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Afternoon roundup

Friday, Jun 30, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

…Adding… An agreement was reached

* Press release…

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza announced that Illinois is ending Fiscal Year 2023 today by reaching the following laudable fiscal milestones – some of which Illinois has not seen in decades:

    • For the second year in a row, we are paying all the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) vouchers, leaving zero unpaid GRF bills at the Illinois Office of Comptroller (IOC).
    • We are reducing Illinois’ total General Funds Accounts Payable to $528 million – down from a record high of $16.7 billion that resulted from the state’s 2015-2017 budget impasse.
    • We are ending the fiscal year with more than $1 billion in the state’s GRF for the first time in more than two decades.
    • Thursday’s deposit of $200 million into the Rainy Day Fund (Budget Stabilization Fund) brings the state’s reserve fund to a record $1.94 billion.
    • Today’s $200 million deposit above the statutorily required minimum into the state’s Pension Stabilization Fund brings the additional funds the state has put into pensions in the past year to $700 million.
    • Today we are paying $200 million for the fourth quarter Mandated Categorical Grants (MCATs) – transportation and special education funds for Illinois schools – earlier than scheduled.

* Daily Herald

Police will make greater use of drones this Fourth of July to keep an eye on crowds gathered for parades and fireworks shows.

Suburban departments are taking advantage of a new state law allowing police to monitor parades, food festivals, concerts and other government-hosted outdoor events with camera-equipped drones.

The bill was spurred by the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park nearly one year ago. A gunman armed with a high-powered rifle fired into the parade crowd from a downtown rooftop, killing seven people and injuring dozens more in less than a minute. […]

Kreis, the Vernon Hills chief, as well as Lemont Police Chief Marc Maton and Aurora police Lt. Andy Wolcott led a virtual training session hosted by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police this week to teach officers about reporting requirements and the rules of the sky.

“I can tell you, in regards to Vernon Hills, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback about measures that we take to further enhance security since July Fourth last year when Highland Park was victimized so horribly,” Kreis said.


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced it is revising how it collects and reports data on abortions in Illinois in order to protect the privacy and safety of those who receive abortions and abortion providers. The changes are dictated by recent amendments to Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act. They also come in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that eliminated the constitutional right to abortion in the United States and allowed states to restrict access to abortion.

Under the revised system, Illinois is simplifying the type of data it collects from healthcare providers and what data it shares with the public. IDPH will be reporting aggregate level data for the total number of abortions provided to Illinois residents and out-of-state residents. It will no longer be reporting abortion numbers for Illinois counties (which were reported only for counties with more than 50 abortions) or by the specific state of out-of-state residents.

IDPH will also be reporting the age ranges of those who receive abortions, the gestational age and the numbers of procedural and medically induced abortions.

The changes are being implemented to ensure that the state is in compliance with recent amendments to Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act in 2019 and earlier this year that were designed to safeguard abortion rights in Illinois.

Block Club Chicago

The Chicago Abortion Fund has been covering people’s travel costs and hotel stays as they trek to the city to receive abortions, which have been outlawed or restricted in neighboring states since the Supreme Court decision.

Of all the obstacles now in place for people seeking abortions, the latest one was less expected: Taylor Swift and NASCAR.

These big events have made Downtown hotel prices soar by hundreds of dollars, depleting the organization’s budget more quickly than in past years, said Megan Jeyifo, executive director at Chicago Abortion Fund.

Because of the “extreme increases” in hotel costs, organizers had to send some people to other states to seek care, she said.

Meanwhile, in Opposite Land

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s abortion ban doesn’t violate the state constitution, removing a major hurdle to enforcing the ban Republicans approved last summer.

* CBS News

The dream of owning a home seems out of reach for millions of Americans, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. But in Peoria, Illinois, Alex Martin owns a home at age 30 — something she never thought would be possible.

“I’m black. I’m trans, and I’m visibly so, and so having a space that, like, I made that I can just come in and recharge, I’m ready to face the world again,” she said.

And she’s not alone. In recent years, many LGBTQ+ people and people of color, who are statistically less likely to own homes because of discrimination and wealth gaps, are moving to the same city.

At first, they came from places like New York and Seattle, where home prices are sky-high. Now, many are coming from some of the 21 states that have passed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation.

Last year, realtor Mike Van Cleve sold almost 80 homes, and nearly one-third were sold to people moving from out of state.

Angie Ostaszewski says she has almost single-handedly grown Peoria’s population by about 360 in three years thanks to TikTok.

* Press release…

With new telephone numbers in southern Illinois in high demand, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved the implementation of the new 730 area code to overlay the existing 618 area code region. The current 618 area code serves all or part of 37 counties, including communities like Alton, Belleville, Cairo, Carbondale, Centralia, Collinsville, East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Effingham, Granite City, Edwardsville, and Marion, among many others.

Starting on July 7, 2023, customers in the 618 area code overlay region may be assigned a number in the new 730 area code when they request new service or an additional line. The 730 area code will co-exist everywhere in this region. Customers receiving the 730 area code will be required to dial 10 digits (the area code and phone number) for all local calls, just as customers with telephone numbers in the 618 area code do today.

* Springfield update

[CWLP spokesperson Amber Sabin] said that as of Friday morning, at least 18 transmission poles remained down, combined with dozens of distribution poles and hundreds of power lines still being worked on by crews who have been on shift for over 16 hours. The agency’s crews are being assisted by mutual aid workers from South Bend, Indiana and New Jersey, among others to try and get power back to people as quickly as possible.

As of this writing, 31 percent of CWLP customers were without power.

* Still not even approaching good…

So, um, maybe learn how to walk before you joke about running, CTA?…

* Isabel’s roundup…


  1. - DHS Drone - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 2:57 pm:

    I am now much less anxious than I previously was regarding negotiations. Might be a long night tonight but I think they’ll reach an agreement. Both sides want one.

  2. - Publius - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 3:19 pm:

    Places all over the state should be going to those states with bans and putting up billboards like those states did to us.

  3. - Alice Childress - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:02 pm:

    Re: negotiations. Hope they get a deal, whatever it may be, but I hear there may a month-to-month deal until a new one is achieved. Not what I want to see, just information to pass along.

  4. - Nick Name - Friday, Jun 30, 23 @ 4:41 pm:

    Downed utility poles must also be affecting Comcast/xFinity customers, since (I think) Comcast/xFinity also runs its lines via utility poles.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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