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Isabel’s morning briefing

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Progressive state lawmakers push to end subminimum wage for tipped workers across Illinois. Sun-Times

    - The proposal would phase out subminimum wage over a two-year period.
    - It would also require that tips bring workers to the full minimum wage on a per shift basis, instead of weekly or biweekly.
    - Employers who violated the provisions would be fined up to $1,500 per day for each violation.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Capitol News Illinois | State Supreme Court denies state lawmaker’s bid to vacate gun ban ruling: Last month, Caulkins appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. He argued that because O’Brien and Democratic Justice Elizabeth Rochford, who wrote the majority opinion, had received donations from campaign funds tied to the Democratic leaders named as defendants in the case, he was not given a fair hearing. The court declined to hear his appeal.

    * BND | Who’s the bigger Trump supporter? Bost, Bailey share many views. How do they differ: They’re both ex-President Donald Trump-supporting conservatives vying for voters in southern Illinois counties where the former president is popular. Bost and Bailey share many of the same views on issues they see facing the state and the nation, including immigration and the Second Amendment.

    * WGN | Dolton mayor to critics: ‘I’m the leader!’: Henyard appeared annoyed by questions from a rebellious group of Dolton trustees who are in a stand-off with her over spending. “You all forget I’m the leader. They want to hear from the mayor. You all ain’t learned that yet,” she said. “The mayor, not the trustees that don’t do nothing. They only run their mouth. You all don’t do no work, no work!”

* Here’s the rest of your morning roundup…

    * Tribune | Dolton trustees override Mayor Tiffany Henyard’s veto of budget cuts: Trustees also approved a 2023 tax levy, for taxes collected this year, unchanged from the 2022 levy. The Village Board included spending cuts for the Fire, Police and Public Works departments. Henyard told trustees to reinstate money.

    * Tribune | Feds say former state legislator Annazette Collins avoided nearly $100,000 in taxes: In addition to paying herself a salary, Collins used her firm’s funds to pay for personal expenses like her mortgage, gym membership, day care and private school tuition for her daughter, according to prosecutors. But when it came time to file her federal income taxes, Collins’ company, Kourtnie Nicole Corp., suddenly looked far less lucrative, prosecutors said in opening statements in Collins’ tax fraud case Tuesday.

    * Tribune | Assessor contributes $100K to Super PAC in fight with tax appeal commissioner: Kaegi personally loaned $100,000 on Jan. 29 to the Stop Tax Corruption Cook County independent expenditure committee, which was registered with the state on Jan 19. An email to the committee went unreturned, but its stated purpose is “to stop tax corruption in Cook County,” according to its state filings. It has yet to report any spending. Kaegi is so far the PAC’s only donor.

    * Crain’s | Johnson delays announcement of major economic development initiative: Johnson is gearing up to officially unveil a plan to borrow $1.25 billion to provide $250 million annually for five years to subsidize affordable housing developments and other projects meant to spark economic vitality across Chicago’s neighborhoods, create new jobs and incentivize further private investment.

    * WBEZ | Chicago migrants are under pressure as the deadline to find permanent housing looms: In his search, Carvajal said most rentals require applicants to earn three times the cost of monthly rent. With no job or income, Carvajal can’t meet that threshold. He is originally from Colombia and he doesn’t qualify for a work permit. His wife and her older son who are from Venezuela are in the process of getting their permits. That has been taking months.

    * NBC Chicago | Food service for asylum seekers in Chicago takes center stage amid new contract: The Greater Chicago Food Depository had one of the contracts and it in turn enlisted restaurants to fill that need. New contracts have now been awarded and the Food Depository is out, but not before a dust-up over the amount of funding paid by the city to the organization.

    * Tribune | At downtown protest, parents press Chicago Public Schools to provide ‘immediate’ relief to families without busing: The protest was organized by CPS Parents for Buses, a volunteer group of parents across the city who found themselves scrambling to get their children to school after the district announced three weeks before the school year began that general education students would not have busing.

    * Sun-Times | Downtown video surveillance crackdown championed by Lightfoot slow to launch: The plan called for Chicago motorists who block bus lanes, bike lanes, crosswalks or loading zones to be nailed by surveillance cameras on CTA buses, light poles and other locations. But nearly a year after they were approved, the crackdowns haven’ t started — and won’t, until summer at the earliest.

    * Sun-Times | City slips, allows protesters near Democratic National Convention when whole world is watching: Due to a technicality, the city was forced on appeal Monday to allow one of those groups to march to the sidewalk in front of the United Center. The Poor People’s Army was granted its permit after the city failed to respond to the application within its own 10-day deadline.

    * NYT | Dysfunction Reigns in Congress as G.O.P. Defeats Multiply: Minutes after Republicans fell one vote short of impeaching Mr. Mayorkas — a punishment the party has promised its base ever since winning the majority — the House defeated legislation they put forward to send $17.6 billion in military assistance to Israel. The measure fell to opposition from Democrats who called it a cynical political ploy to undermine efforts to pass a broader foreign military aid bill including Ukraine. They were joined by a clutch of hard-right Republicans, who opposed the measure because the money was not paired with spending cuts.

    * Sun-Times | Orland Park mayor rejects Gaza cease-fire resolution, suggests those opposing U.S. interests ‘go to another country’: “First and foremost I’m an American. I’m not a German American, I’m an American. That’s where my allegiances lie. Period. Dot. End of Story,” Pekau said, stressing that his opinions were his own and not representative of the board or the village. […] Pekau dismissed the idea of a resolution, saying Orland Park residents are deeply divided on the issue “and therefore we are not getting involved.” He said the war is a “complicated foreign policy” issue in which the village has no influence or authority.

    * The Hill | Credit card debt increases by $50B to new record high: The latest report, released Tuesday, found that the total credit card balances stood at $1.13 trillion by the end of December, which is about a 4.6 percent increase from the third quarter of 2023. This appears to be the highest credit card balance since at least 2003, according to the state’s Federal Reserve data.

    * Tribune | Chicago’s Third Coast Baroque is shutting down: The decision to shut down was attributed in part to financial challenges for the ensemble — challenges facing the entire Chicago arts community. “As referenced in a recent DCASE study,” the statement read in part, “inflation and reduced grant funding, coupled with diminished ticket sales due to smaller audiences, have created a challenge for numerous arts organizations. TCB was not immune to these daunting challenges.”

    * Block Club | Blackhawks To Host Winter Classic At Wrigley Field Next Season: It’s the third time the Blackhawks will host the Winter Classic and the team’s fifth time playing in it, according to NHL records. A date for the game has not been announced. The Sun-Times first reported news of the Winter Classic at Wrigley on Tuesday.

    * WCIA | Tony Romo, former EIU football player, to help call Super Bowl: Tony Romo played quarterback for the Eastern Illinois University Panthers from 1999 to 2002. After college, he went on to enjoy a 14-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. After his retirement in 2016, Romo moved into the broadcasting booth for CBS. He was partnered with longtime play-by-play announcer Jim Nantz as the network’s lead football broadcasting team. Romo helped call Super Bowls LIII and LV and he is set to call his third in Las Vegas on Sunday.

    * Crain’s | Why United Airlines is airing six different regional Super Bowl ads: Amid a potential sea of sameness in Super Bowl advertising this year, United Airlines is flying a different route. Instead of spending $7 million on one national TV spot, the carrier is investing in six regional ads, five tailored to different cities and one for certain general market areas.


  1. - H-W - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 8:46 am:

    RE: Sun-Times Story on Orland Park Mayor

    I hope Mr. Pekau recognizes that it is possible to support the Palestinian people in Gaza while still living in Orland Park. His words do not necessarily preclude that option.

    However, his words do come dangerously close to “America - Love it or Leave it.” At the very least, his words suggest he does not want to hear people’s concerns. Somewhere in between, his words suggest an Authoritarian Personality approach to leadership.

    I hope he will qualify his thoughts and words further. Intolerance as a principle is unacceptable. He needs to show compassion for those who disagree with him, and not assert that they are “lesser Americans.”

  2. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 8:48 am:

    A first - I agree with Mayor Pekau on something. Of course the string of disagreements with Mayor Henyard continues.

  3. - Duck Duck Goose - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 8:57 am:

    I didn’t realize that Orland Park is so central to geopolitics. I guess it’s them and the Hauge.

  4. - Orland Park - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:07 am:

    Insert whatever cause or issue you want, if people are deeply divided on it, and it is of a matter entirely outside of a public body’s authority and jurisdiction, a public body is right to not address it in an official manner. The members of the board (and the citizens of the Village) are free to make whatever statements or support whatever cause they wish, with or without a formal resolution.

  5. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:13 am:

    I agree with Mayor Pekau that Gaza is a complicated foreign policy issue. Also, that municipalities really don’t need to divide their citizens by taking it up. I disagree with his referring back to Teddy Roosevelt about the unhyphenated American thing. Millions of Americans are hyphenated Americans and its fine. We have never expected that families would plunge themselves into a homogenization vat. My people have been here for a loong time, we have retained our culture and our hyphens thank you very much.

  6. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:14 am:

    Orland Park,
    I wonder if this is a political response to the fact that everyone seems to feel they have to have a hot take on social media over everything.

  7. - Lincoln Lad - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:18 am:

    Municipalities need not… and should not push resolutions on deeply divided international issues. Chicago was wrong in doing it… we don’t need more.

  8. - low level - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:29 am:

    The amazing thing about the United States is you cam oppose tne government and still be a loyal citizen.

  9. - Telly - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:54 am:

    Simply saying “thank you, but we don’t do foreign policy” would have sufficed. But Mayor Pekau never passes up an opportunity to fight.

  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:56 am:

    @Cermak_rd highlights a key issue in our society and public discourse. Everyone thinks they need to comment on social media and everyone (not literally everyone) seems to think they need to comment on social media. We don’t.

    In my business, people think the place to go with a problem or grievance is social media. I told my school board that I am not on social media and I will not chase that stuff. We are so easy to communicate with directly.

    Pekau needs to go soak his head.

  11. - lake county democrat - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 9:59 am:

    H-W And please remember that many of us oppose such resolutions believing that it is in the United States’ interest to do so, and that supporting the Palestinians means eradicating Hamas, whose control of Gaza precludes any peaceful solution to the conflict.

  12. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 10:29 am:

    Watched the piece on WGN news about Dolton’s mayor.

    Tiffany Henyard is the gift that keeps on giving. Girlfriend might end up on a SNL skit sooner or later. Henyard’s use of colloquial language is over the top.

    What an embarrassment to Dolton and its residents. Miss Tiffany emulates the Wicked Stepsister in fairy tale lore.

  13. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 11:00 am:

    ==Tribune: After win in Chicago, backers of ending subminimum wage for tipped workers take fight to Springfield==

    “Soon we will face a situation where workers in “the restaurant industry can drive a few blocks into the city of Chicago and receive not only higher wages but also guarantee wages on their paycheck,” Hernandez, who also chairs the Illinois Democratic Party, said”

    The logic here is flawed - - raise the wait-staff min salary and consumers will reduce or eliminate tips. Staff at busy bars, high-end restaurants, and the like will take pay cuts and seek jobs in the suburbs.

  14. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 11:12 am:

    So, uh, why does Keith think a ceasefire isn’t the US’ interests?

    That sounds a lot like foreign policy.

  15. - TJ - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 11:32 am:

    And argument between two Illinois politicians over who is the bigger Trump supporter might as well be little more than a debate over who is least electable state-wide.

  16. - Levois - Wednesday, Feb 7, 24 @ 8:14 pm:

    Having followed casually some of the drama out of Dolton my only comment is to say LOL! She can’t stop herself.

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