So I went to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners site to learn who all our candidates were (no surprises) and to see if there were any referenda we should know about. One that apparently will be on all ballots reads:
Shall the Illinois State Government provide adequate funding for comprehensive and appropriate substance abuse treatment for any Illinois state resident requesting services from a licensed provider, community-based organization, or medical care facility within the state?
I wasn’t sure what this was about, but Chicagoist was able to explain:
The referendum is non-binding (read worthless), but, as the coalition members are hoping, it could send a message to the Illinois government or at least serve as ammunition for lobbying efforts. The referendum’s supporters say it will be a preventative measure that will save costs from “reduced worker productivity, unemployment, court and criminal costs, victimization, childcare bills, expensive emergency room visits, and lifelong attention to infants born with fetal alcohol syndrome or affected by prenatal exposure to illicit drugs.
Chicagoist thinks this referendum could lead to better treatment for those with drug problems instead of incarceration. Sounds good to me. More information about this coalition at this website.