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Isabel’s morning briefing

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * WTTW | Lawmaker Raises, Car Title Changes: What’s Included in Illinois’ New $50B State Budget: The spending plan doesn’t increase taxes, but it will cost people $10 more for a new car title. That means come July, it will cost $165 for a certificate of title, with the additional funds to be used to update the Illinois secretary of state’s IT infrastructure, which an external assessment found to be very outdated. The secretary of state’s office said the increase “won’t come close” to raising the $200 million needed to overhaul the “archaic” system “to better protect personal information, increase cybersecurity and prevent outages … but is a decision the GA (General Assembly) made to help generate more for modernization.”

    * WCIA | State budget includes $85 million more for program to prevent Illinois homelessness: An additional $85 million will go towards “Home Illinois”, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan to address the issue. This brings the state’s total investments towards preventing and ending homelessness to more than $350 million.

    * WAND | Illinois House leaders show growing division during adjournment speeches: Meanwhile, Welch said many Republicans will go back home to their districts and brag about investments included in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget they voted against. He also celebrated Democratic plans to protect reproductive rights, hold the firearm industry accountable for gun violence, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.

    * WICS | New state budget has focus on education: Next year’s budget includes a $250 million increase for early childhood education, including the Smart Start Illinois Program, and eliminating preschool deserts. $350 million will go to the K-12 education funding formula, $45 million for the first year of a pilot program to fill teacher vacancies, and $3 million to expand access to computer science coursework.

    * Sun-Times | City’s most violent Memorial Day weekend in 7 years ‘intolerable,’ Mayor Brandon Johnson says: “It produced pain and trauma that devastated communities across Chicago, and my heart breaks for everyone affected,” Johnson said in a statement issued late Tuesday afternoon. “That’s why as mayor, I am committed to leveraging every single resource at our disposal to protect every single life in our city.”

    * Sun-Times | Mayor Johnson invokes ‘soul’ of Chicago’s ancestors at Memorial Day ceremony:“I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the fact that I would not be here representing the soul of our ancestors in the city of Chicago if it were not for the soldiers whose humanity had not been recognized. They stood for democracy,” Johnson said.

    * Tribune | After community input, search for new Chicago police superintendent enters new phase on the eve of summer: The commission has a mid-July deadline to submit three finalists for the job to new Mayor Brandon Johnson. Whomever Johnson picks will need approval from the full City Council, but he can order the search process to begin again if none of the finalists are to his liking. Until then, Johnson has handed the reins of the CPD to Fred Waller, the former chief of patrol who retired in August 2020 after more than three decades with the department. Waller, who remains popular with rank-and-file officers and supervisors, has said he did not apply for the permanent job.

    * Pensions & Investments | Illinois Supreme Court to hear case on legality of 2 consolidated pension funds: The Illinois Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments regarding the constitutionality of two new consolidated investment funds combining the assets of the state’s municipal police and firefighters’ pension funds. The decision by the state’s Supreme Court follows the February ruling by an Illinois appellate court that the consolidated funds, the $9 billion Illinois Police Officers’ Pension Investment Fund, Peoria, and the $7.2 billion Illinois Firefighters’ Pension Investment Fund, Lombard, are constitutional.

    * Illinois Answers | Alderperson Says Migrants Are Causing TB Outbreaks at Police Stations, But It’s Not True: Ald. Ray Lopez (15th) declared migrants sleeping on floors of police stations were infecting officers with tuberculosis, but the Chicago Department of Public Health said there isn’t a single confirmed case. … When an Illinois Answers Project reporter informed Lopez there weren’t any reports of tuberculosis, he doubled down on his claim, alleging the city health department was actively concealing the number of positive tuberculosis cases.

    * Mike Hoffman | I received restorative justice from the Catholic Church after surviving clergy abuse: I am a beneficiary of my abuser’s name being listed on the website of the Archdiocese of Chicago, and there is justice and institutional accountability in that. I am also the beneficiary of restorative justice, which is the element that I feel is missing. Beyond the attorney general’s goal of justice and giving voice to survivors as an aid to healing to from the painful trauma of childhood abuse, efforts at restorative justice have helped me, and many others like me, to live a fuller and more complete life.

    * Tribune | Former Robbins police chief files lawsuit against mayor, village for wrongful termination: In a federal lawsuit citing “concerning behavior,” Sheppard, who was fired by Bryant in April, alleges wrongful termination and violation of the Whistleblower Protection Act by Bryant and the village of Robbins. Sheppard said he was hired in October 2021 to improve the department, which he said he did by hiring more police officers and decreasing major crime rates. But Sheppard said Bryant displayed “abuse of power” by interfering with his job.

    * Tribune | Studies show Illinois most at risk from brain-damaging lead in water, but Florida getting bigger cut of $15 billion EPA fund to replace pipes: Another state surprisingly in the top 10: Texas. Since then environmental lawyers have been quizzing EPA officials and state bureaucrats about a 2022 survey the agency relied upon to conclude Florida surpasses Illinois in the number of lead service lines, and that Texas has more than Michigan and Wisconsin combined.

    * Sun-Times | William Brandt, influential Democrat, corporate restructuring pioneer, dies at 73: When future Illinois governor Pat Quinn was a freshman at the Oak Park school, he didn’t know anyone. Young Bill “invited me to be at his lunch table,” Quinn said, the beginning of an enduring friendship. “He was always very involved in social justice and helping people. He loved politics.’’

       

10 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 8:32 am:

    Good on Speaker Welch…

    === Meanwhile, Welch said many Republicans will go back home to their districts and brag about investments included in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget they voted against. He also celebrated Democratic plans to protect reproductive rights, hold the firearm industry accountable for gun violence, and lower the cost of prescription drugs.===


  2. - JS Mill - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 9:11 am:

    @OW- It plays like a broken record every year. Complain about maps, complain about budget, ask for things that are the opposite of the democrat’s platform, complain some more, then take credit for a budget.

    When (and why) does the ilgop get a clue?


  3. - Big Dipper - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 9:17 am:

    Ray Lopez is an embarrassment to his ward and the city.


  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 9:23 am:

    === When (and why) does the ilgop get a clue?===

    I’ve felt for a very long time, and a great deal of that is part and parcel of Illinois Dems not having a functional and “daily” state party operating, that Dems only have pushed back on it 3 ways… immediately after the GOP members are Red, maybe on signing day of the budgetary bills, and in ridiculous mail pieces and one ad during campaign season.

    My hope is with this, on the final hours of session, Dems will actively and purposely *shame* Republicans, be it in districts, as a narrative in an overall framing, and purposely making a point at each scheduled event where a GOP member wanders in for pictures or by total happenstance sends a release touting something requiring the budget and the budget funding.

    The GOP will only be shamed into reality, and that’s not going to happen (feeling shame) for a long time or they get tired of being on a defensive stance.

    A functioning state party apparatus that takes a theme like that to tout Dem wins is desperately needed if only to reinforce the positives of super majorities and a Dem governor.

    That my unsolicited thoughts for today - JS Mill -, so let’s keep all this ‘tween us.


  5. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 9:49 am:

    =A functioning state party apparatus that takes a theme like that to tout Dem wins is desperately needed….=

    It might be needed but it appears that the Dems don’t feel any sense of desperation. That’s part and parcel of having a non-functioning ILGOP. The apparatus of both parties becomes lazy. For the Dems they don’t see a credible threat and for the GOP they’ve all but abandoned any attempts to participate in policy making. I predict we’ll continue to get more of the same from both sides.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 10:05 am:

    === the Dems don’t feel any sense of desperation. That’s part and parcel of having a non-functioning ILGOP. The apparatus of both parties becomes lazy. For the Dems they don’t see a credible threat and for the GOP they’ve all but abandoned any attempts to participate in policy making.===

    Why true, playing down to your opponent’s ineptitude is not the way to run a railroad, and with so many seats to protect, playing offense to being for a budget, as a continual theme till petitions, and funding programs as a party, seems prudent to being sharp for bigger battles ahead.

    I’m sure they have things well in hand. No one asked, as I’ve said, it’s unsolicited, I merely see a table that can be set for greater things, not meekly keeping up with the inept.


  7. - H-W - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 11:01 am:

    I spent 30 minutes trying to write an explanation for why McCombie’s speech was itself nothing more than political grandstanding.

    I imagine doing so is not necessary.

    If McCombie and her colleagues ever hope to be effective representatives of their constituents, they better do some soul searching, and learn how to legislate minority interests effectively. Currently, the Republicans in leadership keep using the same old game plan, getting the same results, and then pretend as if it is not their fault that they fail to accomplish anything for the minority interest.


  8. - Pundent - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 12:12 pm:

    =If McCombie and her colleagues ever hope to be effective representatives of their constituents=

    Effective representation is ultimately determined by those same constituents. And today’s GOP seems more focused on grievances than legislation. And that message is being cascaded from the top of the party on down. In that sense McCombie is giving the people what they want.


  9. - Anonymous - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 4:06 pm:

    ===The spending plan doesn’t increase taxes, but it will cost people $10 more for a new car title. ===

    They need more money? How about making giant 80,000 pound truck-cranes buy truck license plates like every other truck in Illinois?


  10. - DuPage - Wednesday, May 31, 23 @ 4:07 pm:

    4:06 was me.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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