Chicago City Council
Stadiums, Casinos, and Riverboats: Illinois and Chicago Hedging Their Bets on the Future of Gambling Regulations
Illinois has historically been at the forefront of gambling regulations in the United States. Chicago, on the other hand, has resisted sanctioning formalized gambling locations until recently. Following the passage of the 2019 Gaming Expansion Law, Illinois expanded gambling across the state and Chicago is planning to open its first casino by 2025. Chicago is also concurrently debating an ordinance that would allow sports gambling within the city’s stadiums and arenas.
Now that Congress Passed the American Rescue Plan, How Can Chicago and Illinois Spend It?
The latest COVID-19 relief package passed on March 11, 2021 by Congress provides a total of $1.9 trillion in mandatory funding, program changes, and tax policies designed to address the enduring economic damage caused by the pandemic. About 15% of the total package will be allocated to states and local governments to tackle budgetary issues associated with the pandemic with very few strings attached. The State of Illinois and the city of Chicago are in the process of assessing the relief package and formulating plans as to how they will allocate the funds.
Chicago City Council Debates Urban Forestry Advisory Board To Address Declining Tree Population
Across the United States, metropolitan areas are experiencing a net loss of about 36 million trees every year. That amounts to about 175,000 acres of lost tree cover. Meanwhile, Chicago loses more than 10,000 trees every year due to, in part, inefficient tree trimming and management. Fewer trees means less shade and worse air quality. In response, several Chicago City Council Aldermen are proposing the Urban Forestry Advisory Board (“UFAB”) in order to assess current policies and propose innovative ways to protect Chicago’s tree population.
Chicago City Council Passes Ordinance Banning Flavored Vaping Products
In response to the rise in teenage vaping, and given the link between respiratory issues and COVID-19, the Chicago City Council (“City Council”) passed an ordinance on September 9, 2020 banning the sale of flavored vaping products. Flavored vaping products are targeted to youth and can also mislead them to believe that flavored products are safer than other tobacco products. The City Council originally proposed banning all flavored nicotine products, but after pressure from small business owners, they decided to only pursue a ban on flavored vaping products.