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“Political violence is now coming from the mainstream”

Thursday, Jan 6, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune

They came from the city, the suburbs and from deep Downstate. Some allegedly conducted themselves like brawlers, others wandered around like tourists. All have come under the federal hammer.

Nineteen people from Illinois have been charged so far for allegedly taking part in the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Six have pleaded guilty. One has received a short jail sentence. […]

Robert Pape, a University of Chicago political scientist who just published an analysis of the more than 700 people charged in the incursion, said the variety of the Illinois defendants matches the national profile. His research found that those arrested are much closer to the average voter than they are to violent, right-wing extremists.

Such ordinariness, he said, is worrying.

“It shows us that this is not part of the fringe — this is part of mainstream America,” he said. “That means we have to be very concerned about the 2022 election season as a tinderbox. … There’s a big change that’s happened, and that is that political violence is now coming from the mainstream.”

Go read the rest if you can.

* Press releases are crowding my inbox. Let’s start with the governor…

Today, on the one-year anniversary of the January 6 Insurrection, Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement.

“One year ago, a vicious attack on American democracy left five police officers dead and scores of others severely injured. A violent mob of Trump supporters, fueled by the Big Lie and Trump’s allies, stormed the United States Capitol in an attempt to sabotage the transition of power––a transition that for centuries had been peaceful. Even after these insurrectionists were removed, most Republican lawmakers voted to thwart the will of the majority of voters.

As Americans, we have a sacred responsibility to stand up for democracy and hold accountable those who incited and carried out this attempted coup. We must not allow the Republican Party to rewrite history and sweep the events of January 6 under the rug. The preservation of democracy is not a guarantee, and our 245-year-old experiment in self-governance depends upon our ability to restore respect for our institutions and protect the will of the people as expressed by their votes.

Anyone seeking public office today should be able to forcefully denounce the actions of those who attacked the Capitol and, in no uncertain terms, proclaim that Joe Biden was the legitimate winner of the 2020 Presidential election, and that they will accept as legitimate the results of the 2022 midterm elections when all the votes are counted. Responding affirmatively to these questions must be a prerequisite for holding public office. Failing to do so puts the future of our great nation in grave jeopardy.

MK and I send our deepest condolences to the families of the Capitol Police Officers who lost their lives while defending our democracy on January 6. I promise to do everything in my power to ensure their sacrifices were not in vain.”

* DPI…

One year ago, our state and our nation witnessed one of the darkest days in American history as a coup attempt unfolded at the U.S. Capitol. It is unquestionable that Donald Trump and Republicans incited the violent siege after working to sow doubt in the results of the 2020 Presidential Election, spurring extreme distrust in our elections among angry Trump supporters, and allegedly helping to coordinate the “Stop the Steal” rally that sparked the violent riot.

In the year since, Republicans, including Republicans here in Illinois, have repeatedly failed to denounce the insurrectionists and extremism in their own ranks:

“Again and again, Illinois Republicans have demonstrated they just don’t care about what happened on January 6,” said Democratic Party of Illinois Executive Director Abby Witt. “They don’t care about the attack on our free and fair elections, they don’t care about the police officers who died or were injured on that day, and they don’t care about getting to the bottom of what really happened. What they do care about is demonstrating their undying loyalty to Donald Trump.”

* US Rep. Schneider…

Today, Congressman Brad Schneider (IL-10) released the following statement:

“January 6th is a day seared into my memory. From escaping the House Gallery as a violent crowd tried to break through the chamber doors to defiantly returning later that evening to fulfill our job and certify the count of electoral ballots, the day for me represented the steely resilience of our democratic institutions. Despite the siege of the Capitol, the insurrection, orchestrated by some at our government’s highest levels, failed at the end of the day, Congress completed its constitutional duties and two weeks later we witnessed a peaceful transition of power to a new administration.
“We rightly celebrate the victory of democracy over violence last year. But we must also recognize that, one year later, many of the underlying causes of the tragedy of January 6th remain – including continued disinformation campaigns, hyperpartisanship, and emboldened extremists willing to circumvent our electoral system.

“There are no guarantees that our nation will persist as the kind of representative democracy our founders envisioned 250 years ago. If we want to continue pursuing the American experiment, fundamentally, every American today should be working to ensure that every ballot can be cast safely, that it will be counted fairly, and that the outcome of our elections will reflect the true will of the people. To secure faith in our elections, I urge the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act. To combat rising extremism, I urge my colleagues to pass the bipartisan Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act introduced last year with my Senate colleague Dick Durbin

“Let us also always remember that our survival last January 6th did not come without costs. The U.S. Capitol Police and D.C. Metro Police suffered a terrible burden in defending the Capitol: more than 140 officers were injured, Officer Brian Sicknick died following the violence, and Officers Howard Liebengood, Jeffrey Smith, Kyle DeFreytag, and Gunther Hashida were all lost to suicide. Each of them bravely defended the Capitol. Their absence is keenly felt by their family and friends; their memories will forever be a blessing for our nation.

“Responsibility for the blood shed and lives lost on January 6th lies firmly in the hands of the rally’s organizers. The deaths of Kevin Greeson, Benjamin Phillips, Rosanne Boyland, and Ashli Babbitt were all tragic, and wholly avoidable. The fact that so much remains unknown about those responsible for the day’s carnage only underscores the importance of the work of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.”

* US Rep. Newman…

Today, U.S. Representative Marie Newman (D-IL-03) released the following statement on the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection:

“One year removed from this deadly insurrection, I still remain in disbelief from the events that took place. Three days into being sworn in, I found myself sheltering my staff in our office away from violent domestic terrorists, who vandalized, desecrated and forced their way into the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to stop lawmakers from holding up the will of the American people.

“January 6th, 2021 was undoubtedly one of the darkest days in modern American history, one that illustrated just how fragile our democracy can be. It showed us first-hand what happens when inciteful, dangerous rhetoric from our public leaders goes unchecked. And yet, even with the violence and trauma endured that day, I know our nation will prevail. It’s the same reason why at the late hours of that same night, we did not go home but instead, reconvened to certify the election of Joe Biden as the next President of the United States.

“Without the Washington, D.C. and Capitol Police officers protecting us that day, this act of democracy would never have been possible. More than 140 officers were physically harmed while defending our democracy that day. Officers like Daniel Hodges, who was violently attacked and nearly crushed to death while attempting to block hundreds of insurrectionists from entering the Capitol. We also tragically saw several officers lose their lives in its aftermath, including Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howie Liebengood, and Metropolitan Police Officers Jeffrey Smith, Gunther Hashida and Kyle DeFreytag. They were heroes. Today, I encourage all members of the public to take a moment of silence to remember the courage, bravery and sacrifice those officers and many others demonstrated during that tragic day.

“We are forever in debt to the hundreds of officers who risked their lives to protect members of Congress, staffers, cafeteria workers, custodians and everyone at the Capitol campus on January 6th. Today and every day, we must continue to honor their legacy by protecting the very democracy they fought to defend.”

I’ll post others as they come in. So far, my inbox is devoid of Illinois Republican statements.

* Related…

* A year after controversy, Mary and Chris Miller look to hang on

…Adding… Congressional candidate Villegas…

Today, Alderman Gilbert Villegas released the following statement on the 1st Anniversary of the January 6th Capitol Insurrection:

“I took an oath 34 years ago as a United States Marine to defend our country against all enemies foreign and domestic. Today is a reminder that the perpetrators of the January 6th insurrection against our Capitol savagely and viciously attacked our law enforcement community, our elected representatives, and our democracy. My oath has no expiration date and as the next member of Congress from the 3rd District of Illinois, I will protect and defend this country from anyone, anytime, no matter the cost,” said Alderman Gil Villegas.

…Adding… Comptroller Susana Mendoza…

Today we honor the sacrifices of our law enforcement heroes like Capitol Hill Police Officer Brian Sicknick who defended the U.S. Capitol and our elected representatives of all parties during a violent attempted insurrection a year ago today. In total, about 150 police officers were injured defending our democracy. Let us never take for granted our democratic way of life so many have fought for and died to preserve.

* Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association President Kristina Zahorik…

“We cannot forget the death and destruction caused by the Pro-Trump insurrectionists on January 6, 2021, and as Americans we all have a responsibility to speak out against what happened that day, as well as condemn the type of political violence January 6 has inspired. As President Biden said this morning, “You can’t love your country only when you win. You can’t obey the law only when it is convenient. You can’t be patriotic when you embrace and enable lies.””

“Illinoisans should not forget Representatives Mary Miller and Mike Bost bowed to the demands of insurrectionists when they voted against counting electoral college votes. Nor should we forget Representative Darin LaHood would not support a bi-partisan commission to even investigate the insurrection.”

“I hope all Illinois Republicans, including Mary Miller, Mike Bost, and Darin LaHood, show that they love their country even though their candidate lost, that they support and believe in the rule of law by denouncing the Big Lie, and will be patriotic by publicly condemning the type of political violence we witnessed January 6, including telling their supporters political violence of any type is never justified in America.”

* Senate President Don Harmon…

It has been one year since a violent mob attacked the United States Capitol, seeking to overturn a democratic election.

I will never forget watching the horrible scenes unfold that day.

January 6 was a reminder that the democracy we hold dear is only as strong as we make it.

We must never deny or diminish the truth of what happened that day. We must unequivocally condemn those who attacked our Capitol.

And we must continue to work with anyone, no matter their political party, who shares a willingness to uphold our democracy.

* Senator Durbin…

On the first anniversary of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, spoke on the Senate floor regarding the anniversary of the insurrection and the continued threat to our democracy posed by Donald Trump’s “Big Lie.” During his speech, Durbin paid his respects to the law enforcement officers who defended the Capitol on that day.

“The videos don’t lie. The facts are the facts. Individuals are paying a criminal price and their lives will be changed because of their bad decision to leave a Trump rally and follow his instructions to come up to this building. That is the reality of what happened that day. But the grimmest reality was the death of five of our law enforcement officials who have been named and should be named every time we stand on this floor: Officer Brian Sicknick, Officer Howard Liebengood, Officer Jeffrey Smith, Officer Gunther Hashida, and Officer Kyle DeFreytag—and 140 other law enforcement officials who were assaulted, many of them seriously and still paying a price for that day in their lives when they stood in defense of us and defense of this building. That is the reality.”

Durbin continued, “If nothing more comes of this speech and commemoration today, I hope that all of us, regardless of our political persuasion—the most conservative Republican to the most progressive Democrat, independents in between, Black, white, and brown, men and women, rural, urban, across America—will finally come to an agreement on one thing: violence has no place in a democracy.”

Durbin concluded, “This is a sacred place. It is not sacred because I serve here or anyone else does. It’s sacred because it was built to be a symbol of this great nation. It was during the administration of a man from Illinois named Lincoln who completed the Capitol dome in the midst of the Civil War so that this building would always be a symbol of the unity of our nation and the promise of our nation. That symbol was desecrated on January 6. And now the question rises – will we summon the courage to come together and lead, to extend the opportunity to vote to more and more Americans, to make this democracy more complete and more just? Or will we step back and accept the verdict of history that we are going to go back in time instead of forward as a nation? I trust we’ll move forward… We are blessed to live in this country and we each bear a responsibility to its future.”

* Close enough, I suppose…


  1. - halving_fun - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 8:45 am:

    “my inbox is devoid of Illinois Republican statements.”

    I got this:

    Trump is the rightful president
    Joe Biden stole the election
    The capitol constituents, on the 6th, were just tourist and visitors

    - IL’s insurrectionist republican

  2. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 8:56 am:

    When the acknowledged base of the party sees the insurrection as “freedom”, how can they acknowledge, thoughtfully, the “freedom” perpetrated a year ago today was an insurrection?

    T-shirts, sweatshirts, it was a planned day on *the* day the election was to be certified… and the goal was… to stop the democratic process and interfere in a fair and free election.

    Maybe the Republicans willing to write or speak today on the insurrection should ask themselves;

    “If I’m condemning an insurrection and those involved in it, why am I pandering to keep those same folks who believe in the insurrection a part of the party I reside?”

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:06 am:

    = The day before the insurrection, Rep. Miller was caught speaking favorably of Hitler on the national mall =

    She was introduced onto this stage by a Will County board member, who is also the vice-president of the group who organized this event.

    “Again and again, Illinois Republicans have demonstrated they just don’t care about what happened on January 6,”

    Oh, They care about it very much. Just not in the way you think they do.

  4. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:22 am:

    The GOP has shown us what they are. That includes the Il-GOP.

  5. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:25 am:

    Many people in the southern part of the state feel “disenfranchised” because they frequently lose statewide elections, because there are more people in other parts of the state. This already seems to show itself as an intolerance toward one man one vote.

  6. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:26 am:

    What Cheryl44 said. Amen.

  7. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    Our Democratic society has failed to hold people in power responsible for what they have done. For someone like Chris Miller, who last year was proudly declaring war on American citizens while participating in an assault on the U.S. Capitol after his spouse spoke to the assembled mob, there have been no meaningful consequences.

    The people in positions of power and privilege that have supported the violent rhetoric, the violent mobs, and the coup attempts have yet to face any meaningful consequences. They have only enjoyed benefits from their actions and their political party has decided to collaborate with them and do everything they can to assist in shielding those individuals from consequences.

    A lot of us would like to move along and we will have pressure from all sorts of things to move along and so for the GOP this is just a waiting game. They’re waiting until our society runs out of energy and loses the ability to focus on their crimes. They’re waiting until they can regain another measure of power so that they can further corrupt the system and reward their colleagues who encouraged, organized, and supported an attack on the United States of America because their preferred dictator lost an election. Now there are calls for decorum from the same people that attacked our nation in an effort to shield themselves from the consequences they deserve.

    Whether or not they planned to be some of our own state legislators and other elected officials are involved in preventing those responsible from seeing meaningful consequences. Whether they’re just doing it to copy the trend from others in their party, or they’re afraid of being the mob’s next target, or they’re doing it just to hang on to their legislative seats because they don’t think they could win a primary against a domestic terrorist, they are participating in the effort to prevent there from being meaningful consequences for those involved. They are part of the problem but they’re pretending like they’re not.

    Chris Miller swore an oath when he came into office. Chris Miller broke that oath and declared war on the People of the United States of America. The People of Illinois are still paying Chris Miller a salary. The People of Illinois are still paying for Chris Miller to have staff. The People of Illinois are still paying the salary of the people who have vocally or tacitly supported his actions and words on January 6th.

    Something is terribly wrong and we’re all a part of that something. People who participate in terrorist plots on the United States of America and declare war on the United States of America just before a mob assaults the U.S. Capitol shouldn’t be drawing a pay check funded by American taxpayers.

    There’s only one kind of warrant that should have Representative Chris Miller’s name on it at this point and it isn’t one coming from the Office of the Comptroller.

  8. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:29 am:

    The government is us. You can take issue with specific decisions that are made by our elected representatives. That’s what democracy is all about. Come up with better ideas and get elected…for the betterment of Illinois and our nation. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. Not getting some wordsmiths to badmouth your opponent. Show me the beef of your ideas. Show me the strength of your character and backbone in denouncing the anti-democratic factions in your party if you want me to take your ideas seriously. The Republican Party has crossed a line in my mind, and if you want to run as a conservative, that’s great. But if you want me to consider you as a serious Republican candidate, first, denounce the insurrectionists, and those who supported, encouraged and enabled them.

    What needs to stop is being anti-government. That’s anti-democratic. That’s what’s so destructive about the rhetoric now. Politicians always use weasel words on occasion. It comes with making the sausage of our laws. And all politicians need to show support for and in return get support from their parties, but when a party is so void of ideas to help move society forward, and actually help people, and simply wants to gum up the legislative process, that’s not being the loyal opposition., and that’s why none of them will currently get my vote.

    Look to Joe Biden, and JB for examples of American patriots. They’re trying their best to help America and Illinois move forward, and they have no problem denouncing those who portray themselves as populists, whose only hope for getting elected is to keep dividing the American people.

    Anyway, that’s how I feel. Dismiss it, grab a nugget or two, or just ignore me like my wife does in her better moments.

  9. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    President Biden said it clearly and directly:

    “For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election, he tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob breached the Capitol. But they failed. They failed. And on this day of remembrance, we must make sure that such attack never, never happens again. ”

    I would add- No one who supports that attack is fit to serve in public office.

  10. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    There are few calendar days in history that when mentioned are immediately associated with tragedy. December 7th 1941, September 11, 2001 and now January 6, 2021 will forever be known as days where our democracy was under assault.

    It should be a day of reembrace. To pay tribute to those whose lives were shattered and just as importantly our ability to heal and overcome. Normally those assaults are from foreign enemies. On January 6th the attack was from within. When it was done the President proclaimed, we’ll never forget you. Words of praise, not condemnation.

    The time will eventually come when we contrite remorseful statements from members of the GOP. But unfortunately that time is not today.

  11. - Here we go - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:40 am:

    Until Democrats take seriously the hard work needed to build a better communications infrastructure across the country, we’ll be seeing more Jan 6 political extremism and violence.

    I say to my Republican friends - true patriots concede elections when they lose. These Democrats all came much closer to winning that Trump in 2020 - and each candidate conceded (clinton 2016, kerry 2004, gore 2000, nixon 1960).
    That’s patriotism.

    The GOP has given up their mantle of claiming moral superiority on law and order as too many refuse to condemn forcefully that injuries inflicted on 145 Capitol police officers.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 9:47 am:

    ===How many of you defended yourselves? Did any of you confront the invasive crowd?===

    When democracy is threatened by even those who sit in that Chamber (both Chambers), what exactly are you looking to hear and cheer.

    The Trump Republicans as a whole still refuse to see the Capitol Police as heroes.

    Think on that.

  13. - Sploinkie - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:11 am:

    Comparing a selfie expedition to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 is both stupid and an insult to those that died during those events. Rather than finger pointing and theatrics, it would be more useful for the political class to study why it happened in the first place.

  14. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:14 am:

    as an avowed Independent, this issue will not sway voters in the midterm. punish the heck out of the violators, but pick a different campaign issue.

  15. - Norseman - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:16 am:

    There are so many things I would like to say, but most have been said by others. Besides, those words would reach the true believers and be ignored by those captive to the forces of illiberalism.

    My focus will be on actions that I can take. Vote, educate my grandchildren and support pro-democracy candidates.

    God save our democracy.

  16. - Jocko - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:21 am:

    ==Comparing a selfie expedition to Pearl Harbor or 9/11 is both stupid and an insult to those that died during those events.==
    Then explain the presence of zip cuffs.

    McConnell and McCarthy denounced Trump in the days following 1/6. Since then, silence. How Pence has remained quiet astounds (and offends) me.

  17. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:27 am:

    The ILGOP is clear in its support of insurrection and overturning democracy by having opposed Trump’s impeachment last year.

    The underpinning of the insurrection is America’s deep racism. Those directly targeted for nullification were and are African-American voters who were key in deciding the election. This is clear also with anti-voting laws passed in GOP-led states. When this is combined with banning the teaching of racism in public schools under the phony guise of “CRT,” literally whitewashing history, that really shows the problem. Talk about cancel culture.

  18. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:35 am:

    I’ll post others as they come in. So far, my inbox is devoid of Illinois Republican statements.

    Some might want to wander to WSJ website to check Karl Rove’ weekly rant. Rather than trashing Ds he knocks the GOPies around pretty good. Many comments suggest how enlightened Karl is. He does fail to suggest GOPies cooperate with the various investigations. Hey no on is perfect.

  19. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 10:40 am:

    ===McConnell and McCarthy denounced Trump in the days following 1/6. Since then, silence.===

    Senator McConnell’s initial response to the 01/06/2021 attack was likely emotionally driven by the fact that he spent a part of that afternoon cowering in a bunker protected by armed guards. After some of the dust settled and he was able to stick his head out of his shell and take a gander around he made a political decision.

    Mitch McConnell’s political abilities should not be under estimated and we should assume that next time Mitch won’t need to be in the bunker to protect himself from the mob.

  20. - The Ford Lawyer - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 11:00 am:

    I really did not think the gaslighting from the Trumplican leadership was going to work on most of the people back home. I guess H.L. Mencken was right “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.” That one year after this travesty he is a stronger candidate for president than he was before is depressing for this former Republican.

  21. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 11:04 am:

    =this issue will not sway voters in the midterm. punish the heck out of the violators, but pick a different campaign issue=

    Speaking on behalf of independents now are we? As a fellow independent preserving democracy is kind of important. But I also see the benefits of our social safety net which you take exception with. Maybe not all independents think the same? Imagine.

  22. - Blue Dog - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    Pundent. I guess we will find out come midterms.

  23. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:32 pm:

    =I guess we will find out come midterms.=

    My friend, you supported Jeanne Ives and Donald Trump. We have the receipts. You are no independent.

  24. - anon2 - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:39 pm:

    == No one who supports that attack is fit to serve in public office.==

    Most Republicans disagree.

  25. - Three Dimensional Checker - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 12:48 pm:

    I’ve heard Mr. Pape talk on the radio before, and I think he is absolutely right. The insurrectionists were mostly not right wing extremists. They were Trump supporters, but they had conventional jobs and lives. You might not even recognize them if you passed them by on the street, but it was mostly normal people who did this.

  26. - phenom_Anon - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    =They were Trump supporters, but they had conventional jobs and lives. You might not even recognize them if you passed them by on the street, but it was mostly normal people who did this.=

    As are the people who agree with what they did. People can pretend it’s not your friends, neighbors, and colleagues, but they’re living in fantasyland. The people who fall in with cults are rarely people who have been to known to be extreme. They go extreme after the indoctrination and radicalization.

  27. - Lt Guv - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    Candy Dogwood possibly just authored the post of the year on January 6th.

    The only other thing to say is the silence from the right is deafening.

  28. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 1:34 pm:

    The ending opus for the Trump presidency was
    a collection of people hell bent on violence and rage.
    That is all.

  29. - Pundent - Thursday, Jan 6, 22 @ 4:35 pm:

    =Here’s mine on 1/6. I condemn all violence & people who break the law should be held accountable.=

    What about the people who enable and encourage them? Do we hold them accountable? And more importantly how do you feel about the reason these folks resorted to violence in the first place? Do you believe the last Presidential election was fair? Do you denounce those that would claim, without evidence, otherwise?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Afternoon roundup
* NYC grabs lion's share of federal migrant aid money
* Pritzker signs venue restriction bill for constitutional challenges
* It’s almost a law
* Pritzker says new budget accounts for AFSCME contract negotiations
* FY24 budget overview
* Uber And ASU Are Expanding Access To Higher Education In Illinois
* Pritzker to use reduction veto to correct "inadvertent" pay raises above legal limit
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