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*** UPDATED x1 *** Mask mandate phase-out coverage roundup

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* This is confirmed…

Hospitalizations are down more than 83 percent from the peak six or so weeks ago.

* Chicago’s proof of vaccine requirement will also end

Both the city of Chicago and the state of Illinois will end their indoor masking mandates on Feb. 28. The city of Chicago will also end its requirement for patrons to show proof-of-vaccination against COVID on that date, according to officials.

The city announced its plans on Tuesday, while the state of Illinois announced its decision to roll back mandates earlier this month.

I took a photo of my driver’s license next to my vax card, so that city mandate has been no big deal for me. The whiners made it a problem for staff, however.

* NBC 5

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike reminded residents that masks remain necessary in certain places and situations, including for public transportation, inside federal buildings and in parts of long-term care facilities.
The full list of locations includes:

[…] The one vaccine-related rule that will not be removed, at least according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, is the mandate that city workers get vaccinated against COVID-19.

* Illinois Supreme Court has a new rule

Each circuit court may adopt rules requiring the wearing of masks in courthouses pursuant to appropriate public health guidance. Absent such local rules, the wearing of masks within courthouses is permitted, but not required. Persons choosing to wear a mask may be directed by a judge to remove it if deemed necessary for court purposes, such as when addressing the court or testifying.

* The Senate won’t be in session next week, so they’re still “taking input” on a decision. And the House is still planning no changes for the rest of the session to its mask, etc. rules. By the way, there was some confusion in the House over the rules yesterday

“If we are going to follow the rules we have to follow all the rules not just the ones you guys pick and choose to follow. So if we need to wear our masks when we debate, if we are going to look like idiots, we are going to debate like idiots with our masks on thank you Mr. Speaker,” said Rep. Andrew Chesney.

Nothing in the rules allows members to remove their masks to speak during debate. So, Rep. Chesney, was correct, if impolite.

* Also, this happened today…


…Adding… Chicago Archdiocese

Based on our extremely low infection rates and guidance from our medical advisors, we are making masks optional in our Catholic schools in Chicago, Evanston, and Oak Park, beginning Monday, February 28. With this decision, all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago will be mask optional, effective Monday.

*** UPDATE *** Expected…


Juvenile’s “confession” didn’t trigger new Illinois law against deceptive police tactics

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From last July

Illinois on Thursday became the first state in the U.S. to ban police from lying or using deceptive tactics while interrogating minors.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed Senate Bill 2122 into law, prohibiting law enforcement from using deceptive tactics against those they are interrogating who are under 18 years of age. […]

The measure’s original sponsors, state Sen. Robert Peters and state Rep. Justin Slaughter, garnered bipartisan support for the bill that culminated in a near-unanimous vote to pass it in both houses during the spring legislative session. […]

Though few Americans realize it, police regularly deceive suspects during questioning to try to secure confessions, from saying DNA placed them at the scene of a crime to claiming eyewitnesses identified them as being the perpetrator. Detectives also can lie about the consequences of confessing, saying, for instance, that admitting responsibility is a quick ticket home.

* Today’s Tribune

A 15-year-old freshman described how he ended up spending two nights in a juvenile facility for a Waukegan shooting that took place while he was playing basketball at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

Martell Williams, a Waukegan High School student, was released from custody Friday after a dizzying two days in custody, during which he was charged with attempted murder and then cleared when family and friends presented proof that he could not be the person who shot a store clerk in the face on Feb. 4. […]

Williams said police told him that multiple people had identified him as the person in a security video who shot the dollar store clerk in the 2600 block of Grand Avenue. Last week, police had released the images and asked for the public’s help. Williams was taken into custody Wednesday.


Once in custody, Williams’ attorney alleges detectives immediately began working to get a confession.

“Try to bribe him with McDonald’s saying, ‘look. Just tell us you were there,” his attorney said. “They don’t even tell him about a shooting. ‘Just tell us you were there and we’ll have you home in ten minutes.’”

The terrified 15-year-old was charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery. He spent two nights in the Lake County Juvenile Detention Center before the case fell apart. Williams’ family proved that he was playing basketball for Waukegan at the exact time of the shooting.

* ABC 7

He didn’t know what he was being accused of.

“They didn’t even tell him a shooting was involved,” said Kevin O’Connor, Williams’ attorney. “They just said, ‘Hey, it wasn’t your fault. Just tell us you were defending yourself. Just go ahead and tell us you were there and we will let you go home.’”

Wait. Isn’t this illegal? Well, kinda.

* To the law

An oral, written, or sign language confession of a minor, who at the time of the commission of the offense was under 18 years of age, made as a result of a custodial interrogation conducted at a police station or other place of detention on or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly shall be presumed to be inadmissible as evidence against the minor making the confession in a criminal proceeding or a juvenile court proceeding … if, during the custodial interrogation, a law enforcement officer or juvenile officer knowingly engages in deception.

The law only applies to admissibility in court. There are no penalties for violation.

* Rep. La Shawn Ford addressed the incident on the House floor today

When there is an injustice playing out like the situation with the 15-year-old Martell Williams, we must use it as a teachable moment to take positive action to change our ways. If you are not Black, you may never know what is like to be Black in society. If you’re not a male, you may never know what it’s like to be a Black man in society. But as a member of society, we can be sympathetic and listen with open hearts to one another’s struggles. Stories like this play out differently and lives and families have been destroyed and they have experienced financial hardships because of the color of a person’s skin. Martell is proof that doing the right thing and playing by the rules will not always guarantee justice. But he is also a great example that being in school, and doing the right thing is a great defender. So today I want to salute Martell for doing the right thing. So I hope that students all over see Martell Williams as a great example and a model citizen.

Martell’s situation is another eye opener and a teachable moment for all of us. It is not the first story we have heard or read. Thank you God, Martell didn’t have to spend years in jail fighting to prove his innocence, or killed for us to recognize that Black people have problems just being Black. I hope that we can support Martel and his family by giving them the love and mental health support they need to deal with the trauma that they are going through. Dropping the charges is just one thing, but it’s also just to make sure that the rest is cleaned from Martell’s background because he will have to live with them forever.

And just an example why we do what we do and why I come here as a state Rep., I want to thank this body for passing House Bill 434. It was championed by myself, Carol Ammons, Camille Lilly, Latoya Greenwood and Lisa Hernandez. It allowed for us in this state to immediately expunge arrest records when a person’s charge has been acquitted or dismissed. This is an example of why we have to change the way we do business in Springfield. And so that bill that we passed, we have a real life experience that we can play out right here. And I hope that the prosecutors and the state do everything they can to drop the charges, not only drop those charges, but clear the background of Martell Williams.

I want to thank you all for listening and I hope that we took it to heart and just know that a person’s struggle is not a complaint. A person’s struggle is a person saying ‘I want help.’ Thank you for listening.

Please pardon any transcription errors.


Bailey pushes back against Irvin ad

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Richard Irvin online campaign ad…

* The ad links to the “Obama” page on the website

Bailey’s Campaign Admitted That He Had Voted For Barack Obama In The 2008 Democrat Primary
* Chicago Tribune, January 15 2022

While Obama was campaigning against real Republicans like Richard Irvin, Bailey was hoping you never learned his Obama-sized secret

See for yourself! Darren even posed with his Obama cookies!

* From Bailey’s spokesperson Joe DeBose…

It’s clear that lying liberals like Irvin and his establishment campaign are desperate and willing to say anything to stop our conservative movement. Unlike Irvin and others in this GOP Primary, Darren Bailey is a lifelong conservative Republican and a proud supporter of President Trump. They are trying to lie and fool voters because their candidate doesn’t have an honest, conservative record to stand on. Bailey has voted against Clinton, Obama, and Biden and has always supported the GOP nominee. The cookies were handed to Darren by a child at an event, but I’m not surprised they’re grasping for straws.

* There is that Tribune article, however

Irvin’s campaign also questioned the partisan purity of two rivals, noting Sullivan founded “OneWorld” magazine while attending Saint Louis University that supported then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, and his proposed global poverty act. They also said that in 2008 Bailey pulled a Democratic primary ballot.

In a statement, a Bailey spokesman said, “Darren was one of thousands of Americans who were pushed by conservative groups to vote in the Dem Primary to stop Hillary Clinton.”

* Back to DeBose…

Irvin has taken PPP and the only time he has pulled a GOP ballot was to support taxpayer-funded abortion after Rauner signed it into law. Nobody doubts Bailey’s conservative and Republican credentials. Just like nobody doubts Irvin’s liberal credentials. Both are well documented and no amount of money will distort the truth in this primary.

There were still several presidential candidates on the ballot in the 2008 Democratic primary here, so I guess it’s not a total lock that he voted for Obama. Still, if he won’t specifically answer the question, then he leaves himself open to attack, particularly since he constantly attacks Irvin for being a Democrat. But the same also goes for Irvin, who won’t say who he voted for when he took Democratic ballots.

* Meanwhile, Sen. Bailey said this during his daily Facebook video broadcast yesterday

There’s a Republican platform and the Republican rules in the state of Illinois say you must have voted in the last two primaries as a Republican before you can run for office. Well, it’s interesting that the Republican Party is seemingly trying to change those rules right now. They’re making the attempt with the Chicago GOP and it is believed that that’s going to spill down below. The problem is when we water down our rules and we ignore them and, more so than rules, a platform, literally what we stand for, we become, you know, we can’t decipher right from wrong, and this nonsense of who’s running for office and why they’re running for office.

There’s nothing in the Illinois Republican Party platform about this requirement. What the heck?

* So, I reached out to Steve Boulton, the chair of the Chicago Republican Party, wondering if it was their rules Bailey was talking about…

Mr. Miller,

The provision you refer to is in the Cook County Republican Party Bylaws, not the Chicago Republican Party Bylaws, and has nothing to do with candidates for public office or the 2020 Republican Primary.

The provision currently imposes a qualification that Republican Ward or Township Committeepersons in Cook County must have voted in the past two Republican primaries before election or appointment. The original version with a similar but different test was passed in 2016 when a number of Democrats ran for Republican Ward Committeeperson in Chicago after the Illinois Election Code was amended to shift the power to submit lists of preferred election judges to the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners from the County Chair of each party to the Ward Committeepersons of each party in the respective Chicago wards.

The recent proposal was to eliminate the existing provision. It was made by me, and I am neutral in the Governor’s race with no relationship, publicly stated or hidden, with the Irvin Campaign or any other campaign. No campaign had any knowledge of or participation in my action. A stronger Republican Party structure is emerging in Chicago as a protection in future elections, and the provision is unduly limiting the pool of possible appointments of Committeepersons and in turn Republican Party expansion in Chicago. For example, one excellent prospective appointee is a lifelong Republican voter who took a Democratic ballot for the first time in 2020 solely in hope of preventing Marie Newman from being elected to Congress.

While formal notice of a vote on the Cook GOP Bylaws change was sent prior to the last Cook County Central Committee meeting, I withdrew the measure in favor of discussion of the need for a change. Alternatives short of complete elimination of the provision are under discussion, but none have been either proposed or acted upon in the Cook County Central Committee.

As Cook County Chair, Sean Morrison was aware that I was proposing the change, and he is affiliated with the Irvin Campaign. He had no substantive role in it, however, as this came entirely from me in connection with my job of rebuilding the Republican Party structure in Chicago.


Caption contest!

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go…

I love it!! I have had the opportunity to meet a few media people who are worthy of holding those positions but most of…

Posted by Thomas DeVore on Wednesday, February 23, 2022

…Adding… Since this post is about DeVore, here’s a news story about his new lawsuit against Speaker Welch

At a hearing [Tuesday] morning in Greenville, Welch’s counsel Joshua Ratz asked for the case to be moved to Cook County, but presiding judge Ronald Foster declined and instead sent the matter to Sangamon County.

Wilhour’s counsel, Thomas DeVore, said by phone this morning that he thought the matter could’ve been heard in Bond County, but the judge disagreed. DeVore lives in Bond County. As to the decision to move the case to Sangamon County, DeVore said, “I’m fine with that.”

DeVore has filed a request for a Temporary Restraining Order in the matter. He said it’s his contention that the Illinois House leadership can create rules of decorum, but can’t cloak a health rule under rules of decorum. He said that’s what led to the removal of the House members last week.

As to when the matter will be heard in Sangamon County, DeVore said it’s his goal to have it scheduled this week. The case will have to be assigned to a Sangamon County judge before things can proceed.


Pritzker says legislature and appellate court punted school mask issue

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Gov. Pritzker’s Q&A with reporters this morning

Q: Your reaction to the Attorney General filing the appeal at the Illinois Supreme Court? What do you say to those school districts who have gone mask optional, mask recommended? Can you put the toothpaste back in the tube?

A: Well, remember I’ve said for several weeks now that we would be removing the requirement for masks in schools, and that on February 28th we will be removing the mask mandate in indoor settings. So, when you say ‘toothpaste back in the tube,’ I would just say that that was that is our aim and has been our aim all along.

However, the decisions that were made at the circuit court and appellate court level, well, let’s talk about the circuit court. That was just a poor decision, a badly designed reading of the law.

The appellate court, because of the desire of the legislature to, you know, punt, frankly, decided they would punt too. And that’s what they did.

So now this is going to go to the Supreme Court. And this really is about what do we do in the next emergency. As much as anything, what happens when there is another omicron wave, or, God forbid, at some future date, another pandemic or some other major emergency that affects everybody in the state. We want to be able to do the right thing for the people across the state. And so we hope that the Supreme Court will see that and rule on that despite the decision by the appellate court.

Q: Do you want to see legislation to clarify what your powers are?

A: We actually don’t think that there’s any lack of clarity. The judge decided differently, but I also think there were some politics involved in that.

Q: Obviously, there is a conflict here because the courts…

A: The conflict is political. It is not what is in the written law.

* The state’s motions at the Illinois Supreme Court…

* Emergency motion for stay of TRO pending appeal

* Petition for leave to appeal

* Motion for expedited consideration of petition for leave to appeal and any subsequent proceedings on appeal

* Emergency motion for leave to file an oversize petition for leave to appeal


Newman loses J Street support to Casten

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* First, a bit of background from a few weeks ago

Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL) is facing an onslaught of criticism for a contract she signed with a political rival, in which—according to congressional investigators—she likely agreed to hand Professor Iymen Chehade a six-figure salary in exchange for him not running against her in a Democratic primary. But documents appear to show that a cozy job and big title weren’t the only things Newman negotiated.

In an Oct. 2018 email to Newman, Chehade memorialized that he and Newman had met earlier in the week and discussed a proposal where Newman would not only pledge to hiring Chehade, but would also “commit” to a number of anti-Israel policy positions.

Among the positions Chehade laid out were “opposing any legislation that entails ADDITIONAL military sales or aid to Israel,” supporting legislation that achieves “justice and self-determination” for Palestinians, and organizing “fact-finding” delegations to Palestine and other Middle East countries. Chehade even said he wanted “complete discretion” over the itinerary for such a trip.

“At no point will Newman accept partial or complete funding for congressional delegations from the [Jewish National Fund], any organization affiliated with the Israeli government, or any organization that embraces Israeli’s Zionist or colonial project,” Chehade said.

* More…

* However, there are some very important caveats

A Palestinian professor said that he was denied a job because of his views on Israel and has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Illinois Congresswoman Marie Newman. Iymen Chehade is Professor of Middle Eastern History at Columbia College Chicago.

Chehade claims that he had a signed agreement with the progressive Democrat Congresswomen for him to take a senior position in her team in return for dropping out of the 2020 US election in order to give the 57 year old a better chance to oust a pro-Israel candidate. He was denied the job, he claims, because of his strong sympathy with the Palestinian cause. […]

The two began to fall out over a statement from Newman on Palestine. Chehade says he worked with the Congresswomen to draft “a powerful statement in support of Palestinian rights.” Disagreements arose over the content, though, including the position Newman should take on the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. In the final draft, Newman says she supported people’s right to boycott, though she did not back the BDS movement herself.

Ultimately, Chehade was disappointed. The Palestine Statement on Newman’s website deleted any reference to the possibility of a single state solution, which Chehade says they agreed on; deleted reference to UN General Assembly Resolution 194 on the right of return and replaced it with a vague reference to the return of refugees; and recognised Israel as a “democratic and Jewish” state.

* More

Newman didn’t hire Chehade as her congressional adviser, a job that is paid for with government funds, and he sued her last year. They settled for undisclosed terms, and he subsequently signed onto her campaign as a foreign affairs adviser. Campaign advisers are paid out of donations to candidates.

Newman has denied any improprieties. Chehade will not comment, citing the non-disclosure component of his settlement with Newman. He is currently running for Congress in Illinois’ redrawn third district.

Newman notably has embraced some of the policies Chehade outlined in his 2018 email: She was one of just nine members of the US House of Representatives who voted last year against $1 billion in additional funds for Israel’s Iron Dome antimissile system. She is also backing a bill by Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., that would withhold funds from Israel based on the number of Palestinian minors in detention.

* And now, this

In a closely watched Chicago-area primary between two incumbent House Democrats, liberal pro-Israel group J Street is throwing its weight behind Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami told Jewish Insider on Tuesday. Casten is participating in a J Street delegation of House members visiting Israel this week.

J Street had previously endorsed both Casten and his opponent, Rep. Marie Newman (D-IL), prior to a redistricting process that changed the borders of the legislators’ districts. The organization stood by Newman in September when she was one of just eight Democrats to vote against a $1 billion supplemental funding package for Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system — legislation that J Street supported. The group held a fundraiser for Newman days after the vote.

J Street spokesperson Logan Bayroff issued a statement of support for Newman in early October, saying J Street PAC was “proud to endorse Rep. Newman, who throughout her time in Congress has been a vocal and principled advocate for diplomacy-first American leadership and Israeli-Palestinian peace.” At the time, Illinois’ new maps had not yet been approved.

“After redistricting placed them both in a race for Illinois’ 6th District,” Bayroff told JI on Tuesday, “we reviewed the race based on a number of factors and ultimately have made the decision this month to endorse Rep. Casten alone in this new head-to-head matchup.”

* More

Bayroff said that the ethics investigation factored into the decision. “We endorsed both of them in 2020 in different districts, but once it became clear it was head to head we have to make a choice,” Bayroff said in an interview. “We have to look at everything going on in the race, and investigation into one candidate is one of the factors one looks into in a race.”

Newman is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics for allegedly promising Iymen Chehade, a Palestinian-American academic, a job on her congressional staff if he agreed not to run against her in a primary. One of his alleged conditions was that Newman adopt pro-Palestinian stances.


*** UPDATED x2 *** Mendoza wants repeal of Prompt Payment Act

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Capitol News Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is calling for repealing a law that imposes a 12 percent interest whenever the state is late paying its bills, along with a program that allows private investors to purchase the debt owed to vendors and collect that interest penalty.

Speaking to a Senate budget committee Tuesday, Mendoza said the state is nearly caught up on its bill backlog and that those two programs are no longer needed.

“This program has allowed private lenders to loan money to state vendors, then rake in the 12 percent interest that state taxpayers were on the hook for with these late bills,” Mendoza said. “Now happily the days of connected private lenders profiting off the state’s financial problems can and should be over.”

Mendoza was referring to a 1993 law known as the Prompt Payment Act, which says that whenever the state fails to pay a bill within 60 days, the state must pay an interest penalty of 1 percent per month, or 12 percent per year.

Just a nitpick here, but the word “backlog” really needs to be retired until we actually have one again. The state is paying its bills within a couple/three weeks, so we have no actual backlog today.

* From Mendoza’s testimony…

(W)ith the Governor’s $900 million for the Group Insurance backlog and the fact we are paying our general fund vouchers on time, it’s time to phase out the state’s Vendor Payment Program.

This program has allowed private lenders to loan money to state vendors, then rake in the 12 percent interest that state taxpayers were on the hook for — with these late bills.

Happily, the days of connected private lenders profiting off the state’s financial problems can and should be over.

This is also an opportune time to revisit the State Prompt Payment Act that affords this generous 12 % interest for late payments beyond 90 days.

Now, I understand that the intent of the Act is supposed have a deterrent effect on budget-makers that forces them to keep a budget living within its’ means….. But, I would argue that this interest expense is not penalizing state government, but rather penalizes taxpayers.

It still bothers me that Illinois spent over $1 billion in late payment interest penalties during the budget impasse that is forever gone. Poof.

Was that $1 billion dollar penalty enough to force a correction on Illinois’ budget?


The days of taxpayers being on the hook for billions of dollars in late payment interest penalties should be over.

At a time when we finally have our heads above water, it is now when we need to take a hard look at what happened and to reform our policies so that taxpayers are not having to pay for these exorbitant costs.

While I fully agree that those interest payments had no real impact on budget-makers and that the private investor stuff made some people big bucks, the law helped convince some vendors to do business with the state at a time of crisis and also helped some smaller vendors keep their heads above water. I am not all that confident in Illinois’ ability to continue down this current path of fiscal sanity.

Your thoughts?

*** UPDATE 1 *** Griffin Slate comptroller candidate Shannon Teresi…

The proposal from Comptroller Mendoza on Tuesday to end penalties on late payments is nothing more than a cheap way to save a buck that will cost taxpayers more in the long run. If the state were paying it’s bills on time, why would Comptroller Mendoza be so afraid of penalties on late payments?

This is the latest example of the Pritzker administration’s rules for thee but not for me. While every Illinois family has to pay interest on our mortgage, rent, and household bills, the state government is trying to create a loophole for themselves. What Comptroller Mendoza isn’t telling you is that under JB Pritzker and her financial “stewardship,” the state has taken on more debt, worsened its financial position, and tries to pass this off as responsible leadership.

In reality, Comptroller Mendoza and Governor Pritzker are trying to use sleight of hand on the people of Illinois.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Greg Hinz has Mendoza’s campaign response to Teresi’s comments

“The facts are that Comptroller Mendoza has cut the state’s bill backlog by over 80% without using federal stimulus funds, delivered the fastest vendor payment cycle in decades—down from 210 working days to 17 days today—and helped earn the state its first credit upgrades in over 20 years, a clear indicator of the state’s improved fiscal condition,” she responded.

For what it’s worth, the watchdog Civic Federation is siding with Mendoza on this one.

The 12% fee “is an unnecessary guardrail,” said federation President Laurence Msall in a phone call. “It was supposed to be a deterrent, not a way for people to profit from the states overdue bills.”


LG Stratton also endorses Valencia

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Following endorsements from Secretary of State Jesse White and Governor JB Pritzker, Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton today announced she has also endorsed Valencia:

“Jesse White is a giant and a pioneer. As the first Black Secretary of State, he opened doors for so many leaders in Illinois––myself included. I would not be here today if not for Jesse White, and I am so grateful for his guidance and service to our state for the last 20+ years,” said Lieutenant Governor Stratton. “Jesse knows better than anyone what credentials and character are required to be successful as Secretary of State, which is why I am thrilled to join him in endorsing Anna Valencia. I’ve known Anna for many years and can attest to her commitment to working families. As City Clerk, Anna has been a voice for all Chicagoans and has made great strides in ensuring government works for everyone it is supposed to serve. I am proud to join Governor Pritzker and leaders across the state in supporting my friend and her ceiling-shattering candidacy. I look forward to doing all I can to ensure that next November Anna is the first woman and first Latina to ever serve as Illinois Secretary of State.”

“Lieutenant Governor Stratton is a trailblazer and someone I have admired for many years,” said Anna Valencia. “I am honored to earn her endorsement and am grateful for how she has broken the glass ceiling for women like me. Having people who look like us serving in Illinois’ highest offices shows young girls and girls of color around our state that they too can achieve their dreams. I look forward to partnering with Lieutenant Governor Stratton to improve the lives of everyone in our state.”

Since entering the race in June 2021, Valencia has built a strong statewide coalition of support from a robust slate of highly-respected elected officials, business leaders, political groups and labor unions—including the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) and Illinois Nurses Association-The Nurses Union (INA). Both of Illinois’ US senators, Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, current Secretary of State Jesse White, and Governor JB Pritzker have endorsed Valencia. She has also secured support from the national Latino Victory Fund, EMILY’s List and other influential organizations and leaders from across the state and nation.

Valencia, a proven leader who understands the challenges many Illinois families face, was raised by working class parents in a union household in Granite City, IL. She has delivered bold and innovative ideas as Chicago City Clerk, and as Secretary of State, she would bring new energy to the office while emphasizing transparency and modernizing state government. She would be the first woman and first Latina Secretary of State in state history. For more information about the campaign, visit


Racial And Health Disparities, Unsafe Care Of Nursing Home Residents To Continue Without Immediate Reforms

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Advertising Department

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

AARP IL is fighting to ensure nursing home residents receive safe and high-quality care by emphasizing the urgent need for reform.
Nursing home residents and staff have experienced devastating conditions during the Covid-19 pandemic, and an unacceptable number have lost their lives to the disease.

This session, Illinois lawmakers have the opportunity to improve care and conditions for nursing home residents.

Join AARP Illinois as we urge lawmakers to make sure legislation under negotiation:

    • Prioritizes accountability, quality of care for residents, and workforce development in nursing homes.
    • Addresses racial inequities that contribute to health disparities among nursing home residents enrolled in Medicaid.
    • Ends the practice of overcrowding rooms with three and more residents.
    • Requires greater transparency of nursing home ownership and revenue.
    • Ties funding/rates/incentives to direct resident care and demonstrable and sustained nursing home quality outcomes and performance.
    • Ensures incentives result in improved outcomes for resident care and sustainable workforce development.

SENIORS DESERVE BETTER. Now more than ever, it’s time to hold Illinois nursing homes accountable for providing high-quality care and safe environments for our loved ones. Urge state lawmakers to vote YES on the HFS Compromise Nursing Home Rate Reform.

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*** UPDATED x3 *** Sen. Tom Cullerton announces resignation effective today

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Sen. Cullerton’s federal trial was supposed to start this month, but was postponed until perhaps April…


I wanted you to hear from me that I just sent this email. It has been a pleasure to serve my constituents and the residents of this State.


* The letter…

*** UPDATE 1 *** The explanation…

*** UPDATE 2 *** More…

*** UPDATE 3 *** Press release…

Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement regarding the vacancy in the Illinois Senate created by the Wednesday resignation of Sen. Tom Cullerton.

“Tom Cullerton served his constituents in the 23rd Senate District for nearly a decade. I look forward to welcoming and working with a new senator from the district. We’ve got a lot of work to do for the people of Illinois.”


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition, with an update

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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*** UPDATED x1 *** Open thread

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Text this morning from a legislator describing last night’s evacuation along with a photo of fire trucks blocking the street outside his downtown hotel…

2am today staying at the Wyndham…. 20 floors of stairs… lots of tired people in the lobby […] I’m gonna be tired as [redacted] all day. After about a half hour we got the all clear to go back to our rooms

Here’s video from another subscriber, who was also tired as bleep this morning

I’ve asked the local fire department for details.

* How’s your day going?

*** UPDATE *** Springfield Fire Department report

Units dispatched to a report of fire in the basement. A small fire in a storage room was found by E1 and T1. The fire was held in check by a sprinkler head. E1 and T1 extinguished the remaining fire. The sprinkler was shut down in the basement. E3, E4, E5, E7, E8, B2, T2 and the MVU assisted on scene with water management and smoke removal. No occupants were displaced. Fire inspectors reported to determine a cause. Property Damage was estimated to be in the $40,000 range.


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

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

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Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive

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* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Morning briefing
* Open thread
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