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Afternoon roundup

Monday, Jul 31, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Gov. Pritzker was asked today about the lawsuit challenging a new law that folds abortion crisis centers into the state’s Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act

Pay attention to where this legislation came from. I think you heard that the Attorney General of the State of Illinois was driving into a reproductive rights center when he was essentially flagged down by people who looked like they belong to that center and when he was driving in, stopped, and they began to talk to him about oh, you know, park over here, wherever. It’s a little bit different angle than he was headed because he knew that the entrance where he was going to was in a different place, and began to ask them questions and realized that they were trying to get anybody that was headed to this. I think it was a Planned Parenthood clinic to essentially veer off and talk to people at a crisis - and I put quotes around crisis pregnancy center - and that they were lying to him about where he ought to be going. So this was just the beginning of work that he did to determine that this is happening across the state of Illinois.

Indeed, many of these centers are being put next to clinics where people are seeking to exercise their reproductive rights. And so that was the purpose of it. And that continues to be the purpose of it.

Nobody’s forcing anybody to make any particular decision here. But what we don’t want is misrepresentation, misinformation, people being deceived in the process or just seeking their basic health care rights. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not at all surprised. I think that what the right wing in Illinois has decided is they can’t win at the ballot box. They can’t win in the legislature. They didn’t win the governorship. They didn’t win the races around the state that they were trying to take in, you know, school boards and library boards and so on. And so they have only one thing that they have resorted to, and that’s take every one of these pieces of legislation and try to take it to court and get a decision they like. They typically head for courts where they think they’re going to get a judge that was elected who was one of their own in order to get an initial decision in their favor. But when you go to federal court, less likely to have that happen and you know, my reaction is this is just par for the course. We’ve seen this before.

* More bill signings today…

Governor Pritzker today signed five bills expanding protections for veterans, active-duty soldiers, and military dependents.

“The men and women of this state and this country who heed the call to serve deserve every possible support and protection during and after their time in the military,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “These bills weave together a more comprehensive safety net to protect and uplift veterans and service members dealing with the complexities of life in the military, including the many ways in which service can impact someone’s family and loved ones. To the service members recognized by our newly designed Honor and Remember flag, we thank you for your ultimate sacrifice and mourn with your families and the rest of the state.”

HB0925: House Bill 0925 creates the “Veteran Service Organization State Charter Act.” This act lays out specific requirements organizations must meet in order to be considered state-chartered veterans service organizations. This is a voluntary process that includes demonstrating that an organization must be formed by and for veterans with a majority of board members who are veterans, alongside other financial and legal qualifications.

HB3103: House Bill 3103 eases the process of obtaining a civil no contact order of protection for victims and survivors of military sexual assault. In 2022, Governor Pritzker signed into law SB257, ensuring military sexual assault victims were able to access the same rights and protections as their civilian counterparts. SB 257 allowed Military Protective Orders to be used as a basis for the issuing of criminal domestic violence orders of protection, stalking no contact orders, and gave local law enforcement the ability to enforce a military protective order. This act expands on those efforts to ensure victims and survivors of military sexual assault have access to all necessary resources for protection. The U.S. Department of Defense has cited Illinois’ work in this area as a model for national reform.

HB3295: House Bill 3295 requires the military liaison for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to notify service members’ spouses of federal assistance programs to reimburse licensing fees when they apply to transfer a professional license to Illinois. Under federal law, military spouses may be reimbursed up to $1,000 for obtaining a professional license required when moving to a new state for military relocation. This includes exam and registration fees. Governor Pritzker has previously prioritized aiding military spouses with relocation by creating a liaison to assist eligible members and their spouses, and by expediting certain applications for review. The licensing reimbursement will be paid by the branch of the military the individual serves in.

HB2856: House Bill 2856 amends the Vital Records Act by adding that the death certificate for an individual who has history of military service may include or be amended to include whether or not a military service-related injury contributed to the cause of death. Having such a classification can expand and expedite access to benefits for the spouse or dependents of the deceased.

SB1072: Senate Bill 1072 designated the Honor and Remember flag as the specific symbol to acknowledge American service men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty. The flag was created by the father of Cpl. George ‘Tony’ Lutz II who was killed in action while on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq. The bill creates a mandate on public entities that would then be required to purchase the flag, which cost $55 each. Twenty other states officially recognize this flag.

* Illinois State Board of Education…

Illinois state agencies have released and incorporated new data into the High School 2 Career dashboard tool to ensure Illinois students have the information they need to make informed decisions about their postsecondary and career options. The tool enables students, parents, and guidance counselors to review a wide range of information on Illinois public high school seniors and their actual pathways after they graduate, including postsecondary education choices by degree type and academic area of study, as well as their career and salary outcomes. The interactive online dashboard is available in both English and Spanish. Tutorial videos are also available in both English and Spanish to assist users as they navigate the dashboard.

A data-sharing partnership among the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and Illinois State University (ISU), makes this newest iteration of the tool possible. It utilizes data from public school seniors representing five academic years– following their progress from high school through nine years post-gratuation to provide an unparalleled snapshot of the education requirements, compensation, and job stability a student can expect from hundreds of different occupations.

* Press release…

Governor Signs Manley-Preston Bill to Protect Against Lewd Displays in Prison

Everyone involved in corrections is entitled to be protected from lewd behavior in prisons. Rep. Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) and Sen. Willie Preston (D-Chicago) have now provided that protection. Governor Pritzker has signed their bill, HB1399, which creates an effective response to such behaviors as gassing, splashing and exposure in prisons by:

    * Addressing the underlying motivations for this conduct by providing offenders with a Mental Health Treatment Court option.
    * Punishing repeat offenses as a Class 4 felonies.
    * Requiring data collection and a 2028 sunset to be able to evaluate the law’s effectiveness.

“Protecting our correctional community, especially female officers and staff, is absolutely necessary and long overdue,” Rep. Manley said. “This bill gives them a two-pronged approach that will result in real, ongoing protection against this behavior: Treatment for what causes the behavior to keep it from recurring and punishment for those who refuse to change their behavior with that treatment. After working with representatives of law enforcement and criminal justice advocates over the past year, I am proud to be able to sponsor a meaningful solution to this dangerous situation.”

“I was honored to sponsor this important piece of legislation which will keep our corrections officers safer in their place of work,” Sen. Preston said. “Ultimately, I believe it can help deter and prevent an ongoing issue of detainee sexual harassment and I am proud to have seen it pass in both houses.”

The bill was an initiative of Safer Foundation, which worked with Rep. Manley to convene a year-long series of workshops where advocacy groups and correctional authorities from the Cook and Will County Sheriffs developed this groundbreaking approach. The resulting legislation was supported by the Illinois FOP, the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, the Kane County State’s Attorney and the Midwest Region of the Laborer’s International Union. It was co-sponsored by a bi-partisan group that included both Democratic and Republican leadership and passed both chambers unanimously.

“This is the way good legislation is made,” said Safer Foundation Public Policy Analyst Mark McCombs. “Driven by Representative Manley’s commitment to this issue, diverse interests thoughtfully crafted an approach that works. It works because it gets to the root of what causes someone to act like this. It works because it treats a mental health issue with a mental health response. And it works because it protects the entire correctional community, including the vast majority of incarcerated individuals who also don’t want to be subjected to this conduct.”

Lewd behavior in correctional facilities has become an increasingly dangerous problem for correctional authorities. Those authorities have seen a rise in incidents where incarcerated individuals subject guards, staff, volunteers – often females — and even their cellmates to indecent exposure, sexual stimulation and the throwing of bodily fluids (commonly called “splashing” or “gassing”). Retaining staff under these circumstances is challenging. The stress created on staff who remain impacts their ability to perform already difficult jobs, including protecting incarcerated individuals. Previously, Illinois law provided no effective response to this conduct.

I omitted their quotes, but outside of the governor’s email above, I think that’s the only email I’ve received specifically touting a House Democrat’s newly signed law after Friday’s mass bill-signing. And that was from the Safer Foundation. Not sure what’s up over there.

* The Cardinals owners did this and it has proved very popular. Same with the area around that minor league park on the North Side

Expansive development of the surrounding areas at major sports venues is topping the wish list of teams looking to bring new retail space, bars, restaurants and family activities closer to their home venues.

These “mini-cities” have proven to be major success stories in locales like Atlanta at the Battery connected to the Braves’ Truist Park and the ever-growing development around the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium as well as its headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

It’s the same dream the Chicago Bears are pursuing with the team’s plan to develop a $5 billion stadium and mixed-use entertainment district in the northwest suburb. Those initial plans seemed to have stalled, and the Bears are now listening to pitches on other municipalities, including Chicago itself. Mayor Brandon Johnson and any other hopeful to win the team to their side will almost certainly need to offer a site with ample space for such a development.

* My pledge to you…

* Isabel’s afternoon roundup…

       

6 Comments
  1. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 2:51 pm:

    It’s pretty incredible how quickly Musk ruined Twitter. It was the only social media site I still looked at because it didn’t inundate me with terrible content, now it’s a wasteland of AI garbage and morons. I guess this comment section will be my only online distraction going forward, try to limit days off Rich and Isabel.


  2. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 2:54 pm:

    Question re: the jumping fish contest. Are there more jumping fish when the water is especially warm? If so this may be a record-breaking year.


  3. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 3:09 pm:

    Friendly Bob Adams, there are more fishing jumping when the water is low because they have fewer places to hide. So this could in fact be a very good year.


  4. - Guzzlepot - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 3:15 pm:

    I will probably be soon be off Twitter as well. I used to love the feed because it would show me interesting content from interesting people and it was a good way to keep up with current events. Now I only look at tweets from people I already follow. Twitter’s ‘For You’ tab is a hateful and depressing wasteland.


  5. - Candy Dogood - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 4:29 pm:

    ===My pledge to you…===

    Only if you made it that easy, Rich.


  6. - low level - Monday, Jul 31, 23 @ 11:15 pm:

    ==Must not let any babies’ lives be saved in IL.==

    Your comment is just about the most inane Ive read here since Rich started this format about 20 years ago.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
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* Question of the day
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