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*** UPDATED x1 *** Senate, House plan to adjourn on April 8 next spring

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Both the House Speaker and the Senate President have said they want a shortened and lighter spring session next year. Well, click here for the 2022 Senate calendar. They start spring session on January 4 and will adjourn on April 8. Expect them to come back for a brief period in May to do the budget.

I’ve been covering Illinois politics since 1990 and the earliest adjournment I’ve ever seen was April 15 when Pate Philip ran the Senate.

*** UPDATE *** As expected, the House has the same schedule…


- Posted by Rich Miller   9 Comments      


Dale Righter leaving SGOP, will be replaced as chief of staff by Jenna Mitchell

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Press release

Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) announced today that long-time state legislator and current Senate Republican Chief of Staff Dale Righter will be departing his role in the Senate Republican Caucus to focus on building a practice in his hometown of Mattoon, IL.

McConchie also announced the elevation of current Deputy Chief of Staff Jenna Mitchell to the Chief of Staff post, effective when Righter departs on Nov. 12. Mitchell will become the first-ever female Chief of Staff for the Illinois Senate Republicans.

“I am grateful for Dale’s work leading and managing a substantial modernization of our Caucus’ operational structure, and helping to craft our legislative agenda,” McConchie said. “He is a trusted friend and colleague and I wish him much success as he pursues his expanded private sector opportunities. I am confident in Jenna’s ability to build upon the foundation Dale has laid and look forward to working with her in her new role.

“To work with, and on behalf of, the Senate Republican Caucus has been a treasure and blessed opportunity,” Righter said. “While I will be leaving my everyday work at the State Capitol, I will always cherish the memories of my time here and in the years to come, look forward to continuing the many lifelong friendships I have built. The future of this organization is made brighter by the prism of energy and ideas that Jenna will bring to the Caucus in her new role.”

“I had the honor of working for Dale during his time as a Senator and then with him in my role as Deputy Chief of Staff,” Mitchell said. “His mentorship and friendship have had a profound and positive impact. My years as a member of the Senate Republican Staff have ingrained in me a strong sense of duty to Leader McConchie, the members of the Senate Republican Caucus, and our incredible staff. I look forward to our next chapter and expanding on that which we have achieved thus far.”

After earning her B.A. in Political Science from Eastern Illinois University, Mitchell began her career in Illinois government in 2013 where she spent five years on the Senate Republican Appropriations Staff with a focus on education funding and capital infrastructure projects. In 2018, she took on the role of Director of State Relations at Northern Illinois University, then returned to the Senate Republicans as Deputy Chief of Staff in 2021.

- Posted by Rich Miller   10 Comments      


*** UPDATED x5 *** New congressional remap proposal posted online

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Click here for the new map. Click here for demographic data.

…Adding… That map was posted by the House. But I’m told the Senate will also post it on its website. Adding: The Senate copy has been posted.

…Adding… The bill language is here. It was introduced by Senate President Harmon.

*** UPDATE 1 *** In this version, US Reps. Chuy Garcia and Marie Newman are in the 4th CD together. That’s really bad news for Newman. Sean Casten is in the 6th CD.

Mary Miller and Mike Bost are still together in 12.

Adam Kinzinger and Darin LaHood are still mapped together in the 16th.

…Adding… Comparisons…


*** UPDATE 2 *** Here you go…


*** UPDATE 3 *** US Rep. Marie Newman…

For the past month, hundreds of diverse community members from Chicago’s Southwest Side and suburbs have attended and overwhelmingly voiced their opinion at every single public input opportunity held by the Illinois General Assembly on the proposed congressional maps. Even after attending every single hearing in large numbers and delivering hundreds of testimonies, letters, calls and witness slips from voices in the district, the most recently proposed map is a clear attempt to appease one person and a small handful of affluent insiders at the expense of workers and working families on Chicago’s Southwest Side and suburbs. Illinois residents deserve fair representation and a fair map that includes public input — not one that turns a blind eye to it. This map undoubtedly does not live up to what Illinois residents deserve.

The “one person” is Sean Casten.

…Adding… Perhaps not coincidentally, Speaker Welch’s mobile phone is being bombarded with angry calls and texts about the new map.

*** UPDATE 4 *** The Senate floor vote was strictly along partisan lines 41-18.

…Adding… Press release…

The Illinois Senate approved a new map of congressional boundaries that will ensure communities across Illinois receive fair and equal representation in Washington.

The boundaries are designed to comply with federal and state law and incorporate suggestions gathered during several public hearings, including the creation of a new district designed to give the state’s growing Latino population greater say at the ballot box.

“I want to thank those who participated in our hearings for their constructive input. This is a fairer map for it,” said Senate President Don Harmon, who sponsored the map legislation. “This map reflects the wonderful diversity of the people of the great state of Illinois.”

Population shifts over the last decade meant the number of residents in previous congressional districts were unbalanced, with major population differences from one district to another. In addition, the loss of a congressional district meant that each district also had to incorporate approximately 50,000 additional people. This map creates districts with nearly identical population counts in each district so that every community in Illinois has an equal say in Congress.

The proposed boundaries can be viewed at www.ilsenateredistricting.com. The measure now heads to the House for approval.

Under the leadership of Senate Democrats, this year’s redistricting process focused on gathering as much public input as possible, allowing for the diversity of Illinois to be reflected at every level of government. In addition to gathering feedback during public hearings, Democrats established the state’s first online map making portal so residents could draw and submit proposed boundaries for lawmakers to consider. Proposed maps drafted using other methods were also accepted via email at redistrictingcommittee@senatedem.ilga.gov.

*** UPDATE 5 *** Trouble…


- Posted by Rich Miller   63 Comments      


It’s been a whipsaw day for the remap

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Capitol News Illinois

During a meeting of the Senate Redistricting Committee on Thursday morning, Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said he expected the latest draft to be put into bill form later in the day. But he also said he expected that bill to be introduced first in the House, and as of midafternoon Thursday the House Redistricting Committee had not scheduled a meeting.

Just before 5 p.m. Thursday, House Redistricting Committee Chair Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, declined an interview request with Capitol News Illinois, noting she was working with fellow lawmakers.

“I don’t know yet,” she responded when asked if the maps would pass Thursday night or be delayed until January.

Part of the problem lawmakers face is the fact that, under the Illinois Constitution, any bill passed after May 31 cannot take effect until June 1 of the following year, unless it receives a three-fifths majority in both chambers. That’s 71 votes in the 118-member House, and 36 votes in the 59-member Senate.

And if three House Democratic members object, the bill can’t pass.

* But…


And Marty might be right.

Stay tuned.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Caption contest!

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* This is not the caption contest photo

The actual caption to the above photo

Mark and Patricia McCloskey gained instant notoriety after video of them waving and pointing guns at Black Lives Matter demonstrators from the front yard of their St Louis mansion spread across the internet.

* Yesterday

Republican Missouri Senate candidate Mark McCloskey told an audience last week he believes 13-year-old rape and incest victims should not be allowed to have abortions, stating he had a client who was raped at 13 but who gave birth to a child who now has a master’s degree.

* This is the caption contest photo…


- Posted by Rich Miller   59 Comments      


Protected: *** UPDATED x5 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Remap update

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* I didn’t even know that House Majority Leader Harris was an attorney…


* The Question: What should be “US Attorney” Harris’ first act on the job?

- Posted by Rich Miller   30 Comments      


After vote on nominees is stalled, Sen. Tracy warns that state could be without a legislative inspector general soon

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Press release…

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), in her role as Chairwoman of the Legislative Ethics Commission, called a meeting this morning to select a new Legislative Inspector General, but a vote was stalled by several Democrat members.

Current Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope has indicated she will resign that post as of Dec. 15, 2021.

Despite much effort, debate, and encouragement from the Republican members of the Commission, several Democrat members in attendance left the meeting before a vote was taken, and said they did not want to “rush the process.” Tracy said there are no legislative days left to confirm a replacement before the LIG’s resignation date.

Chairwoman Tracy released the following statement after the Legislative Ethics Commission missed its last opportunity to confirm a new LIG before the current LIG’s resignation takes effect.

    “Confirming a candidate before the approaching deadline is my top priority for this Commission to ensure that Illinois will continue to have a Legislative Inspector General. Unfortunately, that priority was not shared by some of the members of the opposition.

    Our search committee met expectations, interviewed multiple candidates and complied with the reasonable timeline that was outlined. We had ample opportunity to make a selection and I am disappointed that several of the Democrat members of the Commission did not commit to seeing this process through.

    Now, we are in a situation where in just six weeks, we could have complaints coming into the Commission and not have without a Legislative Inspector General in place to address them. Allowing this position to go unfilled is a major disservice to the people of Illinois who deserve an accountable and transparent government.”

Chairwoman Tracy said she intends to take all possible action, including asking the current LIG to extend her resignation date, to ensure that Illinois is not left without a Legislative Inspector General.

- Posted by Rich Miller   2 Comments      


Proposal would bar direct contributions to judicial campaigns from dark money groups and out-of-state sources

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* From the synopsis of Senate Floor Amendment 1 to HB716, the new elections omnibus bill

In provisions concerning limitations on campaign contributions for a candidate political committee for a candidate seeking nomination to the Supreme Court, Appellate Court, or Circuit Court, provides that the political committee may not accept contributions from any group that is not required by law to disclose the identity of its contributors or accept contributions from any out-of-state source.

Provides that “contribution” includes expenditures made by any person in concert or cooperation with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate, his or her designated committee, or their agents and the financing by any person of the dissemination, distribution, or republication, in whole or in part, of any broadcast or any written, graphic, or other form of campaign materials prepared by the candidate, his or her campaign committee, or their designated agents. Prohibits the making and accepting of anonymous contributions.

This is an obvious dig at Ken Griffin and folks like him as we prepare for the Supreme Court races. But those dark money groups and out-of-staters could still do independent expenditures.

- Posted by Rich Miller   12 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Quick remap update

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

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- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


One Central tries to get sneaky

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Recent Sun-Times editorial

The proposed developer of One Central Chicago, the megaproject planned for the Metra property west of Soldier Field, seems to be papering the town as of late with new renderings of the planned initial phase of the $20 billion effort.

The images are impressive, depicting a transit and entertainment hub featuring a series of sleek indoor and outdoor spaces devoted to restaurants, gatherings and other assorted happenings — all teeming with people and built on a 32-acre rail yard between the stadium and the Central Station development.

We like the images. But here’s one thing we don’t like: The project’s developer, Landmark Development, wants state taxpayers to ultimately buy the transit portion of the facility for $6.5 billion in 20 years.

Given the state’s perpetual shaky fiscal climate, the notion of forking over that kind of cash should’ve been run out of town on one of those nearby Metra rails when the One Chicago proposal started making the rounds two years ago.

* And then this happened…


Yep. It checks out.

* From the synopsis of Senate Amendment 3 to HB594

Amends the Public-Private Partnership for Civic and Transit Infrastructure Project Act. Changes the definition of “public agency” to mean the Illinois Finance Authority (rather than the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget). Provides that the public agency, in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, shall have the authority and shall take all necessary steps to enter into a public-private agreement with a private entity to develop, finance, construct, operate, and manage Civic and Transit Infrastructure Projects; provided that the final public-private agreement must be approved by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget prior to execution. Requires the public agency to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the public-private agreement is promptly negotiated with the private entity and that the public-private agreement is in substantially final form within 120 days following the effective date of the amendatory Act and to submit a report on the status of the public-private agreement to the General Assembly no later than 120 days following the effective date of the amendatory Act.

* Since Rep. Buckner’s tweet was sent, a brand new Senate Amendment 4 was filed. It’s identical to Senate Amendment 3, but without the One Central stuff.

…Adding… Greg Hinz

A spokeswoman for Lightford said the clause was part of a larger omnibus bill that she agreed to carry but which was not the senator’s idea. The spokeswoman referred further calls to a spokesman for Senate President Don Harmon, who had no immediate comment.

* Landmark Development…

The original legislation contemplated that the P3 agreement would be handled by Governor’s office or Management and Budget or an agency designated by the State. The amendment does nothing more than assign the IFA as the agency to administer the development of the P3 Agreement and report to the legislature on the status in 120 days. The P3 Agreement will require approval of Governor’s Office of Management and Budget so if anything this heightens “transparency” by having a second agency working on the development of the agreement

- Posted by Rich Miller   33 Comments      


The rest of the story

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Center Square has a story entitled “Pritzker calls concerns about changes to Right of Conscience Act ‘Facebook fakery’”

Pritzker Wednesday called some concerns “Facebook fakery.”

“It’s a very, very narrow adjustment that is focused only on COVID-19 and getting through this pandemic,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said the HCRCA is being “misinterpreted and used in court cases to try to allow people who just don’t want to get vaccinated, the anti-vaxxers, the anti-maksers, to avoid the rules.”

* The governor used the “Facebook fakery” response to this rather odd question from a mainstream media reporter

Governor, the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act. How is that not the proverbial camel’s nose under the tent? How many people are actually using the act to avoid vaccination? Is it really a problem? And are you just emasculating the Right of Consciousness [sic] Act by making these carve-outs?

Whew.

* Pritzker’s response

No, that’s Facebook fakery, that last part.

[cross-talk] The fact is that the law that we’re talking about, the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act, it kind of was never intended to cover a pandemic where we’re trying to keep people alive. This is a law that was passed decades ago that was intended, I think with good intention, to allow healthcare providers and people who work for healthcare providers to by virtue of their conscience, not provide services that they don’t want to.

That’s very different than someone refusing to get tested when they’re walking into a school. That’s not a health care provider. That’s just an individual just yelling out ‘Conscience!’ and saying, ‘I don’t want to do it!’ isn’t good enough. We have to keep people healthy and safe. That’s the whole purpose of the mitigations that we’ve put in place. The Healthcare Right of Conscience Act is being misinterpreted and used in court cases, to try to allow people who just don’t want to get vaccinated, or anti vaxxers, the anti maskers to avoid the rules.

We’ve got to get through this pandemic. So the Attorney General came to me and said that, you know, he believes that we should try to get a change in the law or, you know, adjustment to the law. It’s a very, very narrow adjustment that is focused only on COVID-19 and getting through this pandemic.

Also, the number of cases involving this law was reported by Hannah Meisel earlier in the week.

- Posted by Rich Miller   17 Comments      


Remap trouble

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* SJ-R

The Senate Redistricting Committee has scheduled a 9 a.m. hearing Thursday on proposed congressional redistricting maps. The full House and Senate could vote Thursday to finalize a new congressional map in legislation and send a bill to Pritzker’s desk.

* There’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes. Subscribers know more and I’ll hopefully have an update soonish, but this is the basic gist of some of it

But it’s far from clear this latest version of the map has the votes to pass. According to Springfield insiders, a problem has arisen, concentrated in the Latino caucus.

Details were not available, but multiple sources in Springfield and Washington report the split is severe enough that House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch may well be short of the 71 votes needed to approve the map now.

That in turn raises a real possibility the remap will be kicked over until the Legislature’s January session, when only 60 and not 71 votes will be needed.

Right now, it’s looking like January, which could be a very dangerous thing for the Democrats if the federal judiciary takes control.

…Adding… Not that the majority party cares, but…


…Adding… Tribune

After unveiling their third version of a state congressional map, Illinois Democrats were back at work Thursday to try to deal with concerns from suburban and Latino lawmakers.

Within hours of latest map’s release by Democrats late Wednesday night, internal criticism surfaced over how two Democratic incumbents were put into a single suburban district, and how some parts of the state’s lone Latino district were shifted into what could become a second Latino district. […]

Though creation of the district was applauded by the Latino Caucus of the Chicago City Council, some Latino lawmakers want a map that gives Garcia greater influence on the Southwest Side and nearby suburbs.

Subscribers know more.

- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


HCRCA amendment coverage roundup

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* WCIA

The Illinois House voted 64-52 on Wednesday night to alter the Health Care Right of Conscience Act to shield employers from civil suits if they enforce Coronavirus vaccine or testing mandates.

The Senate could send the measure to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk on Thursday. Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D-Illinois), who represents school districts and state agencies against lawsuits in court, was seen speaking with representatives moments before the debate began.

Several Republicans opposed the changes, arguing individuals should have rights to make health care decisions for themselves without being coerced by their employers.

The bill won’t take effect until June 1, 2022, but could still influence pending court cases.

* Capitol News Illinois

In floor debate, Gabel said the HCRC Act was initially passed “to preserve the ability of health care providers, including pharmacists, to refuse to perform or provide health services related to abortion and reproductive health care that violate their conscience.”

The reason for her bill was to clarify that existing law, she said, because it should not be applicable to mitigation measures aimed at slowing a deadly pandemic. Those with health care or religious concerns regarding mandate compliance can still access federal exemptions, she said.

“Contrary to rampant misinformation campaigns, this bill is not a vaccine mandate,” she said. “In fact, it does not require anyone to do anything. As the bill itself says, this is simply a declaration of existing law and shall not be construed as a new enactment.”

The only thing this bill really does is delete treble civil damages including for pain and suffering if an employee is disciplined for not following COVID-19 mitigations. It’s basically a tort reform bill.

* Tribune

Republicans blasted the effort as a continuation of Pritzker’s “unilateral authority” during the pandemic, a “backdoor” vaccination mandate and “an end run around the judicial branch.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is absolutely atrocious,” said Rep. Adam Niemerg, a Republican from Dieterich. “This is unbelievable we’re considering this on the House floor. This is not about the Health Care Right of Conscience. This is about the last 18 months and unilateral authority from the governor.” […]

“I want you to know that people have come into my office and said they get the flu shot every year,” said Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, a Republican from Jacksonville. “But they are concerned about this vaccine because it hasn’t been around for very long.”

Gabel often answered questions from Republicans opposed to the amendment by repeating her same talking points: The new measure was merely inserted into the right of conscience act to clarify the law, not change it. And the new measure “doesn’t affect any of their other rights under any other laws, particularly under federal law.”

* Sun-Times

Still, seven Democrats broke ranks on the measure to vote no, and another two Democrats voted present.

The proposed amendment to that law, sponsored by state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, is intended to make clear that public officials and private companies can impose COVID-19 requirements as part of conditions of employment.

Previous language in her amendment said those who don’t comply with the requirements could be fired, but that language was eliminated in a new amendment filed Wednesday — though officials and companies would still be able to “enforce” the COVID-19 measures or requirements and would not be considered in violation of the act.

Gabel said the removal of that language came from “feedback in committee.”

* WTTW

State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said the change will cause those who are hesitant or scared about getting vaccinated to dig in their heels.

He said the legislature is to blame because the General Assembly has avoided passing laws to fight COVID-19, relying instead on Pritzker to use his executive authority.

“We haven’t done our job for 20 months debating these nuances,” Batinick said.

- Posted by Rich Miller   20 Comments      


PNA repeal coverage roundup

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* Tribune

The House voted 62-51 to repeal a quarter-century-old law requiring parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion. The measure, approved Tuesday in the Senate, now heads to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who has expressed his support. […]

Those pushing for repeal of the 1995 abortion notification law say it does nothing to protect the most vulnerable young people — those living in unsafe and unstable households. Opponents of the repeal argue that parents shouldn’t be kept in the dark about their children’s well-being, particularly when they decide to have an abortion, though they also tied it to larger concerns about parental rights.

Supporters also are seeking to secure Illinois’ place as a stronghold for abortion rights that are being restricted in other states.

“Illinois is different,” said state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat who supported repeal. “In Illinois, we trust women to make decisions about their bodies. We trust people to control their reproductive health.”

* WCIA

Rep. Anna Moeller (D-Elgin), the lead sponsor of the proposal, described the Parental Notification Act as “the last anti-abortion law that we have on the books in Illinois.” Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), who sponsored the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, described the current notification law as a “gaping hole” in the state’s “firewall to protect reproductive health.”

Illinois Democrats have sought to respond to the recent abortion restrictions enacted in Texas. That law, which is being challenged before the U.S. Supreme Court, bans abortion after a heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks into the pregnancy and before most women know they are pregnant.

“Anti-abortion politicians all across the country are seeking to curb our access to abortion for anyone and everyone,” Cassidy said during floor debate. “They literally want to just force us all to keep every pregnancy to term regardless of what’s happening, regardless of the risks to our lives.” […]

“This is no easy, minor bureaucratic process,” Moeller said on the House floor. “This involves a young woman hiring an attorney on her own setting up a court date; finding a way to get to court standing in front of a judge in a courtroom that’s generally a venue for criminal activities; explaining why she’s pregnant; explaining why she needs to have an abortion, and why she can’t go to her parents to let them know about that.”

* Center Square

“I have reviewed and I know the medical evidence, and I know that forced parental involvement laws serve no valid purpose and can hurt young people and delay care,” said Dr. Erin King, executive director of the Hope Clinic for Women.

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said the legislation will allow some kids to bypass their parents.

“I think you are opening this up where supportive families will not be involved in these incredibly difficult decisions, and that is a major, major problem,” Davidsmeyer said.

With the law in place, minors are allowed to go through judicial bypass proceedings if a girl fears her family situation, where telling her parents could result in her harm. A judge then decides whether she is mature enough to decide for herself.

Retired Judge Susan Gillis presided over numerous judicial bypass proceedings as permitted by the current law.

“That law in my experience as a judge tasked with deciding these waivers is unnecessary, overly punitive and places burdens on young women seeking health care,” Gillis said.

* Sun-Times

In an impassioned speech opposing the bill, state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, said a vote for the repeal is not just “failing girls — it’s failing good parents.”

“We’re not talking about 17-year-olds exclusively who are months away from being 18, we’re talking about middle schoolers — potentially parents of middle schoolers — not having the right to know that their daughter is going through this and not having the foreknowledge to know what happens afterwards,” Bourne said.

The Legislature passed the Parental Notice of Abortion Act in 1995, but it didn’t go into effect until 2013 due to legal challenges. It requires a doctor providing care to a young person under age 18 who is seeking an abortion to notify a designated adult family member at least 48 hours before the procedure.

* WTTW

Cassidy said the notification requirement treats minors differently if they want an abortion rather than other forms of health and reproductive care.

“You can get pregnant. You can stay pregnant. You can give birth, you can have a C-section, you can give a child up for adoption, all without ever having anybody call your parent. To say that this is not about abortion, that this is about some high-minded protection for you all is a flat out lie,” Cassidy said.

* Capitol News Illinois

Opponents of the bill, however, argued that the issue is not about a pregnant minor’s right to seek an abortion but rather the right of parents to be involved in their child’s health care decisions.

“No abortion clinic should be able to perform irreversible surgery on either of my daughters without telling me,” Mary Hallan FioRito, an attorney with the Catholic Women’s Forum, told the committee. “At a time when there is so much division in our state, in our country, the Parental Notice of Abortion Act is a popular and broadly supported and reasonable safeguard that allows parents to properly exercise responsibility for the care of their children.”

* ABC 7

Planned Parenthood Illinois is one group supporting the repeal and said this is an especially important step at a time when reproductive rights are under severe attack across the country.

“By passing the Youth Health and Safety Act, Illinois has ensured that young people can choose to involve the people they trust in their health care decisions and are protected from harmful domestic situations and unnecessary judicial interactions. In short, all Illinoisans, regardless of age, now have the full legal autonomy to make decisions about what’s best for their bodies. We look forward to Governor Pritzker upholding his promise to sign this bill when it crosses his desk,” the organization said.

On the other side, Catholic Conference of Illinois was disappointed by the decision. They said in part that Wednesday’s “vote is and will be a tragedy for many families, young girls and so many unborn children. We pray for the day when every human life may be cherished from conception to natural death.”

At a time when abortion laws are getting tighter nationwide, Illinois is now one step closer to doing the opposite with this now headed to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s desk. The governor has previously said he supports it.

“As more states consider and adopt increasingly draconian bans on access to abortion service, Illinois stands out for recognizing that everyone should have the power to make decisions about their reproductive health without government interference. We encourage Governor Pritzker to sign this measure as soon as possible,” the ACLU said in a statement.

* I missed this quote during Senate passage

Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey says minors shouldn’t be able to get an abortion without talking with their parents first.

“I’m going to call it what it is…other than just an absolute godless mindset. What’s driving this — to allow a 12-year-old girl to make her own decision without the consent of her parents,” Bailey said.

“I simply cannot fathom the recklessness of a bill like this.”

It’s notification, not consent, but proponents of the legislation say the two are actually one in the same.

- Posted by Rich Miller   44 Comments      


Support Regulated Pet Stores And Defeat Puppy Mills

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Illinois families will soon be losing their opportunity to purchase dogs and cats from safe, highly-regulated local pet retailers, such as Petland, who offer their customers the choice of a pet that best fits their needs and provide health warranties. This change is coming because the state’s Animal Welfare Act has been updated through HB 1711 which bans the retail sales of dogs and cats obtained from licensed and regulated professional breeders.

But HB 1711 needs fixing, because while singularly blocking retail pet sales, it fails to strengthen any animal standards or protections at unregulated puppy mills across the state. Consumers looking for particular breeds will have no choice but to purchase dogs from unregulated breeders or dog auctions – thus perpetuating puppy mills. Responsible breeders and retailers will be heavily penalized while HB 1711 does nothing to address the issue of substandard breeders across the state.

Petland is dedicated to improving animal welfare and we have publicly demonstrated this commitment; in fact, we support the Humane Society’s petition effort to improve standards of care. Petland’s breeder pledge is a commitment to provide more space, more exercise, and more socialization for their pets plus numerous other improvements to standards of care.

Home - Protect Our Pets Illinois

- Posted by Advertising Department   Comments Off      


*** UPDATED x5 *** EV bill prospects looking up

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

* I’ve been telling subscribers about the glitches in the electric vehicle industry bill for a while now. As of last night, things were looking much better. It’s not completely there yet, however, and a formal deal has not been struck. But it does appear to be on track at least for now. Here’s Greg Hinz

In better shape at the moment is the [electric-vehicle manufacturing incentive] package, which would offer potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives aimed at luring electric vehicle makers and suppliers here to follow downstate’s Rivian—and at helping Ford’s South Side plant and the Stellantis facility near Rockford to make the transition from producing gas-powered cars to vehicles of the future.

After a long day of bargaining, insiders tell me a deal has been struck between the industry and labor groups that appears satisfactory to both sides.

The terms were not available, and nothing is done until it’s done. But I’m told that it looks good.

Unions have been asking for a “labor peace” agreement at any new EV facility, essentially clearing the way for unionization of plant workers. The industry had very, very strongly objected, and sent signals that such a clause would be a deal-killer.

On a related note, the folks at Rivian took me for a ride in their new truck yesterday. It’s pretty darned nifty. And, wow, is it ever fast. It accelerates from 0-60 in 3 seconds and that heavy torque makes it feel like riding in a space ship.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Looks like ABATE is getting its wish. From the synopsis to Senate Floor Amendment 2 to HB1769

In the definition provisions of the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act, removes electric motorcycles from an exclusion to the definition of “electric vehicle”.

*** UPDATE 2 *** The legislation is being teed up in the Senate for passage.

*** UPDATE 3 *** From ABATE…

Senate Amendment 2 was withdrawn in committee due to auto dealers objections.

Senate Amendment 1 was adopted with a promise to get Amendment 3 on the floor. Unfortunately amendment 3 doesn’t have motorcycle language in it, so we believe motorcycles are once again excluded.

Going to be an interesting evening

*** UPDATE 4 *** ABATE misread Amendment 3…

They ditched amendment 2 in committee because of objections from the auto dealers. So the language regarding manufacturing incentives and getting motorcycles included is right at the top of amendment 3. As well as the requested language from auto dealers.

*** UPDATE 5 *** ABATE…

ABATE of Illinois Congratulates Illinois General Assembly on Passage of Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act

Legislators show the path to growing electric vehicle industry is including all electric vehicles

ABATE of Illinois would like to congratulate the members of the Illinois General Assembly for passing the Reimagining Electric Vehicles in Illinois Act. This Act provides manufacturing incentives for electric vehicle companies and component manufacturers who choose to build their businesses in Illinois. It also makes changes to the procurement code, incentivizing government adoption of EVs. More importantly, this Act recognizes electric motorcycles as part of the electric vehicle industry.

ABATE thanks the many Senators and Representatives who realize the best path forward in growing the electric vehicle industry is to include all electric vehicles.

We would like to thank Senator Steve Stadelman for working on amendments to make sure motorcycles were a part of this future for Illinois, along with Senator Jason Barickman who advocated for motorcyclists during committee hearings on the bill.

ABATE would also like to thank Representative Dave Vella for talking with us and Rivian representatives about this legislation along with Representatives Stephanie Kifowit & Kelly Cassidy for their advocacy on the House floor.

With the passage of this Act, ABATE hopes to see electric motorcycles placed on equal footing as their four wheeled counterparts in Illinois transportation planning and incentives. ABATE will work with legislative partners and other advocacy groups to remove language contained in the recently passed Energy Transition Act that excluded electric motorcycles from participating in infrastructure planning and incentives. Senate Bill 2940 has bipartisan support and would treat motorcycles as equal. ABATE looks forward to continuing work with Illinois legislators on developing the future of Illinois transportation.

- Posted by Rich Miller   24 Comments      


Illinois: Tell Congress To Count All Copays

Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

Many patients in Illinois rely on copay assistance to access and afford their prescription medications, often in instances when no generic option exists. Recognizing the important role copay assistance plays for patients, Illinois took legislative action to prohibit health plans from instituting “copay accumulator” policies that don’t apply copay assistance towards patient out-of-pocket costs.

Illinois stood with patients then – and must do so again.

Illinois can show leadership by ensuring patients are protected from these policies and have the guarantee that their copay assistance will count. At a time when Illinoisans are struggling financially from COVID-19, the state should protect the broadest set of patients to help them access critical medications for conditions like cancer and HIV.

Patient advocates are calling for our leaders in Springfield to stand with patients. We hope they answer that call. Tell Congress to count all copays. Stand with patients and support HR 516.

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Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

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Thursday, Oct 28, 2021

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