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Afternoon roundup

Thursday, Jun 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Lee Enterprises took a look at the racial spread between police departments/sheriffs’ offices and the communities they serve.

The narrowest gap was in Rock Island County, which is 30.4 percent people of color and the sheriff’s office is 27.69 percent people of color.

The widest gap was in Macon County, where the population is 25.2 percent people of color and yet the sheriff’s office is 100 percent White.

Illinois as a whole is 40 percent persons of color and the Illinois State Police is 19.43 percent persons of color.

Anyway, click here to see if your community is on the list.

* Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association…

Tazewell County Circuit Court Judge Paul E. Bauer has ruled that the City of Pekin’s ordinance taxing video gaming is unlawful and barred by state law, resulting in a major victory for Illinois small businesses and their customers.

Pekin officials in October approved a city ordinance assessing a “fee” worth 2.5 percent of net revenues received by any video gaming machine registered to do business in the city. The ordinance called for proceeds from the fee to be split between the City’s police and fire pension funds. Violations could trigger fines of up to $750 a day. Two members of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, which represents the companies that provide video gaming terminals in thousands of small businesses across the state, sued the City of Pekin late last year in Tazewell County Circuit Court.

The IGMOA members — J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC, and Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC – argued that the City’s so-called “fee” is in reality an illegal tax on terminal operators. Such a tax is “unauthorized, is unlawful and unenforceable” because the state’s Video Gaming Act bars them, the plaintiffs argued in their lawsuit filed in December 2022.

The order is here.

* This is not CNN’s Sanjay Gupta…

Governor JB Pritzker announced today that he has named Sanjay Gupta, a national IT leader with private and public sector experience, to serve as the new Secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), pending Senate confirmation. Gupta has served in major roles across the public and private sectors, including running the federal government’s pandemic aid portals for small businesses and serving as a board member of the federal Technology Modernization Fund.

“Sanjay Gupta brings invaluable expertise in public and private sector information technology to DoIT,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “His previous work and vision for enterprise architecture, digital transformation, and user experience make him a vital addition to the agency. I am confident that this team will lead the nation in cybersecurity, service delivery, and user experience.”

Previously, Gupta was the Chief Information Officer for the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. He also served for more than four years as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where his efforts to modernize the agency allowed it to process more than $1 trillion in loans for the nation’s largest economic recovery effort.

Prior to his career in public service, he spent nearly 20 years in management and as a consultant and analyst in leading global technology organizations, including several companies based in Illinois.

“I want to thank Governor Pritzker for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Illinois, my adopted home,” said Sanjay Gupta. “Over decades in IT, I’ve learned how to apply the private sector’s best practices to government work. The team at DoIT has propelled the state forward tremendously in the past five years, and I look forward to working with the committed professionals in Illinois.”

Gupta holds a Bachelor of Science from Punjab Engineering College, a Master of Science from Wayne State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He and his wife raised their two daughters in the suburbs of Chicago, where they lived for more than two decades.

Acting Secretary Brandon Ragle will take on the new role of Deputy Secretary, pending Senate confirmation. Ragle has served the state for over 30 years and will work closely with the new Secretary, providing invaluable insight into the agency’s operations. During his tenure as Acting Secretary, DoIT was upgraded by the Digital States report to an A-, receiving accolades for its connected infrastructure, resilience and cybersecurity, and data-driven government.

“Brandon is an essential asset to modernizing our technology for the people of Illinois, and he is part of a strong leadership team that is widely acknowledged nationally as a model,” Governor Pritzker said. “He stepped up at a critical time for the agency, and I want to recognize his contributions with this important new role.”

* But, didn’t Rep. Chris Miller tell us that this climate change thing doesn’t exist?

Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm has announced it will no longer insure new homes or businesses in California due to the high wildfire risk and increased construction costs. State Farm is the second insurance carrier to stop offering coverage due to wildfires. Last year, AIG notified thousands of state homeowners their policies would not be renewed. California has experienced a record amount of wildfires in the past few years.

*Blows into the microphone*

* Press release…

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford championed legislation in 2021 to ensure that the people of Illinois understood that Black history is American history. This year she is building upon that monumental measure by encouraging people to celebrate Juneteenth and reminding them of the reason for the holiday.

“Juneteenth being a state holiday reminds us that freedom and racial equality have always been a hard-fought battle for Black Americans,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “This day gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate Black culture, Black achievements, and learn more about Black history.”

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which established that all enslaved people in Confederate states were forever free. However, it was not until two years later in June of 1865 that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the proclamation freeing the last of slaves in the United States.

In 2021, Lightford championed House Bill 3922, which established June 19 as a state holiday for Juneteenth National Freedom Day. It is now a paid day off holiday for all state employees and a school holiday.

Today, Juneteenth has grown from the celebration of the abolition of slavery into a celebration of Black arts, culture, and the impacts of the civil rights movement throughout the country.

“The struggle for our people to achieve full equity in Illinois and across the nation continues still to this day,” Lightford said. “Juneteenth recognizes our accomplishments, our achievements, our culture, and reminds us that our fight is not over.”

…Adding… Not a good sign when the appellate court calls your appeal frivolous…

…Adding… U of I…

The University of Illinois Flash Index for May 2023 increased to 103.2 from 102.9 in April. This continues the perplexing path of the U. S. and Illinois economies with most observers still waiting for at least a mild recession that has yet to materialize.

“Reversing last month’s weak performance, Illinois tax receipts (the major components of the Flash Index) for May were surprisingly robust.”

Both individual income and corporate tax receipts were up in real terms compared to May 2022 while sales tax receipts were down only slightly after adjusting for inflation. Even more confounding, both the national and Illinois unemployment rates declined, falling in Illinois to 4.2% to a post-Covid recession low.

“It is still too early to claim a soft landing following the strong recovery from the recession. Watchful waiting continues.”

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income as estimated from receipts for corporate income, individual income, and retail sales taxes. These revenues are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through May 31, 2023. Over three years since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, ad hoc adjustments are still needed.

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - RNUG - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 2:55 pm:

    == open up apprenticeship opportunities … ==

    Can’t speak to Chicago, but here in Springfield I have an older union friend that teaches at CACC / LLCC for several of the local apprenticeship programs while still working part time. Slots fo empty all the time because everyone has been brainwashed to believe they need a college degree to get a good job. A lot of the union jobs, after you get through the paid apprenticeship, quickly reach pretty nice salary levels, and even better if they start their own business in one of those fields.

    The opportunities are out there …

  2. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 4:35 pm:

    One of Weiss’ attorneys handled Blago’s appeals, so this order is not surprising at all.

  3. - ArchPundit - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 4:55 pm:

    === Slots fo empty all the time because everyone has been brainwashed to believe they need a college degree

    It’s a bit more complicated. Colleges cannot fill all the slots for technical programs either. A focus on college is overdone, but in a strong employment economy it’s hard to fill those slots. Unions have gotten a lot better at minority outreach, but they are too cautious on the amount of labor needed in the future (they don’t want an unlimited supply of talent). All that said, I’m entirely onboard with emphasizing apprenticeships as they are generally good jobs.

    Another big problem–weed for jobs that drug test due to insurance reasons and transportation–cars and licenses are some of the biggest barriers in the trades.

    Also, good for Judge Seeger–I grew up with him and while our politics aren’t the same he’s got the right temperament as a judge.

  4. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 4:56 pm:

    Windy Rep. Miller needs a breath mint…the air is hot.

  5. - Da big bad wolf - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 5:28 pm:

    “Everyone has been brainwashed.”

    Nope. Their brains are fine. It’s just that the trades start working too early, before daycares and schools open. This makes it impossible for parents of young children to take these jobs.

  6. - JB13 - Thursday, Jun 1, 23 @ 5:31 pm:

    – The opportunities are out there … –


    Just got back from a pool party at a friend’s house. Auto mechanic by trade, now owns his own shop. Three Beemers and a gigantic black Chevy pickup in the garage, a large heated inground pool on a stone patio greater in area than my first house, 5 bedrooms, basement full of workout equipment (which he uses religiously), kids in private school, etc.

    He didn’t go to college.

    I did.

    I am blessed by most standards. But I still feel like the sucker.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
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