Currently in Chicago— March 31st 2022

The weather, currently.

Wintry weather returns for Thursday

Takeaways for Chicago's weather:

1. Wintry Weather Returns

2. More Sun For Friday

3. Mainly Dry & Cool Weekend

Colder air comes crashing in on Thursday riding gusty west winds. Light rain and snow at times and even some light accumulation possible on grassy surfaces.  Highs will struggle to make it into the lower 40s. It will feel colder though with those gusty winds. More sunshine on Friday with highs warming into the upper 40s. A chance for light rain late Saturday but most of the weekend will be dry with highs in the lower 50s but cooler lakeside. — Tim McGill

What you need to know, currently.

On a 28-1 vote on Tuesday, The Vermont State Senate passed a bill that will establish the state’s first environmental justice policy. Now, the bill moves to the House of Representatives.

This is a huge victory for the state, as they’re one of the few in the country that doesn’t already have a similar law in place.

Sen. Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden, introduced the bill during the Friday session. According to reporting from the Vermont Digger, she said the bill provides “a framework to make sure, when people have questions, they have somewhere to go for answers. That they don’t experience the rural isolation of poverty and pollution without also experiencing the political power needed to remedy their situation.”

The policy would require state governments and agencies to address the disproportionate ways that environmental degradation — like pollution, global warming and extreme weather events — affects Black, Indigenous or people of color and/or low-income Vermonters.

The bill pushes for the integration of “environmentally distressed communities,” or populations who endure a disproportionate amount of environmental burdens, in lawmaking as well as the decision-making process for other policies. And by July 1, 2024, the bill states that every state agency must create a community engagement plan that centers these communities when developing new environmental programs.

The policy would also enforce the use of an environmental justice mapping tool, aimed at identifying these “environmentally disadvantaged communities.” This will allow for more equitable funding disbursement to the neighborhoods that need it most and place restrictions around the permit approval process for mines and landfills in the area. —Aarohi Sheth