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Afternoon roundup (Updated)

Tuesday, Aug 15, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Congratulations to Leader Evans..

Yesterday the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislator Nominating Committee selected the next VP, who will subsequently become the president-elect, then President.

Illinois House of Representatives Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the Labor & Commerce Committee Marcus C. Evans, Jr. was selected. NCSL is a bi-partisan, non-political policy focused organization. Speaker Welch and Minority Leader Tony McCombie both supported Leader Evans.

Leader Evans has been actively involved in NCSL leadership since 2017, serving on both the State and Local Taxation Taskforce (SALT) and the Executive Committee.

In 2016 Retired State Senators Toi Hutchinson (NCSL President 2018), Donne Trotter, Pamela J. Althoff and current State Senator Elgie Sims (CSG Vice-President 2023) all were instrumental in encouraging Leader Evans’ initial involvement in national conferences, touting the many policy and legislative development benefits.

* The Cook County Democrats have released their listed of slated candidates. Click here for the list. As expected, Illinois Supreme Court appointed incumbent Joy Cunningham was slated instead of Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes. Clayton Harris was slated over Eileen O’Neill Burke. And Mariyana Spyropoulos was slated over incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez. Precious Brady-Davis, Kari Steele, Marcelino Garcia and Daniel Pogorzelski were slated for MWRD.

Burke will stay in the race…

Today, Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke, Candidate for Cook County State’s Attorney, released the following statement after the Cook County Democratic Committee’s slating vote ahead of the March 2024 Primary Election:

“I’m disappointed that the committee overlooked a woman with thirty years of experience in every corner of the courtroom to support a candidate who most recently lobbied against workers’ rights on behalf of corporate special interests. With the implementation of the SAFE-T Act and other reforms on the horizon, this election is critical to the future of Cook County. As a former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, and judge, I look forward to sharing my vision for public safety and restorative justice with the voters and building the best prosecutor’s office in the country.”

…Adding… Illinois Latino Agenda…

The following is a statement from the Illinois Latino Agenda (ILA), a coalition committed to advocating for equitable representation of Latinos throughout our state government, in response to the CCDP’s slating decision, which was announced today:

“Today, the Cook County Democratic Party missed an opportunity to support a more representative and equitable State Supreme Court. While Illinois’ population is 18% Latino and Latinos are one of the fastest growing demographics in the state, Illinois has never had a Latino Supreme Court Justice.

“Having a Latino Supreme Court Justice with roots in our community, who knows what issues matter to our communities can help the Court make decisions that are more culturally informed and inclusive. While we are disappointed in the Party’s decision, we know it is ultimately up to the voters to choose who will sit on the State’s highest court in 2024.

“The Illinois Latino Agenda remains committed to advancing the wellbeing of Latinos in Illinois, and will continue working to leverage Latino civic engagement and voter turnout.”

…Adding… Harris…

Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Clayton Harris III celebrated the news that the Cook County Democratic Party voted on Tuesday to add him to their official slate for the 2024 election cycle:

“As a lifelong Democrat, I am grateful to have earned the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party. I thank the local Democratic Party leaders and grassroots activists who stepped up to join our diverse coalition as we get ready to launch our countywide petition drive,” said Harris. “I’ve been energized by the opportunity to travel across county, hearing people’s concerns, and listening to their ideas on how to make our communities safer. I’m committed to doing the work to ensure our office focuses on holding violent offenders accountable, and continues to push forward on the urgent work of reform.”

* AG Raoul…

Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with seven attorneys general, is urging a federal court to strengthen a private, consumer class-action settlement with Hyundai and Kia by requiring the companies to recall or buy back the theft-prone vehicles and equip them with engine-immobilizer technology.

In a letter to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Raoul and the coalition argue that the current proposed settlement requirements are insufficient and will not resolve the ongoing Hyundai and Kia thefts that continue to jeopardize public safety in Illinois and across the country. While Illinois is not part of this settlement, Raoul signed onto the letter because in 2022, there were over 7,000 Hyundai and Kia thefts in Chicago, which account for 10% of all registered Kia vehicles and 7% of all registered Hyundai vehicles in the city.

“I am urging the court to strengthen its current settlement with Hyundai and Kia to ensure consumers’ vehicles are recalled or properly equipped to protect against theft,” Raoul said. “I remain committed to protecting consumers and our communities, and both car companies need to do their part by taking robust action to prevent these thefts.”

Among the terms of the settlement are that Hyundai and Kia require a key to be in the ignition to start the vehicle, as well as provide a software upgrade to extend the vehicles’ alarm from 30 seconds to one minute. For vehicles incompatible for this software upgrade, the settlement requires Hyundai and Kia to reimburse consumers up to $300 for their purchase of a wheel lock or anti-theft system.

Raoul and the coalition expressed concern, saying the upgrade is not feasible for approximately 2.3 million vehicles, that it requires consumers to proactively seek out the upgrade, and that it will take months to complete all phases of the upgrade. Additionally, the attorneys general do not think the software upgrade is effective because in the six months it has been available, there are reports of Hyundai and Kia thefts in upgraded vehicles.

Joining Raoul in submitting the comments were attorneys general from the District of Columbia, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

* Press release…

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group (IERG) applaud Governor Pritzker on the recent signing of legislation to improve the permitting process for businesses in Illinois.

HB 3017 amends the Business Assistance and Regulatory Reform Act by consolidating status updates from state agencies for covered projects in an accessible online portal. With such a portal, businesses seeking certain new and existing environmental permits for industrial projects can access a website to better understand the timeline and process for agency approval.

“This new law will expedite the outdated and lengthy permit issuance process in Illinois,” said State Senator Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago). “By increasing transparency for permit applicants and the public via an online dashboard there can be greater clarity on cases so unnecessary steps can be avoided. If we can streamline any process to make Illinoisans’ lives easier, then it’s a win for all.”

* Rep. Rashid…

State Representative Abdelnasser Rashid (D-Bridgeview) has been appointed by Illinois House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch to serve as co-chair of the state’s new artificial intelligence (AI) task force.

The task force will consist of legislators, technology experts, educators and other stakeholders to provide informed policy recommendations on AI to the legislature. It will look at the impact of AI on our schools, economy, and civil liberties. Once complete, the task force will submit a report to the General Assembly.

Across the country, state and federal lawmakers are debating how to address the impact of AI technologies. The ramifications of AI use cut across industry. The debate around the proper use of AI features prominently in Hollywood as SAG-AFTRA screenwriters and actors fight for a fair contract.

…Adding… Press release…

Today President Joseph Biden signed a Disaster Declaration, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) to offer Individual Assistance for residents in Cook County, Illinois who were impacted by severe weather in July. FEMA’s Individual Assistance could include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and businesses owners recover from the effects of the storms.

“Thank you to President Biden and FEMA for recognizing the devastating effects of recent extreme weather on Chicago and its surrounding neighbors and taking the appropriate action to ensure impacted residents can get back on their feet,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Residents and businesses, especially those on the West Side of Chicago who were most brutally hit, are now able to access additional resources necessary to rebuild and revitalize, and I know Cook County will build back stronger than ever.”

Beginning June 29, several rounds of severe storms passed through Illinois producing heavy rainfall, flash flooding, hail, tornadoes, and straight-line winds. Central Illinois experienced a derecho that brought damaging straight-line winds resulting in five confirmed tornadoes, along with wind gusts in excess of 100 miles per hour across multiple counties. The tornados and straight-line winds resulted in large debris fields, affecting homeowners, businesses, utilities, and local governments. The storms also caused disruptions to transportation due to flash flooding and debris on the roadways.

On July 2nd, additional severe storms dropped eight inches of water in a short period of time in a historic rainfall total. This caused flash flooding in and around the Chicago area. The storms also downed numerous trees and caused widespread power outages in northern Illinois.

* Media advisory…

What: The Lift The Ban Coalition is holding a news conference at the Illinois State Fair on Wednesday (Governor’s Day) to announce the Let the People Lift the Ban Act (HB4104), new legislation that allows Illinois communities to opt out of the statewide ban on rent control via local referendum. The legislation also extends additional protections to renters across the state.

Who: Speakers will include:

    ● State Representative Hoan Huynh of the 16th District, Chief Sponsor, IL House
    ● Springfield residents Quentora Dumas, Tracey Graggs and mobile home resident
    Linda Reynolds

The Lift The Ban Coalition comprises more than two dozen groups including community organizations, advocacy groups, service & legal aid organizations, labor unions and more.

When: 11:00 AM, Wednesday, August 16th, 2023
Where: Illinois State Fair in Springfield, IL, Media Center, Building 30 on 8th St

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * Tribune | Tim Mapes’ Madigan-era friend from Illinois House set to testify against him in federal perjury trial: Cousineau’s testimony is highly anticipated because he already showed that he can be a valuable witness for the government in the “ComEd Four” case earlier this year, which ended with the convictions all defendants on bribery-related counts, including Madigan confidant Michael McClain, a longtime ComEd lobbyist.

    * AP | Man sent to prison for 10 years for setting a fire at an Illinois Planned Parenthood clinic: “I feel for the people who have lost their jobs. I’m not trying to play like I am victim at this. I was sincerely hurt,” Massengill, 32, said in court, apparently a reference to his belief that a former girlfriend had an abortion a few years ago. Prosecutors, however, said the woman told the FBI that wasn’t true.

    * Sun-Times | Migrant families kicked out of Rogers Park motel for missing curfew are sleeping in tents: Alejandra Leon said city officials haven’t approached them about relocating to a new location since they were removed from the Super 8 Motel at Sheridan Road and Chase Avenue over the weekend. “I’m asking them to move us to another shelter, somewhere my children can be more comfortable,” Leon said. “We are families with a lot of principles, with a lot of values. We are humble people that came here to work hard. We aren’t bad people.”

    * WGLT | Nuclear plant moratorium bill heads to veto session fight in Illinois: Pritzker said the bill, as written, has vague definitions, including an overly broad definition of the advanced reactor that will open the door to more large-scale plants — plants that cost so much they’ll eventually need a state bailout to keep in operation. Republican State Rep. Dan Calkins of Decatur sits on two energy committees in the House. Calkins supported ending the moratorium and said he thinks that’s a false argument.

    * AP | States that protect transgender health care now try to absorb demand: “We’re trying our best to make sure we can get those kids in so that they don’t experience an interruption in their care,” said Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, medical director of the gender health program at Children’s Minnesota hospital in the Twin Cities. “For patients who have not yet been seen and would be added to a general waiting list, it is daunting to think that it’s going to be a year or more before you’re going to be seen by somebody.”

    * Tony Sanders | Open Invitation to Florida and Texas Teachers: Come to Illinois. We Trust You: Here in Illinois, we do not shy away from our complex histories or identities. While Texas tries to ban discussions about race and Florida forbids teachers from “saying gay,” we have revised our social studies standards in the opposite direction. We encourage dialogue from multiple perspectives. We require schools to teach about the contributions of Asian Americans, Black Americans, Native Americans and LGBTQ+ Americans. We protect the freedom and professional judgment of educators to choose instructional materials that represent and affirm the diversity of Illinois’ students.

    * CNBC | Retailers say organized theft is biting into profits, but internal issues may really be to blame: Behind closed doors, retailers are facing other issues they can better control, including theft by their own employees, that are contributing to losses, according to two sources who advise major retailers. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about clients.

    * Daily Herald | Rosemont reaches $12.7 million deal for last undeveloped property in town: On Monday, Mayor Brad Stephens announced village hall reached a deal with owner Development Resources Inc. for $12,750,000. The village board formally authorized the purchase of 6608 N. Mannheim Road, set to close Nov. 1. “This is a long time coming, and we’re happy to finally have control of it,” Stephens said. There are no immediate plans for the land, but various proposals have come and gone over the decades — all with little movement.

    * Crain’s | Chicago publicist, Illinois chaplain snagged in Trump’s Georgia indictments: Trevian Kutti, a former publicist of rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, and singer R. Kelly, is charged with three counts: violation of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, Act; conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings; and influencing witnesses.

    * Tribune | Chicago’s first major museum union ratifies contract: Museum staff were joined by employees at the Art Institute’s affiliated school, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to form the Art Institute of Chicago Workers United. The staff voted to join the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a public service union that also represents staff at museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Nontenure-track faculty at the Art Institute’s school later voted to join the union; they are still in the process of bargaining for their first contract.

    * ABC Chicago | Southwest Airlines employees picket outside corporate party in Wrigleyville: The crowd of protesters includes include off-duty Southwest flight attendants, who say they are long overdue for a new contract. “It’s been four and a half years since flight attendants received a raise and it’s just been too long and we need to see that we exceed the industry,” Montgomery said.

    * Daily Herald | ‘Every chick counts’: Piping plovers’ release part of species recovery in Lake County: After disappearing from Illinois beaches around 1955, the federally endangered piping plover was down to 11 to 14 pairs in the mid-1980s. They have been making a slow, steady comeback with the help of various agencies and a dedicated network of volunteers.

    * Crain’s | U of C to pay $13.5 million settlement in financial aid ‘cartel’ lawsuit: The lawsuit, filed in Illinois federal court in January 2022, accuses 17 colleges and universities, including Northwestern University and Ivy League schools, of participating in a “price-fixing conspiracy” that aimed to reduce or eliminate price competition among the schools and artificially inflated the net price of attendance for students receiving financial aid.

    * SJ-R | Bird in Logan County tests positive for West Nile virus: According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Logan County is one of 39 across the state reporting West Nile activity, with a batch of mosquitoes also testing positive in Beason on July 18. No human cases have been reported, according to IDPH, but over 1,000 batches of mosquitoes have tested positive statewide, along with seven crows, two bluejays, and three other birds.

    * Tribune | Paris Head, 12, returns from Taiwan with a World Cup gold medal — and a surprise party in his Humboldt Park community: Head pitched and played middle infield for Team USA at the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) World Cup in Tainan, Taiwan. The Americans defeated the host country 10-4 in the final on Aug. 6 to claim their fifth U-12 World Cup title.


  1. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Aug 15, 23 @ 2:40 pm:

    NEIS’ …It may be true there haven’t been problems in Illinois, but there are reports of stockpiles of spent nuclear fuel casks leaking in other states.

    NRC inspects all spent fuel casks regularly and notices of violation, monetary fines, or orders to modify, suspend, or revoke a license are issued if there are problems. I would love to see proof that casks are leaking

  2. - Amalia - Tuesday, Aug 15, 23 @ 6:50 pm:

    why does Toni want the Lyft guy for State’s Attorney? Surprising she turned to corporate for the job.

  3. - Betty Draper’s cigarette - Tuesday, Aug 15, 23 @ 6:54 pm:

    Wait, hotels have curfews?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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