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Afternoon roundup

Monday, May 15, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Herald & Review

Twelve inmates in the Sangamon County Jail have been declared unfit for trial and ordered to be taken from the jail’s custody and committed to a state approved treatment facility.

But all 12 of them are still in jail, having waited multiple weeks or months to access critical inpatient psychiatric care from the state. […]

Lee Enterprises reporters spoke to seven Central Illinois sheriffs, state’s attorneys and jail administrators about the inmates declared mentally unfit for trial left in their custody pending transfer to Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) approved facilities.

A spokesperson for the department discussed this story in a phone call with a reporter, who provided a detailed list of questions by email at the spokesperson’s request. However, IDHS did not respond to the questions, or to any subsequent attempts to follow up by email and phone.

Some county officials reported inmate wait times of well over 100 days. In Macon County, for example, three inmates are awaiting care. One of them has been waiting for over 140 days. McLean County Sheriff Matt Lane said one inmate has waited since Nov. 3 of last year.

The state simply has to put a bigger effort into building up its psychiatric services. And not just for inmates. The governor has announced a plan, but dollars need to be put into hiring ASAP.

* Crain’s

A little over a year ago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker extolled the beneficial effect his Climate & Equitable Jobs Act would have on ComEd customer bills thanks to a credit they would get from the owner of Illinois’ nuclear power plants.

“I’m proud that our commitment to hit carbon-free power by 2045 is already bringing consumers savings just months after becoming law,” he said in a press release at the time.

That credit of 3.087 cents per kilowatt-hour, though, quickly turned out to be overly generous — so much so that ComEd customers now owe the utility $1.1 billion for credits it provided them but couldn’t collect from nuclear plant owner Constellation Energy Group when wholesale power prices dropped unexpectedly beginning last year.

* Also Crain’s

Illinois pharmacists are now allowed to dispense certain types of birth control to patients without a prescription from a doctor thanks to a new order from the state that looks to expand access to contraception.

The order, signed May 10 by the head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, proclaims that with additional training, pharmacists can dispense self-administered hormonal contraceptives, which includes birth control pills, vaginal rings and injections. […]

More than 20 other states, including California and South Carolina, have enacted similar policies that allow residents to receive birth control from pharmacists.

* A couple of Brandon Johnson inauguration excerpts…

It’s true, y’all know we need revenue. We have a structural deficit. And we have to invest in people. And we have to do that without breaking the backs of working people with fines, fees and property taxes.

You can’t make people feel bad because they have a payment plan. [applause]

You can’t stop someone with a payment plan from becoming mayor of the city of Chicago. [massive applause]


We cannot afford to get it wrong, Chicago. We don’t want a Chicago that has been so overwhelmed by the traumatization of violence and despair that our residents felt no hope or no choice but to leave, shrinking our economy and make it difficult for this city to remain a world class city.

* This is just nuts and it’s becoming all too common…

…Adding… Mayor Johnson has signed four new executive orders…

EO 2023-15 — Boost Youth Employment

Mayor Johnson’s youth employment executive order instructs the Office of Budget and Management to prepare an analysis of all resources in the City’s FY2023 budget that are available to fund youth employment and enrichment programs, including any state, county, or federal funds. In addition, the executive order instructs the Deputy Mayor of Education and Health and Human Services to lead all city departments and agencies in identifying additional entry-level jobs that would be suitable for young people. The order instructs the Mayor’s Office staff to coordinate year-round youth employment and enrichment activities among City sister agencies and City Departments, including collaboration with companies and non-profit organizations, for summer internships and community service credit opportunities with Chicago Public Schools and college credit opportunities with City Colleges of Chicago.

EO 2023-16 — Establish a Deputy Mayor for Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Rights

Mayor Johnson’s executive order to establish a Deputy Mayor for Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Rights makes the new role responsible for the coordination and communication between all applicable City departments and officials related to the City’s efforts to support newly arrived and established immigrants, refugees, and migrants. In addition, the order instructs all City department heads to take direction from the Deputy Mayor for Immigrant, Migrant, and Refugee Rights to assist with efforts to address immediate needs and long-standing policy and programmatic goals to ensure the efficacy of Chicago’s status as a welcoming and sanctuary city.

EO 2023-17 — Establish a Deputy Mayor for Community Safety

Mayor Johnson’s executive order to establish a Deputy Mayor for Community Safety calls on the new office to focus on eradicating the root causes of crime and violence and advance a comprehensive, healing-centered approach to community safety. In addition, the order instructs all City departments to work with the Deputy Mayor for Community Safety to achieve this goal.

EO 2023-18 — Establish a Deputy Mayor for Labor Relations

Mayor Johnson’s executive order to establish a Deputy Mayor for Labor Relations will allow coordination to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of Chicago, in addition to improving working conditions, advancing new job opportunities for employment, and protecting workers’ rights.

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - The Truth - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    That lakefront traffic problem seems like it could be easily solved with bollards?

  2. - Gravitas - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:05 pm:

    Mayor Johnson’s inaugural address featured soaring rhetoric and suggested soaring spending. It was an odd mixture of Hull House and Haymarket Square.

  3. - Captain Obvious - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:06 pm:

    It would be great if people would just obey a sign but that does not work in this era of entitlement. If not bollards, then sturdy gates.

  4. - Final 4 - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:13 pm:

    The wait for mental health services is not just backlogged for prisoners. It takes 120 days just for an intake appointment through SIU Medical.

  5. - Gravitas - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    There was one error in Mayor Johnson’s speech. He referred to the “red summer of 2019.”

    Historically, it was “the red summer of 1919.”

    That was the year of the Palmer raids, anarchist bombings, and a major race riot in Chicago.

  6. - Annonin' - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:16 pm:

    Now Mr.Borus appears to be demonizing those who appear to be having some nice rides on the little lake front … shame on you.

  7. - 47th Ward - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:22 pm:

    Boost Youth Employment is a worthy goal. However, what is the City going to do that works better than the current economy of Chicago? Seems like everywhere I go, I see help wanted signs. Almost every fast food joint in the Loop seems to be begging for employees. If youth aren’t interested in those jobs, what is the city proposing to do to boost youth employment when hiring slows down in the future?

    I mean seriously, if you’re a teen in Chicago and you aren’t working, it’s likely that you don’t want a job.

  8. - Just a Citizen - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 3:23 pm:

    It’s absolutely terrific news about pharmacists being allowed to dispense birth control without a doctors visit. This should have been front page news

  9. - PP - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    “You can’t make people feel bad because they have a payment plan. [applause]” - BJ

    So make them feel good being on a payment plan?

  10. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 4:23 pm:

    I love the payment plan line. I don’t know if it was in his stump speech, but it was in his victory speech and now his inauguration speech.

  11. - Chicago Blue - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 4:27 pm:

    This is completely off-topic but Blago is about to be back in the news as a former Rudy Giuliani staffer has sued him and accused him of selling pardons for $2 million to be split between him and Trump.

  12. - Perrid - Monday, May 15, 23 @ 4:31 pm:

    “So make them feel good being on a payment plan?”

    Or just… don’t care?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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