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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Apr 12, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Illinois lawmakers call for ban on intoxicating hemp products, but retailers call for regulations. Tribune

    - The bill, which has the Cannabis Business Association of Illinois backing, calls for regulated sales of non-intoxicating hemp products like CBD, but prohibiting sales of intoxicants until a committee can recommend how to proceed.
    - Unlike hemp, licensed cannabis companies in Illinois must test and label their products for potency, pesticides and other contaminants, have limits on total THC, and prohibit sales to those 21 and older.
    -Rep. La Shawn Ford has introduced an alternative bill that would allow sales of intoxicating hemp products, but require them to be tested, labeled, regulated and taxed.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Capitol News Illinois | Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts: “Right now, we’re only seeing part of the picture. We’re seeing what the lobbyist is spending to change or implement a policy,” Amy Williams, an attorney in the secretary of state’s office, told the House Ethics and Elections Committee Wednesday. “We’re lacking what the client is spending to change or implement a policy, and the client is the driving force behind those policy implications.”

    * Tribune | Unionized health care workers say staffing shortages compromise safety: “This is something that impacts the workers but then think about your loved ones when they are the patients, that they’re not getting the care that they need because there is no staff,” Kim Smith, a patient care technician for Northwestern Medicine, said through a loudspeaker that blared throughout the Capitol rotunda. “When I walk into a hospital and I’m given 36 patients and I’m the only tech on that floor, there’s no way I can deliver good care.”

* Here’s the rest…

    * ABC Chicago | Death of Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough causes confusion, delays for vital records: The clerk’s office said it is required to change documents that still have Yarbrough listed as the official signatory. […] The office is currently unable to provide paper copies of those records, but they can still be registered online. [Susan Dyer-Hultgren, president of the Cook County Funeral Directors’ Association] said she started getting calls Wednesday from funeral directors who couldn’t finalize death certificates and obtain permits for burials and cremations through the state’s vital records portal.

    * The Century Foundation | The Best and Worst States for Family Care Policies: To date, 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed paid family and medical leave, and 15 states and the District of Columbia have passed paid sick days policies. These states are some of the highest scoring. […] Oregon received the highest grade on the report card, a “B+,” while Massachusetts, California, Colorado and Minnesota were the only states to earn a “B.” Oregon’s strong performance on childcare and paid family and medical leave propelled it to the top of the care report card.

    * Press Release | Retired Justice Hon. Rita B. Garman to be presented with state’s highest honor April 13 in Chicago: Governor JB Pritzker announced the 2024 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest civilian honor for professional achievement and public service. Vermilion County’s retired Justice Hon. Rita B. Garman is among this year’s recipients.

    * Winnebago County Board Member Paul Arena | Migrants welcome in Winnebago County, bills for housing, health care are not: State Representative Maurice West wrote an editorial in the Register Star accusing the Winnebago County Board of telling immigrants they are unwelcome; by symbolically hanging a “Keep Out” sign on the county. That is not true. The County Board members who voted in favor of the resolution limiting the use of tax dollars to support migrants are not anti-immigrant. Many of us have family members who are immigrants.

    * Crain’s | As measles worries rise, schools are asked to draw up lists of unvaxxed students: The susceptibility lists for students who are not up to date on measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccination, or do not have other evidence of immunity to measles, would include students “who are not completely vaccinated due to religious exemption, medical exemption, McKinney-Vento exception, on an approved schedule, or noncompliance with measles vaccination,” according to an IDPH memo posted April 8.

    * Sun-Times | ‘Security footprint’ plan for Democratic Convention kicked to City Council for Wednesday vote: Protesters, residents and other DNC observers would be prohibited from bringing laptops, large bags, scooters and other items into certain areas closest to convention attendees under the ordinance, which the City Council’s Public Safety Committee advanced for a vote by the full Council.

    * Crain’s | DNC security maps to be released in early July, CPD tells City Council: Over the last several weeks, officials from the Chicago Police Department and Secret Service have knocked on doors of local businesses and residents to let them know about the security maps law enforcement agencies are developing for the convention. The security footprint for the DNC won’t come out until early July, Duane DeVries, the police department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism chief, told the City Council’s Public Safety Committee today.

    * Tribune | Feds look to call ex-aldermen to testify at Madigan trial as experts on machine politics, City Hall: In a motion Thursday, prosecutors asked that retired University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dick Simpson be allowed to testify as an expert witness on traditional Democratic machine politics, particularly the patronage system that ward bosses like Madigan were able to use to build and maintain power. They also want to call former Ald. Michele Smith, a former federal prosecutor who would describe for the jury the intricacies of City Hall, including obscurities such as aldermanic prerogative, zoning and the role of ward committeemen, according to the filing.

    * Sun-Times | Chicago climate lawsuit against Big Oil moved to federal court — for now: A legal expert, however, believes the case will land back in Cook County Circuit Court where it was initially filed. The reason: Chicago’s lawsuit against five of the world’s largest oil and gas companies follows a pattern of similar complaints filed by other U.S. cities. In each of those cases, the companies argue that the case must be heard in federal rather than state courts but, on appeal, they have all been moved back to the local venues.

    * Tribune | Bally’s Chicago revenue up 12.7% in March as casino company weighs buyout offer: Revenue at the Medinah Temple casino grew 12.7% in March to more than $11.1 million in adjusted gross receipts, according to data released Thursday by the Illinois Gaming Board. Bally’s Chicago ranked fourth in revenue among the state’s 15 casinos. Admissions to Bally’s Chicago increased 11.6% to nearly 118,000 visitors, ranking second behind Rivers Casino Des Plaines, the state’s busiest and top-billing casino.

    * Sun-Times | The billionaire behind the scenes in Sox stadium plan: For two decades, an Iraqi billionaire who once was barred from entering the United States has been trying to develop 62 acres he owns along the Chicago River south of the Loop. Each time, Nadhmi Shakir Auchi has run into political and legal roadblocks. Some involved his partners, others centered on his past — which includes two criminal convictions, one in France, another in Iraq.

    * Crain’s | The city rejects a new revenue source in Sox, Bears stadium talks: On April 8, the parties discussed adding revenue from the city’s amusement tax on ticket sales at the teams existing and potential new stadiums to the complicated mix of public financing they argue is needed to pay off the current debt that built the team’s current homes and build new ones, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

    * SJ-R | Owner of new Springfield business wants to be hub for social gatherings: Owned and operated by Springfield native Kaia Griffin, AR Luxury Event Spaces is a dream for the CEO to provide her community a thriving place to be in the city. […] The business will be the latest Black-owned business in Springfield and a place Griffin, a Springfield Public Schools District 186 graduate, hopes can bring people together.

    * Block Club | Chicago River Open Swim Not Yet Approved By City: At a meeting of the city’s Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation, Downtown Ald. Bill Conway (34th) asked city officials about the event after hearing from concerned neighbors and was told the event had been announced without being permitted. City officials are in talks with organizers and the other municipal agencies that need to sign off on such an event, a city official told Conway.


  1. - Gravitas - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 7:45 am:

    Karen Yarbrough’s death may impact election matters too. Following the primary, certain candidates who won their nominations and Chicago ward committeepersons are supposed to receive certificates from the County Clerk.

  2. - Steve Rogers - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 7:56 am:

    Good for Rita Garman–she’s a class act.

  3. - Fruit Loop - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 8:35 am:

    Unlike hemp, licensed cannabis companies in Illinois must test and label their products for potency, pesticides and other contaminants, have limits on total THC, and prohibit sales to those 21 and older=

    Interesting bill, but I noticed the cannabis industry’s bill prohibited hemp products from containing artificial food coloring and any flavors or flavorings. I personally like the prohibitions, but this might be a case of cannabis products not following the same standards that CBAI is wanting to hold hemp products too. Herbal and dietary supplements should also be prohibited.

    Since CBAI is concerned about children not knowing the difference between intoxicating hemp/cannabis products and commercially available products, maybe NOW is the time mandate plain/simple packaging- NO graphics/images (except company logo) and the use of 3-4 colors.

  4. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 8:40 am:

    The Sun Times piece on the billionaire behind the proposed Sox stadium is quite interesting. Not many people have a backstory that includes both Tony Rezko and Saddam Hussein.

  5. - @misterjayem - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 8:49 am:

    Re: The Century Foundation | The Best and Worst States for Family Care Policies

    Illinois scored a C-

    – MrJM

  6. - Back to the Future - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 9:04 am:

    Hat tip to SOS Alexi Giannoulias for his support of HB4591.
    This would really be a great move in the right direction to deal with the lobbying culture in Springfield.
    Hopefully the news organizations in Illinois will get behind this effort.

  7. - Demoralized - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 9:05 am:

    == are not anti-immigrant==

    Say whatever helps you sleep at night. But the fact remains that your actions are indeed anti-immigrant. The Republican Party has turned into a party of a bunch of nationalists. And that’s just sad.

  8. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 9:21 am:

    Vaccinate. People who do not vaccinate kids are a risk for all of us.

  9. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 10:57 am:

    === The Sun Times piece on the billionaire behind the proposed Sox stadium is quite interesting. ===

    Very interesting. This is the first time I have heard it reported that the proposed stadium in the 78 would actually be owned by the Illinois Sports Authority, not the Sox. That’s newsworthy.

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 11:54 am:

    ===actually be owned by the Illinois Sports Authority, not the Sox===

    Not sure what article you read, but that’s definitely not in the article I read.

  11. - Rich Miller - Friday, Apr 12, 24 @ 12:32 pm:

    ===Not sure what article you read===

    It’s actually in Crain’s…

    Reinsdorf has teamed up with developer Related Midwest to pursue a new stadium at The 78, the firm’s stalled mega-development in the South Loop. Related Midwest President Curt Bailey believes the stadium is the key to unlocking billions in private investment at the site, which would include mixed-use high-rises injecting life into the long-vacant property.

    But the stadium itself would be owned by the ISFA and built with tax-exempt bonds the authority would issue on the team’s behalf.

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