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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Feb 17, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here’s your roundup…

    * Tribune | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming to speak to Chicago FOP Monday in Elmhurst: The Presidents Day visit to a so-far undisclosed location in the Chicago area would represent an escalation of the feud between DeSantis and Pritzker

    * Pritzker statement: “Ron DeSantis’s dangerous and hateful agenda has no place in Illinois. Banning books, playing politics with people’s lives, and censoring history are antithetical to who we are. Every candidate hoping to hold public office in the land of Lincoln should condemn this event.”

    * ADDED: Paul Vallas statement: “I wholeheartedly agree with Governor Pritzker that there is simply no place in Chicago for a right-wing extremist like Ron DeSantis, and I am disappointed in FOP leadership for inviting him to speak to officers. DeSantis’ record of trying to erase the LGBTQ community, banning books on Black history and much more is not in line with my values, the values of our community, or the values of the rank and file police officers who I believe have no interest in getting swept up in culture wars and national Republican Party politics. I want to build trust between all of Chicago’s communities and the police by holding everyone accountable, because that is the only way we can make our city safer. This decision by the FOP leadership makes that job harder.”

    * WAND | Illinois House committee discusses accuracy of American history taught in colleges: Young people in Illinois start to learn about American history during elementary school and get more in-depth courses in high school. Many of their teachers studied history at Illinois universities, but state lawmakers want to ensure every college is keeping a standard of teaching history from all American perspectives.

    * Tribune | Gov. J.B. Pritzker again says downstate mental health facility could be shuttered after IG reports document mistreatment of residents: Pritkzer’s remarks followed a report last week by Capitol News Illinois, ProPublica and Lee Enterprises that cited Illinois Department of Human Services’ reports documenting mistreatment of residents by the staff at the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in downstate Anna. The news outlets initially reported on the issues at Choate last year.

    * SJ-R | Springfield District 186, local lawmakers hopeful Pritzker’s pre-K plan will expand access: Springfield Public School District 186 Superintendent Jennifer Gill said the center plus two satellite sites are all that currently exist to serve the local need. As a result, anywhere from 100 to 150 families can find their way on a wait list she said.

    * WBBM | Consumer groups make more arguments against utility’s $400M rate hike request: Consumer groups are urging the Illinois Commerce Commission to reject the request by Peoples Gas for a record $400 million rate hike without major changes. Abe Scarr with the Public Interest Research Group says a major driver of the rate hike request is the utility’s pipe-replacement program, but they’re falling behind every year.

    * Tribune | ‘I had no choice’: For many homeless people, O’Hare has become a nighttime refuge: And while sheltering at the airport isn’t new, said Jessica Dubuar, director of health and specialty services of Haymarket Center, which has conducted outreach operations out of O’Hare to address homelessness in public transportation since 1990, the steadily increasing number of people doing it is.

    * Sun-Times | Mayor vows to remove unhoused people from O’Hare as more seek shelter at airport: Lightfoot said Thursday that it’s a security risk to allow homeless people to stay at O’Hare. But a law enforcement source said that starting this week, additional police has been dedicated to offering services to homeless people — and removing those who don’t accept the help.

    * Sun-Times | Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Bears will end up where they started: at renovated Soldier Field: Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has been barred until now from talking with the Chicago Bears about staying at Soldier Field, sees an avenue to communicate with the team.

    * Center Square | Pritzker aims to spend nearly $10 billion on pensions in proposed budget: TRS currently has a total unfunded pension liability of $80.6 billion among two different tiers of employees. Tier 1 is for those who entered TRS before 2011, and Tier 2, with fewer benefits, is for those hired after 2011.

    * Tribune | Former Rush Oak Park Hospital executive charged with fraud: Robert Spadoni, 58 of Darien, was charged with three counts of mail fraud and three counts of money laundering Wednesday, according to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Chicago.

    * Daily Southtown | Park Forest Mayor Jon Vanderbilt drops bid for reelection: “I love Park Forest and the people that live here, it’s a special place”” he wrote in a Facebook post Thursday evening. “I’ve given the residents 110 percent for the past 6 years. In that time I’ve lost a lot of relatives. After my father passing about a year ago my boys need more of my time and not less. Once re-elected I would have less not more time with my family.”

    * Naperville Sun | Commission endorses Block 59 plans for restaurants and outdoor entertainment, including concerts, skating, fests: The advisory body this week recommended the Naperville City Council approve parking, sign and light pole height variances for Block 59, a 16.5-acre business venture proposed for the northeast corner of Route 59 and Aurora Avenue by Brixmor Property Group, which owns the Heritage Square shopping center site.

    * The Southern | Jackson Growth Alliance economic group is looking for a new leader: “We’re looking for someone with deep roots in the area and who understands business development and retention,” explained Joni Bailey, chair of the JGA board of directors. “To use an anachronistic word, they also need a deep Rolodex, meaning they need to be able to pick up the phone and call a lot of people; they need to have a good network of people.”

    * Farm Week | Get to Know House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch: Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, has served as Illinois House Speaker since Jan. 13, 2021. He has served in the General Assembly since January 2013 and represents a western Chicago suburb. An attorney, Welch also served 12 years on the Proviso Township High School Board of Education, the last 10 as president. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, and a law degree from John Marshall Law School, Chicago. He and his wife, ShawnTe, have two children, Tyler and Marley.


  1. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 8:07 am:

    Chicago FOP coming to the suburbs for an event is bad enough but now they gotta bring DeSantis? Circus. Popcorn. Sad.

  2. - Stuck in Celliniland - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 8:16 am:

    ==Mayor Lori Lightfoot says Bears will end up where they started: at renovated Soldier Field==

    No, Mayor. They started in Decatur.

  3. - Rabid - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 8:22 am:

    Oh, to live on sugar mountain. With the barkers and colored balloons

  4. - H-W - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 8:39 am:

    DeSantis coming to Chicago to speak to the FOP will give Illinoisans a clear choice. We can hate and kill, or we can serve and protect. We cannot do both.

    The police and sheriffs would do very well to avoid choosing sides at this point in time. They would do well to avoid siding with hate.

  5. - Homebody - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 8:49 am:

    I hate how news media turns any statement against Republican policies or propaganda into a “Is he running for president???”

    Maybe it should be said by Dems because it is the right thing to say or do, not just to be self serving.

  6. - Bruce( no not him) - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:00 am:

    ===an escalation of the feud between DeSantis and Pritzker===
    Nothing like a good feud to sell newspapers.
    And clicks.

  7. - Amalia - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:18 am:

    colored balloons, is a balloon that was shot down really a project of a club in Illinois? weird.

  8. - Henry Francis - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:21 am:

    == Chicago FOP coming to the suburbs for an event is bad enough but now they gotta bring DeSantis? Circus. Popcorn. Sad.==

    Well they must be confident in the popularity of Ron’s message given that the event is “invite only” and at an “undisclosed” location. What do they do, post something on social media 10 minutes before it starts telling folks when and where? Kind of like how the street racers get together?

  9. - cermak_rd - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:38 am:

    These balloons are beginning to remind me of a song I’ve been working on on my clarinet, 99 Luftballons (they might have made it in English too as 99 Red Balloons)

  10. - Huh? - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    Lightfoot is delusional if she thinks the bears are going to walk away from $200 million investment in Arlington Heights.

  11. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    Curious choice to bring in DeSantis if Catanzara is really trying to mend fences. Seems like that’s more likely to tear them down

  12. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    Vallas hangs with FOP. FOP hangs with DeSantis. Nuff said, I think.

  13. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 12:00 pm:

    Pritzker should gladly fight back against fascism and bigotry, especially given who he is. Now that presidential campaign season is here, DeSantis has a much bigger political thorn than Pritzker in his side, a tremendously large and sharp thorn, maybe bigger than anyone’s ever seen. Grabbing popcorn.

  14. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Feb 17, 23 @ 12:54 pm:

    Physical and mental health are in no ways separate.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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