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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, Sep 28, 2023 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Here you go…

    * Crain’s | Pritzker, GOP trade barbs in fight over Gotion’s battery plant: With political conservatives and Illinois Republicans stepping up their attacks, Gov. J.B. Pritzker is out with a vigorous defense of the proposed Gotion battery plant in Manteno, charging that its foes are putting “xenophobia” and partisan politics ahead of a $2 billion investment that will create 2,600 well-paying jobs here. Pritzker’s statement came in a letter to Illinois Senate GOP Leader John Curran, who with some colleagues had sent Pritzker a letter earlier this week questioning his decision to do business with a Chinese firm and approve $538 million in state incentives for its facility.

    * WAND | Illinois lawmakers, health care leaders discuss unreasonable license processing delays: IDFPR officials told lawmakers that they have spent months trying to find a replacement for the state’s outdated licensing system. Secretary Mario Treto Jr. said the department recently landed a master contract, but the deal is no longer on the table.

    * WTVO | Illinois considering making driving tests mandatory at 79, not 75: Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias said Wednesday that the state is recommending making driving tests for seniors mandatory at age 79 instead of the current 75. Giannoulais said Illinois is the only state in the country that requires elderly drivers to be tested on a regular basis.

    * 25 News Now | State Rep. Bill Hauter voices stand on CO2 pipeline hours before demonstration at Tazewell County Board: In a long statement sent out to a Facebook group organized around proposing the pipeline, State Rep. Bill Hauter (R - Morton) said he is skeptical large-scale CO2 capture and sequestration will actually mitigate climate change and its effects. “While I have many concerns, I feel the need to tell you that, realistically, I think it will be very hard to stop the transportation of captured CO2 across the district to the Mt. Simon hub,” the statement read. “In short, it’s not going away.”

    * Sun-Times | Gov. Pritzker, Mayor Johnson host fundraiser for Chicago Democratic convention host committee: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson on Thursday will hold their first joint fundraiser for the Chicago Host Committee, which promised to raise at least $84.7 million for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. The luncheon will be at the United Center. That arena and the McCormick Place complex are the main venues for the convention, scheduled for Aug. 19-24. The fundraising pledge was part of the city’s winning bid to land the convention, beating out Atlanta and New York.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Welch introduces bill to allow legislative staff to unionize: House Bill 4148, creating the Legislative Employee Labor Relations Act, comes in response to a monthslong effort by Democratic staff in the speaker’s office to unionize and negotiate wages, hours and other working conditions. “For a while now, I had some staff approach my office seeking voluntary recognition as a union,” Welch said in an interview Wednesday. “And my legal advisors advised me that Illinois law currently specifically prohibits that. So as someone who believes in workers’ rights, this legislation is my attempt to create a legal path for them to have that right.”

    * Sun-Times | New ATF boss in Chicago setting up ‘intelligence center’ to solve more gun crimes: It’s part of a burgeoning ATF effort built on its National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) and eTrace programs, each designed to help law enforcement quickly track the history of firearms used to commit crimes. The Justice Department touted the opening of a similar center in central Ohio just last week. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said they “have proven to be uniquely effective tools for solving violent crimes, bringing repeat shooters to justice, and reducing the rate of gun violence.”

    * Chicago Mag | What $500 Means to Zinida Moore: In an experimental program, 5,000 Chicagoans received monthly cash payments from the city for a year, no strings attached. Here’s how the money changed one woman’s life — and how it didn’t.

    * Tribune | 27 buses carrying migrants arrive in Chicago since Saturday as city moves forward with tent plan: While the number of buses sent to Chicago by Abbott has ebbed and flowed over the past year, the two buses that arrived from El Paso, Texas, over the weekend — the first from that city since December 2022 — could indicate that border crossings are at one of the highest rates in recent history and the city could see an increase in buses in the coming weeks. “Why can’t we send 1,000 people to Chicago?” asked Ruben García, director of Annunciation House, a migrant shelter in El Paso, Texas, where numbers of migrants are also soaring. “Obviously Chicago isn’t equipped, but we need to rise to the occasion. … We should be prepared for whatever comes our way.”

    * Sun-Times | Confirmation for next U.S. attorney in Chicago gets tougher with anonymous senator blocking a vote: The senator or senators who are blocking a confirmation vote for April Perry are not known. Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, said he would lift his hold on Perry if she got an up-or-down vote.

    * WMIX | Judge dismisses tow company’s lawsuit against city of Centralia: Judge Staci Yandle said in her ruling that the City of Centralia and its police department’s desire to provide effective police services – not perceived as racist or biased – outweighs the interests of Jerry and Sons Towing in symbolizing their “redneck heritage.” In 2021, then Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson announced that due to the placement of a Confederate flag at their home where excess vehicles had been towed, Jerry Patten, owner of Jerry and Sons Towing in Central City, had been advised the company had been removed from the City’s tow rotation list.

    * WIRED | The Maker of ShotSpotter Is Buying the World’s Most Infamous Predictive Policing Tech: PredPol was one of the first, and perhaps the most widely used, predictive policing algorithms in the United States. Its name, a portmanteau of “predictive policing,” became synonymous with the practice. The software was developed in 2011 and uses historical crime incident reports to produce daily predictions for where future crime is likely to occur. For years, critics and academics have argued that since the PredPol algorithm relies on historical and unreliable crime data, it reproduces and reinforces biased policing patterns. In December 2021, Gizmodo and The Markup analyzed millions of Geolitica’s crime predictions that were discovered on an unsecured server and found that the software disproportionately—and often relentlessly—targeted low-income communities of color for additional patrols.

    * WBEZ | A handful of Illinois colleges commit to making costs for students more clear: Chicago State University, Northern Illinois University and Northeastern Illinois University have signed onto a new commitment to standardize financial aid offers so admitted students can more easily compare costs and understand what they will owe after graduation. But three big-name schools in the state – Northwestern University, University of Chicago and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – were absent from the list of the more than 300 colleges that have signed onto the College Cost Transparency Initiative, announced Tuesday.

    * Tribune | Hyzon Motors, which is building a Bolingbrook hydrogen truck fuel cell plant, agrees to pay $25 million to settle SEC fraud charges: The civil charges and settlement, announced Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, allege Rochester, New York-based Hyzon misrepresented its potential customers and sales before and after going public through a special purpose acquisition company in July 2021.


  1. - Excitable Boy - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 8:46 am:

    Good on Centralia for demonstrating that freedom of speech doesn’t mean consequence free speech. Unfortunately I’m sure Jerry and Sons believe their right to city contracts is being trampled on.

  2. - Formerly Unemployed - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 9:20 am:

    Please keep doing the drivers tests for seniors! I had to deal with taking the keys away from a relative in another state, and it was traumatic for everyone.

  3. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 9:54 am:

    “PredPol was one of the first, and perhaps the most widely used, predictive policing algorithms…a portmanteau of “predictive policing,”

    Scary stuff. AI precogs straight out of the book/movie Minority.

  4. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 10:11 am:

    If the good people of Manteno do not want the 2600 good paying jobs with benefits because they have been led by the Tea Party to believe the Communist Party of China is going to move in, I am sure there are other areas in Illinois that would not mind 2600 good paying jobs with Benefits.

    Moline and Rock Island are on a major highway and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railway hub. Perhaps they would not mind letting Manteno “win” and taking the Gotion risk themselves.

    Heck. McDonough County is only 30 minutes from the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railway in Burlington, IA. Perhaps Norrine Hammond might try to bring those jobs here. We could use a 2600 high paying jobs with benefits in rural, West Central Illinois.

  5. - Pundent - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    If the ILGOP is going to tell Manteno that they can’t participate in the global economy the least they can do is provide a viable plan for 2,600 alternative jobs.

  6. - Froganon - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 11:17 am:

    Keep testing seniors at 75. As a close to 75 driver, I see/feel the effects of age in myself and my friends. Experience with parents and elder family members tells me we need this guardrail from the State.

  7. - Just Lurking - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 11:18 am:

    Regarding the WBEZ item on college costs - UIUC does commit to holding tuition and room and board at the same amount as freshman year if a student maintains full-time enrollment and stays in the dorms. I don’t think it applies to fees, but that’s still more than other schools do.

  8. - Red Ketcher - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 11:25 am:

    Get Rid of Age Based Testing
    If was really needed Illinois would be the only State doing it.

  9. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 11:58 am:

    Data could answer this question (75 vs. 79). What does the data show of how many accidents and moving violations per km do the 75-79 cause vs those over 80 and those under 75. We all know about the old guy that ran into the crowd with his car because it’s unusual and on the news. But how often is that the case is more the question here.

  10. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 12:01 pm:

    “redneck heritage”?
    If they want to show it right they need RC Cola and MoonPie signs.
    And if they are going to fly the Confederate flag they are doing it wrong.
    It’s a two flag set:
    One flag has stars and bars.
    The other flag is a white one.

  11. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 12:02 pm:

    Wait till that GOP finds out how much Illinois grain gets sold to China…..

  12. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 12:16 pm:


    The story posted yesterday indicated that there is no increase in accidents among those 75-79, associated with having moved the road test requirement up to 75 a few years ago. As a result, the goal is to make the temporary change to 79, permanent.

  13. - H-W - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 12:17 pm:

    That should say, “having moved the road test requirement up to 79 a few years ago.”

  14. - DuPage - Thursday, Sep 28, 23 @ 3:55 pm:

    To State Rep Bill Hauter: One way to stop the CO2 pipeline would be to repeal or modify the Illinois law allowing “sequestration” of CO2 in Illinois in the first place. This law was intended to help a large Coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois. Coal plants are having problems with costs and are switching to cleaner/cheaper natural gas or closing entirely. It is likely the coal fired power plant will close down, so sequestration won’t be needed by anyone in Illinois. Allowing businesses from other states to use Illinois as a dump should not be allowed. High pressure CO2 could eventually push contamination into underground aquifers. These aquifers supply water wells used for drinking water over large areas of Illinois. The General Assembly needs to repeal the “Carbon Dioxide Transportation and Sequestration Act”.

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Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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