* Background is here if you need it. From the attorney general’s filing…
Pursuant to Illinois Supreme Court Rule 384, the Attorney General of the State of Illinois, Kwame Raoul, on behalf of Governor Jay Robert Pritzker, in his official capacity, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Illinois State Board of Education, Dr. Carmen I. Ayala, in her official capacity as the director of the Illinois State Board of Education, and Dr. Ngozi Ezike, in her official capacity as Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (“State Defendants”), hereby move this Court to: (1) transfer the above-captioned cases that are currently pending in the Circuit Courts of Kendall (No. 2021-MR-255), Macoupin (No. 2021-MR-91), Montgomery (No. 2021-MR-112), Sangamon (Nos. 2021-MR-1259 & 2021-CH-79), and Vermilion Counties (No. 2021-MR-432), to the Circuit Court of Cook County; and (2) consolidate those cases with the case currently pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County (No. 2021 CH 4914). In the alternative, the State Defendants respectfully request that the Court: (1) transfer the above-captioned cases that are currently pending in the Circuit Courts of Cook, Kendall, Macoupin, Montgomery, and Vermilion Counties to the Circuit Court of Sangamon County, and (2) consolidate those cases with the cases currently pending in the Circuit Court of Sangamon County (Nos. 2021-MR-1259 & 2021-CH-79).
Such relief is appropriate because these cases all challenge the executive orders and emergency rule issued by the State Defendants requiring students to wear face coverings while in school and/or requiring schools to exclude students from in-person learning if they come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19. These cases all seek similar declaratory or injunctive relief to nullify these requirements for students and school districts. Accordingly, transfer and consolidation would conserve resources, allow for a more efficient resolution of the cases, and avoid public confusion over the validity of the State Defendants’ actions to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Transfer to the Circuit Court of Cook County is warranted because the vast majority of the students who would be the subject of the sought relief are located in Cook County. Alternatively, Sangamon County is an appropriate forum as the venue of the first-filed case, and where counsel for the majority of the plaintiffs is already engaged in similar litigation against some of the State Defendants. In support of this motion, the State Defendants submit a supporting record and state the following.
- Posted by Rich Miller
Friday, Oct 29, 2021
* Daily Herald…
Preliminary state data released today confirms what many educators and parents predicted about the pandemic-impacted 2020-21 school year, but is not without hopeful signs.
Statewide, chronic absenteeism worsened, fewer students met grade-level expectations in English language arts and mathematics and the effects of remote learning were hardest on minority students and English language learners, according to preliminary and partial 2021 Illinois Report Card data released Friday morning. […]
Preliminary spring testing data from most schools statewide show steep declines in students attaining proficiency in math and English language arts across grade levels — 17.8% and 16.6%, respectively.
Among English learners, the decline in meeting standards was stark, 51.5% in English language arts and 54% in math. Similarly, low-income students saw a 31% drop in English and 38.7% dip in math, while special needs students saw declines of 30.4% in English and 23.5% in math.
The data show larger decreases in proficiency among younger students who likely struggled more to engage in remote learning than their older peers, officials said
Click here to see the data.
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 14,616 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 183 additional deaths since reporting last Friday, October 22, 2021. Of Illinois’ total population, 69% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and 54% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated.
Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,695,524 cases, including 25,771 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Since reporting on Friday, October 22, 2021, laboratories have reported 796,018 specimens for a total of 35,288,616. As of last night, 1,256 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 281 patients were in the ICU and 133 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from October 22-28, 2021 is 1.8%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from October 22-28, 2021 is 2.2%.
A total of 15,542,790 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of last midnight. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 49,742 doses. Since reporting on Friday, October 22, 2021, 348,196 doses were reported administered in Illinois.
*All data are provisional and will change. Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.
Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.
* NBC 5…
A suburban community has announced that it will no longer abide by the terms of a mask mandate issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, saying that masks will now be optional in businesses.
Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson made the announcement this week. He says that the village has been following science, and is now acting to make masks optional as the number of COVID patients in the community, and in the state, continue to decline.
“People are doing well, and I think a bigger reason than that is that people are getting vaccinated,” he said. “As I’ve been saying since January, ‘vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate,’ and it’s working.”
According to the latest data from IDPH, 67.33% of Elk Grove Village residents who are eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, with just over 70% of residents having received at least one dose.
As we head into the holiday season, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is issuing updated guidance to help people celebrate more safely as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Last year, many people held off getting together with family and friends during the holiday season due to the pandemic,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “This year, we have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect against severe illness due to COVID-19 that will allow friends and families to more safely celebrate together. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your friends and family, and your community, but there are other actions you can take to celebrate more safely.”
Travel safety considerations:
• Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated, or wait until you get a booster shot if eligible
• If you’re not fully vaccinated, test 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after traveling
• Travel during off-peak times to avoid crowds
• Drive a private vehicle to reduce exposure to COVID-19
• If using public transportation, try to travel during non-peak times. Masks are required on/in all areas of mass transit
Guests and gatherings:
• Keep indoor gatherings small
• Arrange seating and other areas to allow for physical distance
• Increase air flow by opening windows and/or doors
• Avoid having people congregate, such as in the kitchen or at the buffet
• Clean and sanitize the kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas used by guests
People who are sick with fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, should not travel or gather for holiday events during that time.
More information on COVID-19 Holiday Season Safety can be found on the IDPH website at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/community-guidance/holiday-season-safety.html.
* The governor has threatened to veto this bill…
The Illinois General Assembly is advancing a proposal that would allow educators to be able to isolate for COVID-19 without having to use their sick days. Two amendments to the state school code will require all school districts, community colleges, and public universities to allow their employees ample paid leave to abide by “public health guidance, mandates and requirements issued by the Department of Public Health.” The amendments would also apply if an educator has a child who must isolate after virus exposure. The measure is headed to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk, where he will decide whether or not to sign it.
* Is Moderna Really Better Than Pfizer—Or Is It Just a Higher Dose? It’s possible that a good deal of the difference in the shots’ performance can be summed up with a simple phrase: More is better.
* Cook County prepares to roll out COVID vaccine for kids 5 to 11 pending federal approval
* Chicago aldermen pass Lightfoot’s $16 billion budget, buoyed by federal COVID-19 relief funds
* Upcoming plays work COVID-type scenarios into the plot
* Trick-or-Treating, Masks and More: Here’s the Halloween Guidance for Illinois
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Brenden Moore looks at the new congressional districts…
12th — This rural district covers Southern Illinois, including almost everything south of Interstate 70. It also includes some outlying portions of Metro East. This heavily Republican seat includes the homes of Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, and Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland.
* Here’s the district map. The purple district above it now belongs to US Rep. Rodney Davis. The red dot in the upper right corner is the location of Rep. Miller’s house…
* Ally Mutnick…
The new southern district is a combination of Bost’s and Miller’s current seats and a small rectangular arm just out of the northern border to grab Miller’s hometown of Oakland.
“They didn’t do that on purpose,” Bost joked, referring to the Democrats. “They didn’t draw that little area like that.”
Still, he said he plans to run no matter what, even if it meant challenging a colleague.
Miller, meanwhile, began to scurry away when POLITICO asked whether she is planning to run for reelection. A freshman who has faced repeated controversies, Miller perhaps leans more right than the other Republicans in the delegation. She has attended press conferences with the House Freedom Caucus, including one calling for the removal of two GOP colleagues from their committees: Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).
Still, when asked whether she was weighing running against one of her GOP colleagues over another, she suggested she wouldn’t be intimidated by the new maps.
“I have no idea,” she said, “but I can say I laughed when I read that they think they’re terrorizing me. Because I am not scared.”
Bost had $647K cash on hand, compared to Miller’s $432K.
*** UPDATE *** Bost…
U.S. Representative Mike Bost (IL-12) today announced that he is running for re-election in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District:
“With Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi running roughshod in Washington, D.C., Southern Illinoisans need a battle-tested conservative fighting for them now more than ever. Today, I’m proud to announce my candidacy for re-election in the 12th Congressional District. I have never wavered in defense of our constitutional conservative values; and I will always stand up for the hardworking families, veterans, farmers, and job creators of Southern Illinois who feel abandoned by the liberals in Washington.”
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Press release…
Today, Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman announced she intends to run for re-election to Congress in the newly drawn 6th District, where her current constituents make up more than 40% of the population, representing a plurality of voters.
“As someone born and raised on Chicago’s Southwest Side and a lifelong resident of its surrounding suburbs, fighting for workers, small businesses, and the middle-class in these communities is in my DNA, and that fight is not going to stop now,” said Representative Marie Newman. “Last year, we made history by bringing together a coalition of neighbors, working families, volunteers, and voters from every corner of our communities to stand up against decades-old Machine politics, billionaires, and deep-pocketed special interests — and, we are doing it again. I am proud to announce that I am once again running to represent the residents of Chicago’s Southwest Side and our neighbors in the surrounding west and southwest suburbs. The lion’s share of this new district is made up of the communities and residents I represent today and I look forward to continuing to serve them in Congress.”
“From our grassroots organizers to our door-knockers on the ground, our coalition is ready to deliver for the workers, working families, and communities of this new district. From Elmhurst to Orland Park, I’m looking forward to working with everyone to build a stronger, more equitable future for our residents of the new IL-06.”
Under the new congressional map passed by the Illinois General Assembly after midnight on Thursday, Illinois will have 17 members, just six of whom are women currently serving in Congress.
As of the end of last month, Casten had $1 million banked, compared to Newman’s $440,000. Both are progressive, but Newman would likely try to run to Casten’s left.
Some Casten allies have wondered if AIPAC or Democratic Majority for Israel, two pro-Israel groups, might get involved in a matchup because Newman was one of only a handful of Democrats who opposed funding the Iron Dome defense project earlier this year.
U.S. Congressman Sean Casten has released the following statement regarding the 2022 elections:
“Since the beginning of the redistricting process, I have never wanted to see friends run against friends. I believe the shared goal of every House Member is to maintain and expand our House majority and work on behalf of all constituents and community members who fought tirelessly to elect us. As I said last night, I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the 6th district as we work to make historic investments in climate action, and for families and workers.”
…Adding… Sun-Times has a brief blurb about yesterday afternoon’s problems passing a map…
Sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that the initial lack of votes on the third congressional map proposal is partly due to Casten putting pressure on some state legislators in his congressional district to improve the map in his favor — or oppose the third draft map, released Wednesday night, because it heavily favored Newman.
…Adding… From Frank…
She’s got the home field advantage, for sure.
…Adding… Those may be her precincts, but she didn’t do so great in the ones that were moved to the new 6th…
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Brenden Moore…
Illinois lawmakers approved gaming legislation Thursday that would allow for some betting on in-state college sports teams while putting a lid on local governments imposing “amusement push taxes” on video gaming terminals. […]
In the new bill, bets will be permitted on the final outcome of games but not individual performance. There is a July 1, 2023 sunset on the provision, meaning lawmakers will have to address it again in a few years if they wish to continue allowing the wagering activity. Bets must be made in-person.
Meanwhile, the proposal would prevent additional municipalities from enacting a “push tax,” which is placed on each bet made at video gaming terminals. Lawmakers have sought to put a lid on the practice, which they said would eat into revenue coming into the state. […]
However, the handful of cities, including Decatur, that have already enacted the tax will be grandfathered in, allowing them to continue collecting the tax, which has been subject to several lawsuits.
* Mitchell Armentrout…
Under the bill, which passed the state Senate 44-12 and the House 100-11, wagers on local college teams would have to be placed in person at a casino, limited to bets on the outcomes of games, not individual performances. The in-state ban would be reinstated in two years unless lawmakers pass another bill allowing it. […]
While the legislation will allow fans of DePaul and Northern Illinois to get in on the action, it won’t provide the betting boon it would if it allowed wagers outside brick-and-mortar casinos. The vast majority of legal bets in Illinois are placed online, accounting for upwards of 97% of the statewide handle, or the amount of money wagered. […]
Wintrust Arena would be allowed to open a sportsbook. While the 2019 gambling expansion allowed sports venues with capacities of 17,000 or more to open books, the South Loop home of the WNBA champion Chicago Sky only holds about 10,000.
Illinois residents would be able to sign up for sports betting accounts from their phones or computers beginning March 5, instead of doing so in person at a casino as required under the 2019 law. That so-called “penalty box” requirement, which was created to give casinos a head start on the industry over large online sports betting companies, originally had not been scheduled to expire until late 2022.
* Jerry Nowicki…
The bill also adds fire protection districts to the list of entities that can receive a charitable raffle license […]
The bill caps an annual fee that non-home rule municipalities can charge on video gaming terminals at $250, up from $25. […]
The bill also allows fraternal organizations, such as VFW posts and American Legions, to apply for gambling machine licenses, even if the municipality in which they reside has a local ban on them. Those provisions would not apply, however, to such facilities in Chicago and Cook County.
The bill also makes changes to the horse racing industry, loosening the requirements for the “Illinois Conceived and Foaled” racing program, such as allowing stallions owned by non-Illinois breeders to bring their horses to Illinois to breed with Illinois mares.
It also provides that semen from an Illinois stallion may be transported outside of the state.
I do believe that is the first time the phrase “semen from an Illinois stallion” has ever been posted on this-here website. Even so, let’s try to keep it clean in comments. Thank you kindly.
…Adding… Churchill Downs Inc. CEO Bill Carstanjen blamed the state for his company’s decision to sell Arlington International Racecourse to the Bears…
Carstanjen called the decision to sell Arlington “a comment on the archaic racing laws that really haven’t been changed in a material way in [Illinois] in 30-plus years, and no longer worked.”
In fact, those laws changed drastically in 2019 with the passage of a massive gambling expansion that allows horse racing tracks to become “racinos” with slot machines and table games as a means of supplementing dwindling purses for the state’s struggling horse racing industry. Churchill Downs had lobbied for that privilege for decades alongside other gambling interests, only to pass on the opportunity, blaming high taxes.
Carstanjen dismissed that legislation, saying “it wasn’t really passed in a form that was enough to make up for the racing paradigm in the state.”
So instead of investing in the 93-year-old track, the Lousiville-based corporation is opting to sell it to the Bears, who outbid a group led by former Arlington International Racecourse president Roy Arnold that wanted to keep the ponies running.
That is such hooey on Carstanjen’s part. The company didn’t want competition to Rivers Casino from a large and nearby racino.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Algonquin is one of several municipalities now looking to implement a local video gaming “push tax” before the Nov. 1 deadline. Click here.
*** UPDATE 2 *** The video gaming industry is now tracking 15 communities which may attempt to beat the Nov. 1 push tax deadline.
- Posted by Rich Miller
* Passed both chambers…
* SB 1169 - Narrowing of lawsuit opportunities with treble damages under Health Care Right of Conscience Act
* HB 370 - Parental Notification of Abortion repeal
* HB1769 - Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act
* HB3136 - Gaming bill [Story here]
* HB3401 - Midwife legalization
* SB0536 - Election omnibus
* HB1291 - Congressional redistricting
* SB1784 - Chicago elected school board clean up
* HB3666 - Energy trailer - prevailing wage on EV rebates
* HB307 - Revisory
* HB2778 - Education employee paid COVID-19 leave
* Passed Senate, pending in the House…
* HB3512 - Criminal justice reform update
- Posted by Rich Miller
* As subscribers know, Speaker Welch overcame one heck of a lot of objections today…
Democrat voting No: Guerrero-Cuellar.
Democrat not voting: Cassidy.
*** UPDATE *** I’ll post react as it comes in. Casten…
U.S. Congressman Sean Casten released the following statement regarding the congressional maps approved by the Illinois General Assembly:
“Each decade, our state assembly has an important constitutional obligation to ensure Illinoisans have congressional representation that reflects the vast geography and diversity of our state,” said Rep. Sean Casten. “I remain focused on fighting for my constituents as we work to make historic investments in climate action, families, and workers for the sixth district of Illinois.”
* Wasserman may not be wrong, but…
* Speaker Chris Welch…
I want to congratulate everyone who had a hand in this incredibly successful and historical veto session. We were able to ensure our state has effective tools to fight this pandemic. We repealed the final anti-abortion law on the books in Illinois. We provided incentives for electric vehicle manufacturers to ensure Illinois remains at the forefront of a clean energy future. And, we approved a historic map that offers a new coalition district for minority representation. This is the type of work the people of our state deserve. I want to thank my colleagues in the House and Senate, as well as the numerous advocacy groups and grassroots organizations who helped us achieve these momentous victories
* Sen. Barickman…
State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) released the following statement following the Illinois Senate’s vote to approve a new Congressional map:
“One things that’s become clear throughout the legislative process, is that Governor Pritzker and his allies have no interest in doing what is best for the people of Illinois. Governor Pritzker already broke his clear promise to voters when he signed two state legislative maps into law. Now as we’ve moved into the Congressional map process, Pritzker is not only going along with the gerrymandering process, he has been confirmed to be an active participant, through secret, closed-door meetings and backroom deals. The product of this broken process will take away choices from voters, further entrench politicians with extreme viewpoints, and disenfranchise people from one end of the state to the other.”
* Rep. Kelly Cassidy…
The evolution of this map resulted in two women I strongly admire getting short shrift. I am strongly supportive of the creation of a second Latino district and know that hard choices had to be made to accomplish that, but I couldn’t bring myself to support a process that left two strong women leaders’ voices out. As we work to ensure the map reflects the diversity of our state, it does a lot to accomplish that goal but falls short in terms of recognizing the need for more women in leadership roles as we watch the steady march towards the reversal of Roe v Wade.
* Illinois House Latino Caucus…
After a long, public process led by one of our own, Leader Lisa Hernandez, the Illinois House Latino Caucus applauds the historic congressional map passed by both chambers tonight. A product of notable collaboration, we are pleased this map will include a second district of significant Latino representation. This would be the first time in Illinois’ history that the Latino community can influence two congressional districts. If signed into law, this map will only add to Illinois’ reputation as being a model for the nation when it comes to minority representation.
- Posted by Rich Miller
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