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Some of what you can expect this week

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

* Hannah Meisel

As lawmakers return to Springfield Wednesday … GOP leaders are calling for hearings on Pritzker’s executive power after conservative House members have filed lawsuits against the governor and his stay-at-home orders.

From yesterday’s news media briefing

Do you think there should be legislation passed this week during session to further clarify your powers under the stay at home order extension or also your reopening plan?…

    I think that we’re on a good path, we’ve got a Restore Illinois plan, and that puts us on a good path to reopen it. And so I think existing legislation has been good enough.

    So I’m not seeking anything from the legislature. And to be honest with you, there’s so little time that the legislature is likely to be in session here, I think it’s going to have to be focused on the very basics like a budget.

* Politico

Legislation concerned with renewable energy and ethics reform appear to be on ice this spring, according to lawmakers’ list of priorities obtained by Playbook. And a measure meant to tweak a 2019 bill authorizing a Chicago casino seems to share the same fate.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot remains optimistic. “Advancing the Chicago casino is still a top priority for the administration, and we continue to work diligently to ensure that legislation becomes a reality as quickly as possible,” a spokeswoman told Playbook Monday night in an email. “While the mayor does not have plans to travel to Springfield, we look forward to working with state lawmakers next week on not only the gaming bill but also additional revenue measures to bring resources to the city.”

The casino legislation isn’t mentioned among priorities for the legislative session happening this week. Neither is the Clean Energy Jobs Act, which would raise Illinois’ renewable energy target to 100 percent by 2050, or ethics legislation. High-profile legislation promoting data privacy, a cash bail ban, property tax reform and an independent redistricting commission also seem to be off the table for now.

“Legislating is now going to take creativity and resilience and the ability to put aside your own fears and anxieties and focus on the bigger picture,” Rep. Ann Williams, who has championed the Clean Energy Jobs bill, told Playbook.

Williams’ legislation had gained momentum in January and February, but it doesn’t fit the criteria for legislation during this abbreviated session.

It’s pretty simple: Along with the budget, lawmakers will focus on Covid-19 response issues such funding for remote learning days for students, speedy trial requirements in an emergency, telehealth access, a sales tax deferral program, delaying interest accrual on property taxes, delaying implementation of the hotel panic button legislation, and a measure supporting frontline health care and essential workers.

Lawmakers will also spend some time deciding the ballot language of the graduated income tax amendment voters will weigh in November. Democrats see it as the most important contest in the General Election while Republicans are trying to withdraw the measure outright.

Some folks in the Senate were pushing a Chicago casino, but with just three days to get stuff done, it looks like a goner to most eyes.

* SJ-R

With more than two months to catch up on, but only three days to meet, lawmakers will hope to pass essential bills while minimizing the risk of spreading the novel virus.

The Senate will meet at the Capitol and the House will meet at the Bank of Springfield Center. Public and media access will be significantly limited while everyone must wear face coverings and keep a six-foot distance from others.

Lawmakers and staff are asked to self-isolate for seven days after adjournment, meaning May 30 would be the earliest they could reconvene.

The spring legislative session ends May 31. Convening after that deadline would need another special session proclamation and any legislation passed requires a three-fifths majority vote.

* Sun-Times

For state Rep Darren Bailey, the decision to not wear a face covering when the General Assembly returns to Springfield this week is about making a point to “Chicago legislators.” […]

“These Chicago legislators are making more of a deal of wearing a mask in Springfield than they are about, you know, getting this $7.2 billion deficit that we’re staring at with our budget,” he said.

Bailey sits on two appropriations committees, but has never so much as co-sponsored an approp bill. And he won’t even be allowed inside the building without a mask. So, yeah, I totally believe he wants to get down to legislative business. Totally.

* Zorn

Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, also mentioned as a possible bare-face, said he’s now thinking this form of protest won’t be such a good idea.

Although Miller said mask wearing “is kind of a running joke” in his district, he worries that any sort of display of that sentiment “will become the story of the day, and not the real issues that we need to be speaking to,” which he then went into at great length. About masks he added, “This isn’t the hill I want to die on.”

Rep. Miller (no relation) is right. If you grandstand like Bailey, you’re locked out of the process. And, setting aside the safety issue for a moment, it’s also disrespectful to suburban Republican colleagues up for reelection this year because it’ll help brand the GOP as anti-mask zealots.

* From the House…

In cooperation with the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association, a limited press pool will be established for each special session day. Public safety and observation of public health guidance will be guiding principles for these special session days.

The pool will consist of 5 reporters Seats will be assigned in southwest section of the mezzanine at the Bank of Springfield Center. Every person entering the BOS Center will be required to have their temperature taken, wear a mask or face covering, and observe social distancing

Pool members will be asked to provide pool notes to a centralized location for distribution to media interested in these sessions. We will work to establish a mutually agreeable distribution point

* Senate instructions to reporters…

Only legislators, staff and media on a building access list will be allowed through the north doors. Your Secretary of State media credential badge is required for entry.

Please enter through the north doors. EMS personnel will be on the exterior north patio to take your temperature prior to building entry. Pursuant to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, those individuals exhibiting a temperature of 100F degrees or greater and/or other COVID-19 related symptoms will be turned away.

As I told subscribers today, Blue Room Stream is going back to subscriber-only streaming access. So, if you don’t want to trust the General Assembly’s sometimes clunky system during what will probably be a period of high usage, you’d better click here and pay the bill.

* Related…

* Illinois Legislature to Meet for First Time in Months

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    “it’s also disrespectful to suburban Republican colleagues up for reelection this year”

    I haven’t noticed this to be a strong concern for most Eastern Bloc/Trumpy Republicans in this state. I think back to when Skillicorn told his opponent to consider joining the Democrats in his victory statement. Party building is not exactly their top priority right now…loyalty to the president is.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    If Mr. Miller is looking at the process to the politics, then it’s also a tell that anything surrounding what he’s done up to session has been politically calculated too.

    Don’t tell the zealots they’re being played, let them think Mr. Miller is still a believer, but sacrificing for a greater good.

    How did Leader Durkin go about the Easter Bloc, 51st state ridiculousness.. you know, without calling them wholly out… that’s right… “allow it, it’s show business”

    The Eastern Bloc phonies are on brand again.

  3. - DuPage Saint - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:10 pm:

    Why would legislators be asked to quarantine for 7 days? Would that do any good? I thought 14 was magic number

  4. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    A handful of lobbyists I know planned to be in Springfield. I’ve talked most of them out of it. Absolutely pointless.

  5. - Morty - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:13 pm:

    These Chicago legislators are making more of a deal of wearing a mask in Springfield than they are about, you know, getting this $7.2 billion deficit that we’re staring at with our budget,” he said.

    Well…couldńt he just..-wear a mask and make it a non-issue?

    Unless, of course, HÉS the one making it an issue.

  6. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:18 pm:

    ===I thought 14 was magic number ===

    This is a novel coronavirus. It’s new. Doctors are learning as they go. The advice has changed.

  7. - JoanP - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:18 pm:

    So Bailey is willing to risk exposing other people to a serious, often fatal, illness so that he can “make a point”.


  8. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:24 pm:

    “Although Miller said mask wearing “is kind of a running joke” in his district,”

    Not shocking that respect for other people and their health is a running joke for this dude.

  9. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:26 pm:

    is about making a point to “Chicago legislators.”

    And his point is that he doesn’t care whether other people live or die. Pretty clear.

  10. - Jibba - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    Also, nothing on voting by mail, or all-mail elections in pandemics?

  11. - Still Waiting - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    A little over a week ago I masked up and went to the Rural King closest to Chris Miller’s home for some necessities. I was surprised and pleased to see at least 85% of the people in there were wearing masks. And actually, around here, he’s the “running joke.” Not all of us living here are blockheads.

  12. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:38 pm:

    “For state Rep Darren Bailey, the decision to not wear a face covering when the General Assembly returns to Springfield this week is about making a point to “Chicago legislators.”

    Virtue screaming to Trump and my voters is more important than your life and health. If you’re scared, you’re a government slave. Just calm down and pop some hydroxy.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    Here’s exactly what I know about what’s ahead to the governing this week;

    Up till now, the Hateful Eight have used phony attempts to put forward a narrative of “fighting for… “ whatever the zealots are screaming about (golf, fishing, religion) and it’s gone relatively unchecked, including by lower courts.

    Now… actually facing colleagues, the sunshine of what they do having political fallout that is *gasp* damaging to *them* or the old, angry, white, and some rural… they will pivot with the bend as “victims”, knowing full well if they go “full Covidiots”, they lose more than they plan on risking.

    I know this.

    They’re telling me this.

    The sad irony is Leader Durkin has ceded much of the moral compass to the Hateful Eight, rarely going after them, but trying to marginalized the bad they bring, meaning the “few” racist signs, anti-Semitic protesters, the national socialist words… see, what’s happening is… by tempering themselves, they say it’s for a bigger picture, but in reality it’s to keep HGOP leadership in the box so they can do what the Hateful Eight do best… and not get called on their… “stuff”

    As long as they can keep Leader Durkin from having to publicly, personally, caucus-wise, calling them out for the things they do… what’s wearing a mask in that big picture?

    Here, some think that support the Hateful Eight this is about “freedom, ‘merica, and the Trump party.”

    It’s not.

    It’s keeping their upper hand … to do their show business.

  14. - Arock - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 1:59 pm:

    Be a grown up and wear a mask and practice social distancing as you don’t have the votes or science on your side to over ride this guideline. Work on getting the large regions that have been put in place for the reopening reduced in size and expanded in numbers. It was a mistake to shut the whole state down at once and should have been done as needed. Much of the economic hurts in more rural areas could have been curtailed if sensible protocols would have been put into place as possible exponential cases were indeed possible in an area. The Governor does not have all the answers and that is why the legislature should have found a safe way to meet earlier in this pandemic and give more a voice.

  15. - Mama - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:06 pm:

    For state Rep Darren Bailey - When you are in the state capital building, remember you work for what is best for the state of IL and its citerzens, not Trump.

  16. - Demoralized - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    ==Much of the economic hurts in more rural areas could have been curtailed if sensible protocols would have been put into place as possible exponential cases were indeed possible in an area==

    They don’t want to follow the sensible protocols now.

  17. - Elliott Ness - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Durkin really has no control over these idiots, he clearly does not agree with them, but they are members of the caucus and like McSweeney they are not part of the solution and do nothing but cause the GOP to fall further in the minority. Exactly WHAT (be specific) should Durkin “do”….if it is to “call them out”, what does that really do? They have no credibility nor do they have the respect of their colleagues- that is what is happening to them and Durkin knows that and he has no power to stop them just as Madigan couldn’t stop ken Dunkin from being a boil. All this “Durkin” stuff is silly

  18. - Pundent - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:46 pm:

    = All this “Durkin” stuff is silly:=

    Right now we’re hearing from Bailey, Cabello, and Miller a lot more than we are from Durkin and that is a problem for the party as it ends up defining the party.

  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    === Durkin really has no control over these idiots===

    Oh. They know that, lol… it’s so obvious, it’s quite the silly thing. While the Hateful Eight make it all but impossible to build the GOP brand with women, or in the collar counties, Leader Durkin has made it abundantly clear, the Hateful Eight, at their choosing, have the moral compass of the caucus. Like you said, Leader Durkin can’t control them… and they know it, they relish it too.

    === Exactly WHAT (be specific) should Durkin “do”….if it is to “call them out”, what does that really do?===

    Saying that a super minority of a minority of protesters are holding racist, anti-Semitic, national socialists signs… is not holding accountable those thinking it’s fine and acceptable to speak in front of those signs.

    If you think that’s trivial, ask yourself, why aren’t others speaking in front of these groups? Could it be the crowd attending? It’s not an accident that when you only show distain for the crowd, you’re not holding accountable the speakers TO that crowd.

    === Madigan couldn’t stop ken Dunkin from being a boil.===

    That was a voting/policy boil, and actually helping Dems as a caucus rally. If anything, Dunkin helped Dems in ways like uniting labor like never before.

    The Hateful Eight, even accidentally, aren’t helping the GOP, they are framing the GOP everywhere else for more and more problems beyond 2020.

    - Elliott Ness -

    Worry not, outside you reading this and me typing it, the ears are deaf to my criticism, which is a plea to Leader Durkin that he needs help, and taking it to these Hateful Eight, while it could be “Leadership Ending”… Leader Durkin is a good man I respect, and showing a little backbone against these guys will pay off after 2020 and beyond.

  20. - Elliott Ness - Tuesday, May 19, 20 @ 3:10 pm:

    Willy- we will agree that Durkin is a good man and agreed it is past time to call these idiots out, using his caucus leaders. Action cannot be soft. Time to isolate them and take away staff support, lock the door to caucus and call them out as the absolute embarrassment they are. That is what I mean by specific.

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This is not Facebook, so uncivil comments, profanity of any kind, rumors and anonymous commenters will not be tolerated and will likely result in banishment.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Pritzker thanks Dr. Ezike, extends financial protections, points to progress, says no more daily COVID-19 briefings - Calls Trump tweets "reprehensible" - "I want to send my condolences to the family of George Floyd, and also to every African American in this country" - Defends budget decisions - Credits Illinoisans for progress against virus - No bill signing ceremonies - Hopes testing progress continues - "It seems as if President Trump is withdrawing us from the rest of the world" - No out of state travel plans - Talks contact tracing - Asks Illinoisans to be careful during reopening - Will sign Medicare for undocumented seniors bill - Refuses to criticize Lightfoot for Trump comments - Talks about difficulties in securing testing locations - Dr. Ezike and Pritzker respond to question about what they've learned about themselves and leadership - "We're no longer in a stay at home order"
* 1,622 new cases, 86 additional deaths
* *** UPDATED x1 *** What in the heck is going on in Rockford?
* COVID-19 roundup
* All metro areas reporting record high unemployment rates
* School seclusion and restraint bill derailed after opposition
* Attorney DeVore asks appellate court to dissolve another TRO
* Question of the day
* Madigan issues new guidance to members, staff
* Architects abandon alternative reopening plan
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* House of worship attendance limit expected to be removed from stay at home order
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Sheriffs file suit against state for refusing to accept jail transfers
* Pritzker says IDPH has offered "suggestions" to churches - Says he's received "pushback" from some private nursing homes - IDPH will file new rule on nursing homes - Still looking at what to do about IDPH rule - Dodges question about Willie Wilson - Employers should use "common decency" when bring workers back - Will wait on feds before making any more budget decisions - Central Illinois hospitalization numbers improve - "We might potentially have to move backwards in the phases - "Not our intention" to make changes to Phase 4 guidance - No plans to dine at restaurant this weekend - No decision about ending daily briefing - Repeats that he has never encouraged police enforcement - Suggests GOP demand for IDES audit could be a "political move" - Still pondering school reopening - All testing is free - Asked about dangers of Legionella in large buildings - Testing and tracing metrics are "internal goals" - Points to federal rules on unemployment and workers who refuse to return - "Difficult for us to open theaters in the near future" - Dr. Ezike talks rules for malls - Dr. Ezike monitoring outbreak at county jail with ICE detainees
* Yesterday's stories

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