Connected to Chicago (01-05-2020) Special Guest-State Rep. Ann Williams

Joining the show this week is State Rep Ann Williams. Bill and Ann discuss journalism, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Comed lobbying scandal, and corruption in Springfield. Is there a way to legislate honesty?

In this week’s round table segment, Bill is joined by Ray Long of the Chicago Tribune, Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, Greg Hinz of Crain’s, and Heather Cherone editor of The Daily Line. The Round Table opens up with coverage of the U.S. Airstrike that took out a top command leader in Iran, What will happen next from this? Jailed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wrote an op-ed piece in which he proclaimed house democrats would’ve impeached Abraham Lincoln in an attempt to receive a Presidential commutation. Legal Weed has rolled out? how’d the first week go?

This week’s Connected to Chicago segment is with Nick Gale, and focuses on the next round of recreational marijuana dispensaries licenses and the state’s pledge to get the African American community involved.

A day after recreational pot became legal in Illinois, many would-be pot entrepreneurs lined up at the Thompson Center to apply for a shot at a license in the next round of dispensary openings. The state will issue 75 “conditional adult use” dispensary licenses beginning in May.

Former State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Illinois’ Cannabis Czar, is hopeful that minorities will be in the mix. She says Illinois has done what other states haven’t in ensuring equitable opportunity by cutting in half the application fee and giving additional consideration to those with a pot related arrest on their record.

The 75 licenses to be distributed in May would bring the total number of dispensaries in the state to 112. Hutchinson says the law allows for up to 300 licenses, but that they will be moving slowly and evaluating statewide demand sometime after May to determine if more licensees are needed.