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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Mar 22, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Eileen O’Neill Burke’s lead slips slightly in race for state’s attorney as mail-in ballots begin to be tallied. Tribune

    - Unofficial results showed O’Neill Burke with a 50.8% to 49.2% lead over Clayton Harris III.
    - O’Neill Burke’s total vote count decreased to just 8,152, down from the roughly 8,800 vote lead she held a day earlier.
    - Both campaigns have their eyes set on results expected to be counted Friday evening by Chicago election officials as they begin tallying roughly 26,000 mail-in ballots delivered to the city election offices on Tuesday and Wednesday.

* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

    * Bloomberg | Can’t Have it Both Ways: Sen. Duckworth on GOP IVF Hypocrisy: Democratic Senator of Illinois, Tammy Duckworth, discusses her legislation aimed at protecting In Vitro Fertilization that was ultimately blocked by her Republican colleagues, and shares her insights on whether or not the Republican party shares her same views on IVF as former President Trump embraced it along with Senator Katie Britt (R) Alabama who spoke in favor of this topic during the formal Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address. Senator Duckworth speaks with Kailey Leinz and Joe Mathieu on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power.”

    * NBC | ‘Morally dubious’: 4 House Republicans protest Biden’s IVF expansion for veterans: The letter, addressed to Denis McDonough, the secretary of veterans affairs, was signed by Reps. Matt Rosendale of Montana, Mary Miller of Illinois, Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma and Bob Good of Virginia, who said they had “a plethora of ethical concerns and questions” about the policy.

    * Sun-Times | Illinois pours it on in second half to beat Morehead State in first round of NCAA Tournament: Illinois is on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after an 85-69 win against Morehead State. The No. 3-seeded Illini (27-8), who will face No. 11 seed Duquesne (25-11) on Saturday, are taking enough winning possibilities with them to jam-pack an Omaha Steaks truck.

* Subscribers were told about this yesterday. Politico

State Rep. Adam Niemerg, a Republican from Dieterich, defeated Jim Acklin, a Republican write-in candidate supported by the Illinois Education Association. The race was decisive, with Niermerg get 85 percent of the vote, via election results from WTHITV.

Governor Pritzker will speak at the Illinois Sustainable Aviation Fuel Conference at 9 am at the DoubleTree by Hilton Lisle Naperville. Click here to watch.

* The Governor released his NCAA brackets

* Here’s the rest…

    * Block Club | Judge Denies Appeal From Social Justice Groups To Protest Near Democratic National Convention: A decision handed down Wednesday by the Department of Administrative Hearings said the city proved it could not properly staff the groups’ protests and that the proposed alternate route would have been comparable.

    * Capitol News Illinois | Insurance reforms advance as Pritzker announces California trip: The proposals are contained in House Bill 5395, dubbed the Health Care Protection Act. Among its significant elements are a ban on requirements for prior authorization from an insurance company before a patient can receive in-patient treatment at a mental health facility, and a ban on the use of “step therapy” in prescription drug coverage.

    * Crain’s | Political foes reconcile as Gutierrez joins Reyes’ consulting firm: In an announcement being made today, former U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Chicago, is going to work as a senior adviser for a law firm and related government-relations companies headed by veteran City Hall insider Victor Reyes: Reyes Kurson, Roosevelt Group and Iluminara Public Affairs.

    * Block Club | Anti-Gentrification Law Protecting Homes Near The 606, Pilsen Extended Through End Of Year: City Council approved on Wednesday the second extension for a demolition surcharge ordinance originally passed by the council in 2021. It imposes up to $15,000 in fees on developers who tear down single-family homes and multi-unit buildings in parts of Humboldt Park, Logan Square and Pilsen, which have seen rapid gentrification and displacement in the past decade.

    * Chalkbeat | Chicago Public Schools ending student-based budgeting in favor of set staffing levels at all campuses: The change, announced Thursday at a Chicago Board of Education meeting, is part of a revamp of the district’s funding formula and delivers on a promise Mayor Brandon Johnson made during his mayoral campaign to end student-based budgeting. The district had already started to move away from a student-based approach in the previous two budget cycles, as it funded more positions – such as social workers – centrally. The current formula also accounts for student needs, such as how many students with disabilities need additional support.

    * Crain’s | NASCAR knows it has a perception problem — and coming to Chicago is part of its solution: Just three Black drivers have ever won at the sport’s highest level, and even one of those wins was doused in racist rejections of the results. The motorsport’s governing body is racing to rewrite that narrative. “Over the last four or five years, we’ve been much more accountable and specific of what we want to achieve in terms of new fans and what those new fans and customers look like,” NASCAR chief marketing officer Peter Jung told Crain’s in an interview at the sport’s Florida headquarters last month.

    * Daily Herald | Naperville mayor says city won’t adopt cease-fire resolution: “To be clear, the city council does not intend to initiate a cease-fire resolution,” [Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli] added. “The situation is clearly outside the scope of our local municipal government. That said, we all mourn the loss of human life and hope for peace to prevail soon.”

    * Daily Herald | ‘Our hearts are shattered’: Archdiocese to close St. Bede School: He also cited the discontinuation of the state’s Invest in Kids scholarship program as a factor in the school’s struggles. The program gave tax credits to donors who support scholarships for private school students. […] Greg Richmond, superintendent of schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago, said about 15% of St. Bede students have been receiving a state Invest in Kids scholarship.

    * Tampa Bay Times | Florida tops nation in teacher vacancies, report says. Officials say no way.: In a series of charts, the publication asserts that Florida has the largest number of vacancies, and one of the lowest levels of teachers per 1,000 students. After the story came out, officials in the Florida Department of Education raised questions about the numbers. It issued a statement calling the USA Today article “a media-driven narrative based on incomplete, low-quality data.”

    * Crain’s | Bears’ stadium plans include $1B overhaul of Museum Campus — and a new lakefront hotel: The public infrastructure investments needed to support a new lakefront stadium for the Chicago Bears would likely cost more than $1 billion. The team has publicly committed $2 billion in private investment to make a domed stadium capable of providing 365-day programming a reality in Chicago. But the overall development would include an overhaul of the city’s Museum Campus and improvements to make the site more accessible from DuSable Lake Shore Drive and the city streets that sit on the other side of an expansive rail network.

    * Tribune | Chicago Rat Hole filled in with cement (again) and dug out by devoted fans (again): “It was just a big splat of cement on top,” said Gabrielle Plascak, 31, who lives next door. “They didn’t even fill in the tail. I was like, ‘You couldn’t at least smooth this out for us?’” But by midafternoon, Rat Hole loyalists had apparently dug the cement out of the hole. Neighbor Emma Cheski, 25, said she saw a few people scooping it out with spoons and license plates.

    * Tribune | Chicago Botanic Garden to rebrand: “We have grown so much, in so many ways over the last five decades,” Garden President and CEO Jean Franczyk said in a statement. “The refreshed branding recognizes that growth and provides a new way of seeing the Garden by elevating the full breadth of its work.”

    * Daily Herald | Cook County jail program is rescuing dogs and detainees. And now it’s expanding: The scene Thursday was the jail’s Tails of Redemption program in action. Since launching in 2018, the program has helped 167 unwanted pooches become suitable for new homes, and taught the detainees who train them about compassion, patience and discipline.


  1. - Gravitas - Friday, Mar 22, 24 @ 8:11 am:

    True to form, Luis is so Progressive except when he chooses not be. Follow the money.

  2. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 22, 24 @ 8:47 am:

    JB is picking Illinois over Duke for all the marbles? I guess we should add loyalty to his list of character traits.

  3. - Suburban Mom - Friday, Mar 22, 24 @ 8:48 am:

    I often think I’d be super-annoyed if I were a governor or a Senator and I had to do public NCAA brackets where I had to do PR picks instead of “real” bracket. Although it’s a great year to be an Illinois official making public brackets …

    (I suppose if I were governor I’d have a lot of things to worry about that aren’t “reliably crushing my NCAA bracket pool.”)

  4. - Gravitas - Friday, Mar 22, 24 @ 9:57 am:

    Loyalty? J. B. is a Northwestern alum, but he picked Illinois over NU.

  5. - 47th Ward - Friday, Mar 22, 24 @ 10:17 am:

    He’s loyal, not stupid.

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