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Isabel’s morning briefing

Tuesday, Apr 2, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Report details poor care for pregnant people in county jails. Sun-Times

    -Last week, a report from the ACLU of Illinois and the Women’s Justice Institute shared stories from women who were pregnant in custody and often denied basic medical care.
    -A quarter of Illinois jails don’t have written policies for how to treat pregnant detainees.
    -A bill to ban the use of leg irons and shackles on pregnant people inside Illinois’ county jails passed a state House committee Friday.


* Related stories…

* Isabel’s top picks…

* Politico

Jim Durkin, the former House minority leader and guiding force for the Illinois Republican Party for years, has joined the well-connected law firm of Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres. Durkin is a partner in the firm’s public finance, government affairs and regulatory law practice groups.

“Partnering with an accomplished legislator and lifelong public servant of Jim’s caliber is an honor for all of us,” CFDB partner and Management Committee Co-chair Lisa Duarte, a former Illinois first assistant deputy governor, said in a statement obtained by Playbook.

“It’s a great fit,” Durkin told Playbook. And in a statement, he called it “an opportunity to help the next generation of leaders apply business and legal solutions to the needs and challenges of our communities while also driving economic growth.”

* Here’s the rest…

    * Daily Herald | Illinois’ sights and tax incentives bring Hollywood to the suburbs: A swing through Long Grove last week no doubt had drivers doing a double take: Instead of sporting spring pastels and Easter decorations, the town’s fixtures were all decked out for Christmas. Nope, it was not the result of village crews too busy to take down holiday decorations. Instead, the festive scene was created to accommodate “My Grown Up Christmas Wish,” a Christmas movie starring Mario Lopez that was making use of Long Grove’s quaint downtown and iconic covered bridge.

    * Rockford Register-Star | Homicide suspect’s uncle, candidate for Congress: Stabbing should have been prevented: A statement of fact written by Rockford police said Timothy Carter had sought mental health treatment before the attack. Rosecrance Behavioral Health personnel evaluated Carter and then drove him to UW Health SwedishAmerican Hospital which operates a 42-bed psychiatric ward. Police said Carter left the hospital without getting mental health treatment.

    * Joshua Bandoch | Illinois could lower unemployment with more apprenticeship programs: In Chicago alone, there are 53,000 residents with at least a bachelor’s degree who live in poverty, according to our analysis of 2022 Census data. Research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows only 31% of Americans actually need post-secondary education for their jobs. And earning those degrees comes at the cost of time, money and usually debt. The better way to prepare people for viable careers is to move to a work-based educational model that translates tangible skills into good, well-paying jobs. This “career-first” model prioritizes professions that are in high demand now and will continue to be in demand as the economy evolves.

    * Crain’s | South Works site, Lockport refinery eyed for potential quantum computer factory: PsiQuantum is considering the former U.S. Steel South Works site and the former Texaco refinery in Lockport for a facility to build and operate quantum computers, which could result in more than 1,000 jobs, sources familiar with the project tell Crain’s. A decision could come in the next six weeks.

    * WAND | Pritzker, Bloch tech leaders excited for next phase of quantum research: Pritzker announced an ambitious multi-year plan Monday for a Chicago quantum facility to develop technology solutions for fraud detection, grid resilience and drug discovery. The Bloch Tech Hub submitted this idea while applying for the second round of funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program.

    * Daily Herald | Can cement be greener? Industry seeking ways to lower carbon dioxide emissions: One team of researchers at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, alongside the Meta Sustainability Net Zero program and concrete supplier Ozinga, are looking to discover better concrete formulas using artificial intelligence. Early-stage results found the AI-powered formulas reduced the carbon footprint of the concrete by 40% while maintaining the material’s critical strength and durability.

    * WTTW | Chicago Tribune Reporter’s New Book Explores Lori Lightfoot’s Tumultuous Tenure Leading the City: “It’s fundamentally an inability to have political relationships and to work with people who you don’t like,” Pratt said. “It’s adapt or die, and she was a prosecutor and she couldn’t get out of that mindset.” Pratt’s book “The City is Up for Grabs: How Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot Led and Lost a City in Crisis” will be released April 2.

    * Block Club | Chicago’s 1st Chief Homelessness Officer Will Be Sendy Soto: Soto’s portfolio will include working to expand housing options for people who experience homelessness and housing insecurity, including creating rental assistance, rapid rehousing and non-congregate shelter programs, among other things, according to the Mayor’s Office.

    * Tribune | Johnson unveils Chicago’s first chief homelessness officer, takes more shots at ‘wicked’ adversaries of Bring Chicago Home: “If my advocacy is defiant, what does that say about the systems who wish to keep people without dignity and unhoused? I call it wicked,” Johnson said Monday. “And so that’s why we are demonstrating in the first 10 months of my administration that we are committed to ending homelessness. … I had an older brother who had untreated trauma and died addicted and unhoused. So pardon me for wanting to be a bridge.”

    * Block Club | Archer Heights Residents Say Reckless Driving On Pulaski Is Out Of Control, Beg City To Step In: At least two people were killed and seven people were hurt in a slew of crashes last month on a Southwest Side stretch of Pulaski Road, where neighbors say speeding, drifting and reckless driving is rampant.

    * Sun-Times | Ald. Sigcho-Lopez survives Housing Committee ouster attempt after flag-burning controversy: The leadership coup failed by a 29-16 vote, after the City Council member reported he met on Easter with Ald. Chris Taliaferro, a military veteran who led the call for his resignation as committee chair.

    * The Nation | Sam Bankman-Fried’s Hallucinations of Grandeur: During his sentencing, Bankman-Fried stuck to—and indeed amplified—one of his most enduring lies: that his theft of more than $8 billion in FTX customer funds resulted in no actual financial loss to anyone. The money to pay back customers was always there, he said in his final statement before being sentenced. “There is billions more than is necessary. It has been true for the whole time.”

    * NYT | A Warhol Superstar, but Never a Star: The latest is Candy Darling, the transgender actress who succumbed to cancer at 29 in 1974, after being immortalized in a famous photograph by Peter Hujar and in the Lou Reed song “Walk on the Wild Side.” […] The first full-length biography of her, by Cynthia Carr, a longtime staff writer for The Village Voice — quite the Mother Ginger itself, of late — is compassionate and meticulous, reconstructing its brittle, gleaming subject as one might a broken Meissen figurine.

    * ProPublica | When the Number of Bedrooms in a Home Keeps Parents From Getting Their Kids Back: Even after resolving other safety concerns, parents in Georgia can wait for months to be reunited with their children, often because of what advocates say are stringent requirements sought by the state’s Division of Family and Children Services.

    * AP | A biased test kept thousands of Black people from getting a kidney transplant. It’s finally changing: At issue is a once widely used test that overestimated how well Black people’s kidneys were functioning, making them look healthier than they really were — all because of an automated formula that calculated results for Black and non-Black patients differently. That race-based equation could delay diagnosis of organ failure and evaluation for a transplant, exacerbating other disparities that already make Black patients more at risk of needing a new kidney but less likely to get one.

    * NYT | Florida Court Allows 6-Week Abortion Ban, but Voters Will Get to Weigh In: But in a separate decision released at the same time, the justices allowed Florida voters to decide this fall whether to expand abortion access. The court ruled 4 to 3 that a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion “before viability,” usually around 24 weeks, could go on the November ballot.

    * NYT | Peter Brown, One of the Beatles’ Closest Confidants, Tells All (Again): Next week, Brown and the writer Steven Gaines are releasing a book, “All You Need Is Love: The Beatles in Their Own Words,” made up of interviews they conducted in 1980 and 1981 with the band and people close to it, including business representatives, lawyers, wives and ex-wives — the raw material that Brown and Gaines used for their earlier narrative biography of the band, “The Love You Make: An Insider’s Story of the Beatles,” published in 1983.

    * Crain’s | Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes urge Kansas City to seal $2B stadium subsidy: What they want is for Kansas City voters to approve a tax that would raise as much as $2 billion of taxpayer money for two stadiums. The NFL stars made their appeal in an ad encouraging Jackson County, Missouri, residents to vote yes on an April 2 ballot measure to renew a sales tax for another 40 years. The revenue would fund the relocation of the Kansas City Royals baseball team into a new ballpark downtown so the NFL’s Chiefs can expand into the space now occupied by the Royals at the teams’ joint sports complex.

    * WaPo | In women’s basketball, ‘the NCAA regrets the error’ all too often: Even now, the women’s NCAA basketball tournament, that ceiling-rupturing Roman candle of an event, is still being treated with a combination of incompetence and indifference by its stagers. Somebody, multiple people actually, didn’t care enough to make sure the Sweet 16 court in Portland, Ore., had the right proportions. What else did they misdraw with such insulting lack of care? The world wonders. Don’t think for a second that small discrepancy in three-point lines didn’t matter. Just because something is petty doesn’t make it unimportant. Actually, it’s all the more belittling.

    * News-Gazette | Former Illini great Vontae Davis dies at 35: Police told Miami’s WSVN-TV that no foul play was believed to be involved in the death of Davis, whose body was found Monday morning at a home owned by his brother. Davis played parts of 10 seasons in the NFL.

    * News-Gazette | Illini advance to WBIT title game: The Illinois women’s basketball team started April off the same way the Illini ended March. With a win. A fourth win in a row, in fact. One that now has Shauna Green and Co. playing for a championship in the inaugural Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament.

    * The Atlantic | The Most Dazzling Eclipse in the Universe: They’re an unlikely confluence of time, space, and planetary dynamics, the result of chance events that happened billions of years ago. And, as far as we know, Earth’s magnificent eclipses are unique in their frequency, an extraordinary case of habitual stellar spectacle. On April 8, anyone who watches in wonder as the moon silently glides over the sun will be witnessing the planetary version of a lightning strike.


  1. - Gravitas - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 8:41 am:

    Beatles’ confidant Peter Brown rated a mention in the lyrics of”The Ballad of John and Yoko,” so he’s got that going for him.

  2. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 9:47 am:

    That a bill to “ban the use of leg irons and shackles on pregnant people” is even necessary tells us a great deal about the inhumanity that passes for normal inside Illinois’ county jails.

    – MrJM

  3. - Gramps - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:00 am:

    While allowing for some that get wrongly arrested, those that have committed crimes may be better served avoiding that behavior if they don’t care for the conditions. As far as the leg irons, I’m thinking about the recent event in Idaho, I believe.
    Just the thoughts of an old guy.

  4. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:06 am:

    Sad news about Vontae Davis. One of the best Illini football players ever.

  5. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:10 am:

    Re the bedroom requirement.
    I was kicked off the foster parent list when my foster daughter turned 18 because any additional child would need her own bedroom. And yet we hear about children sleeping in DCFS offices.

  6. - Captain Obvious - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:22 am:

    Growing up there were 3 of us boys in one room. Lucky for my parents we weren’t foster kids. What a ridiculous requirement.

  7. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:42 am:

    Welcome back, MrJM!

  8. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:45 am:

    Speaking of reckless driving……Last Thursday, Hubby and I were driving northbound on McClurg Ct. when we were overcome by swarms of speeding motorcycles weaving in and out of heavy traffic. They were cutting off moving cars, coming within inches of hitting us and the other cars. Probably should have called 911?
    Never sen anything like it.

  9. - @misterjayem - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 10:49 am:

    “While allowing for some that get wrongly arrested”

    Every single person detained in the jail prior to trial is innocent under the law.

    That’s the kind of fundamental constitutional principle that one might want to familiarize one’s self with before trying to justify the inhumane treatment of pregnant people.

    Just the thoughts of an old commenter.

    – MrJM

  10. - Gramps - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:05 am:


    I agree, sir. My point was that if one doesn’t care for the conditions, one shouldn’t engage in behavior that will land one there.

  11. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:24 am:

    === My point was that if one doesn’t care for the conditions, one shouldn’t engage in behavior that will land one there.===

    But you’re still assuming one did the behavior. That is for the court to figure out, hence JM’s comment.

  12. - froganon - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:36 am:

    What MrJM said. How repulsive that we need legislation to require that pregnant women be treated humanely. And a huge thumbs down to Gramps. You have no idea what it’s like to be pregnant, especially in a country that has a maternity fatality rate approaching third world levels. When we insure that all women have access to good pre-natal care, adequate financial resources and compassionate mental and physical care, we can start passing judgement on women who lack most of the above in addition to easy access to birth control and abortion services.

  13. - Gramps - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:41 am:

    to: froganon
    You are correct. I have no idea what it is like to be pregnant. Pre-natal care is probably much better outside of jail which is a good reason to avoid doing something that will land you there.I do have an idea what it is like to behave in a manner that keeps me out of jail. I believe all of us are responsible for our actions.

  14. - Lurker - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:42 am:

    I do hope we find a way to make cement stronger and greener. The weight and speed of electric vehicles is only increasing the need.

  15. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 11:55 am:

    ===The weight and speed of electric vehicles===

    Um, you ever heard of semi trucks?

  16. - Occasionally Moderated - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 12:38 pm:

    HB5431 leg iron provision should be removed from the bill.

    What exactly is it about pregnancy that would preclude a jail inmate from violent behavior? They would never try to escape?

    And is there anything we can do to prevent a correctional officer from having to tackle or physically restrain a pregnant person should something unexpectedly go wrong? Properly restrained people try a lot less funny business during transport (which is when leg restraints are usually used)

    And how will the staff know who is pregnant and who isn’t? Will people in custody make false claims?

    Necessities of restraining human beings is not an aesthetic thing. It doesn’t automatically make the staff sadistic.

  17. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===The teachers WCIA talked to said the staff wasn’t happy with how administrators handled the situation.===

    In the ongoing efforts to recruit and retain teachers, I will once again say that it may not be *only wages and benefits that teachers need.

    Lack of administrative support is what I hear from our teachers as being the main headwind to good working conditions.

  18. - Occasionally Moderated - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 12:55 pm:

    Above reference the WCIA story was me. Apologies for annonin’

  19. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 1:01 pm:

    ===I believe all of us are responsible for our actions.

    Responsible for our actions means potentially incarceration, not inhumane treatment.

    ===And how will the staff know who is pregnant and who isn’t? Will people in custody make false claims?

    From the law====to a prisoner that has been determined by
    10 a qualified medical professional to be pregnant or otherwise
    11 and is known by the county department of corrections to be
    12 pregnant or in postpartum recover

    There are safety and health exceptions still in the law–essentially those restraints cannot be the default as it should be for those being held pre-trial or a crime that is not so serious as to have longer than 1 year sentence.

    Or I guess we can treat a check forger like a serial killer. Why not?

  20. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 1:23 pm:

    == if they don’t care for the conditions==

    Going to jail doesn’t need to equate to inhumane treatment. You seem to not have an issue with how one is treated in jail.

  21. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 1:24 pm:

    Can I just say it’s weird to see conservatives complaining about molly coddling pregnant prisoners without one mention of the safety of the babies they’re going to have?

  22. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===Can I just say it’s weird to see conservatives complaining about molly coddling pregnant prisoners without one mention of the safety of the babies they’re going to have?

    Dude, I was trying not to open that can of worms ;)

  23. - Da big bad wolf - Tuesday, Apr 2, 24 @ 4:01 pm:

    === Research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows only 31% of Americans actually need post-secondary education for their jobs.===

    Says a 2013 study. We were climbing out of the Great Recession. A more nuanced study is this article which states that since employers look at job experience too, a degree isn’t enough unless there is job experience to go with it.

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