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Budget Handout 2020 with Steans logo Page 1

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“Transparency is the first step we take to restoring the public’s trust.”

11142019HAO 0016SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans is pushing for new ethics reforms in the wake of scandals surrounding numerous Springfield lawmakers in recent months, passing legislation out of the Senate today.

“Today we took the first steps to reform the disturbing, unacceptable behavior that has rocked state government in recent months,” said Steans, (D-Chicago). “Raids, arrests and indictments are not what people expect of their elected officials. While they mean that the ethics laws we already passed are working and law enforcement is doing its job, it also means we need to change the culture in Springfield, close loopholes, and eliminate grey areas. We need to earn back your trust.”

Steans’ legislation takes aim at the practice of state lawmakers lobbying local units of government. The measure would require:

  • state lobbyists to disclose any units of local government they also lobby,
  • state lobbyists to disclose any elected or appointed offices they hold,
  • lobbying firms that contract out other lobbyists to disclose who is lobbying for each business or other client,
  • the Secretary of State’s Office to improve the lobbyist database, integrating these new provisions and making the entire system easier to search and navigate.

“Transparency is the first step we take to restoring the public’s trust,” Steans said. “That means we’ve still got much, much more to do. I urge the governor to sign this into law and I urge my colleagues in both chambers and on both sides of the aisle to continue working to make the state of Illinois a government worthy of its citizens’ trust.”

The legislation is Senate Bill 1639. Having passed the Senate without opposition, it awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

Expungement of a criminal record can be a long and complicated process. For help navigating the justice system, see information below about a Nov. 9th expungement fair in partnership with legal experts.

Expungement

Starting in December, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation will begin accepting more applications for adult use cannabis licenses. Because Illinois is enacting the nation's most ambitious plan to ensure this process means opportunity for communities hit the hardest by bad drug policies, there are a lot of factors at play in granting licenses. Read IDFPR's press release below.

IDFPR Announces Next Round of Adult Use Cannabis License Applications

Applications for up to 75 Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses Now Available

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced Tuesday that applications for adult use cannabis licenses for new dispensing organizations are now available. Applications for new dispensing organizations can be found on the Department’s website.

The applications will be accepted by the department starting on December 10, 2019 and must be submitted by 12:00 p.m. on January 2, 2020. Applications will start being reviewed following the January 2nd deadline, with seventy-five conditional adult use dispensing organization licenses awarded by May 1, 2020.

“As Illinois enters the next phase of its adult use cannabis program, we are committed to a process that is efficient, timely and most critically, continues to place equity at the forefront,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “From ensuring social equity applicants receive points on their application to providing grants and technical assistance, this is a process that does more than any other state in the nation to make equity a priority.”

“We’re committed to ensuring that this process is transparent, fair and accessible to people from all communities in Illinois,” said Deborah Hagan, Secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. “Our Department understands the important role it plays in ensuring all applicants have an opportunity to become involved in this industry and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to ensure applicants have the information they need.”

Social equity applicants will receive points on their application and are eligible to receive technical assistance, grants, low-interest loans and fee reductions and waivers. To qualify as a social equity applicant, the statute requires the applicant to be an Illinois resident and meet one of the following criteria:

  • At least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals who have resided at least 5 of the preceding 10 years in a disproportionately impacted area;
  • At least 51% ownership and control by one or more individuals [or family member of an individual] who have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for an offense that is eligible for cannabis expungement; or
  • Applicants with minimum of 10 full-time employees, at least 51% of employees who:
    • Currently reside in a disproportionately impacted area; or
    • Have been arrested for, convicted of, or adjudicated delinquent for an offense that is eligible for cannabis expungement, or is a member of an impacted family.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Development announced Monday which areas meet the definition of disproportionately impacted area. View the map here.

Once IDFPR awards a conditional license, the applicant has 180 days to find a location within its Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Region to operate. That location cannot be within 1,500 feet of another licensed dispensing organization. A map reflecting how many licenses will be granted in each BLS region can be found here.

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