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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Jan 20, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* IDES…

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.7 percent, while nonfarm payrolls were almost unchanged, down by just -800 in December, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. The November monthly change in payrolls was revised from the preliminary report, from +17,500 to +12,100 jobs. The November unemployment rate was unchanged from the preliminary report, remaining at 4.7 percent. The December payroll jobs estimate and unemployment rate reflect activity for the week including the 12th.

In December, the industry sectors with the largest over-the-month gains in employment included: Educational and Health Services (+5,200), Trade, Transportation and Utilities (+3,300), and Government (+1,800). The industry sectors with the largest monthly payroll declines included: Professional and Business Services (-3,000), Leisure and Hospitality (-2,500), and Other Services (-2,100). […]

The state’s unemployment rate was +1.2 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate reported for December, which was 3.5 percent, down -0.1 percentage point from the previous month.

* I’m told there was a glitch partly due to human error and payments will be made on Monday. The department is also supposedly trying to revamp the voucher submission process. Press release…

Home Child Care Providers Ring Alarm about Missing Payments
Providers can’t pay their bills, will call for state to invest in a payment system that actually works.

IL - Of the 13,000 home child care providers who are part Illinois Department of Human Services’ (IDHS) Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), thousands are still awaiting payment for work done in December 2022 and many don’t know how they will be able to make ends meet and are struggling to keep their doors open for parents and children. Providers are calling on the State of Illinois DHS to immediately rectify the late payments and invest in a new payment system that actually works.

Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, issued the following statement on Wednesday, January 18: “These same home child care workers that keep Illinois’ economy running have been experiencing payment delays that are unacceptable and that create serious hardship. Low wages force child care providers to live on razor thin margins without room for a missed paycheck. A delay in payment means home child care workers can’t pay for basic needs like rent, utilities and food.”

* IDPH…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced today that the CDC is reporting 28 counties in the state are at an elevated level for COVID-19, compared to 61 in the previous week. Of those, three Illinois counties are at a High Community Level, compared to five the previous week; and 25 counties are at Medium Level, compared to 56 the previous week. IDPH is reporting 10,967 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois in the week ending January 15, and 78 deaths.

“I am encouraged to see COVID-19 community levels continuing to decrease across Illinois,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Rates of the XBB ‘Kraken’ variant, spreading throughout the East Coast, are slowly increasing in the Midwest, and we continue to monitor this new variant closely. However, we are fortunate at this time to see no increase in hospitalizations. IDPH is continuing to focus our efforts on preserving hospital capacity and protecting those Illinois residents most at risk for severe disease from COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses.”

County data is here.

* WTTW

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Democrat from Chicago, also backed the graduated income tax in 2020. Now, though, he’s pitching a so-called “wealth tax.”

Guzzardi described it as similar in concept to property taxes. As the value of a home increases, the property tax burden goes up. His wealth tax would work the same way, but it would apply only to the financial assets of those worth $1 billion or more.

“We’re going to say to billionaires with all their assets — which aren’t so much properties as stocks, financial instruments, investments — we’re going to value their assets, and then when those assets go up in value, we’re going to tax them on the increase in value,” Guzzardi said. “So just like the property tax that we pay, this is a tax on billionaires’ property, which is stocks and financial instruments.”

Guzzardi said the Illinois Department of Revenue already has a decent accounting of these assets and that a qualifying Illinois resident’s assets would be taxed wherever they’re based. […]

Guzzardi said his plan would work like another form of an income tax. […]

Illinois’ income tax rate for individuals of 4.95% would be charged to what he said qualifies as billionaires’ income.

As subscribers know, that might run afoul of the Illinois constitution

A tax on or measured by income shall be at a non-graduated rate. At any one time there may be no more than one such tax imposed by the State for State purposes on individuals and one such tax so imposed on corporations.

I requested a response from the state’s billionaire governor. I’ll let you know what he says.

* More heat in DuPage…

On Monday, January 23rd at 10am CT at the Danada House in Wheaton, U.S. Representatives Sean Casten (IL-06), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), and Bill Foster (IL-11), and other Members of the Illinois congressional delegation, county board members, and state legislators will host a press conference regarding DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick’s January 13th statement that he will not enforce the Protect Illinois Communities Act (H.B. 5471).

This press conference follows a letter sent by Reps. Sean Casten, Delia Ramirez, Jesús “Chuy” García, Mike Quigley, Raja Krishnamoorthi, and Bill Foster, requesting Sheriff Mendrick rescind his earlier statement and provide information as to what other laws he has chosen not to enforce based on his personal beliefs. You can find a copy of the letter here.

Earlier this month, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Protect Illinois Communities Act, subsequently signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker. The legislation bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois. On January 13th, DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick announced that, due to his personal beliefs about H. B. 5471, he would not enforce the law in DuPage County.

* Heat starts rising in Kane…


* A classic case of moral panic

Awake Illinois became the center of controversy last year when Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas spoke out against “hateful rhetoric” by one member after the group called Gov. J.B. Pritzker a “groomer” for adopting new sex education standards for the state.

The group also called “perverted” a kid-friendly drag show at Uprising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills. The cafe’s owner temporarily canceled but then held that event after saying it was the target of threats. A man was charged with smashing the cafe’s window.

Awake Illinois did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Adcock advocates on the group’s website for “academics over activism” in school.

“We must work together to stop an entire generation of children from being molded — via public schools — into illiterate, sexualized activists,” Adcock said.

Their “solution” is to essentially stop little kids from learning how to identify and fend off sexual predators.

* Speaking of which, Facebook can rot your mind


* Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action…

“On what would have been the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, in Illinois, we are proud to be a leader in the fight for bodily autonomy and a haven for those seeking essential reproductive health care. When the Supreme Court stripped away the freedom for all people to have equal access to abortion, every state that borders Illinois has either severely restricted or outright banned access. Many of those states hostile to abortion care are also targeting the LGBTQ+ community. Thankfully, together with pro-choice legislators, Illinois now protects abortion care and gender-affirming patients and providers.

However, our work is not done. Senseless and damaging acts of vandalism have been on the rise across the country, and Illinois has become a target as extreme and divisive rhetoric increases. Several of our health centers have been targeted in the past few years, most recently in Peoria.

The damages in Peoria go beyond structural. The vast majority of Peoria Health Center patients depend on us for essential health care services, including family planning, STI testing and treatment, cancer screening, gender-affirming care, and more. While medication abortion was offered at Peoria, it was not a site for in-clinic procedures. This act of vandalism will have a devastating impact on the community’s ability to access the reproductive health care they need and deserve.

We will keep fighting forward for equitable access to essential reproductive health care like abortion and gender-affirming care because all people should have the freedom to make medical decisions that are best for their bodies, their lives, and their families.”

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…

       

17 Comments »
  1. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 1:47 pm:

    –A tax on or *measured by income* shall be at a non-graduated rate. At any one time there may be no more than one such tax imposed–

    Wealth is not measured by income.

    For example, I pay zero taxes on the money sitting in my accounts (in cash form) every year. When I take it out for living expenses, I pay zero income taxes on it because it is not income. It would never matter how many income taxes there were, or if they were graduated or not. The amount of income taxes I’d be paying would still be $0.

    An asset tax is no more prevented by the state constitution than the property tax is. And more specifically, an asset tax is a form of forced deflation or the equivalent of a bond with a negative interest rate. It encourages the circulation of money, and discourages hoarding.


  2. - DHS Drone - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 1:54 pm:

    Do people just not understand what happens when light goes through a prism?


  3. - Big Dipper - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 1:58 pm:

    ==Do people just not understand what happens when light goes through a prism?==

    Which was on the original album artwork lol. They also updated the Animals artwork when it was reissued last fall.


  4. - Paddyrollingstone - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 1:59 pm:

    DHS Drone - well played!

    Imagine stop listening to a band because they were inclusive! I have no words to say, other than what stupidity.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:06 pm:

    The most disturbing thing is that nobody is replying to any of those comments with the most obvious;

    “Ha ha, charade you are”


  6. - Jerry - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:11 pm:

    If a kid friendly drag show is perverted then I’m guessing Awake Illinois must be aghast at what happens at some churches.


  7. - Blue Dogs are Blind, Deaf, and Dumb - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    Kinda bad that an elected official who is running for Mayor is referred to as a “teachers union staffer” without mention of his office.


  8. - Amalia - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:34 pm:

    so retroactively protesting the cover from 1972? have they seen the original album cover?


  9. - Cog - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    Those Floyd replies sure are something. Do they think “In the Flesh” was a call to action?


  10. - a drop in - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    ==Do people just not understand what happens when light goes through a prism?==

    It turns gay?


  11. - BigLou - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    So by Guzzardi’s logic those people whose property increases in value should be able to pay the increase in real estate taxes and should not complain about not being able to afford them and having to move.


  12. - Jibba - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    While a graduated tax may be needed, the time to do it will be in the future when facing an emergency and the need is obvious to all, and the proceeds can be specifically allocated in the arguments for it. That’s not because of logic, but because of politics.


  13. - New Day - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    A wealth tax is well-intentioned but really dumb and unworkable. Let’s take just one example from the past year. Elon Musk lost more than 1/2 his wealth during the year because of his brilliant Twitter play and losses at Tesla. Nobody is playing any violins for him but the wealth tax would take an arbitrary value at a specific date even though his wealth may have dramatically declined by the time the tax was due. Just don’t see how this could happen.


  14. - From DaZoo - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 3:53 pm:

    Like a previous article mentioned and discussion here on this blog, one of the failures for the graduated tax change was to tie increased revenue to something specific. Given the other news today on DCFS, perhaps if they said some of the revenue increase would go to social services, specifically staffing and resources at DCFS, then maybe it would get a bit more traction.


  15. - cermak_rd - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 4:14 pm:

    Wealth taxes really don’t work when people can move their wealth anywhere. A lot of European lands used to have them and gave it up as a lost cause.


  16. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:07 pm:

    – even though his wealth may have dramatically declined by the time the tax was due.–

    Conversely, that decline also becomes the following years deductions. If you capture the loss through selling the asset. Meaning a billionaire could erase their entire years tax liability by selling a single losing asset on paper. The current tax code actually encourages this.

    But for the plebes, you are maxed out at a deduction of 3k per year in losses. To break into the first tiers of the unlimited deduction club, your income has to come primarily through the buying and selling of assets.

    It’s unfortunate more people don’t take the time to read the tax code. While its certainly boring and sleep-inducing, it would also lead to the average person never again opposing a graduated income tax with higher rates for the highest earners.


  17. - New Day - Friday, Jan 20, 23 @ 5:29 pm:

    “It’s unfortunate more people don’t take the time to read the tax code. While its certainly boring and sleep-inducing, it would also lead to the average person never again opposing a graduated income tax with higher rates for the highest earners.”

    Completely agree. I’m good with a minimum tax on all income including capital gains. I just think the wealth tax concept is highly problematic.


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