Happy Tuesday, Illinois! To coincide with weed becoming legal in a few weeks, Chicago’s Revolution Brewing plans to release a new beer called Legal Hero.
State lawmakers are warning there will be bumps in the road to selling cannabis, which becomes legal starting Jan. 1 — including possible shortages of the product. That’s of special concern to medical marijuana users.
Story Continued Below
“Each state that has implemented an adult-use cannabis program has had issues related to supply shortages,” lawmakers wrote in a letter to the media, signed by state Sens. Heather Steans and Laura Fine, and state Reps. Kelly Cassidy, Bob Morgan, Jehan Gordon-Booth, Celina Villanueva and David Welter.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office says the administration is actively monitoring supplies. Illinois is the only state in the country to write protections for medical cannabis patients into the law: The new state law legalizing cannabis requires dispensaries to make sure it’s available to medical patients ahead of those wanting to buy for recreational use, raising concerns it may lead dispensaries to limit purchases or require appointments.
To keep their priorities straight, dispensaries face fines of up to $10,000 and could see their licenses revoked if products for patients aren’t available once recreational sales start.
The governor’s office tells Playbook it’s “working to ensure supply is protected for patients who rely on it. Bad actors who violate the law will face consequences. When businesses open Jan. 1, it will be just the first phase of this long-term roll out. The administration will continue to monitor supply as we implement and administer the program.”
Legalization is a potentially lucrative source of money for the state — and a significant victory or political liability for Pritzker — so how the administration responds to problems in the rollout of marijuana legalization will be under the watchful eyes of both supporters and critics nationwide as supplies and procedures test the new market.
Morgan, who previously headed Illinois’ medical cannabis program, reiterated that the state is focused on meeting the needs of patients. “We have their back once legalization begins,” he told Playbook.
“As with the start of any new industry, price and supply only settles over time,” Morgan added. “We have built a strong foundation for the adult-use program to succeed, and I believe that it will.”
— What happens to black market weed when marijuana goes legal? ‘I see it opening the door to more clients,’ one dealer tells Tribune’s Ally Marotti.
— Lightfoot wants Chicago to open a city-owned marijuana cultivation co-op, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
Lipinski will vote to impeach: In a commentary to the Tribune, Lipinski, who faces two primary opponents who support impeachment, explains his vote: “[T]here is evidence that President Trump withheld congressionally appropriated aid for Ukraine’s defense and a 'head of state' meeting at the White House in an attempt to coerce an announcement of an investigation of Vice President Joe Biden and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. This is an abuse of power. If there were evidence that the president was interested more generally in Ukrainian corruption instead of specifically in a public pronouncement of an investigation which would help him politically, this would have undercut this charge. But there was no such testimony.”
Rep. Lauren Underwood, meanwhile, is among moderate Democrats who haven’t yet revealed how they’ll vote Wednesday when the House takes up the historic impeachment proceedings. The congresswoman from the battleground 14th Congressional District in northern Illinois doesn’t have a primary challenger but she faces a general election where she’ll be called out for her vote.
Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet says to “expect fireworks when the House Rules Committee — for the first time in history — takes up an impeachment resolution Tuesday.” The committee sets the rules of debate. President Richard Nixon resigned before he was impeached. And President Bill Clinton’s indiscretions —having sex with an intern — prompted agreement among Rs and Ds at the time. They voted with unanimous consent on the procedures.
— Vulnerable Democrats to vote to impeach Trump, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris
— GOP legislators, don’t be afraid to impeach one of your own, writes state Comptroller Susana Mendoza, a former state rep: “Why would legislators ever impeach a leader of their own party? Because it’s the right thing to do. I did it, and it didn’t hurt my career at all, even though at the time I thought it would. And I’d do it again if the evidence were as overwhelming as it is in the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and it was in the 2009 case of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.”
At the Chicago Cultural Center to deliver remarks at the award ceremony for the Chicago Architecture Biennial’s 2019 BP Student Ideas Competition.
At the James R. Thompson Center to unveil the state Menorah with community and faith leaders.
At the County Building presiding over a meeting of the Forest Preserve District.
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady received $91,600 from the Chicagoland Operators Joint Labor-Management PAC this week, according to the State Board of Elections…. Richard Boykin, a candidate for clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, received $5,000 from Bulls/Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf through his JMR Trust…. And the 12th Ward Democrats received $23,500 from various donors. The 12th Ward is represented by state Sen. Tony Munoz, who’s the sitting ward committeeperson. He’s battling 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas to keep that position.
— Club for Growth PAC is endorsing Jeanne Ives for the 6th Congressional District. “Besides being a West Point graduate, a United States Army officer, a small businesswoman, and a mom of five, Jeanne Ives is a proven limited-government conservative,” said the conservative PAC’s president, David McIntosh.
— ‘Racism permeates everything’: Running as a black candidate after Obama, by POLITICO’s Laura Barron-Lopez
— Bloomberg’s spending spree “is good for TV,” writes News-Gazette’s Tom Kacich.
— Lightfoot defends firing spokesman but acknowledges top attorney needs to pay up on his taxes: “The city of Chicago’s top attorney under Mayor Lori Lightfoot improperly collected a tax break on his Chicago condo in recent years while living in west suburban Naperville, her administration acknowledged Monday. Chicago corporation counsel Mark Flessner will be repaying the state about $2,500 for the Chicago tax break he received but should not have, Lightfoot spokeswoman Anel Ruiz said. The disclosure came amid the fallout Monday of Lightfoot’s recent move to fire veteran city spokesman Bill McCaffrey for reasons that remain unclear,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt and John Byrne.
— Chicago school board talks teacher diversity, but skeptics remain: “Chicago’s school board called a meeting Monday to listen to the concerns and suggestions of Chicago Public Schools stakeholders who say there aren’t enough teachers of color in the district — and a lot of the ones who are here … are so unhappy that they leave,” Sun-Times’ Nader Issa writes. “All involved, including CPS, know there’s a problem — only 10% of the district’s students are white but half of its teachers are white. … But even as ideas were shared, skepticism about real change loomed large.”
— Advocates demand ICE release DACA-eligible Chicago man from detention: “Jesus Alberto Lopez Gutierrez went on a camping trip to Iowa with his friends in May. He never came back home,” reports Sun-Times’ Carlos Ballesteros.
— Alaina Hampton, the political consultant who recently settled a sexual harassment case with Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and his Democratic organization, is still in a battle with the Chicago Teachers Union. During her suit with the Dems, Hampton had claimed CTU did not hire her because she had been blackballed by Madigan’s organization. Hampton had sought documents from CTU, but the organization initially refused. It eventually was compelled to turn over the documents. The case is now settled, but Hampton says CTU has continued to disparage her on social media, so her legal team filed a cease and desist order. Hampton revealed the legal move Monday in a tweet directed to CTU after a spokeswoman described the case as having “factual distortions, hyperbole and outright lies.” The spokeswoman’s tweet was deleted, but not before Hampton responded with her own tweet: “You can’t hide from the truth. That’s one reason my attorneys sent you and CTU a cease and desist for defamation a month ago.”
— Detained Chicago DACA youth sues federal government for his release: „A Chicago immigrant has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and two agencies within that department, for failing to release him from a detention center even though he qualifies for temporary protection from deportation,” WBEZ’s Maria Ines Zamudio reports.
Fighting for the little guy: Jesse Jackson pushes Nicor to bring long-sought natural gas line to impoverished Pembroke Township in Kankakee County: “The Rev. Jesse Jackson is trying to broker an agreement between Nicor Gas and various government agencies that would prompt the utility to extend service to the township, a project intended not only to improve quality of life, but to encourage new businesses to locate in the rural enclave,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Pritzker says he hasn’t spoken to Madigan about investigations: „Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has not spoken to House Speaker Michael Madigan about a series of federal inquiries. That’s despite reports that investigators appear to be targeting the speaker’s inner circle,” NPR Illinois' Brian Mackey reports.
— Illinois officials: Don’t deny prisoners surgery under 'one good eye' policy: „Illinois Department of Corrections officials are taking action against a so-called ‘one good eye’ policy. The move comes after a WBEZ investigation found prisoners could not get eye surgery, because staff considered one good eye enough for the daily activities of a prisoner,” WBEZ’s Shannon Heffernan reports.
— Far from home: Students with special needs sent out of state: „In the 2017-18 school year, Illinois sent close to 350 students with special needs to private boarding schools in other states. The cost added up to more than $10 million for tuition, and close to $20 million for housing. But it’s not always possible for school officials to know exactly what that money buys, or for parents to know what’s happening to children in those facilities,” NPR Illinois' Dusty Rhodes reports.
— OPINION: Exodus and Chicago: New census numbers will jump-start remap hypocrisy, writes the Tribune’s Kristen McQueary.
— Pritzker expected to sign letter consenting to refugee resettlement: “New Trump administration policy requires state and local consent,” reports Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— New state commission to examine early childhood education funding: “The 29-member group is made up of several state legislators along with the state superintendent of education and other advocates, providers and school officials,” by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.
— Navy fixes GI Bill error that forced student to leave DePaul and left her with $20K debt: “After Sun-Times reports, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has told a retired veteran that the debt will be waived. But others still face similar problems,” by Stephanie Zimmermann.
— Congressman Danny Davis’ winter fundraiser drew a crowd of politicos, including former Gov. Pat Quinn; Sen. Don Harmon; Reps. Camille Lilly, Theresa Mah and Emanuel “Chris” Welch; Ald. Jason Ervin; city Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin; County Assessor Fritz Kaegi; World Business Chicago CEO Andrea Zopp; Supreme Court Justice P. Scott Neville; Water Reclamation District Commissioner Kimberly Neely DuBuclet; businessman Elzie Higginbottom; and consultant Omari Prince. Sen. Dick Durbin and Bulls/White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf were part of the host committee but couldn’t make the event.
— George P. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush, headlined the holiday luncheon hosted by Illinois Republican leaders and supporters, including Richard Porter, Jay Bergman, Sanford “Sandy” Perl and Kim Godden. Bush talked immigration, politics and baseball. He said even though his family has spoken out against Republican Donald Trump, he’d be supporting him in 2020. Part of the program included a word association game that equated Texas with opportunity and Illinois with, well, none. (Seems harsh.) Spotted in the crowd at the estate of Gene and Georgetti in Rosemont were business leaders Ty Fahner and Bill Kunkler, state House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, former Congressmen Peter Roskam and Bob Dold, Bolingbrook Mayor Roger Claar, Rosemont Mayor and state Rep. Brad Stephens, former state Comptroller Leslie Munger, Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, political fundraiser Lisa Wagner, political consultant Thom Serafin and public affairs consultant Brian Bernadoni.
DURBIN ON TOBACCO BAN: Congress on the brink of banning tobacco sales to anyone under 21: „The legislation significantly raising the age cap on cigarettes and e-cigarettes is increasingly likely to be included in the year-end spending deal, the result of support from a diverse coalition of lawmakers … While the deal has not been finalized, it is more than likely to be in the package, according to sources in both parties. The effort has the support of Democrats like Sens. Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Tim Kaine of Virginia as well as Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.); on the Republican side Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) supports it as does National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah).” via POLITICO
— Congress debuts $1.37T spending deal that sidesteps border fight, by POLITIO’s Jennifer Scholtes and Caitlin Emma
— Trump’s been president for three years. Why is federal morale dropping now? by POLITICO’s Michael Stratford for The Agenda
— Is Pete Buttigieg the Next Emmanuel Macron? by POLITICO’s Ryan Heath
Today: A holiday fundraising reception for Ald. David Moore is at Bureau Bar on Maxwell Street. Details here
Wednesday: Renato Mariotti, former federal prosecutor turned legal analyst and contributor to POLITICO Magazine, headlines the Tenth Congressional District Democrats (Tenth Dems) Annual Awards Dinner. Details here
Former Rep. Dan Burke, Sen. Julie Morrison, Dow Jones reporter Bob Tita, and McCormick Foundation board member Don Wycliff.