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Isabel’s afternoon roundup

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Quite the show last night, too

Speaking of

*** Statehouse News ***

* Crain’s | Tucked in Illinois budget, a break for retailers infuriating airlines and credit card companies: The Interchange Fee Prohibition Act slipped into the revenue bill at the behest of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which reached a compromise to allow Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s cap on the retailers’ discount into the final legislation. That measure caps the tax discount claimed by retailers at $1,000 per month, which would generate more than $100 million in revenue for the state. “We were trying to think of ways to help offset some of that loss for the retailer,” said Rob Karr, president and CEO of the merchants association. “We could have said ‘take it off everything,’ but that would not have been fair.”

* Tribune | Illinois lawmakers pass bill to expand reporting of sexual abuse in health care settings following Tribune investigation: Under the bill, doctors’ offices and clinics affiliated with hospitals would have to report allegations of patient abuse to the Illinois Department of Public Health, triggering an investigation by the state. Now, hospitals must only report allegations that happen at hospitals. The House unanimously passed the bill Tuesday night. The Senate also previously passed the bill unanimously. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

* Chalkbeat | A child tax credit, an Early Childhood Department, and more money for K-12 schools: Illinois lawmakers pass 2025 budget: The state’s General Assembly also passed a state child tax credit, which would make Illinois one of more than a dozen states to approve such legislation in the wake of the COVID pandemic, when the federal government temporarily expanded the benefit. Low-income Illinois families with children under the age of 12 and those who qualify for the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit would be eligible to receive the credit in 2025.

* SJ-R | Session overtime: Hundreds of bills heading to Pritzker’s desk. Here are 5 key takeaways: Workers ordered to attend meetings regarding political and religious matters by their employers might soon no longer be required in Illinois. The House passed Senate Bill 3649 in a 79-30 tally last week. Seen as a way to avoid holding workers in “captive audience,” bill sponsor Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, clarified that his bill does not prohibit businesses from holding these meetings but rather prevents workers from receiving retribution if they choose not to attend.

*** Chicago ***

* Crain’s | U of C pays nearly $5 million in COVID-tuition settlement: The University of Chicago has agreed to a $4.95 million settlement in a class-action lawsuit with students and former students who allege the university breached its contract by moving classes online as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. All who were enrolled in any of the University of Chicago’s undergraduate or graduate programs from January 2020 through the end of the spring quarter will receive at least $25 from the settlement.

* Block Club | Red-Winged Blackbirds Are Back Divebombing Chicagoans: Red-winged blackbirds — known for divebombing people who come too close to stepping on their nests — are back in the city early for the second straight year due to “unseasonably warm weather,” said Edward Warden, president of the Chicago Ornithological Society. The emergence of cicadas this summer also puts into play a rare “massive food source” for the blackbirds — which will only grow their numbers, Warden said.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | Highland Park shooting suspect makes brief court appearance: Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti set Robert Crimo III’s next hearing for Aug. 28, by which time prosecutors and defense attorneys said they will file pretrial motions. The suspect is scheduled to face trial in February 2025. The 23-year-old is charged with opening fire from a downtown Highland Park rooftop about 10:15 a.m. July 4, 2022, killing Highland Park residents Katherine Goldstein, 64; Stephen Straus, 88; Jacquelyn “Jacki” Sundheim, 63; and Kevin McCarthy, 37, and his wife Irina McCarthy, 35. Nicolas Toledo-Zaragoza, 78, of Morelos, Mexico, and Eduardo Uvaldo, 69, of Waukegan also were killed in the attack.

* Tribune | Winnetka private equity firm wins bankruptcy auction for Oberweis Dairy: Geoff Hoffmann, co-CEO of his family’s eponymous Winnetka-based private equity firm, emerged as the top bidder Wednesday for the bankrupt assets of the century-old Oberweis Dairy, putting everything from its North Aurora plant to 40 branded ice cream stores under new ownership. The undisclosed offer from the Hoffmann Family of Companies through its investment arm, Osprey Capital, bested Brian Boomsma, owner of Chicago-based Dutch Farms, who made a $20 million stalking horse bid in April for Oberweis.

* Daily Herald | DuPage County clerk controversy prompts change in state law: DuPage County Board Chair Deborah Conroy enlisted the help of state lawmakers to make it clear that countywide elected officials, such as the county clerk, need to follow state bidding laws and seek county board approval for certain budget transfers. During an evening meeting of the county board Tuesday, Conroy announced that lawmakers late that afternoon had approved changes providing the “highest level of clarity” regarding competitive bidding and budget transfer regulations as they relate to countywide elected officials.

* Crain’s | Lawsuit claims Evanston’s reparations program is unconstitutional: The suit was filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative Washington, D.C., organization whose website says its mission is to “promote transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.” It represents six plaintiffs, all of whom claim hereditary ties to Evanston during the specified period and none of whom, according to the lawsuit, identifies as Black.

*** Downstate ***

* SJ-R | Massage parlor ordinance going to full vote in Springfield amid human trafficking concerns: Concerned about the suspicion of human trafficking and prostitution, the working committee of the Springfield City Council sent an ordinance Tuesday to the consent agenda requiring massage parlors to register annually with the city. City attorney Gregory Moredock, who crafted a similar ordinance for the Village of Chatham when he was an attorney with Sorling Northrup in 2019, said the city hadn’t had anything on the books regards to the regulations of such establishments since the 1980s.

*** Sports ***

* Sun-Times | White Sox manager Pedro Grifol says he hears enough from Jerry Reinsdorf to know he wants to win: White Sox manager Pedro Grifol has gotten to know his boss — the big boss, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf — quite well in the last year and a half. He gets a lot of text messages from him, has conversations about baseball and the current state of the team, and has a more than a good feel for Reinsdorf’s baseball acumen. In a conversation with the Sun-Times last week, Grifol said he believes he has the support of the man who has signed his checks for the last season and a half and will sign them for another season and a half if he’s allowed to work through his three-year contract.

*** National ***

* Crain’s | Alito rejects Durbin’s call for recusal from election interference cases: “The two incidents you cite do not meet the conditions for recusal,” Alito wrote in a letter addressed to Durbin in his capacity as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman as well as to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, the Ohio Democrat who has joined Durbin in his demand that Alito step aside on election interference cases.


  1. - TJ - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 2:47 pm:

    re Oberweis - hope they stay around. Those are basically the only positively good things that the failed candidate ever accomplished.

    re Evanston - Yeah, that’s their mission, huh? More like their missions it to just block and reverse anything further left than right centrism.

    re Sox - Yeah, sure…. Jerry’s committed to winning. Winning the next game of beer pong.

    re Alito - Of course it doesn’t meet his standards for recusal. His standard is that you have to be nominated by a Democrat to need to recuse oneself.

  2. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 2:54 pm:

    - basically the only positively good things that the failed candidate ever accomplished. -

    If I recall correctly he sponsored the legislation to raise the interstate speed limit as well.

  3. - Candy Dogood - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 2:55 pm:

    Being upset that a scheme to have someone vote in favor of a measure to mislead other legislators when that person never intended to vote that way isn’t really a good look.

    “Why won’t you let us defy democracy and the outcome of elections?” Whined the Illinois GOP.

  4. - Frida's boss - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 3:11 pm:

    @Candy Dogood- Does that violate the rules? The Democrats created the rules? Democrats violated their own rules, he wasn’t wrong.

    “We’re going to write the rules, pass the rules, maintain the rules. Rules that you must follow or we will dismiss your objections and motions as violating rules, like we did all session. Then when it doesn’t work for us, we won’t follow our own rules.” - Proclaimed the House Dems as they showed the public the real rules are - do as we say not as we do.

  5. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 3:50 pm:

    The DuPage story - anyone know the bill #?

  6. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 3:53 pm:

    Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We’re go glad you could attend, come inside, come inside.

  7. - charles in charge - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==Being upset that a scheme to have someone vote in favor of a measure to mislead other legislators when that person never intended to vote that way isn’t really a good look.==

    I can’t really blame the Republicans for availing themselves of whatever procedural and parliamentary tricks they had at their disposal. That said, their complaints about process ring extremely hollow after having pulled a stunt like that.

  8. - H-W - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 5:09 pm:

    Thanks for the head’s up about Evanston, Isabel. I am anxious to read more about this ruling.

  9. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 5:25 pm:

    wonder about the politics of the buyers of Oberweis Dairy Cause I abstained from buying the Ober Ices because of the political Oberweis.

  10. - I.T. Guy - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 6:54 pm:

    @Amalia - I don’t wonder about the politics of the owners, I hope they keep up making a quality product.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 7:40 pm:

    ===after having pulled a stunt like that==


    Dems voted to discard their own rules and you get upset at the Republicans pulling a little trick that the Dems weren’t bright enough to figure out?


  12. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 12:23 am:

    ===Frida’s boss - Wednesday, May 29, 24 @ 3:11 pm:===

    And then they promptly followed rules that allow them to suspend that rule in order for democracy to prevail over a dishonest scheme.

    I get that the house GOP caucus is literally filled with people who support violent coup attempts and declare war on American citizens when elections don’t go their way, but it really seems like they don’t understand that when their party loses elections that they don’t get to dictate law or policy.

    The majority party passed the budget that the majority party intended to pass.

    ===I can’t really blame the Republicans for availing themselves of whatever procedural and parliamentary tricks they had at their disposal===

    I can. They’re not doing anything that demonstrates that they’re interested in winning elections in this state by convincing the citizens of this state to vote their party into the majority, or even into a regular minority instead of a super minority that makes the House GOP insignificant and irrelevant when they choose to do nothing other than complain and criticize.

    They have been vested by the public with considerable power and instead of working to improve the lives of their constituents they choose to continue to complain when they are reminded there are consequences to a running bigots, racists, insurrectionists, and fascists for office and calling that a state party.

  13. - Frida’s boss - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 6:42 am:

    @CD- you haven’t validated your original point. You’ve just doubled down on it’s ok for Dems to do whatever they need, even when they get beat by their own rules, because the GOP is bad.
    Next time just say that instead.

  14. - Candy Dogood - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 11:56 am:

    ===even when they get beat by their own rules,===

    Where’d these rules come from? Is it in the Constitution? Is it by law?

    Is there a reason why this rule should be a big deal?

    Does the importance of following this rule outweigh the importance of the majority party enacting the majority’s will?

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