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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Illinois Manufacturers’ Association 2024 legislative agenda …

Student Loan Employer Tax Credit (SB1313, Sen. Meg Loughran Cappel/HB4435, Rep. Katie Stuart)
This initiative is an attempt to help with two issues: student loan debt for employees and workforce shortages. Employers will earn a tax credit if they assist with the payment of student loan debt of their employees. This proposal, modeled off the federal Employer Participation in Repayment Act, will help ease student debt while also attracting employees to manufacturing jobs.

Manufacturing Promise Scholarship Program (Sen. Karina Villa)
Similar to the MAP grant program, this initiative would provide high school students with free community college education if they are enrolled in a manufacturing pathway. This is not a tuition waiver and will require a minimum 20% participation from underrepresented groups. Community college manufacturing programs as well as apprenticeship and union manufacturing programs qualify under this program.

The Manufacturer Childcare Incentive Pilot Program (HB4670, Rep. Amy Elik)
Establishes a pilot program that will allow 10 manufacturers to open on-site, employee-only childcare centers at no cost to their employees. The employer is required to follow staffing, medication, background checks and liability insurance requirements through an expedited approval process. The IMA is also seeking to bring grant dollars/incentives to employers who open childcare centers in designated childcare deserts.

High School Graduation Requirements (HB3307, Rep. Amy Elik/Rep. Katie Stuart)
Under this proposal, high school graduation requirements would be changed to allow for two years of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in place of the two-year foreign language requirement. This will allow for critical education that more closely meets the needs of students and employers.

Modernize Research & Development Tax Credit (SB163, Sen. Don DeWitte/HB4457 Rep. Joe Sosnowski)
Research and Development (R&D) is the lifeblood of manufacturers who are constantly creating and improving products. However, Illinois’ R&D credit is outdated and will soon expire without state intervention. This proposal increases the R&D credit by providing that the increase in research and development activities shall be based on an increase of over 50% of the average of the qualifying expenditures for each year in the base period. Currently, the credit is based on an increase of over 100 percent of the average of the qualifying expenditures for each year in the base period. This change modernizes the bill to match changes to the R&D credit at the federal level and makes the R&D credit permanent moving forward.

Carbon Capture & Sequestration
The IMA continues to champion legislation to establish regulations for land issues, permitting, liability and fees surrounding carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Illinois is primed to be a leader in CCS, which would help the state reach its clean energy goals while growing our economy. However, as more time passes without action in Illinois, other states are taking advantage of CCS, including winning competitive federal funding.

* Hannah Meisel’s update on the Sam McCann trial


WTTW NEWS announced the launch of a comprehensive VOTER GUIDE in advance of the March 19, 2024 primary election. Along with this comprehensive resource, throughout the election season, WTTW will provide extensive daily political and election coverage and analysis on the WTTW News website( and weeknights on Chicago Tonight at 5:30 and 10:00 pm.

The WTTW News 2024 Primary Election Voter Guide will prepare regional voters with candidate profiles including detailed, issue-based questionnaires; video interviews with candidates about where they stand on key issues; a digestible compilation of legal bar association ratings for the sometimes difficult-to-navigate judicial races; and a Voter Toolbox with quick access information on how to vote, where to vote, and Election Day logistics.

* Illinois Fraternal Order of Police…

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) State Lodge has issued a statement that rejects a stance taken by the National FOP concerning United States Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The National FOP on Tuesday sent a letter of support for Mayorkas ahead of an impeachment vote in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“The Illinois FOP State Lodge was not consulted concerning the National FOP’s letter supporting Secretary Mayorkas, and if they had consulted us, I am confident the answer from our 34,000-plus members would have been a resounding NO!” said Illinois FOP State Lodge President Chris Southwood. “Illinois’ law enforcement officers, particularly in our larger cities, have borne a disproportionate share of the burden from this administration’s disastrous border policies. We do not want to be a part of any letter supporting a man who has made our jobs much tougher and more dangerous, and who has strained public resources to the breaking point. Those resources could have been spent to keep our communities safer, but instead they are being used to fund services for people who are in this country illegally. Membership wise, Illinois is the second largest FOP state in the U.S. and it’s disturbing the National FOP failed to allow the membership in Illinois to voice their concerns prior to the letter of support being issued.”

* Block Club

The Police Department issued more than 6,300 citations to people smoking on CTA properties in 2023, the highest number since 2019, when 6,494 citations were issued, CTA officials said in a Wednesday news release.

“Smoking on CTA trains, buses and stations is not just illegal, it’s thoughtless,” CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. said in a news release. “Not only is it a public health issue for those inhaling second-hand smoke, but it’s a nuisance to others who just want an enjoyable transit riding experience.” […]

The CTA received more than 1,000 smoking complaints from customers in 2023. The Red and Blue lines received the most complaints, with 438 and 313 respectively, officials said.

*CBS in March of last year

Chicago police have tried to rein in smokers on the CTA with municipal citations, issuing about 3,900 citations last year, and roughly 4,400 in 2021, according to an analysis of police citation data. […]

Out of the roughly 4,400 citations issued in 2021, about 200 were paid – or 5%.

* Here’s the rest…

    * Muddy River News | State representative, other GOP candidates make pitches at Quincy Tea Party meeting: [Eric Snellgrove], 36, is a member of the Cass County Board. He graduated from the University of South Alabama, and was a member of the Alabama National Guard for seven years, which included deployment to Afghanistan in 2011. He is a single parent with two pre-teen children. […] During his intro, [Kyle Moore] said he was on the board for Adams County Right to Life. Moore, a former Quincy alderman and Mayor, is currently the president of the Great River Economic Development Foundation. He also worked for his family business at one time, Moore’s Floors.

    * Press Release | All candidates for Cook County States Attorney will address public at forum Feb. 13 in LaGrange Park: With little over a month to go to the March primary election, the three candidates running to replace outgoing State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will appear on the same stage in LaGrange Park to discuss their campaigns, crime, and the many difficult law enforcement issues facing Cook County.

    * Block Club | Is Chicago Sticking With ShotSpotter? City Won’t Say What’s Next For Controversial Technology: Johnson was critical of ShotSpotter on the campaign trail, pledging to end the city’s use of the system. But since then his administration has quietly extended the contract. Mayoral spokesperson Ronnie Reese said a decision about the ShotSpotter contract would come in mid-February but declined to answer specific questions on the contract’s status.

    * Tribune | Plan to end mandated hiring of police as school security guards awaits CPS approval, union says: As Chicago Public Schools plans to sunset its school resource officer program by the start of the 2024-25 school year, the district’s prior commitment to minimize the larger presence of police in schools serving as security guards remains up in the air. Service Employees International Union Local 73, the union representing CPS support personnel, has offered to waive a contract stipulation that currently requires CPS to hire police in part-time security roles, union spokesperson Eric Bailey told the Tribune.

    * Daily Herald | A handful of politicians switch parties, citing extremism. Others question their motives: Not so long ago, Janice Anderson was a committed Republican who rose through the local political ranks to become a DuPage County Board member. She blamed former President Donald Trump for Republican losses in 2018, including her own. Disenchanted with the GOP, Anderson is now actively working to get Democrats elected and has formed a group called Democratic Voters for Naperville.

    * BND | U.S. hopes to build more pipelines for carbon capture. Illinois landowners don’t want them: Further south, Ray Sinclair also has leftover wood buried in the fields of his family farm. He adds that the construction changed the slope of his soybean fields, causing water to pool in low areas.

    * Fox Chicago | Illinois Manufacturers’ Association CEO urges action on smart carbon capture regulations: “We risk billions of dollars in economic opportunity and good jobs if we don’t act this session to pass smart carbon capture and storage regulations,” said Mark Denzler, the CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association.

    * Shaw Local | Will County, Joliet, meet with state to look for truck traffic relief: The announcement made in the form of a news release follows comments made by Joliet Mayor Terry D’Arcy last month that the city is pursuing truck traffic relief with the county and state. D’Arcy made his remarks as the Joliet City Council approved another expansion of the NorthPoint Development warehouse project that opponents say will add to truck traffic problems.

    * Momentum | Study shows bicycle-friendly cities are safer for all road users even drivers: There are many reasons why safe cycling infrastructure in urban areas is a good thing. It’s good for the local economy, our environment, health, and, of course, it keeps those on the bicycles safe. Turns out, that’s not the end of it. Cities with vibrant biking scenes often boast safer streets for everyone. According to Nicholas N. Ferenchak and Wesley E. Marshall, authors of a groundbreaking study, this connection is no fluke.

    * KSDK | How ‘Pete’ helped close a loophole in Illinois’ slavery law: It’s the same question Joseph ‘Pete’ Jarrot asked himself after decades of living in servitude. In 1843, he brought that question to the St. Claire County Court. Winn said, Pete was “suing not only for his freedom, but for back wages owed to him as a worker in the Jarrot family.”

    * Resident Advisor | Pitchfork website will remain, staff say: “It doesn’t feel like anyone’s in charge,” one current staff member said. When asked if it seemed like GQ knew what was going on, they replied, “No.” They continued: “It’s just a collective confusion. Because we have a lot of questions and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of answers.”

    * Supermarket News | Aldi tests checkout-free tech at Illinois store: The Aldi grocery store at 2275 Galena Blvd. in Aurora, Ill., still has the coin-operated shopping carts, and the “Aldi Finds” aisle, and customers are still likely to see a staff member with a pallet forklift full of its discount inventory. Shoppers might not notice until they reach the checkout, however, that this Aldi location is unlike any other in the rapidly growing chain. The supermarket is equipped with an unknown number of miniature cameras installed in the ceiling that enable shoppers to skip the process of scanning products at checkout via downloading an app from cashierless tech company Grabango.

    * NYT | For First Time in Two Decades, U.S. Buys More From Mexico Than China: The United States’ trade deficit with China narrowed significantly last year, with goods imports from the country dropping 20 percent to $427.2 billion, the data shows. American consumers and businesses turned to Mexico, Europe, South Korea, India, Canada and Vietnam for auto parts, shoes, toys and raw materials.


  1. - Da big bad wolf - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:28 pm:

    “Those resources could have been spent to keep our communities safer, but instead they are being used to fund services for people who are in this country illegally.”

    What resources are funding people who are here illegally, President Chris Southwood?

  2. - fs - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==“Wasn’t 100% sure he could put a coherent thought together==

    I mean…I think we’re all thinking the same thing after reading that.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:30 pm:

    –D’Arcy made his remarks as the Joliet City Council approved another expansion of the NorthPoint Development–

    It’s just a complete mystery where all those trucks in Joliet are coming from. Two months prior, the city also turned a residential street on the west side into another truck route.

    Gaslighting at its finest.

  4. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:38 pm:

    ==If a doctor has to choose between one patient or the other on an operating table, that’s choosing between patients,” Snellgrove said. He can’t save both. And there’s a lot of mamas out there that would say ‘Save my kid before me’.”==

    Who the hell are you to tell a family what choice they would need to make in that horrible situation. Republicans continue to be completely tone deaf when it comes to abortion. But, hey, I’m all for their tone deafness. The majority of the electorate disagrees with them on abortion. And if their tone deafness keeps Republicans out of office I’m all for that.

  5. - DuPage - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:42 pm:

    They could reduce some truck traffic congestion around Joliet by building the I-57 to I-65 expressway.

  6. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:44 pm:

    The clock is ticking on Sam McCann’s excuses. If McCann is incoherent, he certainly would not watch the Super Bowl on Sunday.

    Does he have an actual diagnosis or is he malingering to avoid the inevitable?

  7. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:51 pm:

    @DuPage - the problem developing in Joliet is on local roads. A connector between I-57 and I-65 wouldn’t resolve these issues.

    The issue being the city has failed to properly plan for any infrastructure in adding all these developments. What is taking place in the area now is a conversion of residential collector streets into truck routes. Most recently, Joliet worked with Crest Hill to convert Gaylord rd into a truck route, as confirmed by the Crest Hill police chief at the December meeting when residents showed up and asked during a council meeting why there were suddenly a large amount of trucks coming through a residential area.

  8. - taco - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:56 pm:

    I remember when Sam McCann was a darling in these comments for standing up against Billionaire Bruce…. McCann and Madigan charged…. I think someone ended up being right…

  9. - High Socks - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 2:58 pm:

    Chris Southwood’s moves to pull his union further and further into MAGA red territory in an increasingly blue state is top level thinking.

  10. - Jocko - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:10 pm:

    ==“Wasn’t 100% sure he could put a coherent thought together==

    Isn’t that the Uncle Junior defense?

  11. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:16 pm:

    McCann is sick. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend heard from this guy who knows the kid who’s going with the girl who saw Sam pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

  12. - Lakefront - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:24 pm:

    The Manufacturers’ agenda looks like a series of $$$ requests in an increasingly tight budget year. Bid them good luck as they fight plenty others for their slice of the pie.

  13. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    ===We do not want to be a part of any letter supporting a man who has made our jobs much tougher and more dangerous, and who has strained public resources to the breaking point.===

    Dear, Secretary Mayorkas is not the person sending migrants to Chicago. That would be Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott.

    Second, those migrants aren’t in our country illegally. When a migrant presents at the border requesting asylum, federal law says we have to process their cases.

    Finally, it wasn’t Mayorkas and the Dems who scuttled the bipartisan border bill this week, which which included almost everyone Republicans wanted and which would have alleviated the crisis a great deal. It was Trump and congressional Republicans who did that.

    Keep up.

  14. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    It is truly sad when public servants like soldiers and police become politicians. When I was in the Army, we were told we were not to be political. There was a sort of taboo associated with politicking with a weapon. We were to be above that fray.

    It is disappointing to see our Illinois police become the MAGA police, and take up political rhetoric advocating for one party over another. It is disappointing to see law enforcement become legal advocacy.

    I have no respect for the leadership of the Illinois chapter of the MAGA FOP.

  15. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:35 pm:

    *Dear Illinois FOP. Sorry

  16. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:49 pm:

    Re: Muddy River News

    Two self-avowed separatists support the idea of succession from Illinois. One is all out crazy, while the other says he likes the idea but is not sure it can be done. If there is any take away here, I suppose we should be glad it was a Quincy Tea Party Event, not a Moms for Liberty Event. Racing to the bottom in a district where Democrats (and sane people) cannot compete.

  17. - Hannibal Lecter - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:51 pm:

    === They could reduce some truck traffic congestion around Joliet by building the I-57 to I-65 expressway. ===

    That would be great, but is Indiana willing to put any skin in the game?

  18. - TJ - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:56 pm:

    Dear ILFOP: Get bent.

  19. - vern - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 4:08 pm:

    “Illinois’ law enforcement officers, particularly in our larger cities, have borne a disproportionate share of the burden from this administration’s disastrous border policies.”

    I somewhat disagree with H-W on how political a police union should be - I don’t have a theoretical problem with public employee unions weighing in on political matters.

    My objection to this FOP statement is more specific. Southwood says clearly that they have *policy* differences with Mayorkas. The standard for impeachment isn’t policy disagreement, it’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.” The FOP refusing to make that distinction is disquieting, because they are responsible for combatting crimes. If they won’t distinguish between a policy disagreement and a crime, how can I trust their membership to do police work fairly? What other non-criminal policy differences do they think merit crime-specific remedies?

  20. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 4:16 pm:

    Shot spotter has proven to be a useless scam service. That money would be better spent elsewhere in the police budget on tech that actually works or in hiring or training better and more people on the ground.

  21. - DuPage - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 4:47 pm:

    - Hannibal Lecter - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 3:51 pm:

    === They could reduce some truck traffic congestion around Joliet by building the I-57 to I-65 expressway. ===

    ===That would be great, but is Indiana willing to put any skin in the game?===

    Indiana was ready to proceed. All their ducks were in a row, but they were only going to build the portion of the project that was in Indiana. Illinois was going to build the Illinois portion as part of the Illinois Tollway. Then Bruce Rauner cancelled the project to “save money”. So I guess the federal matching funds (up to 90% of the construction costs) went to some other state. A study was done on trucking companies willingness to pay the tolls. The majority said they would pay the tolls because it would save them so much money in wasted time and wasted fuel being stuck in traffic.

  22. - clec dcn - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 4:59 pm:

    Nice to see cycling contributes to quality of life. Certainly, it can be safe but glad to see some connections. It is far easier at times to simply get somewhere on a bike faster than a car believe it or not.

  23. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 6:08 pm:

    Nobody actually read that story on trucks in Joliet I see.

    “Topics at the meeting last week included rerouting freight traffic to minimize the use of roads designed to serve area residents”

    This is a problem because local officials are turning residential streets into truck routes all over town. It has nothing to do with interstate connections outside of town.

  24. - The Dude - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 6:54 pm:

    In 2024 you certainly are a (insert derogatory word here) if you are smoking near anyone let alone on a form of public transportation.

  25. - allknowingmasterofraccoondom - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 8:06 pm:

    McCCann, a real stand up guy. Say what you will about Rauner but Bruce knew who Sam really was. Karma is here for her dance, Sam.

  26. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 8, 24 @ 3:16 am:

    ===The standard for impeachment isn’t policy disagreement, it’s “high crimes and misdemeanors.”===

    As US Rep. Gerald Ford once said about the impeachment of Supreme Court Justice Bill Douglas: We don’t need a reason, we just need the votes.

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* Isabel’s afternoon roundup
* Despite reported shortage, state claims city has not requested diapers for migrant babies since October
* IVF debate takes a weird political turn
* ComEd Four sentencing will be delayed
* It’s just a bill
* Open thread
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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