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Isabel’s morning briefing

Thursday, May 30, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Lawmakers leave Springfield without regulating delta-8, other hemp products. Sun-Times

    - Advocates on both sides the debate pitting Illinois’ multibillion-dollar cannabis industry against its growing hemp sector said they were disappointed to enter another summer without any regulations.
    - Legislation from Sen. Kimberly Lightford would’ve cut out delta-8 sellers who haven’t gone through Illinois’ rigorous — and expensive — cannabis dispensary licensing process, but House members didn’t take up the bill
    - Lightford’s bill could be taken up by the House when members return to Springfield in the fall, though it would have a higher hurdle for approval. Bills passed after May 31 require a three-fifths majority.

* Related stories…

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* Covers | Worry Over Sports Betting Tax Hikes Overblown, Analysts Say: Jeffries also points out that as many of these sports betting companies mature, they will no longer need to spend as much on promotion and customer acquisition. In fact, sports betting companies are already trimming their advertising budgets. As a result, they will have more bandwidth to address incremental tax hikes should they occur.

* Block Club | Where Are Chicago’s Cicadas? This Map Will Show You: Chicagoans were preparing for the Great Summer of the Cicada — a two-pronged invasion the likes of which we hadn’t seen in 17 years. Instead, there … haven’t been a ton? Or … any, it feels like? While the suburbs are crawling with cicadas, the city has so far seen “pretty patchy distribution,” experts told Block Club. That makes it hard for fans to catch a glimpse of the red-eyed buggers.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Tribune | Bill that would make key changes to Prisoner Review Board isn’t called for a vote: After earlier passing the Senate without any no votes, the bill passed 15-0 through the House Judiciary Criminal Committee on Tuesday night. But Jaclyn Driscoll, a spokesperson for House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, said lawmakers ran out of time to consider it in a full vote while focusing on priorities including a $53.1 billion budget.

* Crain’s | Illinois muni-debt penalty shrinks as ‘unexciting’ budget passes: Illinois’ spread above AAA 10-year municipal bonds has shrunk to under 62 basis points, down from 95 in January and more than 440 basis points in 2020, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Yet it still pays the highest penalty among peers to borrow in the muni market. Its spread is more than double that of New Jersey, which has the second-lowest rating among US states.

* NBC Chicago | Illinois will soon have a new child tax credit program. Here’s how much you could get: When it was first proposed earlier this year, officials aimed to make a $300 tax credit available for each child in a qualifying household. The approved budget includes “investments for $50 million for a child tax credit for eligible low-income families with earned income tax credit as well as wage increases for direct support professionals and Community Care Program workers and increased funds for safety net hospitals.”

* WCIA | Pritzker ‘pleased’ with $53.1 billion budget on his desk: The $53.1 billion budget passed the Senate Sunday night and the House of Representatives early Wednesday morning. Later Wednesday morning, Pritzker held a news conference, where he said the budget “continues our track record of fiscal responsibility.” He added that “Our state is in its strongest fiscal position in decades.”

*** Chicago ***

* Tribune | Mayor Brandon Johnson to reopen Roseland mental health clinic and two other sites: Johnson is set to announce the moves Thursday morning outside the city’s closed Roseland clinic on the Far South Side, now set to reopen by the end of the year. The city will also add mental health services to a Chicago Department of Public Health clinic in Pilsen in August and inside the Legler Regional Library in West Garfield Park as soon as June, according to a plan the Johnson administration shared with the Tribune. The move comes more than a decade after former Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed six of the city’s 12 public mental health clinics. Emanuel’s decision sparked fiery protests by patients and union members who lost jobs at those clinics, which developed into a campaign that has badgered Chicago’s politicians ever since.

* Sun-Times | $27 million streetscape project will transform Logan Square, officials say: It will keep Logan Square Park intact. Milwaukee Avenue will be reconstructed from Logan Square to Belmont, but will no longer divide Logan Square Park. Instead, traffic will circle the park. Kedzie Avenue will be re-routed. A new public plaza known as “La Placita” will be created at Kedzie and Milwaukee to celebrate Latin American culture. Traffic safety will be dramatically improved by seizing space from cars and giving it to pedestrians and cyclists.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Shaw Local | Has Memorial Day gotten ‘too celebratory?’ Huntley American Legion ends local parade sponsorship: Stojak said the ceremony used to consist of a march from the American Legion post to the cemetery. But over the years, people started throwing out candy, as took place Monday. Candy throwing was also observed at Johnsburg’s parade Monday. Besides candy throwing, Stojak cited children dancing during the parade, which he said “has become too celebratory.”

* Daily Herald | ‘Things look good for West Chicago’: Mayor delivers State of the City address: During his May 20 address, Pineda noted the city spent $8 million on capital improvements, including rehabilitating street and sewer infrastructure and replacing a 50-year-old lift station at the train station. In addition, there was a resurfacing of Technology Boulevard between Roosevelt Road and Fabyan Parkway, where Pineda said 95 acres of the DuPage Business Center are under contract for development, with an additional 34 acres receiving offers.

*** Downstate ***

* Pantagraph | How Central Illinois lawmakers voted on state spending, revenue bills: Central Illinois state Reps. Sharon Chung of Bloomington and Sue Scherer of Decatur were among five House Democrats who voted for the spending plan but against the bill that would raise the revenue to pay for it. Chung, in an interview Wednesday afternoon, said she voted for the budget because she wanted to show her support for funding that “could really help people here in my district,” specifically mentioning investments in public schools, public safety and healthcare. But she disagreed with “how to get there” on the revenue side, stating her opposition to the tax increases that were included and her wish that more cuts had been considered.

*** Sports ***

* Tribune | Diamond DeShields ‘grateful’ for a new chapter with the Chicago Sky after years of injuries and setbacks: At some point, the pain became routine for Chicago Sky wing Diamond DeShields. She didn’t have any other choice. For more than four years, the pain was simply a constant. First from a grape-sized spinal tumor discovered in 2019. Then from the nerve damage that followed its removal in 2020. Even when she was trying to find joy on the court, the pain crept back in, persistent and monotonous. And then Saturday came.

* Sun-Times | Seeing is believing? White Sox’ Martin Maldonado hopes glasses make a difference: “So before, I wasn’t seeing the ball,” Maldonado told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. “I went to an eye doctor, and I found out I needed prescription glasses, and I’ve been using them in the last three games.” Maldonado had never worn glasses. The jury is still out, because Maldonado is hitless in his last seven games and has one hit in his last 11, but he said he’s “seeing the ball better.”

*** National ***

* Bloomberg | FBI Takes Down Massive Global Army of Zombie Computer Devices: The botnet, which was spread across more than 190 countries, enabled financial fraud, identity theft and access to child exploitation materials around the world, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by FBI Director Christopher Wray. Other violations tied to the botnet included bomb threats and cyberattacks, likely leading to billions of dollars in victim losses, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.


  1. - BC - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 8:18 am:

    That Sun-Times story about Martin Maldonado getting eye glasses to improve his hitting reads like it was clipped from the Onion’s sports section. He’s “seeing the ball better” — to the tune of a .081 batting average.

  2. - JoanP - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 8:31 am:

    That is a great photo.

  3. - Just Another Anon - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 8:57 am:

    Maldando: “I’m seeing the ball so much better”
    Coach: “Doesn’t do much good when you let it sail past you…”

  4. - TJ - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 9:04 am:

    I’m sorry, but complaining that a veterans’ event has gotten too celebratory is nonsensical to me. I thought that the entire talking point is that we should honor veterans because they fought for our way of life? We should be damn happy at events celebrating, commemorating, and honoring them.

    Obviously, it’d be one thing if there were dancing kids and candy tosses at a funeral or, in this circumstance, inside the cemetery itself, though truth be told I’d be fine with that happening at my funeral even if they’re dancing on my grave on the way down, but parades are supposed to be happy, for crying out loud.

  5. - Back to the Fiture - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 9:14 am:

    The story by Jake Sheridan in the Trib on Mayor Johnson opening up three mental health sites is worth a read.
    Mr. Sheridan does a good job on background information on what happened in the past to mental health facilities in the city and also a bit of personal background on the Mayor.
    I know the Mayor has a lot of critics, but Major Johnson comes from an interesting place and certainly his success in overcoming obstacles can become a model for young people.

  6. - Jury Out - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 10:06 am:

    I don’t think anyone has ever said that someone from Elgin “comes from an interesting place.”

  7. - Friendly Bob Adams - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 10:28 am:

    The pic of the lonely Sox fan is both a little sad and very funny.

  8. - TJ - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 10:58 am:

    == I don’t think anyone has ever said that someone from Elgin “comes from an interesting place.” ==

    To be fair, something being “interesting” isn’t necessarily complimentary. There are plenty of things that are morbidly interesting, too.

  9. - Dupage - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 11:06 am:

    @-Jury Out-@10:06

    Elgin has quite a long and interesting history. A book about it was called ‘Elgin: An American City, 1835-1985′ by E.C. “Mike” Alft

  10. - A new low - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 11:17 am:

    You know you have a reached a new low when it’s: sure he’s a crappy mayor but he is interesting because he came from a suburb

  11. - supplied_demand - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 11:36 am:

    ==sure he’s a crappy mayor but he is interesting because he came from a suburb ==

    Nobody said this, try reading the article. It touches on his brother’s mental health issues before his death. That is the “interesting place” he comes from in relation to re-opening mental health facilities.

  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 11:51 am:

    ===Nobody said this, try reading the article===

    Yes. C’mon people. I know you may be grumpy today (I sure am), but try to cool it a bit.

  13. - Stormsw7706 - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 12:07 pm:

    That lone White Sox fine is my hero for the day. The Sox should’ve sent a vendor out there with a free beer.

  14. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 12:19 pm:

    The Sox were going to give him a beer, but neither the State nor City offered to pay for it when the Sox asked them to pony up.

  15. - Just a guy - Thursday, May 30, 24 @ 4:11 pm:

    Perhaps Jerry Reindsorf will help relocate the beer vendor to Nashville. He clearly doesn’t have to worry about relocating any of the fans.

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