistency, accountability, and fairness.

    Reducing an sentence one day for every day served is just about as wrong headed as it can be.


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