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Afternoon roundup

Thursday, Jul 13, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* ACLU of Illinois…

More here.

* Crain’s

“We have had no shortage of wonderful ideas and applications that have come in from Illinois and Chicago for grants we have underway . . . thanks to President Biden’s infrastructure program,” [US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg] said Monday night during a conversation with former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker as part of TechChicago Week. “I would add that under the governor’s leadership, the state is putting up a lot.”

“Lest anybody get caught in the framework that says, ‘Why are we investing as a state if the federal government is going to come anyway?’ — the more the state puts forward, the better partner we can be. The more matching there is, the more gets done,” Buttigieg said. “A state that understands the importance of infrastructure is a critical part of all of this.”

* Press release…

State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), and State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) held a press conference on Wednesday where they issued new demands for joint hearings of the Illinois House and Senate Human Services and Mental and Behavioral Health Committees after news reports surfaced this week detailing horrific instances of abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and torture of individuals living in Illinois-run facilities serving developmentally disabled citizens.

In February 2023, every member of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses signed on to a letter demanding joint committee hearings to investigate reports of abuse and neglect at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. This week, ProPublica released shocking details of the abuse of residents living in state care at multiple facilities.

Senator Terri Bryant signed the original letter demanding hearings into Choate and participated in Wednesday’s press conference. Bryant said the Pritzker Administration must answer questions.

“Republicans have consistently called for joint, public, bicameral hearings of the committees charged with overseeing our facilities that serve the developmentally disabled to get answers on the record from administration officials as to what is being done to stop these horrific abuses,” Bryant said. “I am now repeating my demand for public hearings, and I believe new leadership is needed in many facilities, especially at Choate.”

* From an INA media alert…

INA Nurses Protest at Ludeman Developmental Center

WHAT: Dozens of nurses employed by Ludeman Developmental Center, and their union colleagues and supporters will protest unfair labor conditions and unsafe work conditions.

WHEN: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 18th, 2023.

WHERE: Ludeman Developmental Center, 114 N Orchard Dr, Park Forest, IL 60466

WHO: Nurses represented by the Illinois Nurses Association will protest the Ludeman Center management

BACKGROUND: The Ludemann Developmental Center treats adults 18 and over who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. INA members are protesting to fight for a fair contract at Ludeman Developmental Center. According to steward Marika Loftman-Davis, RN, INA nurses worked through the COVID-19 pandemic for years with little to no thanks from the State of Illinois. “People say that nurses are heroes, but now they need to give us a fair contract that actually acknowledges the work we did for our state,” Loftman-Davis said.

“Management needs to bring our facility into the 21st century and provide us with the resources we need to care for our patients. They need to pay us a living wage and provide us with benefits so that nurses can stay their whole career at Ludeman.” Nurses at Ludeman will also be protesting unfair treatment at the Center, and demanding a fair contract that honors nurses’ years of experience working through the pandemic.

* IDFPR press release

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) announced today the results of the Social Equity Criteria Lottery (“SECL”) for 55 Conditional Adult Use Cannabis Dispensary Licenses. Almost 2,700 applicants participated in the lottery, which was held in conjunction by IDFPR and the Illinois Lottery. Before Conditional Licenses are issued, the Department will initiate a review process to ensure applicants selected meet all statutorily required rules. Once confirmed, the Department will issue a Conditional License. The results of the SECL may be found online here and below.


But they’re being awarded at a time when new entrants are struggling in Illinois and elsewhere to raise the estimated $500,000 to more than $1 million required to set up a pot shop. So far a little more than two dozen of the 192 licensees have opened stores.

* Hopefully, this apparent success will trickle down to Chicago

The two locations illustrate the extent to which Biden administration officials have begun transforming the way asylum seekers and migrants are processed along the southern border since May 11, when the White House lifted the pandemic policy known as Title 42. The policy had allowed quick expulsions of migrants who entered the United States illegally but no penalty for those who tried to get in again and again.

Now the administration is allowing tens of thousands of migrants to enter the United States legally each month through the mobile app CBP One, while those who don’t follow the rules face ramped-up deportations and tougher penalties.

The preliminary result is a nearly 70 percent drop in illegal entries since early May, according to the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

* Press release…

Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) issued the following statement in support of a young girl from the Springfield, Illinois area who was kicked off her swim team for objecting to men using the girls’ locker room.

During a raucous press conference today, the teenage girl’s father admitted that she was not kicked off the team and that he refused a meeting with the Y because he could not bring others with them, including a leader of an anti-trans group. And the girl told reporters today that she never saw the person in a state of undress, so we don’t really even know if the person was born a biological male. The father would not allow her to answer questions about whether she felt threatened or if the person was leering at her. The YMCA issued a statement about this last month.

* Brenden Moore on yesterday’s release of a new Cor Strategies poll showing Mike Bost leading Darren Bailey 43-37

Bost campaign manager Myles Nelson said the result proves “that Republican voters are happy with the job Mike Bost is doing.”

“At a time when no one can agree on anything, only 8% disapprove of the job he’s doing in Congress,” Nelson said. “Mike also holds an outside the margin of error lead against a candidate who JB Pritzker spent $30 million supporting in an effort to convince Illinois Republicans to vote for him just last year. We’re happy with where we’re at and know we will have the resources to continue building our support moving forward.”

Bailey’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

* The Illinois Policy Institute is recruiting legislative candidates again…

The ads link here. Their recruits didn’t do so well last year.

* From the ward commiteeperson meeting earlier this week which chose Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez’s favored candidate Natalie Toro for state Senate

35th Ward committeeperson Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa joined many progressive ward organizations in the district in backing Guzmán. He hammered Toro on Monday for her association with the police union, and for mailers sent in support of her campaign for the County Board by a political action committee funded in large part by the FOP. […]

Toro said she was glad Ramirez-Rosa asked her about the FOP connection, then promptly distanced herself as much as she could from Catanzara.

“I think, maybe naively as a first-time candidate, I was under the impression that any candidate should go to a labor union to earn the support of the rank-and-file members of the union,” she said. “I in no way agree with any of the views of their homophobic, racist leader.”

Totally believable. That link leads to a photo taken during a Martinez fundraiser last year.

* Still “fittin’ to get ready” after almost two years…

State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is set to attend the first public meeting of Illinois’ Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force on July 18 at Birger Hall on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE) at 10 a.m. The meeting is open to the public.

“Nobody should be injured or lose their life because the building they are working in isn’t built to keep them safe in the event of a completely foreseeable hazard. But that’s just what happened in our community on December 10, 2021 when an Amazon facility collapsed and killed six people,” Stuart said. “That’s why I’ve since led the way in the creation of this task force, and why I asked to be appointed to it. I’m looking forward to beginning the process of better protecting Illinois’ working families.”

On December 10, 2021, an EF-3 tornado struck the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville while workers inside scrambled to find safety and both management and safety procedures proved tragically ineffective. One of the building’s two restrooms was equipped as a storm shelter and the six who were killed had taken shelter in the other restroom. The warehouse suffered a direct hit and was destroyed.

Among issues that authorities examined in the aftermath were the lack of a plan tailored to the region, the fact that emergency equipment was inaccessible due to being kept locked up and that many workers did not recall having been asked to complete required training on what to do in an emergency.
Ultimately, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found that Amazon did not technically violate the law, but issued a Hazard Alert Letter identifying several recommended changes it said the company should consider making.

“Six people were killed in this incident, so the fact that no violations could technically be identified despite that is not comforting—it shows that we have a problem,” Stuart said. “That’s why the work of this task force is so crucial. Illinois needs a building code that will keep workers safe and families whole, and we have until the current code expires in 2025 to make sure we have one.”

* Big fight at the State House Inn, which is a popular session spot

Sangamon and Menard County Crime Stoppers are seeking information to assist police on a large disturbance on July 8 at the State House Inn located at 101 E. Adams St. in Springfield.

Police located a large crowd fighting in the middle of the road and later determined multiple crimes occurred resulting in multiple injuries. One victim was stabbed and others were battered. The victims were treated at local hospitals.

No suspects have been identified and no photographs are currently available.

Problems of a different sort at another session hotel

The way Springfield Mayor Misty Buscher figures it, economic incentives available to the owner of the Wyndham City Centre hotel for a proposed $58 million renovation total about half of what the previous mayor estimated.

Rather than the $18.75 million in tax-related incentives described by former mayor Jim Langfelder, Buscher said the assistance package of property, hotel-motel and sales taxes instead would add up to $9 million or $10 million.

“The incentives that were offered before just simply are not there financially,” Buscher told Illinois Times after a City Council meeting in June.

The reason for the math discrepancy is unclear. It’s also unclear whether the reduced number is the reason Wyndham owner Al Rajabi and his associates at Tower Capital Group – also referred to as Sky Capital – haven’t returned to the city with a reaction or counteroffer.

* As I noted earlier today, this is a slow period for news…


* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Sun-Times | Amid hazing scandal, Northwestern has another conflict on its board of trustees: Michael Wilbon worked for the Washington Post for 30 years, first as a sports reporter, then as a sports columnist. Later, he added ESPN to his resume, co-hosting “Pardon the Interruption” with Post colleague Tony Kornheiser. Then he joined “NBA Countdown” as an analyst. […] While school president Michael Schill pens drawn-out statements and athletic director Derrick Gragg keeps himself on mute, Wilbon stands on his purple pulpit, mourning what the university has lost and espousing what it still can be.

    * Sun-Times | Surely, with all the recent rain, the region’s drought is over? Nope: “It’s definitely made a huge dent,” said Trent Ford, a climatologist with the University of Illinois. “What we really want to see more of is consistent, moderate rain totals. We probably don’t want to see the 8 inches of rain in a single day … because in that situation, the first maybe inch or 2 soaks in, helps the soil, and the rest just runs off.”

    * WLS | ‘He [Mayor Brandon Johnson] is not a labor mayor.’ – Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara on WLS AM 890: President of Chicago’s police union John Catanzara joins Ramblin Ray on the Big 89 to discuss why he believes Mayor Johnson refuses to grant the FOP 12 weeks of paid parental leave, highlights the turnover rate within the Chicago Police Department, and responds to allegations of Chicago police engaging in sexual misconduct with migrants.

    * AP | Illinois surveys storm damage after multiple suspected tornadoes hit Chicago, suburbs : Four teams from the weather service headed out Thursday morning to survey storm damage reported Wednesday across numerous areas of the Chicago metropolitan area and points farther west to determine if tornadoes caused that damage, said Zachary Yack, a meteorologist with the weather service’s Chicago area office.

    * AP | First over-the-counter birth control pill gets FDA approval: The Food and Drug Administration cleared once-a-day Opill to be sold without a prescription, making it the first such medication to be moved out from behind the pharmacy counter. The manufacturer, Ireland-based Perrigo, won’t start shipping the pill until early next year, and there will be no age restrictions on sales.

    * Crain’s | Durbin letter to Supreme Court Historical Society is the latest volley in SCOTUS ethics battle: This week, Durbin wrote to the head of the Supreme Court Historical Society demanding information on how the society provides access between justices and donors. The letter prominently cites a Dec. 30, 2022, report by The New York Times that shows that since 2003, the society has raised more than $6.4 million—or 60 percent of its total donations—from corporations, interest groups or lawyers and firms that had cases before the court. The newspaper highlighted how the contributions gave donors access to the society’s events, most notably its annual dinner when several of the justices typically interact with society members.

    * Tribune | How the Double Duty Classic connects Chicago’s rich baseball past with its future: When the story of organized professional Black baseball is told, people typically start in Kansas City, Mo. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is there and it is where Andrew “Rube” Foster famously assembled owners of six Black baseball teams from Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City and St. Louis and Dayton, Ohio, at the Paseo YMCA to form what became known as the Negro National League in February 1920. And while Kansas City’s role is important, Chicago’s role cannot be overlooked.

    * Sun-Times | Sriracha shortage has Chicago restaurants, shoppers scrambling for hot sauce: Huy Fong, the California-based producer, uses peppers from suppliers in Mexico, where severe drought affected crops. Huy Fong did not respond to a request for comment, but in April the company told CBSMoneyWatch it was having problems sourcing the peppers.

    * SJ-R | Larry Werries, who served as state ag director under Thompson, dies at 83: During his time as state ag director, Werries served as Chairman of the Midwest Directors followed by two terms as President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). After leaving the Thompson administration, Werries served as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the USDA in Washington, D.C., under President George H.W. Bush. Werries was the liaison between the USDA and units of state and local government.

    * Vox | Hollywood’s historic double strike, explained: Like the WGA strike, a SAG-AFTRA strike comes with profound economic consequences. The WGA’s picket lines have already managed to shut down most productions in New York and Los Angeles and across the country as crew members refuse to cross. Since SAG-AFTRA represents 160,000 members — “actors, announcers, broadcast journalists, dancers, DJs, news writers, news editors, program hosts, puppeteers, recording artists, singers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals,” as their website puts it — a strike would have profound effects on many industries. (By contrast, the WGA, which has just entered day 73 of its strike, has around 20,000 members.)

    * CNN | This year’s Amazon Prime Day was the biggest in company history: Amazon said July 11 was the single largest sales day in the company’s history, but declined to provide totals. Shoppers bought 375 million items across the two days, up from 300 million last year during the sales promotion.

    * Illinois Times | Revitalizing Robin Roberts Stadium: The crack of a bat, the cheer of a crowd and smiles exchanged between a grandparent and child weave a tapestry of memories on Springfield’s north end. But that tapestry is getting frayed and the future of Robin Roberts Stadium is being pondered. Is it a valued amenity or white elephant?

    * WCIA | Springfield man killed in I-70 bus crash: State Police : Officials said the Greyhound bus was going from Indianapolis to St. Louis. The bus was passing through Madison County just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday when it hit three semi-trucks. The trucks were parked on the right shoulder near the entrance to the rest stop.

    * ABC | Illinois State Fair introduces Sunflower Hours for a sensory-friendly experience: The fair said a variety of free entertainment options will be available within this timeframe to enable families with special needs to visit and experience the fair. There will be a silent dance party from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Reisch Pavillion. Wireless headphones will be sanitized between uses with new playlists starting every 20 minutes.


  1. - ANON - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    If Mike is under 50–he’s in serious trouble. Mary Miller and Darren Bailey are the faces of the GOP in southern Illinois. This is Rodney 2.0 all over again.

  2. - In the know - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:18 pm:

    I hope the YMCA sues the hell out of the family and anyone else “she never saw the person in a state of undress, so we don’t really even know if the person was born a biological male”

    Wasn’t that their whole case?

  3. - 8657 - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:27 pm:

    Interesting that the Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force is meeting since according to the state website only 10 of the 16 task force members have been appointed. Perhaps the website has not been updated.

  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:29 pm:

    ===only 10 of the 16 task force members have been appointed===

    So, not even fittin’ to get ready.

  5. - don the legend - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    ==I hope the YMCA sues the hell out of the family and anyone else “she never saw the person in a state of undress, so we don’t really even know if the person was born a biological male”

    Wasn’t that their whole case?==

    Agree 100% Nationwide conservative radio hacks (i.e. Markley, Van Camp, and Robbins) are running with this story. I hope our only credible local media source, Illinois Times, (present Blog excepted) stays on this story.

  6. - Dotnonymous x - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:46 pm:

    There fittin’ to get ready to get fittin’…apparently.

  7. - Greg - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 3:59 pm:

    Those leaf blower bans that exempt units of government are a joke.

  8. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 4:01 pm:

    === exempt units of government are a joke===

    You could say the same about BIPA.

  9. - Skokie Man - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 4:03 pm:

    The link to the “Freedom” Caucus press conference is locked and only viewable if you have a password. This is completely rational and normal behavior for legislators who claim to be concerned about (checks notes) the safety of children.

    You definitely want to limit how many people can learn about your very legitimate concerns… that’s how the public knows you’re serious.

  10. - In the know - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    Skokie Man, Right? I wonder if they locked it down after it turned into a disaster.

  11. - MyTwoCents - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 4:19 pm:

    Re the ACLU tweets it is interesting to see the traffic stop statistics for all the police departments in IL. However, I’m always curious if there are specific violations that show an even greater racial discrepancy. It would probably more challenging to present data on every specific reason but maybe a smaller study with specific departments would be doable.

  12. - thechampaignlife - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 4:43 pm:

    ===if there are specific violations that show an even greater racial discrepancy===

    ACLU also needs to socialize whatever research exists to assert that violations occur at similar rates by race and/or socioeconomic status. I know plenty of people whose response to those tweets would be that they are violating the law more often and that the ACLU is wanting laws enforced less often just because of race (i.e., ‘if you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime’). Dispelling that claim before they can make it, and keeping the research front and center for the rest of us to help push back on that claim, would be most welcome.

  13. - JoeMaddon - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 5:17 pm:

    Oof… I actually watched that whole Freedom Caucus presser, and it is disgusting.

  14. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 5:30 pm:

    The Pritzker Admin is putting me in a weird place by making me agree with Teri Bryant.

  15. - Big Dipper - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 5:54 pm:

    Is the 365 days of sick leave the CPD gets every two years unpaid? Because if not, why do they need separate parental leave?

  16. - Politistage - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 7:05 pm:

    -Candy Dogood-

    It is all political theatre. Republicans will cry and moan but what they won’t tell you is that we passed legislation this session to hold those accountable who prescribe to the “Code of Silence.” I also have a reputable source who says they have monthly meetings about the Choate situation and none of them attend.

  17. - Moly Holy - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 7:50 pm:

    I love the astroturf Bailey supporters who are spinning a poll with Bailey down 6 as “bost in serious trouble”.

  18. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 7:58 pm:

    Political theater usually implies some kind of fictional scene.

    If I were a member of a co-equal branch of government, I’d probably want the meetings to be in my arena and if being in my arena made the subject of the meetings a matter of public record, I’d prefer that venue.

    I’m not suggesting Republicans are or aren’t sincere, but I’d want the Pritzker administration officials to be under oath.

  19. - Lynn S. - Thursday, Jul 13, 23 @ 11:49 pm:

    Those tweets from the People’s Fabric are pretty hilarious (banned punctuation).

  20. - sal-says - Friday, Jul 14, 23 @ 6:59 am:

    == Sun-Times | Amid hazing scandal, Northwestern has another conflict on its board of trustees ==

    So, NU picks an ‘on staff’ coach, apparently on staff during ‘hazing’ to be interim head coach.

    Bizarre & tone deaf. NU can/should do better.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
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* Some budget react
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* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
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* Welch: 'No one's ever said the House is boring'
* House passes budget 65-45 - BIMP passes 62-46 - Grocery tax elimination sails 86-20 - Revenue omnibus put on postponed consideration - Motion to reconsider passes - But big problem and Dems will have to suspend the rules - Concurrence motion finally passes as GOP gives up
* Yesterday's stories

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