Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Afternoon roundup
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* SJ-R

Ameren Illinois, one of the state’s largest electric and gas delivery companies, has filed plans for electric and gas rate increases.

The Illinois Commerce Commission will review the requests for a $160.4 million gas rate hike over a year and a four-year $435.6 million electric increase.

The reasons for the requests are multi-fold, Ameren communications director Tucker Kennedy said Thursday. It partially stems from a requirement in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, a green energy package that puts the state on track to be 100% carbon-free with its energy sources by 2050.

That phrase “partially stems from” stuck out to me. How partial? I asked Citizens Utility Board Executive Director David Kolata for some insight…

Both ComEd and Ameren are going to be saying CEJA requires grid upgrades to integrate renewables and upgrade the grid for electrification of transportation and heat. Over time, that’s true.

But two things on that. First, we have quite a bit of time for that. This doesn’t need to be done all at once, and in fact it shouldn’t be. Given the current pace of electrification and renewable new build there wouldn’t be any issue until the mid 2030s.

But second, and more importantly, the big driver of the rate increase is the excessive profit rate (RoE) they are requesting. So, yeah, there need to be grid upgrades over time…but that isn’t an excuse for a blank check and certainly not an excuse for an RoE of well over 10 percent.

* The AP poses as a babe in the legislative woods

For all the fanfare and the legal rigmarole of Illinois’ ban on semiautomatic weapons, it might come as a surprise to learn the legislation was titled “Insurance Code-Public Adjusters.”

To thousands of gun owners and merchants who filed lawsuits over it, the title exemplifies the way legislators cut corners last month to enact the legislation prompted by the deadly Independence Day parade shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. […]

“It no longer addressed the issue of insurance adjusters and their contracts, as its new subject was now modifying completely different laws,” alleges a lawsuit led by Rep. Dan Caulkins, a Republican from Decatur, 182 miles (293 kilometers) south of Chicago. As a new bill, it warranted three new House readings, Caulkins argued.

Even the 5th District appeals court didn’t fall for that nonsense.

* Center Square on the same topic

There are other issues state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, is hoping to get addressed in his litigation, and that’s how legislation at the Illinois statehouse seems to circumvent procedural rules.

Caulkins and others argue passage of the state’s gun ban violated the single-subject rule, didn’t properly have three readings and didn’t give the public due process considerations. Courts have either said those arguments don’t have merit, or do have merit but are not being considered at the moment.

“Nobody’s had the guts to hear that. This is a problem,” Caulkins said. “We have the constitution, this is the process we should be going through. It gets violated, not just in this case, but in the SAFE-T Act and the budget. “It goes on and on and on.”

Caulkins said the courts have to address this at some point so the public gets an entire airing of legislation with three public readings, for example.

“This is how it’s supposed to be done,” Caulkins said. “But because of the tyranny of the majority, they just in the dead of night will lay a bill on the desk and then an hour later we have to vote on it and the people of Illinois get no say.”

It was addressed last week, Representative.

* This was in Isabel’s “It’s just a bill” post, but let’s look at it again

State Sen. John Curran, R-Lemont, wants to codify the decision of Illinois voters when it comes to a progressive income tax.

“The people have spoken, and they could not have been more clear that they do not want a progressive income tax,” Curran said after introducing a resolution that calls on lawmakers to reject any progressive income tax proposal placed before the chamber.

From comments

Curran is proposing a legally meaningless resolution, not a bill. It “codifies” nothing, nada, bupkis.

* Injustice Watch

Illinois’ top law enforcement officer is investigating whether the Chicago Police Department violated state law when it denied hundreds of undocumented immigrants a chance to apply for a special visa for crime victims in the past two years.

In a six-page letter to CPD’s top lawyer, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul demanded all data and documents related to the more than 800 denials acknowledged by CPD. He also urged the department to “develop a plan to contact all individuals who received denials” and allow them to reapply.

Raoul said the inquiry was sparked by a December investigation by Injustice Watch, which revealed how CPD routinely denied certifications to victims of qualifying crimes, such as domestic battery and assault. Those victims are eligible for legal status through a U visa, which provides a path to citizenship for those who cooperate in law enforcement investigations. […]

“Determinations as to whether the victim suffered substantial physical or mental abuse or whether the victim is ultimately eligible … are the exclusive responsibility of federal immigration officials and are not permissible grounds for local law enforcement to deny a certification request in Illinois,” Raoul wrote.

Raoul warned the “improper denials” may “result in legal action” from his office as they could potentially violate the Voices Immigrant Communities Empowering Act, known as the VOICES act, a state law setting rules and procedures for law enforcement agencies statewide on how to adjudicate U visa certification requests.

* From Rolling Stone’s interview of US Rep. Delia Ramirez

Last week, a coalition of nine states asked the government to end DACA protections for Dreamers. Your husband is a DACA recipient. What has it been like for you both to live with the stress and uncertainty as this program remains in legal limbo?

It’s been emotional. Being a congresswoman, I have privileges that my friends and people in my district don’t have access to, and even with that, we are in the midst of a process for his DACA renewal that’s taking too darn long. I’m hearing calls from constituents who are saying, “I submitted my DACA renewal four months ago, and I still have no response. I lost my job because my work authorization expired.” It becomes paralyzing for people. It’s so draining. And it’s unacceptable because neither party has delivered a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

Two years ago, my husband said to me, right before the election, “Why go through the adjustment status process? That takes so long, it’s so expensive. Let’s just wait until Democrats take the White House because I am convinced that if they do, there will be an executive action that will create a pathway to citizenship for those of us who have lived here almost all our lives.” How do I look into his eyes and tell him, “Oh, honey, I don’t think it’s gonna be that easy”? You know what I did instead? I said, “Okay,” and then I heard about it for about a month, how my party isn’t delivering. So it’s really personal. That is, in part, why I’m here. We need people like me who live these experiences every single day. That is why it is so important that a Democrat like me deliver a response to the Democratic president, affirming the experiences that everyday people are living right now.

Ramirez is delivering the progressive response to President Biden’s State of the Union address tonight.

* Chicago Tribune endorsement in the 13th Ward

Paul Bruton has a tough task ahead of him. He faces incumbent Ald. Marty Quinn, who’s been on the City Council since 2011 and is a longtime ally of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, now facing trial on corruption charges. The 13th Ward is Madigan turf, and Bruton acknowledges that when he goes door to door, many residents “aren’t bothered at all” by the charges against Madigan, and Quinn’s strong connections to the one-time Illinois Democratic Party kingmaker. Others, however, tell Bruton that Madigan’s allies in the ward “have to go,” he tells us.

Bruton says he has been a stay-at-home dad since 2018. His previous work experience includes a four-year stint as an analyst at the Chicago inspector general’s office, which provides the crucial function of ferreting out waste, mismanagement and inefficiency in city government. It’s hard to imagine a better lead-up to becoming an alderman.

Bruton says one of the biggest challenges for this Southwest Side ward is the body blow that the pandemic delivered to the 13th’s small businesses. “I will study what types of businesses our ward is lacking, and actively recruit and work with local entrepreneurs to fill those gaps,” Bruton tells us.

Quinn doesn’t try to hide his Madigan alliance. “I’m not going to rewrite history,” he tells us. “We’ve done some good things.” He cites his oversight of nearly $300 million invested in 13th Ward schools, including the Southwest Side’s first selective enrollment school. He adds, “I personally shovel snow and my staff removes graffiti and cleans up shuttered buildings so quickly, they rarely can be found in the ward.”

That’s admirable, but Quinn’s long-standing ties to Madigan are a bridge too far for us, and they should be for 13th Ward voters. Bruton is endorsed.

* Press release…

UNITE HERE Local 1 endorsed Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot for reelection on Tuesday. UNITE HERE Local 1 represents more than 15,000 members who work in hospitality across hotels, airports, restaurants, school cafeterias, stadiums, convention centers, and casinos.

“Mayor Lightfoot has led Chicago with equity and inclusion at the forefront as she has advocated for long-overlooked communities to have a seat at the table,” said Karen Kent, President of UNITE HERE Local 1. “She guided this city through difficult and unprecedented times with tough yet fair leadership that made sure no one was left behind — especially our workers. When the pandemic put our livelihoods in jeopardy, Mayor Lightfoot ensured that our members had the resources they needed to make ends meet, and the protections and protocols to return to work safely. As a union made up of predominantly women, immigrants and people of color, Mayor Lightfoot has gained our confidence in her leadership, and we are eager to endorse her for four more years in office.”

* Politico says this is an ad, but it’s so far just a YouTube video

Megan Mathias, a challenger in the 45th Ward aldermanic race, is out with an attack ad against incumbent Ald. Jim Gardiner.

I’m told she’s trying to raise the cash to put the YouTube video on streaming services. The video is here.

Also, a Comcast representative tells me that 60 percent of TV viewing in Chicago today is cable television and only 40 percent is broadcast.

* New Trier Township Republican Committeeperson

Posted by Julie Cho on Tuesday, February 7, 2023

* Check out the hat…

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…


  1. - New Day - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 2:52 pm:

    “That phrase “partially stems from” stuck out to me.”

    Glad you noticed. It’s a total dodge. They’re blaming it on CEJA as a distraction. Same with Ameren. Partial in this case means

  2. - Excessively Rabid - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:07 pm:

    Too bad the organization name Injustice Watch is already taken. Caulkins could have used it.

  3. - sulla - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    Ameren may not have executives currently facing prison sentences, but they are FAR AND AWAY the more inept of our State’s two utilities.

  4. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:21 pm:

    === The AP poses as a babe in the legislative woods… ===

    I was shocked when I read the byline. He ought to know better. Or, he does and just wanted go to the sexy, but non-serious play on legislative procedures.

    One of the opinions that has already been issued threw out the shortcut arguments.

    John, the judicial doctrine is called the “enrolled bill” rule. As for the GA, you’ve seen bills pass this way for years and years.

  5. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    In this world, nothing is certain except death and unwarranted Ameren rate hikes.

  6. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    - codify the decision of Illinois voters when it comes to a progressive income tax. -

    Shouldn’t the minority leader know what’s in the Illinois constitution already?

  7. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:25 pm:

    ==and the people of Illinois get no say==

    You’re their representative. You are their “say.” It’s why you’re there. So don’t give me that nonsense argument.

  8. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:26 pm:

    ===FAR AND AWAY the more inept===

    I will never forget the time when a blizzard was coming for the Midwest and Ameren’s emergency response plan was to send trucks from Missouri to Illinois if the blizzard hit Illinois, and trucks from Illinois to Missouri if it hit Missouri.

    As predicted by literally all meteorologists, it hit both states at once, and it turns out their emergency plan for that was to let us all sit in the dark for several days while they unsuccessfully attempted to cure severe cases of analcranial inversion among their C-suite execs.

  9. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    If you are driving East from the NW burbs and you are on the Chicago Edge there are lots of Gardiner signs. Wonder if what is in that “ad” matters to them.

  10. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:35 pm:

    Really not worried about these rate increases.
    I am confident that any abuses will be stopped cold by Governor’s Pritzker’s Illinois ComEd Commission./s

  11. - JLW - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:39 pm:

    I plan to hang on to this CUB quote for later when we hear the slow pace of renewables deployment and inability to meet CEJA targets is because of the failure of utility companies to build transmission improvements to accommodate all the new projects.

    Is 10% out of line? I thought it was pretty standard.

  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:44 pm:

    === Shouldn’t the minority leader know what’s in the Illinois constitution already? ===

    He knows. He’s counting on people who don’t know and the lazy media who play it up in their mediums.

  13. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:49 pm:

    “partially stems from”

    Sure it is vague, but it must have a basis in truth. Ameren is a publicly traded company and its compliance/legal team would be averse to running afoul of SEC’s materiality standard for company disclosures.

  14. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:50 pm:

    ===but it must have a basis in truth===

    Yeah, but it could be true and still be like 1 percent.

  15. - Appears - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    Rep. Dan Caulkins is practicing an old technique. If you can’t win, throw everything off the board, throw a temper tantrum and then leave. You still won’t win, but you’ve kept everyone else from winning too.

  16. - Timzilla - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    “If you are driving East from the NW burbs and you are on the Chicago Edge there are lots of Gardiner signs. Wonder if what is in that “ad” matters to them.”

    It doesn’t. Not saying it is right or wrong but in many areas of the city, having an alderman who can get you an extra garbage can, fill the pothole in front of your house or remove graffiti from the alley is much more important than city, state and national politics. See Marty Quinn’s comments in the Trib article

  17. - Appears - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:53 pm:

    Sometimes it seems the only thing that Ameren runs from is from providing good valve to their customers.

  18. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 3:53 pm:

    ===having an alderman who can get you===

    That presumes he can.

  19. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 4:05 pm:

    Dear Ms. Cho:

    Threatening to overthrow the government is a crime punishable with a fine and/or up to 20 years in prison.

  20. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    Excuse me. “Advocating” for the overthrow of the government is the crime you committed. 20 years. Fine. Would love for the FBI to come knocking on your door.

  21. - Torco Sign - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:31 pm:

    Why is Democratic Congresswoman Delia Ramirez giving a response to a Democratic President’s State of the Union? That’s ridiculous.

  22. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 5:54 pm:

    ==If you are driving East from the NW burbs and you are on the Chicago Edge there are lots of Gardiner signs.==

    There are reports that his team puts them up without asking first.

  23. - Baloneymous - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 7:14 pm:

    Poor Ameren. Basically a downstate monopolistic power provider both begging and blaming state government to raise prices on their customers. Where I live they are the only game in town. If it’s not 100% CEJA to blame then why do I have to give you more money and help you buy back shares for your stockholders?

  24. - thoughts matter - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 8:14 pm:

    Ameren’s supply rate doubled several months ago, I think they need to get that straightened out before they are allowed to raise any rates. They says the supply rate increase would only raise bills $50 a month. Ours went up about three times that. As did everyone I know.

  25. - Amalia - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 8:43 pm:

    @Big Dipper, that well may be but I see so many of them that I can’t believe that is totally true.

  26. - West Side the Best Side - Tuesday, Feb 7, 23 @ 9:55 pm:

    That’s what passes for the Republican party in New Trier Township today? Holy cr… smokes. If Chuck Percy was alive today he’d be spinning in his grave.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* After being charged with grooming and possessing images depicting child sexual abuse, Nicholas Kachiroubas to be ousted from ICCB (Updated)
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* You reap what you sow
* Coverage roundup: US Supreme Court upholds domestic violence gun law (Updated x2)
* US Attorney's office files blistering motion supporting Haymarket Center's discrimination lawsuit against Itasca (Updated)
* Uber Partners With Cities To Expand Urban Transportation
* It’s just a bill
* Stop Illinois From Making Credit Cards Hard To Use
* Question of the day
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...







Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller