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It’s just a bill

Friday, Jun 21, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller


An effort is also underway to waive or minimize filing fees for transgender people as they request a legal name change — and allow the petitioner to request that a court seal the name change if public disclosure may harm their health or safety. The bill is aimed at protecting other vulnerable populations, including survivors of violence and refugees. Legislation stalled in the Illinois Senate this spring.

“Obviously, we have to think about the whole state. And here in Chicago, you can live relatively anonymously. But, you’re living in a small town and you have to publish in your local newspaper that you’re transitioning, that’s going to put you at significant risk,” said the bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago. “So, similarly, we provide the safety waivers for folks who have other risks, whether it’s somebody fleeing a domestic violence situation, somebody coming out of a trafficking situation, things like that. We’ve created these bypasses for folks, and this would have added to it.”

Cassidy is also pushing for a measure that would give a $500 tax credit to people and health care providers who are fleeing states that limit access to abortion or gender affirming care.

Equality Illinois is leading a push for the state to require sex education in public schools. The state provides districts with a “medically accurate, evidence-informed, response and trauma-informed guide” for sex education — but it is optional for districts to provide. Parents can also opt their students out of it.

* Purple Circle LLC CEO Amber Lengacher

With the legislative session over for spring in Illinois, cannabis/hemp industry stakeholders across the state are regrouping and making plans for a veto session in the fall. Hemp advocates and supporters in Illinois must unite over the summer to ensure that their industry is protected, and their business models can continue to flourish. […]

I recently chatted with Rep. Ford about this spring session and his plan for 2024’s veto session.

Here’s what he had to tell me:

Today, after much work and consideration, hemp products are still unregulated in Illinois. Last year, I introduced Illinois House Bill 4161, which would create a regulatory framework for hemp products and establish important requirements like licensing, testing, and labeling. I also introduced HB4193 that would create age minimums for hemp product purchases, limited to adults who are 21 years of age or older. This year, I introduced HB5306, the Industrial Hemp Act, designed to accomplish those same goals.

I agree with Gov. JB Pritzker that a hemp regulatory proposal must be top priority during veto session this fall. I joined him in his disappointment that we couldn’t get a bill through in spring. Going into veto session, I hope to work with all stakeholders to educate lawmakers on solutions to our communities’ issues while still leaving opportunities for this growing industry to flourish in Illinois. We will then finalize a bill that will accomplish all stakeholder goals. Anything else could put hundreds – if not thousands – of Illinois companies out of business and Illinoisans out of work, while starting a new war on drugs in Illinois. Our communities have been targeted and destroyed by this failed war, and it is past time to repair the harm, not create prohibition 2.0.

* Tribune

A crying 6-year-old was brought to an emergency department after being found sluggish and cold to the touch. The parents had been at work when the babysitter gave several cookies from the kitchen to the child as a snack. Each cookie contained several adult doses of THC, the part of marijuana that gets people high. The child was admitted to the hospital overnight and recovered.

This was just one of 244 cases of cannabis edible exposures among children 5 and younger reported in 2023 to the Illinois Poison Center. […]

Illinois lawmakers couldn’t decide between regulating or banning the products this spring, so they did nothing. Unlike licensed cannabis, which must undergo testing and labeling and is only available to those 21 and over, hemp products remain unregulated, without even a legal age restriction, though some companies impose their own age limits and testing.

Nevertheless, exposures appear to occur with both licensed and unlicensed products, said Dr. Michael Wahl, medical director of the poison center.

* Capitol News Illinois

Among the bills that did not pass is a piece of legislation that sought to restore protections for wetlands stripped last year in a United States Supreme Court decision. In May 2023, federal protections for wetlands were gutted, weakening Clean Water Act protections for millions of acres of wetlands across the U.S.

An Illinois bill, SB 771, or the Wetlands Protection Act, that would have reinstated those protections in the state passed in committee, but failed to make it to the chamber floors of the General Assembly. The bill will be considered again during the veto session this fall. […]

Sponsors of the bill said a law is needed for Illinois to fill the gap left by the Supreme Court decision. The reinstatement of regulations would ultimately help reduce flooding in vulnerable communities and improve water quality, proponents said.

One major opponent of the legislation was the Illinois Farm Bureau, which also signed onto the federal lawsuit that eventually reversed wetland protections. Chris Davis, the farm bureau’s director of state legislation, said its opposition stemmed from not enough protections for landowners. […]

Sen. Laura Ellman (D-Naperville), sponsor of the senate Wetlands Protection Bill, said that she’s still committed to working with the farm bureau this summer.

* Fox2 Now

Illinois State Rep. Harry Benton (D-Plainfield) formally introduced HB 5860 on June 11.

The bill would amend Illinois’ Flag Display Act and prohibit officials from knowingly displaying or causing to display “the United States national flag with the union down on government property.” […]
A separate, but closely related bill (HB 5861) would amend Illinois’ Flag Display Act to fine government officials up to $25,000 for flying an American flag upside down on public property. The current penalty for a violation is anywhere from $1-15.

Neither bill addresses whether a government official or someone else could display an American flag upside down on private property.

* Ben Szalinski


  1. - OneMan - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 10:58 am:

    “Cassidy is also pushing for a measure that would give a $500 tax credit to people and health care providers who are fleeing states that limit access to abortion or gender affirming care.”

    I’m curious what this would look like in its final proposed form. Would it require any affirmation that that is why you moved to Illinois, or will it just be a tax credit for anyone who moves to Illinois from a state considered ‘limiting’?

  2. - Sir Reel - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 11:12 am:

    According to the National Wetlands Inventory, Illinois has lost 90% of its pre-settlement Wetlands. The Illinois Farm Bureau wants to get that to 100%.

  3. - Demoralized - Friday, Jun 21, 24 @ 11:27 am:

    Finally the Supreme Court comes to its senses and considers the consequences of their actions which led them to make the absolute right decision in this case.

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