Dear friends,

I’m writing to you to provide some information on the ongoing concerns about confirmed cases of Coronavirus here in the United States. As of now, a small handful of cases have been confirmed in Chicago among people who traveled directly from the city in China where the outbreak originated.

The Chicago Department of Public Health is working directly with the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health to monitor and respond to the situation. The risk to the United States — and Illinois in particular — have been deemed low, but as this outbreak coincides with flu season, it’s a good time to remember the usual precautions for disease prevention: Wash your hands frequently, sneeze or cough into a tissue or your elbow, and limit contact with anybody displaying flu-like symptoms.

And – although I know it’s not possible for everyone due to the realities many working folks face – if you feel sick, stay home from work or school, if at all possible.

For more information about the disease and the city’s response to it, you can visit the Chicago Department of Public Health’s information page here. The Illinois Department of Public Health has information here.

The Cook County Department of Public Health is also monitoring the situation, and you can visit their page here.

The Centers for Disease Control has more information about the U.S. response to the virus here.

Stay healthy and well.

Sincerely,
steans sig
Heather Steans
State Senator, 7th Illinois Senate District

State Senator Heather Steans issued the following statement on news that Virginia today became the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment:

“Virginia’s historic action today, a century after the ERA was introduced and women gained the vote, should tell us that the time is long overdue for this to become the law,” Steans said. “The idea that our government should not have the power to discriminate on the basis of sex should not be controversial. Because of the time that has passed, there remains work to be done, but the American people have spoken loud and clear: It’s time for 28th Amendment.”

CHICAGO — Less than a month before cannabis cultivation and sale become legal in Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker signed legislation finalizing certain parts of the new statute alongside the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Heather A. Steans, at a ceremony in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood.

“When we embarked on the long road to legalization of adult-use cannabis, we set out not just to end bad drug policy and lay the groundwork for opportunity in a new industry,” Steans said, “we also sought ways to make amends for how drug enforcement has ravaged communities. As we stand poised for legalization on Jan. 1, I want to thank everyone who worked tirelessly to make this legislation a reality, and I want to remind all of us that to ensure we see justice, we must listen to the community and respond to their concerns swiftly.”

Pritzker signed Senate Bill 1557, sponsored by Steans, which makes adjustments to her earlier legislation legalizing cannabis use by those 21 or older in Illinois. Among clarifications in the bill were provisions explicitly stating it is illegal to operate a snowmobile while under the influence of cannabis and that it no longer is illegal to possess “drug paraphernalia” associated with cannabis use.

“Legalization has become possible because members of the public are more informed and more willing to demand justice in drug policy,” Steans said. “I want to thank them for showing that Illinois is ready to leave behind punishment and embrace healing.”

Other provisions in the new legislation clarify:

  • that background search results exclude expunged cannabis convictions.
  • that outstanding fines cannot be a barrier to expunging past cannabis convictions.
  • that dispensaries or retail tobacco stores can have areas to use cannabis on-site, with restrictions similar to tobacco use.

The consumption and sale of cannabis by those over the age of 21 becomes legal in Illinois Jan. 1.

Under cannabis legalization, the process for granting business licenses takes into consideration factors like minority ownership and whether the surrounding community has been harmed by decades of draconian drug policies. The information below could help you determine whether your business meets these qualifications. Right click and select "view image" to see a larger version of the pages below.

Social Equity Applicants Page 1

Social Equity Applicants Page 2

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