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Afternoon roundup

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Press release…

Today, Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) released a statement on additional mass layoffs facing employees at the Granite City Works steel plant. U.S. Steel has announced that approximately 1,000 employees will receive Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act notices. This includes 400 workers whose employment was “temporarily” suspended in September without advance notice. Budzinski’s statement can be found below:

“Two months ago, U.S. Steel handed out pink slips to 400 workers as they blamed the United Auto Workers strike for reduced steel demand. Today, with strong steel prices and operations resumed at the Big Three automakers, U.S. Steel is planning to make these layoffs permanent while putting another 600 jobs on the chopping block. It’s clear that these layoffs were never about the market and always about targeting organized workers. U.S. Steel must be held accountable.

“As U.S. Steel works to close up their union-represented shop in Granite City and move operations to a so-called “right-to-work” state, it’s clear that the company’s executives are more concerned with lining their own pockets than they are with the livelihoods of the workers who have built their company for generations. I will continue to closely monitor U.S. Steel’s Strategic Alternative Review Process as we maintain hopes that an American-owned company with strong labor relations can step in to better serve our highly-skilled workers and the Granite City community.”

* Press release…

ILLINOIS SELLS $875 MILLION IN GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND COMPETITIVE SALE

Statement from Paul Chatalas, Director of Capital Markets for the State of Illinois

“The State of Illinois is very pleased with very aggressive bids received today from as many as 10 bidders. This results in tighter credit spreads and a lower interest cost to Illinois residents in a relatively volatile market. Investors recognize the clear improvement in Illinois’ credit strengths, which has also been recognized by all 3 rating agencies that placed the State in the A category for a total of 9 upgrades since June 2021. Investors and rating agencies have cited the State’s actions in paying down bill backlogs, repaying debts, increased fiscal transparency, building financial reserves, and balancing the state budget as factors in the upgraded ratings. We are glad that this hard work in righting the financial ship is recognized by investors for the benefit of Illinois residents.”

Background

Today the State of Illinois sold $875 million in a combination of taxable and tax-exempt General Obligation bonds in three series via competitive bid.

The taxable Series of December 2023A bonds ($175 million), maturing in 2024 through 2028, received 9 bids and the bonds were awarded to J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, with a true interest cost of 5.466335 percent.

The Series of December 2023B bonds ($350 million), maturing in 2029-2038, received 10 bids and the bonds were awarded to BofA Securities, with a true interest cost of 3.901497 percent.

The Series of December 2023C bonds ($350 million), maturing 2039-2048 received 9 bids and the bonds were awarded to BofA Securities, with a true interest cost of 4.686461 percent.

* This is not a campaign ad

According to AdImpact, Davis is using government “franking funds” to pay for the ad. He’s spending $42K from 11/25-12/31 on the cable spot.

* WCIA

Representative Mike Marron (R-Fithian) will be stepping down from his seat sooner than expected.

Marron announced in July he was not seeking reelection but plans to finish his term. Now, he is leaving on Dec. 18 of this year.

“It has been a great honor and a highlight of my life to represent the people of the 104th District for the last 5 years and it is a bittersweet moment saying goodbye to this position,” he said in a release.

Marron will lead Vermilion Advantage as its President and CEO. Vermilion Advantage is a economic and workforce development organization for the county.

* Daily Herald

Former state Rep. Nick Sauer pleaded guilty Monday to attempted nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 24-months probation.

The Lake Barrington resident also was ordered to perform 120 public service hours as part of a plea agreement, according to the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Sauer had been scheduled to stand trial Monday in the case before Judge Patricia Fix. During his arraignment in February 2019, Sauer pleaded not guilty to a dozen criminal charges alleging he posted nude images of two woman online with their consent. […]

A former girlfriend alleged Sauer posted nude photos of her on Instagram between March and July of 2018. A second woman came forward after seeing a news story saying images of her were posted in September and October of 2017.

The story is so gross and yet sad at the same time

The former Republican lawmaker stepped down from office Aug. 1, 2018, hours after POLITICO’s story was posted about his revenge porn actions. Our report was prompted by an official complaint filed by a former girlfriend who accused the first-term state rep of creating a fake Instagram account and populating it with nude photos of her to lure men into “graphic” discussions.

* Press release…

The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) will bring the Illinois Product Holiday Market back to downtown Springfield this year. The market takes place December 1st-3rd on the “Y Block” north of the Governor’s Mansion.

The holiday market will feature Illinois products for everyone on your shopping list this season, including local egg nog, milk and cheeses, sauces and seasonings, fresh and frozen meats, baked goods, candles and woodworking. There will also be food vendors on hand so attendees can purchase a snack or enjoy a meal while experiencing this holiday spectacular. For those 21 and older, Illinois Wine will be hosting a wine tasting experience featuring seven wineries from across the state.

“The Illinois Product program gives Illinois entrepreneurs a platform to grow and expand their business,” said IDOA Director Jerry Costello. “This Holiday Market is a great opportunity for shoppers to support local agri-businesses that contribute to our state’s number one industry.”

Illinois State Fair Mega Pass, Jumbo Pass, Discount Admission Book, Seasonal Parking Pass, and the all-new Illinois’ Best cookbook will be available for purchase. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of the lowest prices of the season.

The Illinois Product Holiday Market was established with families in mind. Bring the kids to visit the free holiday workshop featuring crafts, a selfie station and coloring activities. There will also be live music throughout the event as well as a visit from Santa Claus himself.

* More…

    * Sun-Times | Mayor Johnson announces new church-city partnership to house migrants: The program’s reach is small, beginning with about 100 migrants who will be moved from police stations to churches Wednesday. Seventeen total churches are enlisted to participate, each sheltering 20 migrants, but several are already housing migrants through Zayas’ earlier initiative. The program will be funded with $350,000 in private donations. It comes as around 1,300 migrants remain camped out at police stations and O’Hare Airport.

    * Crain’s | Violence intervention group co-founded by Arne Duncan gets $21 million: A new, multimillion-dollar grant from late Chicago businesswoman Sue Ling Gin will help expand services combating gun violence. This week the Sue Ling Gin Foundation awarded $21 million to Chicago CRED, a community violence intervention program co-founded by former U.S. Education Secretary and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Arne Duncan.

    * Crain’s | Pritzker family office launches $190 million venture capital fund: At $190 million, 53 Stations is one of the largest venture funds in Chicago, alongside S2G Ventures, Jump Capital and Lightbank.

    * Pekin Daily Times | Cyberattack knocks out Tazewell County email, phone systems: Tazewell County’s government phone and email systems remain down after a cyber incident last week. Tazewell County Sheriff Jeffrey Lower said the incident occurred early last Monday. The Tazewell County computer network was proactively taken offline to determine the nature of the incident and the best response.

    * Daily Herald | Races to watch in DuPage, Kane counties: In DuPage and Kane counties, voters will cast ballots for select county board members, state’s attorney, coroner, circuit court clerk, auditor and recorder of deeds.

    * Daily Chronicle | DeKalb County candidates begin filing for 2024 election: Voters in the March 19 primary election will get to weigh in on candidates seeking their respective party’s nomination for president, Congress and the Illinois General Assembly. They’ll also get to weigh in on candidates seeking nominations for several countywide offices including state’s attorney, coroner, circuit court clerk and DeKalb County Board seats in all 12 districts.

    * Sun-Times | FBI agent tells how former Ald. Solis came to wear a wire — after he ‘presented Mr. Solis with some evidence we had acquired’: McDonald testified that he and Noldin explained their investigation to Solis and “presented Mr. Solis with some evidence we had acquired.” An FBI affidavit filed ahead of their visit with Solis alleged that Solis had received “a steady flow of personal benefits” from people for whom he had taken or offered official action. The benefits allegedly included Viagra, prostitution services, the use of a multimillion dollar farm and campaign contributions. McDonald acknowledged that the agents were trying to persuade Solis to cooperate with them. McDonald said he and the other agent took a seat near Solis’ kitchen. They played recordings, including video, for Solis for 30 to 45 minutes. Eventually, he said Solis asked to speak to an attorney. Still, the agent said Solis agreed to cooperate with the feds either later that day or the next.

    * WTTW | Jurors Hear From Ed Burke in Secret Audio, Video Recorded By Fellow Ald. Danny Solis: When discussing redevelopment plans for the Old Post Office in August 2016, Ed Burke asked his fellow Ald. Danny Solis to “recommend the good firm of Klafter & Burke” to do tax work for the project developers. … The Old Post Office happens to be in the 25th Ward, which Solis represented on the City Council for 25 years. Prosecutors have alleged Burke identified the $800 million renovation of the Old Post Office, which needed an $18 million subsidy and a tax break worth $100 million from the city to move forward, as an opportunity to force the developer to hire his law firm.

    * Center Square | After conviction, ex-Madigan chief of staff asks for acquittal or new trial: “The government never offered evidence to establish the materiality of Mr. Mapes’ alleged lies, but instead invited the jury to speculate that Mr. Mapes’ alleged lies were somehow relevant to the question of whether McClain and Madigan were conspiring together to commit crimes.” Porter argued that the speculation wasn’t enough. “Speculation cannot replace evidence … and the government offered no evidence that Mr. Mapes knew anything about criminality between McClain and Madigan,” Porter wrote. “Just because Mr. Mapes expertly kept the ‘trains running on time’ in the Illinois legislature for many years does not even tend to prove that he knew of or was read into criminal schemes involving McClain or Madigan. The government never offered any evidence to connect the legal ‘tasks’ and ‘assignments’ that McClain discussed with Mr. Mapes to the bribery allegations concerning Madigan and McClain that were investigated by the grand jury. In the absence of evidence to make those connections, the government invited the jury to speculate. The guilty verdicts, then, must not stand.” Porter also argued that Kness erred when he allowed evidence of Mapes’ immunity deal at trial.

    * Daily Herald | Pending legislation would allow small modular nuclear reactors in Illinois. What are they?: As of 2022, there were three operational SMRs in the world, located in Russia, China and India. The first SMR design to be certified by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission jumped that hurdle in January, but it was announced this month the company planning to build that operation in Utah — NuScale Power — terminated the project due to rising costs.

    * BND | How expensive is Illinois? Here’s the minimum living wage for your metro-east county: St. Clair County: $16.50 for a single adult with no children; $34.06 for a single adult with one child; $43.82 for a single adult with two children; $13.31 for two adults (both adults working) and no children; $19.06 for two adults (both working) and one child; $24.23 for two adults (both working) and two children

    * Sun-Times | Blues drummer Willie ‘The Touch’ Hayes, who played with B.B. King, the Temptations and Muddy Waters, dies at 73: Mr. Hayes, who began drumming when he was 4, was inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame in 2014.

       

11 Comments
  1. - Sue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 2:58 pm:

    I guess JB should have waited to take his victory lap. 1000 employees laid off in Granite City with jobs being relocated to a Right to Work State. Ouch


  2. - Big Dipper - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 3:10 pm:

    Ridiculous that it took almost five years to resolve the Sauer case, even with the pandemic. And again the party of “family values.”


  3. - Stuck in Celliniland - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 3:25 pm:

    Every time I see the name Nick Sauer I actually always mistakenly think, “Isn’t he from the Peoria area?” Until I realize he’s from Lake County.


  4. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 3:41 pm:

    ” And again the party of “family values.”

    These creeps are bi-partisan

    Keith Farnham (September 22, 1947 – June 18, 2017) was a Democratic former member of the Illinois House of Representatives who resigned from office and pleaded guilty of distributing child pornography in 2014.[4]


  5. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 3:47 pm:

    @Sue:

    Lol. Grasping for anything you can aren’t you. Lots of positive news but, nope, it’s all negative in your world. I think it just irritates you and your ilk to no end at how well Illinois is doing and you simply cannot stand it so you have to attempt to be negative to justify your partisan outlook.


  6. - Sue - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 4:15 pm:

    Demoralized- losing those jobs to a right to work state is awful. As for Illinois doing so well- our finances are being floated by the Covid residuals. I hope I am wrong- but our FY 24 revenues like other states will be hit by the lack of capital gains - JB is a charlatan - he would have made a great snake oil salesman. If things here are so wonderful why are we still one of the leading states losing population?


  7. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 4:22 pm:

    ==to a right to work state ==

    Union hater much?

    ==but our FY 24 revenues like other states will be hit ==

    Did you see the latest revenue projections? Because those fly in the face of your assertion.
    ==our finances are being floated by the Covid
    residuals==

    No, they are not. I don’t know how many reports you need to see to show you that isn’t the case.

    ==If things here are so wonderful why are we still one of the leading states losing population?==

    That’s a tired old talking point utilized by those who can do nothing but talk bad about Illinois.

    Face it @Sue, you can’t stand good news. Nothing would ever satisfy you. You thrive off of talking bad about the state. You must have really loved the Negative Talker in Chief, Bruce Rauner. Go ahead, continue to bad mouth the state if it makes you feel better. You’re wrong, however. Wrong. Period.


  8. - Henry Francis - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 4:45 pm:

    There are 976 churches in Chicago. Over 200 which are Catholic. And we have a grand total of 17 that are opening their doors to 100 refugees during this Christmas season.


  9. - Donnie ELgin - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 4:56 pm:

    “Over 200 which are Catholic. And we have a grand total of 17 that are opening their doors”

    Every Sunday there a a new appeal/collection for migrants, Lots of Catholic churches work independently like St Giles, and the local Catholic charities is a key resource..

    The city has helped resettle more than 7,000 people with help from the state and Catholic Charities. Nearly 3,000 have been placed into long-term housing. Those currently in shelters can receive rental assistance, but it will not be available for new arrivals.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/chicago/news/chicago-migrants-leave-shelters/


  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Nov 28, 23 @ 5:29 pm:

    ==And we have a grand total of 17==

    And they only became interested when there was 350k on the table.


  11. - TyB - Wednesday, Nov 29, 23 @ 12:03 pm:

    @Sue: It’s not helpful to blame JB for corporate decisions that have nothing to do with him, and everything with US Steel tossing over union employees. That’s the focus of the story


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