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Afternoon roundup

Monday, Jul 24, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The Yvette Shields Memorial Fund is within distance of reaching its fundraising goal. If you haven’t yet contributed, please click here if you can. Many thanks. Also, Fran Spielman wrote a great obit that you should read. And here’s one of Yvette’s last stories

Harvey, Illinois, is targeting an August settlement date in its long-planned tender exchange offer on its defaulted general obligation bonds.

The exchange that launched this week would allow investors to shed the bonds’ default status, resolve investor litigation, and give the fiscally troubled Chicago suburb more time to repay its debt.

The city posted the exchange offer Tuesday after resolving a series of complicated issues, from a Cook County revenue intercept and use-of-funds-on-hand to efforts to reach all bondholders, which include institutional and retail investors. The deadline to offer bonds for exchange is Aug. 1 and the city aims for a settlement date of Aug. 22.

The proposed exchange — which extends the final maturity date by two decades but offers features like a tax levy with a direct intercept and trust estate — is the cornerstone of the consent agreement the city struck with a group of 2007 bondholders. […]

The tax base has long failed to support the city’s debts resulting in litigation from bondholders, pension funds and Chicago over delinquent payments for treated Lake Michigan water. Harvey also has been slapped in the past with Securities and Exchange Commission sanctions.

Nobody else covered that development. There’s a hole in The Force.

* Coming on the heels of the Black vs. Brown city council battle over asylum seekers, this fight could be epic. Greg Hinz

A test of power of sorts between Black and Latino Democrats appears to be shaping up in Cook County over who the party will slate for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.

Some top Latino leaders are backing Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes for the post, arguing it’s time that a member of their community serves on the high court.

But that appears to be a tough ask because slating Ruiz would mean dumping Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham, a Black woman who was appointed to the court last year to replace the retiring Anne Burke. And Cunningham is now seeking a full term.

The push for Reyes is led by U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia. At a press conference last week, he and other leaders, including state Sen. Omar Aquino and Chicago Ald. Feliz Cardona, 31st, argued that Latinos have waited long enough for a member of their community to serve on the Supreme Court

* More fun with numbers

Overall, Illinois ranked 45th, with its current 4.0% unemployment rate higher than all but four other states and Washington, D.C. Most other states are in the 2.8% to 3.8% range.

I just cannot get too excited about being two-tenths of one percent off the pace, especially since the error rate appears to be about a half a point each way at the state level.

* Press release…

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim today announced a total of $14 million in funding to the Village of Dixmoor. A $10 million grant, made available through Gov. Pritzker’s historic Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan, will provide for construction improvements to rehabilitate the water distribution system, and restore reliable potable water within the Village. An additional $4 million in funding is being provided to the Village for lead service line replacement through Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program.

“Every resident has a right to safe and reliable drinking water and functional infrastructure, and our Rebuild Illinois capital plan is investing across the State to correct those inequities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Today, I am proud to announce a total of $14 million in funding that will bring updated and reliable infrastructure to the Village of Dixmoor and remove lead service lines from their distribution system.”

“The Village of Dixmoor has been faced with the costly challenge of repairing their aging and deteriorating drinking water infrastructure,” said Director Kim. “With no repayment required from the Village, these funds will allow for the rehabilitation of the existing water distribution system to provide a reliable drinking water source to residents and proactively remove the public health threat caused by lead service lines within the community.”

The $10 million in grant funding announced today will be used by the Village to install Phase 2 pump station improvements, improve the existing ground storage reservoir, constructing a 750,000-gallon elevated storage tank, complete a Village-wide water meter replacement program, replace approximately 40 water valves and 12 fire hydrants throughout the Village, and replace approximately 10,500 feet of 6” and 8” arterial water main with new 12” water main. These improvements will reduce the frequency and impact of watermain breaks experienced within the water distribution system.


* Illinois governors can’t just lower or raise sales taxes on their own, WCIA

With the start of the school year just around the corner, parents in Illinois may be wondering if the sales tax holiday on school supplies will offer some financial relief this fall.

Last year, Gov. JB Pritzker lowered the state sales tax on supplies, clothing, and shoes by 5% for 10 days in August 2022.

However, the sales tax holiday was only approved for 2022 and will not be returning in 2023, according to an Illinois Department of Revenue spokesperson.

Also, this isn’t an election year (no snark tag necessary).

* Kissiar is a former youth pastor…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced that a Vandalia, Illinois man prosecuted by his office was sentenced to 30 years in prison for possessing, reproducing and disseminating child pornography and indecent solicitation of an adult. The guilty plea and sentence are the result of an investigation Raoul’s office conducted into an alleged child pornography ring operating in Fayette County.

Ferrell Mason Kissiar, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of dissemination of child pornography, a Class X felony; one count of reproduction of child pornography, a Class X felony; two counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony; and one count of indecent solicitation of an adult, a Class 1 felony. Kissiar was sentenced to 30 years in prison by 4th District Circuit Judge Martin Siemer.

Two other defendants in the case pleaded guilty in May to charges stemming from their involvement in the alleged child pornography ring. Andrew Wehrle, 39, of Vandalia, and Amber Wehrle, 38, of Vandalia, will be sentenced on Aug. 8.

* Palate cleanser…

Go read Selena Fragassi’s story. It’ll transport you.

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…


  1. - clec dcn - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 2:38 pm:

    I am sure the price of homes in the around great Chicago is higher but downstate I think it is a bargain compared to most places. I have looked at property and homes in Utah and the West they are crazy compared to Illinois. We do have some of the highest real estate taxes but that does not offset many desirable locations that home way beyond the prices of those in Central and Southern Illinois. There are exceptions but with them come none of the benefits of Illinois.

  2. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==Go read Selena Fragassi’s story. It’ll transport you==

    The Sunday night show was amazing and I read the story afterwards. Even though it’s about the Saturday show, it captured things well.

  3. - Homebody - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:09 pm:

    Are there any reliable sources for county level unemployment data? It would interesting to compare Chicago to other cities, or rural Illinois to other rural areas. I feel like that sort of information would be more helpful than just comparing state averages.

  4. - Gfalkes - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    Taking a picture of the Capitol name plate for a political purpose. Classy NRCC

  5. - TNR - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:11 pm:

    Hard to argue with the idea that it’s time for a Latino Supreme Court justice. But it’s also hard to beat a Black woman with an Irish name in a Dem primary for a judicial race in Cook County.

  6. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:14 pm:

    TNR makes very good points

  7. - The Truth - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:19 pm:

    Could I please get a primer or some background on the Rep. Sorenson / NRCC keyboard tweet?

  8. - JS Mill - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    =TNR makes very good points=
    Agreed, but the black population is shrinking and the LAtino population is increasing. It is time for the Latino population to get their due.

  9. - Torco Sign - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 4:03 pm:

    Still nothing from Napoleon Harris about the hazing? It’d be great to know if he witnessed it when he was at Northwestern and what he thinks about the current allegations.

  10. - Thomas Paine - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 4:05 pm:

    === TNR makes very good points ===

    You cannot ignore the legacy of Anita Alvarez.

    I realize there are folks pushing for Jesse Reyes out there. I think he might be the only Latino on the appellate bench.

    But like it or not, given the cozy relationship between many Latino elected officials and the FOP, reformers are pretty sceptical of any candidate that they advance.

  11. - 47th Ward - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 4:28 pm:

    A competent minority party wishing to elect a Supreme Court justice would try to exploit this potential split by nominating a qualified minority candidate.

    Thankfully, we live in Illinois.

  12. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 5:02 pm:

    Read the post about Ferrel Mason Kissiar. He’s compiled quite a rap sheet of charges including possession of child pornography, reproduction and dissemination. And , he was a youth pastor.

    Might be time to change his name to Feral.

  13. - Keyrock - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 9:05 pm:

    47th, you’ve been on a roll lately.

  14. - Amalia - Monday, Jul 24, 23 @ 11:19 pm:

    to add to the ask for Sen. Harris, the latest lawsuit from Crump has some truly disturbing things in it. thoughts on it? what happened back in the day? have the kids morphed into something worse?

  15. - yinn - Tuesday, Jul 25, 23 @ 5:53 am:

    I just received a fundraising letter from Eric Sorenson in my DMs on Twitter. I couldn’t believe it. (p.s. I don’t even live in that district.)

  16. - Goodson Oddman - Tuesday, Jul 25, 23 @ 10:00 am:

    Since their party’s past presidential nominee was an even more prodigious social media user,I assume NRCC wants Rep Sorenson to join Truth Social? instead?

    But Sorenson may indeed use the Tweet at clouds (or should it be X at clouds now?), since he’s a former TV weatherman, and still promises occasional weather tweet in his bio.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Today's quotable
* Study: The party's over for Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax revenues
* Another Bears stadium false alarm
* Showcasing The Retailers Who Make Illinois Work
* Massive tollway contract screwup leads to TRO
* Welch urges judge to toss staff unions’ lawsuit
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Another supplement to today’s edition
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Burke sentenced to two years (Updated x3)
* Yesterday's stories

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