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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Mar 17, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s

While former Commonwealth Edison CEO Anne Pramaggiore stands trial for her alleged role in the utility’s admitted bribery scheme, ComEd parent Exelon finally is getting around to imposing some financial consequence on her boss at the time, Chris Crane.

Crane, who retired as Exelon CEO at the end of last year due to health reasons, had his payout of performance shares reduced by more than $4.2 million for 2022 due to the $200 million fine ComEd paid in 2020 when it entered into a deferred-prosecution agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago. […]

As for Crane, the $4.2 million decline in his performance-share award doesn’t mean he wasn’t paid handsomely in his last year at the helm of Exelon. His compensation came to more than $30 million, although nearly $13 million of that was in the form of adjusted pension value. Even with the penalty, his stock awards totaled more than $11 million.

* Daily Herald

The number of shootings along Chicago-area expressways continues to fall this year after a record 310 in 2021, but within that nugget of good news is a worrying trend.

Shooting victims are increasingly reporting that road rage is the reason behind the gunfire, Illinois State Police say.

Road rage was reported in about 40% of the 189 expressway shootings in 2022, according to the state police. That was a 12% increase over 2021.

* Ugh

Unless “a miracle happens,” UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills is set to close on March 31, owner Corinna Sac said.

The closure is the “direct result of the horrific attacks, endless harassment, and unrelenting negative misinformation about our establishment in the last eight months,” the business said in a news release Thursday afternoon.

“It is a pretty tough thing and a tough pill to swallow for myself, my family and my staff,” Sac said Thursday evening. […]

Sac’s business came under fire in July 2022 when Sac announced a ticketed, all-ages brunch drag show. Set for July 23, the show was postponed when the store was attacked by a vandal. An Alsip man was charged in the attack. […]

“We have been rebranded by misinformation as ‘gay only’ and ‘pedophiles,’” the business said in the release. “Local customers no longer come here because of the perceived threat that tarnished our good name and the fears of their license plates are photographed, and they are harassed.”

* Daily Herald

A school board candidate in Palatine Township Elementary School District 15 is being sued by two former campaign managers who claim they are owed more than $220,000 for their work on his 2022 bid for a seat in Congress.

John Kieken and Tanja Biebel say they helped Chris Dargis of Palatine win the Republican nomination for the 8th District seat but were not fully compensated for their work.

Dargis went on to lose to Democratic U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Schaumburg in November’s general election. […]

“It’s a frivolous lawsuit from former employees,” said Dargis, noting that Biebel was suspended from his campaign last year after a rival in the GOP primary accused her of unethical behavior.

* Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), leaders in Illinois’ film industry, and state leaders today announced Illinois’ soaring film production expenditures with a record-breaking $691 million for 2022 - a $131 million increase from the pre-pandemic record in 2019. […]

One of the improvements adopted by the General Assembly is the creation of the Film Workforce Development Fund, which funds the Film & TV Workforce Training Program. The program is designed to increase diversity in the state’s film industry and build out a qualified talent pipeline. The pilot program served approximately 175 students at seven locations across the state in its inaugural class in 2022, and more than 70 percent students of color and 80 percent of the program’s participants obtained paid positions on productions after graduation. Illinois’ FY24 proposed budget allocates $1 million to expand the program, as outlined in statute. […]

These annual figures are now comparable with pre-pandemic levels and represent an increase of more than 55% from 2020, when the production year was severely impacted by Covid. 2021 was a banner year for the City’s film production as the pent-up demand from projects delayed by the pandemic shutdowns of 2020 brought the total permits issued to 1,771.

The state estimates non-extra hires at 15,400 last year.

* Press release…

The Illinois Finance Authority (IFA), in its role as the State Climate Bank, today announced a landmark year of deploying over $250 million in private capital to further clean and sustainable development projects. Additionally, the IFA Climate Bank is holding public hearings and stakeholder meetings as it crafts applications for up to $1.3 billion in federal funds to advance clean energy, climate, and equity goals as outlined by Illinois’ Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) through climate finance and program deployment.

During the first year of the IFA’s Climate Bank designation, the institution mobilized and deployed $256 million in private capital for clean energy projects across the state, including $233 million for public water quality infrastructure and $23 million for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) projects. Sixty-five percent of these projects, funded by private capital, were made in or benefited disadvantaged communities. The IFA Climate Bank is further implementing clean energy goals through the development of new standardized financial tools to reduce the cost of decarbonization for all Illinoisans and ensuring that marginalized businesses are supported in fair and equitable manner.

* For a quick second I thought retiring Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Carrie Zalewski was going out with a bang

ICC Issues Arrest Warrant For Putin Over Ukraine War Crimes

Different ICC, as it turns out. Heh.

* Press release…

On the final day of his Community College Tour, Governor JB Pritzker was joined by Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, state officials, and community leaders at Malcolm X College to highlight proposed investments in higher education. The Governor’s FY24 budget calls for the largest increase for community colleges in over two decades and historic investments in financial aid, putting Illinois on track to guarantee every student has access to the education and training they need to thrive.

“Since I took office in 2019, Illinois has increased our MAP grant program by 50%, creating over $200 million more for college scholarships every year,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “And when the General Assembly passes the FY24 budget proposal, every working-class resident of Illinois will be able to get a degree from any community college in our state – tuition free and fee free. That means people across our state can get a good education and graduate with no student loans.”

“There is nothing more powerful than to help someone learn and find their voice. I watched my late mother give her all to teach students at Malcolm X College and saw the joy it inspired in both her and her students,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “That’s why I am especially proud of the historic investments our state is making in community colleges and state universities. We know the struggle that many first-generation and working-class students face, and we are easing their financial burdens to help their dreams come true.”

The proposed FY24 investments in day-to-day operations and state financial aid would make attending a higher education institution easier and more affordable. The Governor’s proposed budget also calls for a $100 million investment in Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, making it the highest in state history and a 75% increase in the program since he took office.

“Money and lack of resources should not be reasons why students are missing out on the opportunity to pursue a higher education,” said State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). “It is imperative that we continue fighting to ensure that students in Illinois have a fair chance at succeeding in life with sustainable and affordable college options.”

At today’s event, Governor Pritzker stood alongside Community College President David Sanders to highlight the above proposed investments.

Malcolm X College was founded in 1911, making it the oldest City College in Chicago. Last fall, the institution served 7,312 students demonstrating an 11.5% increase since the 2021-2022 school year. Notably, year over year (21-22 vs 22-23) preliminary data shows that City Colleges saw an 8 percent increase in credit enrollment for Black students and a 6 percent increase in credit enrollment for Latino students. City Colleges’ enrollment has outperformed state and national averages.

Increased enrollment is due in part to a variety of programs the colleges offer, including:

    • Future Ready, which offers students the opportunity to receive short-term credentials at no additional cost
    • Fresh Start - a debt forgiveness program allowing students who left City Colleges with debt to return and continue their studies
    • The Chicago Roadmap - an unprecedented partnership with Chicago Public Schools that creates a clear path for CPS students to attend and complete college

Malcolm X College has evolved over the years in response to student needs. Tuition at City Colleges has not increased since 2016, and the administration has ensured that every student has a pathway to career or to transfer to a four-year institution. The College has raised more than $20 million in grant funding to execute its equity plan and remove barriers for students, which would alleviate the cost of tuition, uniforms, transportation, food, housing, mental health services and personal hygiene.

These initiatives, alongside the proposed investments by Governor Pritzker’s administration, would allow all community college students at or below median income to attend school tuition and fee free.

* Isabel’s roundup…

       

4 Comments
  1. - Homebody - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    It feels like in the US a significant portion of the population has become more and more ok with the idea that “losing your bleeping mind” is a completely acceptable way to deal with any sort of stressor. Combine that with US gun culture, and I don’t have any reason to think the US will ever significantly decrease the rate of senseless deaths.

    We cannot police our way out of this. Locking more people up for longer will not prevent this from occurring.


  2. - Amalia - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 3:20 pm:

    hope there is a way the Uprising folks can sue people identified who are doing harassment. it may not bring back their establishment, but it would bring the evil ones directly to light. feel badly for them. scary.


  3. - Phineas - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 4:32 pm:

    How Crane escaped any meaningful financial or criminal consequences is the great Houdini escape of our time.


  4. - Chambananon - Friday, Mar 17, 23 @ 5:12 pm:

    ==The number of shootings along Chicago-area expressways continues to fall this year after a record 310 in 2021, but within that nugget of good news is a worrying trend.

    Shooting victims are increasingly reporting that road rage is the reason behind the gunfire, Illinois State Police say.

    Road rage was reported in about 40% of the 189 expressway shootings in 2022, according to the state police. That was a 12% increase over 2021.==

    This is both poor explaining of numbers and a misunderstanding of statistics by the reporter, or so it seems.

    Did we go from 310 shootings in 2021, of which ~28% (40% this year - 12% increase) were rage-involved, for a total of ~86.8 road rage shootings OR did we increase 12% year-over-year–meaning we went up to 40% from about 35.7%, or about 110.67 road rage-involved shootings?

    I realize this isn’t Rich’s error, but it means we don’t know what kind of numbers are moving.

    And, in any event, it totally misses the main point: the numbers are, in either intended meaning (12% growth year-over-year or 12% increase of the overall share), going drastically *downwards*. If anything, the evidence from the numbers provided indicates that all shootings are dropping-and fairly rapidly, at that–but rage-involved ones are (maybe) falling at a slightly less rapid pace than all other categories combined.

    That’s not a worrying trend–it’s a fantastic one.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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