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*** UPDATED x4 - Supremes step in - Chaos - Notice of appeal filed *** Kankakee judge rules legislature overstepped bounds when repealing cash bail, but doesn’t issue injunction

Thursday, Dec 29, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

[Comments are now open on this post.]

* Tribune

A Kankakee County judge has found that a key provision of Illinois’ sweeping criminal justice law violates the state constitution, potentially rolling back a controversial measure that would eliminate cash bail as of New Year’s Day, according to a copy of the judge’s ruling.

The judge’s ruling affects only the pretrial release provisions of the law, leaving all other measures of what is known as the SAFE-T Act intact.

The ruling is here.

* Most of the plaintiffs’ case was tossed out, including the alleged violations of the “single subject rule” and the three readings requirement, vagueness, etc. The dispute over the meaning of “sufficient sureties” was key and that’s what will be appealed

The court finds under the Act, that “persons are no longer bailable with sufficient sureties” pursuant to the pretrial release provisions of the Act because ‘sufficient sureties’ does involve monetary bail as one of the conditions of bail which is abolished with the Act. See Article I, Sec. 9 of the Illinois Constitution. The court also finds with regard to the Separation of Powers challenge, that the passage of the Act also violates the separation of powers clause of the Illinois Constitution found at Article II, Sec. 1. Summary judgment is entered in favor of plaintiffs and against defendants as to Counts III and V only as they relate to the pretrial provisions of the Act.

As I’ve told you several times before, the Illinois Supreme Court’s Commission on Pretrial Practices defined bail this way in its final report

Bail: The process of releasing a defendant from custody with conditions set to reasonably assure public safety and court appearance. […]

“Bail” is often used to refer to the amount of cash that a defendant must post as a condition of release. “Bond” is sometimes treated as a synonym of “bail.” Understood properly, “bail” – which literally means, “release” – is a process of releasing a defendant from custody on conditions designed to assure both public safety and the person’s appearance in court. A “bond” occurs whenever a defendant enters an agreement with the court. The agreement may, but need not necessarily, include a financial condition, but can also or instead include a variety of other conditions such as electronic monitoring, curfews, supervised visits or appointments, etc.

* And this is causing some confusion

In Count VIII, Plaintiffs are seeking a preliminary injunction against defendants to prevent the enforcement of the bail provisions in Public Act, 101–652 and Public Act 102-1104 until all of the plaintiffs’ claims in this case can be fully litigated. […]

The court finds that a preliminary injunction is not appropriate at this juncture of the case. A preliminary injunction is a provisional remedy granted to preserve the status quo until the case can be decided on the merits.” Hensley Construction, LLC., The Pulte Home Corporation v. Del Webb Communications Of Illinois, Inc.. 399 Ill. App., 3d 184, 190. We are well past the beginning stage of this suit where a preliminary injunction might be warranted. The case is being decided on the merits, by way of cross motions for summary judgment. This will result in a final appealable decision by the trial court. Therefore, the Court grants summary judgment in favor of defendants and against plaintiffs on Count VIII.

Tribune

The state will appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court, according to a statement late Wednesday from Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. His office noted that the ruling only applies to jurisdictions that fall under the 64 lawsuits against Raoul, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other state officials. The ruling does not apply to Cook County.

But this is from WEEK TV

Peoria County State’s Attorney Jodi Hoos says though her office did not participate in the ruling, they are required to follow it.

In a release, she said that when a statute is unconstitutional, the statute becomes invalid and has no force or effect on anyone.

“As a result, and until the Illinois Supreme Court provides further clarification, we will abide by this ruling and not implement the new bail reform,” she said. “This office remains committed to following the law and is hopeful the Supreme Court will bring finality to this topic in the near future.”

Last night, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Roe said in a release that the pre-trial provisions and bail reform will not go into effect in the 65 counties that were party to the lawsuit.

Clear as mud.

* On to react. AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Cunnington’s opinion that the pretrial release portions of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act violate Illinois’ Constitution. The court’s opinion does not disturb other portions of the SAFE-T Act that have been in effect for more than a year.

“Although the court’s decision is binding in the 64 cases that were consolidated in Kankakee County, it is important to note that it is not binding in any other case, including those involving criminal defendants in any of the state’s 102 counties. To definitively resolve this challenge to the pretrial release portions of the SAFE-T Act, Governor Pritzker, the legislative leaders named in the consolidated cases and I intend to appeal the circuit court’s decision directly to the Illinois Supreme Court, where we will ask the court to reverse the circuit court’s decision.

“Most of the SAFE-T Act’s provisions have been in effect for more than a year, and regardless of today’s circuit court decision, all parts of the SAFE-T Act, including the pretrial release portions addressed in the court’s decision, will go into effect Jan 1. For instance, the right of individuals awaiting criminal trials – people who have not been convicted of a crime and are presumed innocent – to seek release from jail without having to pay cash bail will go into effect in a few short days, despite the court’s ruling against those provisions. Illinois residents in all counties should be aware that the circuit court’s decision has no effect on their ability to exercise their rights that are protected by the SAFE-T Act and the Illinois Constitution.”

* Gov. Pritzker…

Following Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Thomas W. Cunnington’s ruling that the pretrial release provisions of the SAFE-T Act are unconstitutional, Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement.

“Today’s ruling is a setback for the principles we fought to protect through the passage of the SAFE-T Act. The General Assembly and advocates worked to replace an antiquated criminal justice system with a system rooted in equity and fairness. We cannot and should not defend a system that fails to keep people safe by allowing those who are a threat to their community the ability to simply buy their way out of jail. I thank the Attorney General for his work on this case and look forward to the Illinois Supreme Court taking up the appeal as soon as possible.”

* Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice…

The following is a statement from the Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice on the SAFE-T Act lawsuit ruling:

“Today, a Kankakee County judge sided with the 58 State’s Attorneys and sheriffs suing Illinois over the SAFE-T Act. This disappointing ruling is as political as the frivolous lawsuits that spurred it. The decision from Judge Thomas W. Cunnington could delay justice in counties across the state but will not deny it. The court did not issue an injunction and the Pretrial Fairness Act will still be the law in Illinois on January 1st. We anticipate that this poorly reasoned decision will be swiftly corrected by the Illinois Supreme Court.

“In the nearly two years since the Pretrial Fairness Act was passed into law as part of the SAFE-T Act, some members of law enforcement have been trying to undermine it. Their efforts have not been about justice or public safety; they are simply about preserving the power to jail people because they’re poor.

“Delaying the implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act harms marginalized communities and survivors of violence. The current money bond system prioritizes access to wealth over public safety. Every year, thousands of people lose their jobs, housing, and custody of their children—not because a judge believes they’re dangerous, but only because they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. By protecting the status quo, the State’s Attorneys and sheriffs behind this lawsuit are making our communities less safe.

“Not all members of law enforcement have participated in these efforts to deny justice and undermine historic racial justice reforms. Some members of law enforcement have worked diligently to prepare for successful implementation on January 1st either in their own counties or as part of working groups led by the Administrative Office of Illinois Courts. Others participated in negotiations throughout the summer and fall to develop clarifying amendments to the law, which were passed earlier this month. Notably, the State’s Attorneys representing two of Illinois’ largest counties and a combined 47% of the population of the state, Cook and Lake, have championed the reforms included in the Pretrial Fairness Act long before they even became law. State’s Attorneys representing the second and fifth largest counties, DuPage and Kane respectively, were active participants in legislative negotiations and the Champaign County State’s Attorney testified in favor of the amendments made just weeks ago.

“While many counties have diligently worked to prepare for the end of money bond, the State’s Attorneys behind these lawsuits have been working to preserve one of the greatest racial and economic injustices in our legal system.

“The Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice stands by the Pretrial Fairness Act and is ready to work with the stakeholders in all counties to ensure that the law is successfully implemented after the Supreme Court responds to today’s ruling.”

The Champaign SA was neutral on the bill.

* Leader Durkin…

After today’s court ruling declaring the SAFE-T Act’s provision ending cash bail as unconstitutional, Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) issued the following statement.

“Today’s ruling is a victory for the often neglected victims of crime and the men and women of law enforcement who wear the badge every day. Legislation of this magnitude must not only be judged on substance, but also on process. In that regard, the Illinois Democrats failed Illinoisans.

“In order to fix this one-sided, anti-law enforcement, and anti-victim act, it is imperative to have a transparent and substantive negotiation with all interested parties, not just a few stakeholders and political insiders. The people of the State of Illinois deserve nothing less.”

Not sure what that process argument is about.

* Leader-elect McCombie…

State Representative and House Republican Leader-elect Tony McCombie issued the following statement tonight following a Kankakee County Circuit Court ruling declaring the cashless bail provisions unconstitutional:

“Today’s ruling by Circuit Judge Thomas Cunnington was the correct one,” said House Republican Leader-Elect Tony McCombie. “Republicans have loudly and consistently voiced the many concerns with the SAFE-T Act since its passage during the lame-duck session nearly two years ago. Many provisions within the act put victims, law enforcement and communities throughout Illinois at-risk for disastrous outcomes. I am grateful the courts have ruled on the side of common-sense and am hopeful that any appeal will be upheld to protect Illinois families and the most vulnerable throughout the state.”

* ILGOP…

This morning, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy issued the following statement celebrating the court decision striking down the cashless bail provision in the [Un] SAFE-T Act:

“Cashless bail was slated to go into effect across Illinois this Sunday. This law would have severely limited the ability of judges and prosecutors to keep dangerous criminals off of the streets thereby exporting the epidemic of lawlessness we’ve seen in certain parts of Chicago throughout the rest of our state. The Circuit Court ruling which rightly declared it unconstitutional is a win for public safety, and the businesses and residents of Illinois, if upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court. For now, it should serve as a message to Governor Pritzker and Democrat legislators that they can’t subvert our constitutional process by ramming their unpopular and dangerous soft-on-crime policies through the legislature in the dark of night.”

* Leader McConchie…

Following the December 28 ruling by a Kankakee County Circuit Judge, who declared the pretrial release portion of the SAFE-T Act unconstitutional, Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) released the below statement:

“The creation of the SAFE-T Act has been a colossal failure from the beginning. The sloppy, rushed, poorly drafted law not only disregarded the opinions of citizens, law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, but more dangerously has threated public safety here in Illinois. And on top of this, the central component has now been ruled unconstitutional. This ruling is just another example of the failure of this law.

“While the ‘no cash bail’ provision will continue to work its way through the court system, I will continue to advocate for a system that is fair, puts victims ahead of criminals, and gives judges the discretion they need to ensure violent offenders are not let back out on the streets.”

* Speaker Welch…

Speaker Welch’s Statement on SAFE-T Act Lawsuit

“While I am disappointed in the decision by the plaintiffs’ preferred trial court, I remain confident we will ultimately prevail on appeal.”

* Senate President Harmon…

Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement in response to a Kankakee County circuit court judge’s ruling on the pretrial release portions of the SAFE-T Act:

“We knew this legal fight was inevitable and look forward to the Illinois Supreme Court’s review and more statewide perspective.”

*** UPDATE 1 *** Click here for the notice of appeal. I’m told that the AG’s office plans to request an expedited appeal schedule early next week.

Also…


*** UPDATE 2 *** AG Raoul…

– Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to improperly entered temporary restraining orders sought today by some state’s attorneys who, after more than a year of inaction, are now seeking to prevent enforcement of the SAFE-T Act.

“Beginning this morning, the Attorney General’s office received new complaints and motions for temporary restraining orders (TROs) from state’s attorneys and sheriffs throughout Illinois who are seeking to prevent the SAFE-T Act from going into effect. To be clear, these motions were filed on the last business day before Jan. 1, when the SAFE-T Act will go into effect.

“In some of these TRO motions, plaintiffs are asking that the Attorney General’s office be enjoined from enforcing any provision of the SAFE-T Act, not just the pretrial release provisions. Many of these provisions have been in effect for more than a year; however, my office received less than one hour’s notice of hearings in some counties and no notice at all in others. Throughout the day, we continued to learn of plaintiffs having obtained TROs without giving our office notice or providing copies of the complaints or TRO motions. To say that this is an abuse of the judicial process is an understatement. The SAFE-T Act has been the law in Illinois since January 2021, giving these plaintiffs nearly two years to raise challenges. In fact, the plaintiffs have had since October to join the lawsuits consolidated in Kankakee County. It is outrageous that the plaintiffs instead chose to sit on their hands until the last business day before the SAFE-T Act is to go into effect, and then seek to enjoin it from going into effect.

“It goes without saying that there is an appropriate way to challenge a new law. In fact, as their colleagues were engaging in 11th hour theatrics, the state’s attorneys of DuPage and Kane counties filed an emergency motion with the Illinois Supreme Court in which they ask the court to provide some clarity regarding the SAFE-T Act, so that there will be consistent pretrial proceedings throughout Illinois beginning Jan. 1. And because my office has already appealed Judge Cunnington’s order, the appropriate process for seeking a ruling that will apply to all 102 counties is now underway.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** This will stop the chaos for now…


…Adding… 19th Circuit…

On Saturday, December 31, 2022, hours before Lake County was to begin following the SAFE-T Act, eliminating cash bail, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a stay statewide in a Motion for Supervisory Order Kankakee County Circuit Court 22CH16.

As a result, the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit Court will act in accordance with the Illinois Supreme Court and any amendments or orders entered by or associated with the Pretrial Fairness Act that would become effective on January 1, 2023, are hereby stayed until further order of the Illinois Supreme Court.

* Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice…

“Today, the Illinois Supreme Court issued an order directing counties across our state to delay implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act until the court has had a chance to review the Kankakee County decision finding the law unconstitutional. While we are disappointed that the Pretrial Fairness Act will not be taking effect as scheduled on January 1, 2023, we are thankful that the Supreme Court has stepped in to provide guidance to courts and communities across the state. We remain confident that the Court will swiftly correct the poorly reasoned decision made by Judge Cunnington.

“The frivolous lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act is just the latest of many attempts by conservatives to prevent progress and preserve wealth-based jailing in Illinois. They know their actions were taken on weak legal grounds, at the last minute despite the law passing 23 months ago, and were simply intended to delay the inevitable implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act. With every passing day that money bond remains in place, Illinois will continue to punish people for being poor. It is essential that the Supreme Court moves quickly to ensure the law’s full implementation and prevent any more Illinoisans from being forced to pay a ransom to free their loved ones from jail while they await trial.

“It is a common refrain that the darkest hour comes before dawn. If you look closely towards the horizon, you’ll see a new day is quickly approaching in Illinois. While those looking to preserve the racist system of wealth-based jailing may delay progress, they will not prevent it.”

* Cook County Public Defender…

The Illinois Supreme Court today issued an order suspending implementation of the Pretrial Fairness Act while it reviews a lower court opinion that found the law unconstitutional.

The Cook County Public Defender’s Office is disappointed that this historic and transformative law will not take effect as planned tomorrow, Jan. 1.

We are confident that the Supreme Court will swiftly reverse the lower court finding and confirm the constitutionality of the Pretrial Fairness Act. In the meantime, we are grateful that the court is providing uniform guidance to courts across the state.

Money bond is a deplorable practice, and it is high time that Illinois abolish a system that punishes people – most of them Black and Brown – for being poor. We decry the frivolous lawsuit that was brought against the Pretrial Fairness Act almost two years after it was signed into law.

We continue to look forward to a day in the near future when Illinois will move forward as a beacon for our nation, reforming our inequitable pretrial legal system.

* Tribune

Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart, who supports the elimination of cash bail, said he was disappointed in Cunnington’s decision but said he understands why the Supreme Court ruled that uniformity in Illinois must exist. He’s argued that while the bail system can keep poor, nonviolent defendants locked up because they can’t afford to make bail, the system allows dangerous criminals to be released pending trial if they have the financial means.

“Lake County was ready to start arguing (Sunday) that violent offenders shouldn’t be able to use cash to buy their way out,” he said in a text message to the Tribune. “A few days ago, one of our defendants charged with possessing dozens of weapons and resisting law enforcement posted $75,000.

*** UPDATE 4 *** AG Raoul with what could very well be the last Illinois government press release of 2022…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today issued the following statement in response to an Illinois Supreme Court stay of the SAFE-T Act’s Jan. 1, 2023 effective date.

“As we have stated previously, my office filed an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court because in this matter, only the Supreme Court’s final decision on the merits will be binding on all Illinois courts. It is important to note that the order issued today by the court is not a decision on the merits of the constitutionality of the SAFE-T Act, and I appreciate the court’s interest in expediting the appeal. We look forward to mounting a robust defense of the constitutionality of the law and ensuring that it goes into effect across the state.”

  1 Comment      


Reader comments closed for the holidays

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Every year at this time, I play these videos for my mom, who watched them when she was a kid. Here’s Suzy Snowflake, Frosty the Snowman and Hardrock, Coco and Joe

Have a wonderful break!

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And the winners are…

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Use of Social Media goes to Tina Sfondeles

I get both interesting political/government scoops and needed doses of humor from Tina Sfondeles’ Twitter account, at least while it lasts.

@ChicagoBars gets honorable mention, and his nomination of Tina is also worth noting

Good to have her back in Chicago reporting. This nomination is contingent on Miss Sfondeles getting the Sun Times web site to quit asking me to log in every 2 days on my phone.

Yes, please.

* The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter goes to walker

He frequently notes insightful and often overlooked points to the critical issues facing Illinois. And his brevity in doing so is worthy of emulation by all, especially me.

From Oswego Willy’s walker nomination

I mean, how often to do we read “walker is correct”?

Very often.

True.

* Congratulations to everyone who won this year…

    Best Session Restaurant: Fritz’s

    Best Session Tavern/Hangout: JP Kelly’s

    Best Senate Democrat Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager: Ivan Gonzalez

    Best Senate Republican Legislative Assistant/District Office Manage: Cathy Scaife

    Best House Democrat Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager: Ricardo Montoya-Picazo

    Best House Republican Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager: Megan McGuire

    Best House Democrat Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager: Ricardo Montoya-Picazo

    Best House Republican Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager: Megan McGuire

    Best Non Political State Senate Staffer: Meredith O’Brien

    Best Non Political State House Staffer: Kendra Piercy

    Best Senate Democrat Campaign Staffer: Kevin Romo & Dana Stoerger

    Best House Democrat Campaign Staffer: Craig Willert

    Best Senate Republican Campaign Staffer: Brent Ellis & Matt Butcher

    Best House Republican Campaign Staffer: Mark Revis

    Best Government Spokesperson: Eleni Demertzis & Abdon Pallasch

    Best Campaign Spokesperson: Natalie Edelstein

    Best Democrat Illinois State Representative: Rep. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside)

    Best Republican Illinois State Representative: Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City)

    Best Democrat Illinois State Senator: Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago)

    Best Republican Illinois State Senator: Sen. John Curran (R-Downers Grove)

    Best Contract Lobbyist: Heather Wier Vaught & Liz Brown

    Best In-House Lobbyist: Khadine Bennett

    Best Legislative Liaison: Andi VanderKolk

    Best State Agency Director: Alexis Sturm

    Best Statewide Staffer: Anne Caprara

    Best Do-Gooder Lobbyist: John Amdor

    Best US Representative: Adam Kinzinger

    Best Statewide Officeholder: JB Pritzker

    Lifetime Achievement: Secretary of State Jesse White

    Best Association/Union Leader: Terry Cosgrove

    Best Use of Social Media: Tina Sfondeles

    Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter: walker

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Pritzker inauguration events announced

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Governor JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton’s Inaugural Committee announced the schedule of events for Inauguration Day on Monday, January 9, 2023, in Springfield.

The inaugural ceremony to swear in Governor Pritzker, Lt. Governor Stratton, and other constitutional officers will take place at 11:30 a.m. at the Bank of Springfield Center. Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Interested parties may request up to two complimentary tickets on the inauguration website starting on Friday, December 16, 2022, at ilinauguration23.com.

The governor and lieutenant governor’s inauguration celebration will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the Exposition Building on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Pre-sale tickets will be available by invitation only with general-sale tickets to be announced pending availability. Ticket sales will benefit charitable endeavors in Illinois and will be announced at a later date.

Additional details for media coverage will be forthcoming.

ABOUT THE JB INAUGURATION COMMITTEE 2023


The JB Inauguration Committee 2023 is collecting and voluntarily reporting the name, address, employer, and occupation of donors that contribute more than $1,000. We will not accept anonymous contributions or contributions in cash. JB Inauguration Committee 2023 is a 501(c)(4) not-for-profit organization.

Any guesses who the musical headliner will be this time?

  7 Comments      


Distorting good news to make it appear like it’s bad news

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From a Center Square story entitled “State commission offers uncertain forecast for Illinois’ economy”

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability provided an update on the 2023 forecast to the Illinois State Board of Education Wednesday and said it is increasing its fiscal year 2023 revenue outlook to just over $51 billion. That is only $259 million above fiscal 2022 final levels.

“Only.”

What a crock.

* Here’s what CGFA actually reported

Through the first five months of the fiscal year, overall general funds receipts are up an amazing $1.945 billion. […]

Even when excluding the $620 million growth in one-time revenues from Federal ARPA reimbursements, the general funds base growth of $1.325 billion is just as impressive - especially considering that these FY 2023 receipts are being compared to the record-breaking levels of FY 2022.

Personal income tax receipts through November are $1.019 billion above last year’s pace on a gross basis, or $860 million on a net basis. Corporate income tax receipts have risen $380 million in total or $311 million net. While the performance of sales tax receipts have been boosted by inflated prices, it still has resulted in year-to-date tax revenue growth of $407 million or $235 million net.

CGFA is usually reticent to use glowing phrases like “amazing” and “impressive,” but there you go.

* Here’s what happened. CGFA revised this fiscal year’s revenue outlook upward by $4.9 billion in November. The “strong overall performance” of financial numbers released since that decision, CGFA reported, “further solidify the Commission’s confidence in raising the FY 2023 general funds revenue estimate.”

The commission’s revised forecast was about $1.2 billion higher than the governor’s budget office revision. The governor used that GOMB forecast to justify paying off the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund debt, among other things.

* And here’s where the Center Square misinformation is important. The current FY23 state budget as originally drafted relied on total revenue projections of $46.43 billion, which was back then about $4.6 billion below FY22’s record-breaking $51.07 billion in revenues. So, if CGFA is right, then the recently revised forecast would result in total revenues almost $300 million higher than last year’s, or almost $4.9 billion higher than originally expected.

Not to mention the CGFA report advised that another upward revenue revision is possible next March, “if any semblance of the current pace of revenue growth continues.” Personal income tax receipts are currently running “well ahead” of last fiscal year’s pace, CGFA notes, but CGFA’s newly revised estimates still predict the revenue stream will decline by nearly $700 million this fiscal year.

  14 Comments      


SDems issue list of “ten most interesting new laws”

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

As the new year starts, a number of new laws take effect. Nearly 200 laws will officially be on the books Jan. 1 – from one that bans latex gloves during food preparation, to another that reduces vehicle registration fees for seniors.

The Senate Democratic Caucus outlined 10 of the most interesting laws that will affect Illinoisans in all corners of the state. Those include:

    · SB 3120: Allows women who have a miscarriage, other diagnosis or event that impacts pregnancy or fertility, or death of a family member to take 10 days of unpaid leave.
    · SB 3459: Requires next of kin to any Illinois resident who dies while on State Active Duty or Federal Active Duty, to be presented the Illinois state flag.
    · SB 3609: Reduces the vehicle registration fees for cars and small trucks if it was manufactured in Illinois.
    · SB 3616: Changes the Illinois Human Rights Act to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists, to combat hair discrimination in the workplace.
    · SB 3667: Provides that a petition for a protective order may be filed at any time, in-person, by email, or online, and that a county with a population above 250,000 must offer the option of a remote hearing.
    · SB 3932: Requires a coroner or medical examiner with custody of human remains that are not identified within 72 hours of discovery to notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
    · HB 209: Bans latex gloves for the use of handling and preparing food, as well as for EMA personnel.
    · HB 3772: Provides people whose cars were stolen not be liable for violations, fees, fines or penalties when caught on red light cameras or speed cameras.
    · HB 4271: Requires medically necessary breast reduction surgery to be covered by state-regulated private insurance.
    · HB 5304: Reduces the vehicle registration fee for senior citizens from $24 to $10.

For more information on the laws above, click here.

Dozens of other laws will also take effect Jan. 1, 2023. A full list can be found at www.illinoissenatedemocrats.com/2023NewLaws.

Thoughts?

  4 Comments      


Some Pritzker folks receive promotions

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Some past Golden Horseshoe winners in here…

Gov. Pritzker Announces Staff Transitions

CHICAGO – Ahead of being sworn in to serve the state of Illinois for a second term, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following staff transitions.

Emily Miller will now oversee both of Governor Pritzker’s Policy and Legislative teams as Senior Advisor to the Governor for Policy and Legislative Affairs. Miller is an attorney who has previously served as Governor Pritzker’s deputy chief of staff for policy, and as a policy advisor to Governor Pritzker’s 2018 campaign. Prior to that, Miller directed policy and advocacy work at Illinois-based non-profit organizations where she specialized in issues related to economic mobility, early childhood education, fiscal policy, consumer protection, human services, and government accountability. Miller began her career in Illinois policy and politics after she graduated from the DePaul university college of law in 2006.

Chris Shallow returns to the Governor’s Office to serve as Legislative Director after serving as Political Director on the Governor’s 2022 reelection campaign. He previously served as Director of Public Engagement in the Office of Governor Pritzker. Before entering state government Shallow served as District Director for Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, and over the last decade has held management roles within numerous political and campaign organizations. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, a native Illinoisan, and a passionate White Sox fan.

Jordan Abudayyeh will begin a new role as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Strategic Media, overseeing the Governor’s Communications team. Abudayyeh previously served as Governor Pritzker’s Press Secretary for his first term. Abudayyeh also served the same role on Pritzker’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign. Before entering politics, Abudayyeh was an award-winning political reporter for Springfield’s ABC affiliate WICS-TV, an anchor and producer for Naperville’s NCTV17, and an associate producer for Milwaukee’s WISN-TV. She received a degree in broadcast journalism and sociology from Marquette University.

Jason Rubin will begin a new role as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications and Agency Strategy, overseeing the Governor’s Communications team. Rubin previously served as Governor Pritzker’s Deputy Communications Director, a role he has held since the governor’s inauguration. Prior to that, Rubin served as Deputy Communications Director on the governor’s 2018 campaign and held communications roles with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Rep. Patrick Murphy’s 2016 U.S. Senate campaign in Florida. Rubin began his career in politics as the Director of Scheduling for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. He is a graduate of Vassar College with a degree in political science.

Emily Bittner will begin serving as Senior Advisor to the Governor, overseeing a new portfolio including the Department of Innovation and Technology, the Illinois Tollway, the Illinois Racing Board, the Illinois Gaming Board, along with the Illinois Lottery. Previously, Bittner served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications. She also served as Chief of Strategy for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a role she began in 2017 after serving for three years at Chicago Public Schools, where she led the district’s communications and strategic efforts during the push for historic education funding reform. Bittner served as an adviser for Mayor Emanuel’s 2015 re-election campaign. Bittner previously led communications strategy serving as the chief spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, and the Democratic Governors Association. She began her career as a reporter at The Arizona Republic covering public safety. Bittner is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she earned degrees in journalism and political science.

  14 Comments      


Afternoon news roundup

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Far-right Republicans regularly demand a single flavor of Republicanism. But while a large chunk of the party’s members side with those folks, majorities and pluralities appear to support a big tent philosophy on most individual hot-button issues, according to a Monmouth University poll of party members

However

A majority (55%) of Republican voters continue to say that Biden’s 2020 victory was due only to voter fraud. Just 28% say the current president won fair and square.

*Heavy sigh*

I don’t know how anyone can be taken seriously if they believe that nonsense.

* From the Illinois Supreme Court

The Illinois Supreme Court Pretrial Implementation Task Force (Task Force) has updated its resource documents, including draft flowcharts, considerations documents and sample orders, to reflect the latest Pretrial Fairness Act (PFA) amendments as of December 15, 2022.

The updated resources and other Task Force information can be found here.

* “Voters overwhelmingly rejected my candidate, so they are all doomed to ignominious death”…


Merry Christmas to you, too, Dan.

…Adding… Amnesty International

Amnesty International USA’s Campaign Manager for Ending Gun Violence, Ernest Coverson, issued the following statement in support of the Protect Illinois Communities Act (HB5855).

“It’s imperative that the Illinois legislature pass the Protect Illinois Communities Act ahead of the January session. This bill, which would ban assault weapons, among other provisions, is a step toward keeping the communities of Illinois safer and free of gun violence. Gun violence continues to tear apart our communities nationwide and has a disproportionate impact on people of color; for example, nationally, Black people are 10 times more likely to be victims of firearm-related homicides and 18 times more likely to suffer firearm-related injuries than white people. Illinois was ravaged by gun violence this year with more than 50 mass shooting incidents, some of which could have been prevented with stricter gun control measures such as what is contained in HB 5855.”

“Legislation like the Protect Illinois Communities Act puts necessary safeguards in place such as banning large capacity magazines, rapid-fire mechanisms, increasing the Firearm Owners Identification eligibility age to 21 with limited, specific exceptions, and dedicating law enforcement to counter the trafficking of illegal firearms from out of state. All of these measures will help address the plague of gun violence in both urban and rural communities across the state. Amnesty International urges state leaders and local communities to come together to support the Protect Illinois Communities Act and move one step closer to a safer Illinois.”

* Oops

Federal prosecutors say recent FBI surveillance of Ald. Carrie Austin (34th) undermined her claim that she is medically unfit to stand trial on public corruption charges.

In asking last month for U.S. District Judge John Kness to find her unfit, Austin’s lawyers said her deteriorating health issues have brought her to a point where she could not pass a six-minute walking test in September, and that she struggles even with the help of a portable oxygen concentrator.

But while being surveilled on Nov. 19, the feds say Austin was seen walking in and out of a salon unassisted. After spending three hours at the salon, she was allegedly seen visiting a beauty store — “again, unassisted.”

“FBI agents did not observe her using oxygen at any time during the surveillance,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Didwania wrote.

* Press release…

Memorial services for State Senator Scott Bennett will be held on Monday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m. at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana.

Senator Bennett passed away on Friday, Dec. 9 surrounded by his wife, family and loved ones from complications of a large brain tumor.

He had served in the Senate since 2015 and has served as chair of the Senate’s Higher Education and Agriculture committees.

Senator Bennett, a fifth-generation Central Illinoisan, was a tireless advocate and champion for measures to protect and improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our state: children, families, older adults, and individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health issues.

During his tenure, he fought to secure MAP grant funding and make college more affordable for Illinois families, instituted protections to keep the drinking water in the Mahomet Aquifer safe, promoted compassionate courtrooms by authorizing the use of “comfort dogs,” and teamed up with Treasurer Michael Frerichs to create the Illinois Achieving a Better Life Expectancy Act, better known as the ABLE Act.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Senator Bennett’s memory to CU Able or Champaign-Urbana Autism Network, as his priority for the upcoming legislative session was going to center around assistance for people with disabilities.

The Bennett family has asked that their privacy is respected as they navigate this difficult time.

WHO: Governor JB Pritzker, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Chancellor Robert J. Jones, State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs, U.S. Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe, Senate President Don Harmon, Former State Senator Pat McGuire, State Representative Tom Bennett, Champaign County States Attorney Julia Rietz and Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen

WHEN: Doors open at 9 a.m. and the Memorial will start 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 19, 2022

WHERE: Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL) and live on BlueRoomStream.com

* From Navy Pier…

CHICAGO— Reyes Coca-Cola is bringing in the classic Coca-Cola Caravan Saturday, December 17 from 4 pm – 9 pm. This Coca-Cola semi-truck is decked out in holiday lights! Guests are invited to take a free photo with the iconic Coca-Cola Polar Bear and enjoy a free sample of Coca-Cola products. Reyes Coca-Cola is the new beverage partner across the Pier.

On Friday, December 16, Ozinga’s Merry Mixer is coming to Navy Pier. Ozinga’s signature red-and-white striped mixer is decked out with more than 32,000 programmed lights. This dazzling display features animated light sequences and toe-tapping renditions of favorite holiday tunes. Guests can experience this free display from 4 pm – 10 pm.

The Holidays are coming alive all-around Navy Pier! Visit our Winter Artisan Market to find a one-of-a-kind, locally-made gift. Guests can join one of our free workshops led by Chicago artists and learn how to make a gift for your special someone. Stay into the evening to celebrate the season at our night markets while enjoying some tunes from local musicians or sipping on a holiday cocktail from one of our restaurants.

On Saturday, December 17 from 1 pm – 3 pm, there will be cookie decorating. Guests will choose different holiday-themed cookies and learn from a master cookie decorator how to paint and decorate edible holiday scenes. Then, from 4 pm – 6 pm, local Chicago artist, Cookie Kwan, will guide guests in the creation of traditional Filipino ‘Parol Lanterns’ which are displayed throughout the holiday season.

From 7 pm – 9 pm, guests will begin the Gift of Music workshop by selecting a song that reminds them of someone. The first part of this workshop is creating a detailed card in the shape of a record with a note attached to it as well as an envelope to insert the card into. The second part of the workshop will include printing out a QR code to the song selected that will then be attached to the card. When the QR code is scanned, the song will play on the person’s phone.

There will be live art with Natalia Virafuentes from 2 pm – 5 pm. Virafuentes is a Mexican-American multimedia artist born and raised in the city of Chicago. Her works go from 2D to 3D but primarily consist of drawing and painting. She has been working hard as a muralist since 2019. Guests can also enjoy live holiday music by JoLin & the Cousins from 6 pm – 8 pm.

* Thanks, but the real thanks go to the people who stepped up and more than doubled our previous online fundraising record set in 2021


* Isabel’s roundup…

    * FOX 32 | New poll shows Lightfoot trailing Garcia, Vallas: A new voter opinion survey suggests Mayor Lori Lightfoot would come in third if the Feb. 28 election were held today. That would eliminate the first-term incumbent from competing in any April runoff election.

    * Lake County News-Sun | Lake County’s first Latino and openly gay countywide official begins term; ‘Government works better when it reflects the community’: The 30-year-old is believed to be the both the first Latino and first openly gay person to hold an elected, countywide office in Lake County. “A few cycles ago, Avon Township in Lake County made history by electing Krystal Larson the first openly transgender township clerk,” Vega said. “It’s 2022, the county is a quarter Latino, we have thousands of folks that are proudly LGBTQ and I’ve always said government works better when it reflects the community they represent.

    * FOX 32 | Staffing woes hamper CPD reform efforts, new report warns: The Chicago Police Department’s deep staffing and personnel issues continue to hinder its court-ordered reform efforts, according to a progress report released Thursday. By the end of the most recent reporting period, covering the first half of the year, the police department had earned some form of compliance with 78% of the reviewable sections in the sweeping federal consent decree, which the city entered into after the police killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in 2014.

    * Crain’s | Inflation is eroding the power of basic income checks in America: A group of low-income residents of Cook County, Illinois is getting their first $500 checks this week from the $42 million two-year program, which organizers say is the largest-ever such initiative in the US. The idea is to give families a government-funded guaranteed payment every month to help pay for the basics like food, shelter and other living expenses. Lightfoot’s budget doesn’t include funding to extend Chicago’s basic income program beyond one year. But with soaring prices for everything from food to fuel, more than 3,000 recipients will find that money won’t stretch nearly as far as when the grants were announced in May.

    * Crain’s | Unionized Starbucks workers kick off three-day strike: Employees of unionized Starbucks locations are participating in a nationwide demonstration starting today. Workers are demanding an end to store closures in a three-day unfair labor practice strike through the weekend. Six locations across Illinois, four of them in Chicago, are taking part in the action, which begins at 7 a.m. today. The demonstration includes 100 locations across the country.

    * WTTW | 14-Year-Old Charged With Bringing Firearm Into Chicago Elementary School: Chicago police announced the student has been charged with felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon and threat to a school building. He was also cited for possessing a high-capacity magazine and metal piercing bullets. According to police, the student — whose name was not released because he is a minor — was arrested Wednesday at Mary E. Courtenay Language Arts Center, 4420 N. Beacon St., after he was reported to staff in the building.

    * Semafor | Democratic lawmakers are looking for the exits in case Twitter implodes: A number of Democrats have publicly criticized Musk’s recent decisions to suspend journalists, his conspiratorial tweets, and his abandonment of the prior management’s approach to hate speech and harassment. While no members are quitting just yet, several offices say they’re checking out new options and may change up their social media diet.

    * Daily Herald | Botched police raids lead to change in state’s attorney’s warrants policy: “The intrusion that search warrants legally authorize justifies greater disclosure and transparency to ensure that a search warrant is carried out on the correct individual and location,” State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said in announcing changes. “Going forward to receive our signoff, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office will require law enforcement to submit to increased checks of the information provided to request search warrants and then disclose the outcome of the warrant.

    * Tribune | Chicago police officer tied to disgraced unit fired 18 years after scandal: The Police Board decided to dismiss Officer Thomas Sherry in a 5 to 1 decision for his alleged actions in the disgraced Special Operations Section, a specialized unit that was disbanded when some of its officers committed home invasions and robberies in the 2000s.

    * Crain’s | Kinzinger delivers a scathing farewell speech that singes the GOP—and Dems, too: The Channahon Republican, who along with now-ousted Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney was one of only two GOP members to serve on the House’s Jan. 6 investigative committee, criticized his party for embracing “lies and deceit” while buying in to conspiracy theories and slavishly supporting former President Donald Trump.

    * The Hill | Trump’s digital cards sell out within a day: As of Friday morning, the site selling the non-fungible tokens (NFTs) says they are sold out, and links to purchase the digital cards are no longer available. OpenSea Data, which tracks the sales and markets for NFTs, indicated there were 45,000 of the Trump cards initially made available for purchase for $99 each. The Trump digital cards were the top trending item on the site as of Friday morning.

    * Crain’s | NASCAR’s image overhaul starts in Chicago: NASCAR has to change something to rebuild its audience. Its average national TV viewership has shrunk to just over 3 million people per race, barely half of its size 10 years ago, though that drop may be partly a product of fewer people subscribing to pay-TV or streaming services. Stock car racing has been gradually reverting to its roots as a regional Southern sport, a far cry from its glory days two decades ago, when its popularity exploded nationally. Ratings for the Daytona 500 topped the World Series for four years in the mid-2000s.

    * WTTW | Chuck Swirsky, Radio Voice of Chicago Bulls, Reflects on 50 Years in Broadcasting: His broadcasting career spans 50 years and many sports, but basketball was always his first love and this is now his 25th season in his dream role as an NBA broadcaster. A pioneer of Chicago sports talk radio, Swirsky has also covered many iconic moments in sports history – including L.A. Laker Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game against the Toronto Raptors in 2006.

    * The Southern | A Murphysboro woman has been battling against a sinkhole in her driveway for over 2 years : For about two and a half years, Wilson has been dealing with the sinkhole. Her son, Johnnie Sims, said nearly 40 tons of gravel has been put into the hole. Each time it is repaired with gravel, the sinkhole opens back up again. In mid-November, nine tons of gravel was placed in the hole in an attempt to stop it from reopening. By the first of December, it was open again.

  17 Comments      


Do better

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* More info is here if you need it. From Crain’s

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is swinging for the fences when it comes to Stellantis.

As he works with the Legislature for additional tools to lure and retain automotive jobs, including a new “deal closing” fund and tax credits, Pritzker hinted he’s trying to land an auto-assembly plant and a battery factory in Belvidere. […]

Stellantis is the largest property tax payer in Boone County, near Rockford, where its plant is located. It paid $1.9 million in property taxes this year and owns about 249 acres under and around its factory. EV plants with battery factories nearby can be 10 times that size. Hyundai’s new vehicle and battery plants in Georgia are on a 2,900-acre site. Rivian’s planned vehicle and battery plants are on nearly 2,000 acres However, the Stellantis facility sits across Interstate 90 from a vast swath of farmland.

The Rivian and Hyundai projects are valued at about $5.5 billion each and promise to create about 7,500 manufacturing jobs apiece. But they’ve also garnered huge incentives, totaling about $1.5 billion for each project.

* And this map posted by the White House Director of the National Economic Council clearly shows why the governor feels the need to kick it into gear…


Not quite “all over America.”

  11 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Gun issue update

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

  Comments Off      


Lawmakers heard more testimony for and against assault weapons ban

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Background is here if you need it. Peter Hancock

A legislative committee on Thursday heard more witnesses call for a ban on high-power, semi-automatic rifles and large-capacity magazines, but some experts said that alone won’t solve the problem of violent crime in Illinois.

During its second hearing on a proposed assault weapon ban, an Illinois House committee, meeting in Chicago, heard from several officials who said public investment in marginalized communities and community-based programs that aim to stop cycles of violence also are needed. […]

Adams spoke during a House Judiciary-Criminal Committee hearing on House Bill 5855, sponsored by Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield. It would ban the sale and possession of “assault weapons,” .50 caliber rifles, .50 caliber cartridges and high-capacity magazines. The bill provides a long list of firearms, both rifles and pistols, that would fall under the definition of “assault weapons.”

And starting 300 days after the bill takes effect, it would make it illegal to possess such a weapon or ammunition unless it is registered with the Illinois State Police.

* AP

“The goal is to make sure we’re keeping dangerous weapons from those who shouldn’t have them,” said the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Bob Morgan, a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield who attended the Highland Park parade. […]

People under age 21 currently can obtain a Firearm Owners Identification card with the consent of a parent or guardian, but the measure would prohibit those under 21 who are not in the military from getting the card. They could hunt under the supervision of a guardian who has a gun owner ID.

A court-ordered Firearm Restraining Order could be issued for a year, instead of six months. The bill would also bolster the power of the Illinois State Police to target trafficking of illegal guns from outside state lines, working with federal authorities.

Rep. Tony McCombie, a Republican from the western Illinois city of Savannah, said rather than protect communities, the plan would jeopardize safety.

“This will leave communities, women unprotected,” said McCombie, who will be the House Minority Leader when a new Legislature is seated next month. “They’ll be unprotected and ultimately victimized. This is ineffective and unconstitutional.”

* The Center Square

While supporting the measure, Joseph Saunders with Brave Youth Group said at the crux of the issue is the hearts of bad actors.

“They gonna go with bats, they’re gonna go with knives, anything that they can pick up, screwdrivers, like they do in the penitentiary,” Saunders said. “I’m talking about a heart and a mind change.” […]

Alongside other opponents speaking as individuals, Andrew Guadarrama laid out recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent that he said would block any kind of widespread gun and magazine ban.

“Most handguns are 10-plus [bullets in a magazine],” Guadarrama told the committee. “This severely restricts access to firearms, which has already been ruled unconstitutional.”

* WMBD

Despite the name, the Protect Illinois Communities Act, some critics said it doesn’t provide much protection. […]

But a majority of those who testified, including advocacy groups, researchers, grassroots organizations, community outreach workers, parents and gun violence survivors, all embraced this proposal for possible change.

Maria Pike, a member of Moms Demand Action, lost her son to gun violence and said the contents of House Bill 5855 could have made a difference in recent mass shootings. […]

Supporters also said this bill is a step in the right direction, but it’s not an overall solution to the problem.

They said more resources and funding for community outreach groups and violence prevention are needed throughout the state.

Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly is expected to testify during next Tuesday’s hearing.

* More…

    * Patch | Duckworth Holds Video Call With Highland Park High School Students: The Illinois Democrat and combat veteran has long been a supporter of a ban on assault-style weapons like the AR-15 and similar semiautomatic rifles. “From their portability, accuracy, rate of fire ability to penetrate certain body armor and ease of reloading, both the military-issued M4 Carbine and the civilian AR-15, and its variants, are functionally similar and they are designed for combat. The lack of a three-round burst or full-auto mechanism does not meaningfully reduce the AR-15’s lethality compared to the M4,” Duckworth testified at a Senate hearing following the Highland Park massacre.

    * St Louis Dispatch | To combat gun violence, East St. Louis artist turns ammunition into art: Each year since he was 17, Ash has lost at least one friend or relative to gun violence. That includes his cousin Dashaun “Bookie” Gage, 28, who died in 2018 in a shooting in front of a gas station across the Mississippi River in St. Louis. Ash and Gage were close. Losing Gage left Ash so traumatized that he stopped going to that gas station. He turned to his art after the shooting, creating a portrait of Gage the same year. “My art saved my life,” Ash said. “There’s so much other stuff that I could have gotten off into.”

    * KFVS | Marion Jr. High students learn importance of mental health with help from ‘Pawfficer Gary’: A southern Illinois police department is using man’s best friend to help teach 7th graders the importance of understanding mental health and knowing that many of us sometimes have the blues. Marion Police Officer Jason Plichta and his four legged partner, Gary, are regular visitors at Marion Jr. High.

  19 Comments      


Question of the day: 2022 Golden Horseshoe Awards

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Association/Union Leader goes to Personal PAC’s Terry Cosgrove

He’s one of those organizers who makes difficult wins seem inevitable in retrospect. Even as recently as a few years ago, a sizable number of Democratic legislators were wary of any expansions of abortion rights, including the House Speaker. Now the anti-abortion wing of the Democratic party has dwindled without sacrificing any of their majority, and Illinois is a beacon of abortion rights in the Midwest. He helped build a movement and a state that’s ready for the post-Roe world.

Runner-up is Local 150’s Jim Sweeney with a special shoutout to the IMA’s Mark Denzler, who was elected Speaker of the Third House this week and received a strong nomination yesterday.

* The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Award for Lifetime Achievement was a no-brainer. Secretary of State Jesse White

For lifetime achievement, who else could it be but Jesse White? There will be people more qualified than I to talk about his record as Secretary of State, so I’ll instead dwell on his political accomplishments. He was an old-school city politician, some might even say a ward heeler. But through hard work, competent governing, and boundless charm, he appealed across party lines like maybe no other politician in the country. I can’t tell you how many doors I’ve knocked on where a voter said “I will never vote for Democrats,” and then remembered, “Oh except for Jesse White of course.” His popularity is worthy not just of praise, but academic study. Political scientists should be flocking to red Illinois counties to see how he did it. I’ve often wondered if anyone, up to and including Barack Obama, could beat Jesse White in an Illinois election. It’s laughably insufficient to say “they don’t make em like Jesse White anymore,” but they really don’t make em like Jesse White anymore.

I think only one other person received a nomination in this category (Cosgrove).

Congratulations!

* On to our final categories

    Best Use of Social Media

    The Wordslinger Golden Horseshoe Award for Best CapitolFax.com Commenter.

As always, do your best to nominate in both categories and make sure to explain your answers. Also, keep in mind that these awards are for actions this year, not previous years. Thanks!

* One more thing: I want to thank you again for your generosity this year. LSSI sent me a box of tasty cookies today, and I wish I could share them with everyone who helped buy presents for foster kids. As Oprah might say, “You get a cookie! You get a cookie! You get a cookie!”

Seriously, thanks. We’ve so far raised $45,760. I truly do have the best job in Illinois.

  31 Comments      


Canceler complains after cancellation

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Tribune in September

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten said he won’t hold back from criticizing Awake Illinois, which espouses anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and rallied its supporters against a drag-themed library event in Downers Grove, after the group last week threatened to take legal action against him.

The Downers Grove Public Library on Monday said it was canceling the Drag Queen Bingo event for teens scheduled for Oct. 11 “due to threats that are under active investigation by law enforcement.”

Casten, a two-term Democrat from Downers Grove, has been an outspoken supporter of the event, while his Republican opponent in the Nov. 8 general election, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, joined Awake Illinois in calling for its cancellation. […]

“Let’s be clear. This event was canceled because, after my Republican opponent and his far-right allies at Awake Illinois publicly issued a call-to-action to their supporters, the library received severe threats that endangered our community,” the congressman said.

* Proft paper this week

Shannon Adcock, founder and president of parents rights group Awake Illinois, is disappointed the Hilton Oak Brook capitulated to phoned in threats of a planned protest against of an event sponsored by the organization.

Adcock, who is also chairwoman of the DuPage chapter of Mothers for Liberty, said the Hilton manager returned the group’s deposit and canceled the contract after facing threats of protests.

“(The manager) basically said that although he agrees with our free speech and advocacy, unfortunately, cancel culture is a real thing in they are looking out for their assets and property in case somebody should show up and try and protest us,” Adcock told DuPage Policy Journal.

“I posed the question, ‘what message does that send to the anti free speech free marketplace mob?’ And he didn’t have an answer.”

  26 Comments      


Morning briefing

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* STAT | These 8 states are doing the worst job of treating hepatitis C in prisons: Illinois agreed in 2019 to revamp its entire prison medical program, as part of a civil rights settlement. But it’s still falling woefully short — and the Department of Corrections’ own documents indicate that people are still unnecessarily dying of hepatitis C. An independent review of one such death found that a 56-year-old man had been referred for hepatitis C treatment in 2017 but was never formally considered for the treatment until a few months before his death in November 2021.

* NYT | How a Sprawling Hospital Chain Ignited Its Own Staffing Crisis: At a hospital in a Chicago suburb last winter, there were so few nurses that psychiatric patients with Covid were left waiting a full day for beds, and a single aide was on hand to assist with 32 infected patients. Nurses were so distraught about the inadequate staffing that they banded together to file formal complaints every day for more than a month.

* Crain’s | Working parents are overwhelmed as kids get sick again and again: Parents are facing a triple avalanche of influenza, Covid-19 and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), valiantly meeting work deadlines while struggling to fulfill return-to-office requirements. All three viruses are expected to keep doctor’s offices hopping for the coming months, alongside the spread of old standbys like strep throat and common colds.

* Sun-Times | Pritzker, unions herald adoption of Workers’ Rights Amendment: The celebration with union leaders included several references, veiled or explicit, to former Gov. Bruce Rauner, who tried to roll back union power by encouraging right-to-work laws. Right-to-work refers to allowing people to skip paying union dues as a condition of employment.

* Tribune | Secretary of State re-appoints Umair Qadeer to Niles Library Board: Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has reappointed Umair Qadeer as the seventh, tie-breaking trustee on the Niles-Maine District Library Board after a protracted legislative and legal process.

* WGLT | Bloomington’s new state Rep. Dan Caulkins talks about gun control, SAFE-T Act, and post-election resignations: Caulkins is part of the conservative Illinois Freedom Caucus, which touts itself as advocates for limited government, lower taxes and accountability and integrity in government. And after the election, Caulkins is now part of an even smaller Republican super-minority in Democrat-controlled Springfield. In this interview with WGLT, Caulkins talks about a range of policy issues, including recent tweaks to the SAFE-T Act, a proposed assault-style weapons ban, and ethics reform.

* WTTW | García Backs Proposal to Use $10M in Federal COVID-19 Relief to Help Homeowners Struggling With Property Tax Hikes: Officials should use $10 million in federal relief funds designed to help Chicagoans struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic to aid residents dealing with significant increases in their property tax bills, according to a proposal backed by mayoral candidate U.S. Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García.

* STL Today | Former Metro East power broker Tom Lakin dies at 82: Tom Lakin, a once-prominent Metro East trial lawyer and Democratic Party power broker later sentenced to prison on federal drug charges, died Monday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. He was 82. Lakin, who headed the influential Lakin Law Firm in Wood River, established himself by the 1990s as one of the top attorneys in the metro area, winning millions of dollars in class action and personal injury claims. … In 2011, he pleaded no contest to a state charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse related to the earlier case but was given no additional prison time beyond his six-year federal sentence.

* WBEZ | Chicago’s NASCAR deal: Fast, furious and full of unanswered questions: Critics want to know who will pay for security and physical damage to downtown. But the bigger question is: Is anyone clamoring for this?

* Vox | The most successful strategy for ending homelessness is under attack: Advocates and researchers have never had stronger evidence about the best way to most effectively house people who need it: a model known as “housing first.” As the name suggests, its focus is getting people into permanent housing and offering them support services, rather than requiring them to address mental health conditions, substance abuse, or job training first.

* Fortune | Sen. Tammy Duckworth introduces a bill to protect IVF in the aftermath of Roe v. Wade’s reversal: Sen. Tammy Duckworth’s journey to parenthood took a decade. After she returned wounded from her service in Iraq, she spoke to her OB/GYN at her Veterans Affairs hospital about trying to have a child. She was referred to a fertility specialist, who came to the waiting room rather than meet with then-39-year-old Duckworth for an appointment. “She told me, ‘You’re too old. There’s no way you could ever get pregnant through reproductive medicine. You just need to go home and enjoy your husband,’” Duckworth remembers.

* WTTW | Callery Pear on List of Species Illinois Assessing as Invasive. Here’s What That Means: Illinois is now conducting assessments of 10 plants to determine whether to recommend the addition of any or all of them to the state’s lists of “noxious” and/or “exotic” weeds, decisions that would make the purchase or sale of the plant illegal.

* Sun-Times | Chicago police officer faces dismissal in alleged beating, wrongful arrest of woman at George Floyd protest: The recommendation from Police Supt. David Brown comes four years after the officer, James Hunt, was suspended for yelling, “I kill motherf——,” an apparent reference to a 17-year-old boy Hunt fatally shot while on duty.

* Crain’s | Farmers say Deere’s repair restrictions violate Clean Air Act: Nonprofit organizations in the “right to repair” movement, including Illinois PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), Repair.org and iFixit, want the EPA to sanction Moline-based Deere for limiting repairs of its machines to authorized Deere dealerships. Farmers want access to software so they can diagnose and handle their own repairs or use an independent mechanic, thereby avoiding high costs and service delays at dealers.

  11 Comments      


Open thread

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* An eventful day on the bird app yesterday…


Anyway, what’s going on in your part of Illinois today?

  16 Comments      


Live coverage

Friday, Dec 16, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


  Comments Off      


PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally abruptly aborts reelection bid without explanation
* Question of the day
* It’s just a bill
* Protect Illinois Hospitality – Vote No On House Bill 5345
* You gotta be kidding me
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* Moody’s revises Illinois outlook from stable to positive (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* *** UPDATED x1 - Equality Illinois 'alarmed' over possible Harris appointment *** Personal PAC warns Democratic committeepersons about Sen. Napoleon Harris
* Yesterday's stories

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