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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Rep. Kam Buckner introduced HB4252 on Monday

Creates the Student-Athlete Bill of Rights Act. Sets forth specific rights for students and student-athletes at postsecondary educational institutions. Provides that a postsecondary educational institution shall prepare and post a notice detailing specified rights that student-athletes have under federal law and where a complaint may be filed for a violation. Provides that a postsecondary educational institution may not intentionally retaliate against a student-athlete for (1) making or filing a complaint, in good faith, about a violation of a student-athlete’s rights granted under any applicable statute, rule, or policy; (2) testifying or otherwise assisting in an investigation into a violation of a student-athlete’s rights granted under any applicable statute, rule, or policy; or (3) opposing any practices that the student-athlete, in good faith, believes are a violation of a student-athlete’s rights granted under any applicable statute, rule, or policy. Provides that each postsecondary educational institution offering athletic programs for student-athletes shall hire or appoint an ombudsperson, independent of the athletic department, who may be an employee, to provide specified support to student-athletes. Creates the Commission on College Athletics to pursue research and recommendations and monitor athletic programs at postsecondary educational institutions. Sets forth other duties of the Commission and the membership of the Commission. Requires the Board of Higher Education to provide administrative and other support to the Commission and adopt rules.

* Here’s another bill from Leader Buckner

Creates the Higher Education Violation Reporting Act. Provides that each public and private institution of higher education shall maintain a report publicly reporting actual findings of violations by any student organization, athletic team, or living group of the institution’s code of conduct or anti-hazing policy or State or federal laws relating to hazing or alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, or physical assault. Provides that an institution of higher education shall provide hazing prevention education to employees. Provides that if an employee or volunteer at an institution of higher education has reasonable cause to believe that hazing has occurred, the employee or volunteer shall report the incident. Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. In provisions concerning hazing, provides that a person commits hazing when he or she knowingly requires the performance of any act by a student or other person in a school, college, university, or other educational institution of this State for the purpose of induction or admission into or maintenance of membership in (instead of only for the purpose of induction or admission into) any group, organization, or society associated or connected with that institution if the act meets certain requirements; makes changes to the requirements. Provides that an act may be considered hazing regardless of whether the student or other person is willing to participate in the act. Effective July 1, 2024.

* Sen. Natalie Toro…

To ensure employees are not treated differently in the workplace or passed over in the hiring process due to their caregiver role, State Senator Natalie Toro is working to amend the Human Rights Act to protect people with family responsibilities from discrimination.

“Just because a person has external obligations to support their family does not mean they aren’t capable of successfully doing these jobs,” said Toro (D-Chicago). “Assuming differently without any demonstrated proof that their performance has changed is discrimination and should be banned by state laws.”

Currently, there are no laws protecting employees who are also caregivers from differential treatment, including offering lower wages, preventing advancement opportunities, or even terminating employment. These actions are often the result of employers’ biased assumptions that any employee who has family obligations outside of work must be unreliable, uncommitted and less valuable, regardless of actual job performance. This often disproportionately impacts pregnant people, working mothers, people of color and low-wage earners who are already financially vulnerable.

To better protect caregivers, Senate Bill 2616 would make it a civil rights violation for employers to retaliate against a person who speaks out about discriminatory actions they believe to be based on their family responsibilities. The measure would also expand the definition of harassment to include protections for people with family responsibilities.

“No one should be treated differently at work after they have a child or step up as a caregiver for family members,” said Toro. “This law will ensure that workers’ livelihoods are protected as they navigate the responsibilities within their lives.”

Senate Bill 2616 awaits discussion in the spring legislative session.

* HB4257 from Rep. Anna Moeller

Amends the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963. Establishes procedures for serving a search warrant upon foreign corporations that are electronic communication services and remote computing services allowing a search for records that are in the actual or constructive possession of a foreign corporation that provides electronic communication services or remote computing services to the general public, if those records would reveal: (1) the identity of the customers using those services; (2) data stored by, or on behalf of, the customer; (3) the customer’s usage of those services; (4) the recipient or destination of communications sent to or from those customers; or (5) the content of those communications. Provides that, when properly served with a search warrant issued by an Illinois court, a foreign corporation subject to this provision shall provide to the applicant all records sought pursuant to that warrant within 8 business days of receipt, including those records maintained or located outside the State. Provides that a foreign corporation seeking to quash the warrant must seek relief from the court that issued the warrant within the time required for production of records. Provides that the issuing court shall hear and decide that motion no later than 8 days after the motion is filed. Provides that no cause of action shall lie against any foreign or Illinois corporation subject to this Section, its officers, employees, agents, or other specified persons for providing records, information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with the terms of a warrant issued pursuant to this provision. Provides that this provision does not apply to corporations that do not provide electronic communication services or remote computing services to the general public.

* Rep. Amy Elik’s HB4255

Amends the Illinois Vehicle Code. Allows the use of red, blue, and white oscillating, rotating, or flashing lights on tow trucks.


Get it together, man

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* More background is here if you need it. Last month

Ald. Bill Conway is crying foul after Johnson’s administration said they would have the city remove the tents in which people are sleeping [in West Loop homeless encampments] only if Conway voted in favor of two pillars of the mayor’s progressive policy agenda.

The conflict between Conway and [top Johnson adviser Jason Lee] begins with the encampment near Union and Ogilvie stations, which Conway said is a trouble spot for drugs and violent crime in the ward. Two recent shootings in the area have exacerbated his concern.

* Press release today from Ald. Conway

Late last night, a man was fatally shot near the corner of Lake and Clinton Streets downtown, immediately adjacent to a dangerous area under the viaducts and a CTA Green Line stop, Ogilvie Transportation Center, and Union Station. The incident is currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and follows a string of violent crime in the area which was once a peaceful encampment but has become a magnet for violent crime and drugs. This past Friday, CPD arrested a man with an illegal loaded gun and $60,000 worth of heroin and crack cocaine in the 500 block of West Lake St.. In recent weeks, there have been two other shootings, multiple armed robberies, and numerous overdoses. […]

On Friday, just hours after CPD arrested someone with an illegal loaded gun and $60,000 of heroin and crack cocaine under the viaducts, the Mayor’s Office responded to area residents who had repeatedly begged the City to address crime with a stock letter restating their misrepresentation that this area was merely a peaceful encampment - noting that, “homelessness is not illegal” - rather than recognizing it has turned into a magnet for violent crime and drugs. The unfortunate response also disregarded the fact that for some time now, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) hasn’t been able to get anyone to accept their offer for rapid rehousing and has been referring cases to CPD – because it isn’t safe, for anyone.

* Meanwhile

There were nearly 4,900 robberies between July 1 and Nov. 26, an increase of more than 55% compared to the total for the previous five months. That’s the largest increase in robberies between consecutive five-month periods since at least 2001 — the earliest year tracked in the city’s online crime portal. […]

A Chicago Police Department statement didn’t address potential reasons for the spike but said since July, the department has enhanced its efforts to combat robberies, resulting in a 25.8% increase in robbery arrests compared to the same period in 2022, according to its data. […]

Overall, total robberies in the city are lower compared to where they were from 2001 to 2013, and again in 2016 and 2017, when robbery totals surpassed 10,000 each year. But with more than 8,700 total robberies reported through late November, the city is on pace to see the most robberies since 2017.

* Other stuff…

    * CWB | Chicago cops didn’t file a report, watched TV in squad car after random attacker killed man on Mag Mile: Moments after a River North man was randomly attacked on the Magnificent Mile this summer, an assault from which he would die days later, the assailant and two witnesses walked up to a Chicago police squad car parked on the Magnificent Mile. The cops inside the vehicle were watching a television show on a tablet. The officers let the attacker walk away, and the investigation found that they didn’t file a standard report to document their encounter with him. Other officers failed to file a basic initial case report, a step that would ordinarily launch an investigation by detectives. Those are some of the allegations laid out in a Chicago Police Department Bureau of Internal Affairs summary report that recommends suspensions of between two and five days for the cops. All of the officers are entitled to fight the allegations through a grievance or arbitration.

    * Sun-Times | Who should decide the fate of Chicago’s most serious police misconduct cases?: A City Council panel today could allow the main union for cops to contest firings and long suspensions behind closed doors.


Question of the day: 2023 Golden Horseshoe Awards

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2023 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Democratic State Senate Staff Member goes to Selena Gorman

While there are many rockstars that deserve this accolade, this year’s GH should go to Selena Gorman for her 3+ decades of service to the Senate Democratic Caucus. Despite all of the ups and downs, Selena has been steadfast in her commitment to serving the caucus and the legal staff. I do not know how Giovanni will survive without her! She will be missed dearly.

Gorman was most definitely the strongest crowd favorite.

Runner-up is Brandy Renfro. Honorable mention goes to Mary Hanahan.

* The 2023 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Republican State Senate Staff Member goes to Brad Carlson

He manages to stay modest, friendly, and grounded even in the heat of session. He’s been around a long time and seen a lot, but doesn’t expect rose petals thrown at his feet because of it. Knowledgeable but not an egghead…stays practical and pragmatic.

How can you not give him the win after a nomination like that? Solid.

Runner-up is Cheyenne Scaife. Honorable mention goes to Scott Kaiser.

Congratulations to all!

* On to today’s categories…

    Best Democratic State House Staff Member

    Best Republican State House Staff Member

To be clear, this category also includes campaign staff. Please explain your nominations or they won’t count. Also, do your very best to nominate in both categories.

* We raised about $10,000 yesterday to buy Christmas presents for foster children. Amazing. Thank you so very much.

As I write this, contributions have totaled $50,882 since last Tuesday, which is enough to help Lutheran Social Services of Illinois purchase 2,035 gifts.

Think about that for a second. Your generosity means more than 2,000 foster kids will receive a Christmas present this year. I’m just blown away by that and I hope you are, too.

Sometimes, these gifts cost more because some kids need winter coats or boots. So, let’s keep this going. The total LSSI goal is at least $63,250. Please, click here and help make it happen if you possibly can. Thanks!!!


Chicago politics gets even messier

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I told subscribers about most of this on Tuesday

Democratic Chicago Ald. Scott Waguespack is going to run as a write-in candidate for the 32nd Ward committeeman seat that he currently holds.

Here’s why: The only guy in the race, Ishan Daya, was caught on video recently tearing down a poster in New York City of an Israeli hostage being held by Hamas.

“Many party members have objected to him based on his actions,” Waguespack told Playbook, adding, he’s filing to run as a write-in after initially planning not to seek reelection. Waguespack had endorsed someone else for the post, but that person didn’t file on time — leaving Daya as the only one in the race. Now Waguespack is back in. […]

20th District state Senate race: After the video of Daya went public, he stepped down as a co-host of a fundraiser for Graciela Guzman, a progressive challenging incumbent state Sen Natalie Toro in the Democratic primary. The war is now a talking point in the race, with Guzman condemning Daya’s actions, and Toro calling them out as “hateful and antisemitic.”

I mean, we’ll see, but it’s not like Waguespack has a ton of friends these days. And his bumbling with his preferred replacement is what caused this to be a one-person ward race to begin with.

Anyway, the video is here, but be careful if you’re at work. Click here for Daya’s statement. Subscribers know more about other reactions and responses. And there’s more at that other link about a couple of congressional primaries.

Take at least one deep breath before commenting, please. Thanks.


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Open thread

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* What’s going on in your part of Illinois?…


Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: An Illinois Senate candidate denies falsifying concealed carry certificates. Rockford Register Star

    -Republican candidate Juan J. Reyes filed nominating petition paperwork in an effort to win state Sen. Steve Stadelman’s seat in the 34th District.
    - AG Kwame Raoul issued a news release on Friday, days ahead of an election filing deadline, announcing that Reyes was facing charges in Ogle County of forgery, a Class 3 felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
    - Illinois State Police officials accuse Reyes of falsifying certificates by claiming applicants had completed the required 16 hours of training when they had not.
    -Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charges.

* We’ve reached our fundraising goal to give Christmas presents to foster kids!

* Isabel’s top picks…

* Here’s the rest of your morning roundup…


Live Ed Burke Trial Coverage

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* These new feeds do not update instantly. There’s a bit of a lagtime and you have to refresh the page every now and then. The service we’re using may also not last long. We just can’t give you any guarantees. You can still click here to follow the Ed Burke trial on Twitter. Posts without a Twitter author name below them are from online news sources via Bing


Live coverage

Thursday, Dec 7, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Live coverage is back, sorta. This will be different than the old Scribble Live feed because Twitter broke itself and almost everything else it touched. These new feeds do not update instantly. There’s a bit of posting lagtime, but it’s much better than nothing. We are also limited to just 20 Twitter sources. The service may also not last long. We just can’t give you any guarantees about this. You can still click here or here to follow breaking news the way we’ve done since Twitter stopped Scribble Live from working…


* It’s just a bill
* Get it together, man
* Question of the day: 2023 Golden Horseshoe Awards
* Chicago politics gets even messier
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live Ed Burke Trial Coverage
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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