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Morning briefing

Tuesday, Jan 3, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Sad news…

* Here’s your morning rundown…

    * Crain’s | State legislature starts 2023 with a pair of big business bills: The spotlight will be on Springfield this week as the Legislature returns for its pre-inaugural lame-duck session with a pair of key business-related measures now reportedly on a fast track. The first is the proposed package of electric vehicle incentives, including a huge “deal-closing fund,” that Gov. J. B. Pritzker wants. Team Pritzker hopes that will be enough to convince Stellantis and partners to invest in converting the soon-to-be-shuttered Belvidere assembly plant to EV production.

    * Tribune | Stepping down after 24 years as Illinois secretary of state, Jesse White shares memories of MLK, minor league baseball and Michael Madigan: He jumped out of airplanes as an Army paratrooper, played minor league baseball for the Chicago Cubs organization, and witnessed seminal moments of the civil rights movement. He created an inner-city gymnastics program that has sent tumblers all over the world for shows. He also had spent more than 20 years in Illinois politics, as a state legislator and as Cook County recorder of deeds.

    * Daily Herald | How racism, reform and grace shaped Jesse White’s long career: White was a young child when his family moved from downstate Alton to a multicultural neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side. A diligent student, he drummed for his high school band and was a tumbling, baseball and basketball standout.

    * Sun-Times | Bail reforms are still the right move: No one wants violent suspects who are likely to harm others released to the street. But no one should want a system that allows them to buy their freedom, leaving others to languish in jail solely for lack of cash.

    * WGEM |: Mandated reporters can play a big role in recognizing when kids are hurting and now the list of Illinois mandated reporters is growing. A new law in effect adds occupational therapists and assistants, physical therapists and assistants, and athletic trainers to the list of people required to report suspicions of child abuse.

    * Center Square | Illinois gun-rights advocates not negotiating ‘how to build a better mousetrap’: Gun control advocates and victims of gun violence have been advocating for passage of the law. A group named Protecting Illinois Communities, which is the name of the proposed bill, released an ad urging that the gun ban pass.

    * CBS Chicago | Illinois SAFE-T Act still in limbo; Cook County Public Defender argues in its favor: Mitchell calls the statewide playbook critical. So until the state Supreme Court reviews the law, it is as if the law never existed – and cash bond continues.

    * MSN | Businesses feel effects of Illinois minimum wage increase: With the minimum wage increasing Jan. 1, some small business owners fear for the future of their companies. The new wage could mean having fewer employees in one shift to raising prices.

    * Tribune | Gov. J.B. Pritzker ran a cautious reelection campaign. Will he play it safe in second term?: Pritzker said he intends to make improving education, from early childhood through college, and expanding access to child care major priorities of the coming term. That includes proposals to make public colleges tuition-free for students whose families earn at or below the median income and to raise the income cutoff for families to qualify state child care assistance. He also wants to expand the availability of child care statewide and of mental health and substance abuse treatment, particularly downstate.

    * Shaw Local | State’s House delegation officially down to 17 today: Today marks the beginning of the 118th U.S. Congress, and with it a notable shakeup in Illinois. There’s nothing surprising, as shaping a Congressional delegation takes many months, but it’s worth running the numbers at the outset of a new decade with only 17 districts and four new members.

    * Sun-Times | Emmett Till and his mother honored with congressional medal: The bill, which passed the Senate in January, is meant to honor Till and his mother — who had insisted on an open casket funeral to demonstrate the brutality of his killing — with the highest civilian honor that Congress awards. The medal will be given to the National Museum of African American History where it will be displayed near the casket Till was buried in.

    * Tribune | Illinois marijuana industry leads to higher hopes for the new year: But newcomers trying to break into the industry in Illinois kept running into obstacles — mainly, a lack of funding. As a result, most Black and Latino entrepreneurs were shut out, prices for consumers remained among the highest in the nation, and the black market continued to thrive. Efforts to change the laws fizzled, and more concerns were raised about the connection between cannabis and psychosis.

    * Dennis Culloton | 20 years after George Ryan’s clearing of death row, Illinois still has a lot to learn:It’s nearing the 20th anniversary of then-Gov. George Ryan’s mass commuting of Illinois death row inmates’ sentences to life in prison, which earned him praise from global human rights leaders such as Nelson Mandela and condemnation from other politicians and victims’ families. The discordant lessons of that day — and how we got there — should inform today’s government and criminal justice system leaders seeking to stem Chicago’s rising crime.

    * Tribune | Kara Casten, wife of US Rep. Sean Casten, joins crowded field in Downers Grove school board race: While some DuPage County school boards are going begging for candidates in next year’s election, the campaign in Downers Grove’s Community High School District 99 promises to be lively, with six candidates — including one with a familiar name — going after three open seats. Kara Casten, an insurance executive who is the wife of Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, has formed a slate with tax attorney Don Renner, who was on the board from 2015 to 2019, and customer experience professional Ken Dawson.

    * Tribune | Lightfoot asks for tens of millions more in state money for migrants, citing arrivals from Texas: Lightfoot made the request in a letter to state legislators from Chicago, obtained by the Tribune. She noted that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration sent a letter to the city saying the state is “out of funds and will no longer be able to support city migrant services efforts as of February 1, 2023.”

    * WSJ | Big Nonprofit Hospitals Expand in Wealthier Areas, Shun Poorer Ones: Many of the nation’s largest nonprofit hospital systems, which give aid to poorer communities to earn tax breaks, have been leaving those areas and moving into wealthier ones as they have added and shed hospitals in the last two decades. As nonprofits, these regional and national giants reap $8.8 billion from tax breaks annually, by one Johns Hopkins University researcher’s estimate. Among their obligations, they are expected to provide free medical care to those least able to afford it.

    * Tribune | Many 911 calls deserve an ‘immediate’ police response. But in thousands of cases, officers didn’t arrive for more than an hour.: While police do respond relatively quickly to many calls, a Tribune analysis of 2022 city data found that tens of thousands of serious calls lingered in the 911 system for longer than it typically takes to get a pizza delivered.

    * Vanity Fair | Mega-Billionaire Ken Griffin Has Moved His Masterpieces to the Beach: In 2015, the hedge fund titan Kenneth C. Griffin became the first person to spend half a billion dollars on art in a single transaction. David Geffen made a deal with Griffin to sell him Willem de Kooning’s boldly colored abstract masterpiece Interchange for $300 million, and Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A—the splatter painting Life magazine plastered in its pages in 1949, minting Jack the Dripper an American celebrity—for $200 million.

    * SJR | The state’s suspended gas tax increase ended Sunday: What you need to know: A six-month pause on a scheduled gas tax increase in Illinois ended New Year’s Day, but multiple pieces of legislation introduced in the General Assembly could counter the hike. The pause stopped a 2.2-cent per gallon increase originally slated for last July 1 when the tax was set to rise to 41.4 cents per gallon. Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature on the state budget, however, paused that tax increase until the new year and also included a yearlong suspension of the 1% grocery tax.

    * St. Louis Post Dispatch | Data shows conservative policies on health, guns and more increase mortality: Warning: Republican politics may be hazardous to your health. New data shows pandemic mortality was higher in Republican-controlled states than in Democratic ones. It confirms common sense: Vaccines, masking and other pandemic precautions saved lives. And the bizarre refusal on the political right to embrace those precautions cost them.


  1. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Jan 3, 23 @ 8:24 am:

    May the Harmon family find comfort from their grief with memories of their Mom, Grandma, and Aunt before she experienced Alzheimer’s Disease. A sad day for all.

  2. - Torco Sign - Tuesday, Jan 3, 23 @ 8:55 am:

    It seems like that last point about one party’s policies increasing mortality, if this isn’t all kabuki theater and self-interest, should be getting more attention.

  3. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jan 3, 23 @ 9:20 am:

    Banned word Ken Griffin.

    (This is not an uncivil or drive-by comment, but a sincere belief and opinion. Also, I’ve just watched The Bear and I talk this way now.)

  4. - Payback - Tuesday, Jan 3, 23 @ 10:58 am:

    “20 years after George Ryan’s clearing of death row, Illinois still has a lot to learn” Yes, Illinois, the U.S. headquarters of police criminality.

    How long did it take for Elaine Nekritz to pass a bill so you could record the police? Ten years? Senator Kwame Raoul sponsored his so-called Body Cam bill in 2015, and now body cams are finally required for all police departments in 2025? So that took ten years for the Great Leap Forward in police accountability. Illinois is not really that progressive, is it?

  5. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Jan 3, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    My Mom passed fro Alzheimer’s a few years ago.
    She was a widow for many years as was Marge Harmon.

    These women carried on to raise wonderful kids and contribute to their communities as well.

    They enjoyed a fierce love of family.

    May God rest her soul.

    Prayers for the Harmon family.

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