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Londrigan opens new Springfield Office

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Democratic candidate Betsy Dirksen Londrigan opened her new Springfield office today. The opening was held after the Women’s March, and a large number of the marchers came over to see the new space. Her office is located at 607 East Adams St.

 

Londrigan is one of several Democrats vying for the chance to run against Rep. Rodney Davis (R-13) in the general election. To learn more about the candidates running in the 13th, check out our Campaign Headquarters. The primary will be held March 20.

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

Local

Jacksonville City Council – Boy Scouts Citizenship Day

Thomas Clatterbuck

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The Jacksonville City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening. To mark Citizenship Day, the councilors were assisted by Boy Scouts from several of the local troops. Scouts from Troops 107, 113, and 115 took part in the annual event.

More changes were authorized to the Lake Mauvaisterre Sediment Lagoons Reclamation Project. The changes called for the removal of an additional thousand cubic yards of soil from the lagoon area, at a cost of $7,530. Police Chief Adam Mefford also spoke about his department’s strategic plans for 2018, including equipment upgrades and other initiatives.

Local resident Nicole Riley spoke critically about the City’s decision to to assist the New Directions homeless shelter, while it did support the golf courses. She asserted that Mayor Ezard had informed the shelter that it would be unlikely to receive financial assistance from the city. Alderman Marcy Patterson responded by saying that the City had not received a formal request for funding, and that without that request they could not provide the funding. Patterson went on to say that other fundraising efforts to the shelter had been less effective in part due to poor communication with the leadership of the shelter. The full exchange starts at the 21:40 mark in the video.

You can watch the full meeting below:

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Entertainment

Comedian Kevin Hart brings his ‘Irresponsible Tour’ to Springfield’s BOS Center

Eric Broughton

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Image Source: Kevin Hart, Facebook

Popular comedian Kevin Hart brought his comedy tour through Springfield, Illinois Sunday night and performed in front of a packed house at the BOS Center!

Hart’s huge 2017 included a best-selling book, “I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons,” a starring role in the remake of the movie “Jumanji,” a starring voiceover role in the animated “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.”

His previous tour filled arenas around the world, and even one stadium: Lincoln Financial Field in his hometown, Philadelphia, with the total tour grossing over $100 Million.

The Kevin Hart Irresponsible Tour will criss-cross North America and Europe, and also make stops in Australia and New Zealand.

Check out the video below when Kevin Hart let the crowd take out their phones, and enjoy a selfie video with him.

Video Source: LOL Network (Kevin Hart Irresponsible Tour)

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Business

Dispensary owner says Medical pot for pain would be better quality of life than opioid addiction

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Chris Stone, CEO of Springfield and Collinsville medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternatives

Opioid overdoses killed more than 1,900 people in Illinois in 2016 alone, and the Illinois Senate is moving closer to allowing medical marijuana to be used for conditions that opioids are prescribed for as a way to help curb the alarming trend. Supporters are confident the votes are there to make it happen.

A Senate committee passed Senate Bill 336 out of committee Wednesday with only Minority Leader Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, voting no.

The proposal would add “any other medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care” to the list of debilitating medical conditions allowed in the state’s Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.

There are 40 different conditions currently on the list, such as cancer, fibromyalgia and others.

“While recognizing the importance of addressing the opioid crisis,” a statement from Brady’s office said, “Leader Brady’s vote was reflective of the concerns raised by the Illinois Department of Public Health on the legislation in its current form.”

IDPH said in a statement the measure is too broad.

“IDPH would be forced to make a judgement on what could be prescribed by a physician, for which there is no clear physician-based, generally accepted standard of care for prescribing opioids,” IDPH said. “ This would also expand the list of qualifying conditions to include anything for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed, such as a sprained ankle, pain after a fall, or having a tooth pulled.”

Chris Stone, who owns medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternative with operations in Springfield and Collinsville, said opening medical pot up to those who are prescribed opioids to relieve pain offers another option for patients in pain. He said opioids may relieve pain, but they diminish patients’ quality of life.

“Having an option that is going to be less corrosive to your body, that’s going to allow you to function, should be made available to these patients,” Stone said.

He said it’s unclear what the governor’s stance is on the issue, but he thinks the votes are there.

“I think it’s going to get enough support in both chambers,” Stone said, “but the governor is going to have to make a decision as to whether he’s going to support it or not support it based on a supermajority.”

If both the Senate and the House approved the measure and Rauner decided to veto it, it would take a supermajority of votes in the two chambers to override.

IDPH also worried about having a short time frame to approve a potential flood of new applicants to the program if the proposal were to be approved, causing backlogs because of staffing and resource limitations.

“Without a major infusion of staff and resources, IDPH would not be able to manage this volume of applications,” a statement said. “This 14 day timeline would also move those individuals applying as an alternative to opioids, ahead of individuals who are applying for one of the approved conditions, such as cancer and multiple sclerosis.”

The Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Family Institute and Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems all oppose the measure.

The Marijuana Policy Project supports the proposal and said the bill “would also take the sensible step of removing the requirement that medical cannabis patients submit fingerprints, provided they qualify under the new provisions.”

“It is a huge first step for the many Illinoisans suffering unbearable pain every day,” MPP’s Chris Lindsay said.

A judge in January ordered the state to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition, something added by the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. But the state’s public health department plans to appeal the ruling, which will delay its implementation.

The medical cannabis pilot program expires in 2020.

 

Article By Greg Bishop. For more Illinois News Network content, visit ILNews.org

 

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