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*** UPDATED x6 *** Afternoon roundup

Thursday, Nov 9, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* The House has adjourned until January 16. As I noted on another post, that means the Senate either has to take up the House’s elected Chicago school board bill (SB2324) or nothing happens. I’ve reached out to the Senate President’s office to see what that chamber will do. I’ll let you know.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Senate President Harmon has decided to call his version of the elected school board bill, HB2233.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Harmon’s bill passed 38-12.

*** UPDATE 3 *** The Senate appears to be adjourning.

*** UPDATE 4 *** Harmon gave his closing remarks. He didn’t mention the dispute with the House. He did note that the House hasn’t finished its 2024 calendar yet, but said the Senate is issuing one today.

*** UPDATE 5 *** Actually, the House did distribute a calendar to members. Click here.

*** UPDATE 6 *** Harmon said during the debate that the General Assembly has until April 1 to finalize a plan. He also told reporters that there would be plenty of time for people to prepare because petitions won’t be circulated until the summer. When asked if Speaker Welch had given him a heads up about adjourning the House before finalizing work on the bill, Harmon said, “We didn’t discuss it but I was not surprised.”

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

I’m not sure yet what else was left in the air, but the Invest in Kids Act extension springs to mind. The income tax credit program to fund private school scholarships will now sunset at the end of December, but we’ve known that was going to happen for quite a while.

* Background is here if you need it. Subscribers know more about this

The Senate did agree to extend another state law that’s set to expire Dec. 31, voting 42-12 to give another year to a 2018 law that increased minimum prison sentences for repeat gun possession offenders. The proposal still needs approval in the House.

The law was pushed by former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration after more than 770 people were slain in the city in 2016, but Mayor Brandon Johnson opposes an extension. Crime statistics provide no clear evidence that the law has had any impact in reducing gun violence.

State Rep. Will Guzzardi, a Democrat from Chicago, said he hopes to block the bill in the House. “This is not the kind of policymaking we should be engaged in,” Guzzardi said.

The 12 senators who voted no were all Democrats, most representing districts that cover portions of Chicago.

The main sponsor of the extension was Sen. Patrick Joyce, a Democrat from Reddick in Kankakee County. In a rare bipartisan show of agreement on a criminal justice issue, Senate Republican leader John Curran praised the legislation moments before the vote.

It can’t move without the sponsor’s permission, so Guzzardi doesn’t have to hope for anything…

* Sun-Times

With the betting window closed on the first full month of operation at Bally’s temporary casino, the Medinah Temple site raked in more than $7.6 million in October, a 12% decline in average daily revenue compared to its first few weeks.

The latest monthly cash count announced Wednesday by regulators at the Illinois Gaming Board put the River North betting house near the top of the state’s roster of 15 casinos — but well behind city tax revenue projections for Chicago’s desperately underfunded police and firefighter pensions.

Bally’s adjusted gross revenue — its profit after paying winners — shook out to about $245,446 per day in October, down from an average of roughly $278,268 from its Sept. 9 opening through the end of that month. […]

Bally’s take generated nearly $768,000 for city coffers, adding up to almost $1.5 million in tax revenue since it opened.

That leaves it a long shot for the long-sought Chicago casino to hit the $12.8 million revenue target for 2023 set by former Mayor Lori Lightfoot shortly before she left office.

* US Attorney’s office in Chicago…

A Chicago man has been convicted in federal court of threatening to commit violence at a women’s reproductive health clinic.

A jury in U.S. District in Chicago on Wednesday convicted FARHAN SHEIKH, 23, of transmitting a threat in interstate commerce. The conviction is punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland did not immediately set a sentencing date.

The conviction was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Chicago Police Department. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron R. Bond and Melody Wells.

Evidence at trial revealed that Sheikh posted the threatening communications on Aug. 13, 2019, on the social media platform iFunny. In one of his posts, Sheikh stated, “I am done with my state and thier (sic) [expletive] abortion laws and allowing innocrnt (sic) kids to be slaughtered for the so called ‘womans right’ [expletive].” Sheikh later wrote that he would visit a clinic in Chicago and “proceed to slaughter and murder any doctor, patient, or visitor I see in the area and I will not back down.”

In posts that immediately followed the threats, Sheikh described his anger at law enforcement and his frustration over the arrest of another individual for making threats online. Sheikh referred to the other arrest as “surpressing [sic] our freedoms,” and he vowed to “do the same” to “whores.”

* And, finally, Jim Paul has been a House doorman for 22 years and is retiring. The House gave him a nice sendoff today. Congratulations, Mr. Paul!..

…Adding… One more…

* Isabel’s roundup…

    * WREX | Live Updates: President Biden emphasizes ‘worker power’ in Belvidere speech for reopening of Stellantis plant

    * WSPY | Montgomery State Rep. arrested for DUI: In a Montgomery Police Department report, obtained by WSPY news, an officer says that he located [Illinois Representative Matt Hanson] asleep in his vehicle in the 2000 block of Jericho Road on October 27 at around 10:30. The vehicle was said to be parked on two spots and had its taillights on. […] “I am deeply disappointed by my own conduct, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I’m committed to ensuring this is the only time I ever exercise such poor judgment. I plan to undergo an alcohol evaluation, complete any treatment or education that evaluation recommends, and accept all terms the court deems fit. My focus is on the work I need to do for myself and for the people who have entrusted me to represent them.”

    * Sun-Times | Ed Burke trial on hold for a week after lawyer tests positive for COVID: The judge and the lawyers still haven’t finished jury selection in the highly anticipated case. Thirty-eight potential jurors have survived questioning. Nine more must make it through the process without being struck for cause to round out the panel after lawyers exercise peremptory strikes. [US District Judge Virginia Kendall] intended to push lawyers to finish jury selection by lunchtime Thursday. Now the trial is on hold entirely. The lawyers who came to court Thursday were all wearing face masks. So was Burke.

    * Tribune | Chicago police officer charged with felony battery after video shows him hitting an 8th grader: The felony charge against Craig Lancaster, 55, come less than two weeks after the Chicago Tribune published a video of the altercation, which shows the veteran officer hitting 14-year-old JaQuwaun Williams near his throat as the boy walked into Gresham Elementary School on May 18. The video, which has no sound, does not show the teen interacting with Lancaster before the physical contact or doing anything obvious to provoke it.

    * Daily-Journal | Electric school buses begin to arrive in Herscher: Two of the 25 electric buses going to Herscher Community Unit School District 2 were delivered Thursday. The remaining 23 are scheduled for delivery in late summer 2024. When taking one for a test drive, Decman marveled at the sound coming from the vehicle — or rather, the lack of sound — as the bus traveled in near silence.

    * Daily-Journal | Gift from Kankakee as city OKs $85K to Gift of God: The $85,000 pledged to aid improvements at Kankakee County’s lone fixed-based homeless shelter has been officially approved, and the North Fifth Avenue church and shelter location will likely have the money prior to December. […] Gift of God is having extensive and required upgrades to the site completed. To comply with fire prevention standards, the property needed to be equipped with the sprinkler system. The cost is $100,000 and the work is largely complete.

    * Tribune | Under new CEO, Walgreens prepares for 267 corporate layoffs: None of the layoffs will impact retail employees at Walgreens stores. Workers at call centers and micro fulfillment centers — where prescription medications are shipped directly to pharmacies, sometimes with the aid of robots — will not be part of this round of layoffs either.

    * Sun-Times | Streeterville boutique hotel becoming homeless shelter, prompting staff layoffs: The shelter is expected to open next month, house 116 people and remain open for up to seven months. It is part of an unfolding city plan to provide “an additional 300 emergency shelter beds,” Reese said. It will be staffed by Equitable Social Solutions, a Kentucky-based company, according to the Illinois Secretary of State database.

    * AP | Biden celebrates a labor deal saving an Illinois auto plant as he promotes a worker-centered economy: The reopening “goes to the heart of who he is, the heart of his vision for the country and how he’s led,” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff. Stellantis, the maker of Jeep, Dodge and Ram vehicles, agreed to hire back 1,200 employees to build pickup trucks and to add 1,300 more workers for a battery factory.

    * WBEZ | Working in-person costs employees $51 a day over remote work, survey finds: The average per-day cost for employees working in-person: $8 for parking, $13 for breakfast or coffee, $16 on lunch, $14 commuting, and $20 for pet care for those who need it. More companies are calling employees back to the office even though only 22% want to be there. In-person work climbed from 44% in 2022 to 66% this year, according to the survey. Hybrid schedules have held steady, at about 25% of those surveyed.

    * Sun-Times | Supreme Court hears decorated Army vet’s claim that VA shortchanged his GI Bill benefits: The case, Rudisill v. McDonough, concerns military veterans who’ve earned college benefits under both the Montgomery GI Bill, which pays tuition, and the newer, more generous Post-9/11 GI Bill, which pays tuition and fees, plus housing and books. The law allows vets to tap both, up to a maximum of 48 months. […] The Virginia resident contends that the “absurd” way the Department of Veterans Affairs oversees benefits shortchanged him out of 12 months of schooling.

    * NPR Illinois | Quad Cities airport considers future spaceport: The Moline airport is conducting a study to see how much money and work it would take to add a spaceport in the next twenty years. Spokeswoman Ashleigh Davis says it could become a “horizontal launch” site. “Planes would use the existing ten thousand foot runway that the airport has, they would take off just like a regular commercial aircraft would, however they would have a different system that they’d switch on, a different fueling mechanism, that would allow them to travel into space.”

    * AP | In Wisconsin, the old fashioned cocktail come with brandy. Lawmakers want to make it official.: It’s a resolution, not a bill, so even if passed by the Assembly and Senate the brandy old fashioned won’t make it onto the list of other official state symbols that include milk as the official beverage, kringle as the official pastry and corn as the official grain. Getting that level of recognition, enshrined in the state’s “Blue Book,” requires introduction of a bill, a public hearing and then the signature of the governor.

    * Block Club | Chicago’s Hottest Music Venue Is a Concrete Pillar In The Chicago River: Since then, the concrete structure that Kinsinger calls an “island” has hosted multiple “Secret River” shows, delighting fans and confused passersby alike. This year’s concert series features two bands alongside Lawrence Tome, the local band fronted by Kinsinger. The fifth and final show of the year will take place 11:11 a.m. Saturday.

    * Patch | Super El Niño Winter: What IL Might See For Snow: The Climate Prediction Center says with 100 percent certainty the strengthening El Niño weather pattern will last through early winter, and with 90 percent certainty that it will last until spring. The agency, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, expects the El Niño pattern to bring warmer than normal conditions to Illinois this winter.

    * AP | Last 12 months on Earth were the hottest ever recorded, analysis finds: The last 12 months were the hottest Earth has ever recorded, according to a new report by Climate Central, a nonprofit science research group. The peer-reviewed report says burning gasoline, coal, natural gas and other fossil fuels that release planet-warming gases like carbon dioxide, and other human activities, caused the unnatural warming from November 2022 to October 2023.


  1. - Linus - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 2:25 pm:

    Congrats and happy retirement to Jim Paul. Always friendly and helpful. He’ll be missed at the House door.

  2. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    Will Guzzardi strongly opposes enhanced penalties for illegal gun possession despite the fact his district is being terrorized by illegal guns being used for carjacking and other violent crimes

    He claims incarcerating violent criminals will not reduce violent crime

  3. - low level - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 2:47 pm:

    Actually this is one time I’ll agree w you, LP. Guzzardi should have moved this forward. I think if one were to ask his constituents, they would agree w this proposal.

  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 2:49 pm:

    Nice to see the Invest in Kids act will be going away.

    There will eventually be some news which culminated earlier this week, coming out of the Joliet Diocese showing just how terrible of an idea it has been to subsidize those schools.

    Terrible is probably going to be a huge understatement.

  5. - Quibbler - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 2:50 pm:

    == He claims incarcerating violent criminals will not reduce violent crime ==

    Using your own info, Guzzardi appears to be correct, since the Logan Square robberies happened even as the penalty enhancement remains in effect (as it will be until the end of the year).

  6. - State Trooper - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 3:24 pm:

    Law enforcement isn’t a profession, it’s a lifestyle. 30 years as a State Trooper, and 22 years as a House Doorman. You answered the call, and did it for 52 years. Happy Retirement. Integrity Service Pride.

  7. - Leslie K - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 3:32 pm:

    Congratulations to Jim Paul on his second retirement [exclamation point]. He will be missed, but he’s definitely earned it.

  8. - NIU Grad - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    So….what now?

  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 3:57 pm:

    Best wishes to Mr. Paul.



  10. - Amalia - Thursday, Nov 9, 23 @ 4:41 pm:

    a lawyer in the Burke case testing positive for Covid is a strong reminder to get the jab/s if you can. flu, covid, rsv jabs if you are eligible. I’m seeing more and more folks masking up out of fear of getting any of these viruses. we are happy in this warmer weather, but we are out and about more, encountering others. the holidays are upon us and we will be even closer to people. Get jabbed (banned punctuation).

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