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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, May 31, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Despite lackluster response to his Springfield agenda, Mayor Brandon Johnson vows: ‘We keep demanding’. Tribune

When Brandon Johnson visited the Illinois State Capitol as mayor-elect, he emphatically rejected the notion that Chicago and Springfield had competing agendas.

“They’ve told us that this is a zero-sum game. And if something is good for Chicago, well, that means we’re taking something away from Peoria,” Johnson said in a joint address to the House and Senate. “It is a false choice.”

A little over a year later, the mayor has learned Illinois lawmakers still regard those choices as true.

He saw the state legislature reject his biggest agenda items during the session that concluded this week: more than $1 billion in state funding for Chicago Public Schools, and a nearly $5 billion proposal for a new Chicago Bears stadium.

Governor Pritzker will be at the Executive Mansion in Springfield at 2 pm to give remarks at the Special Olympics Illinois Rally. Click here to watch.

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* NBC Chicago | Illinois budget includes $20M aimed at repairing cuts to sexual assault crisis services: Of the more than 21,000 sex crimes reported to Chicago police between 2018 and 2023, an NBC 5 Investigates’ analysis found authorities made fewer than 1,600 arrests. All told, our investigation found just 1.5 percent of all reported sex crimes resulted in sex crime convictions with prison time.

* 21st Show | A recap of the Illinois General Assembly: Today, we will talk with a couple of the reporters who worked into the night and the morning to cover what happened. We are joined by Alex Degman, a statehouse reporter who covers state government for public radio stations across Illinois, and Jerry Nowicki, the editor-in-chief of Capitol News Illinois.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Capitol News Illinois | Ban on ‘captive audience’ meetings, AI regulations among 466 bills to pass this session: A bill banning what unions refer to as employer-sponsored “captive audience” meetings about religion and politics has cleared both chambers of the General Assembly. It was one of 466 measures to do so during the Illinois legislature’s recently concluded spring session, including measures targeting artificial intelligence and allowing for digital driver’s licenses. A Capitol News Illinois analysis shows 287 of the bills passed in the session’s final two weeks.

* Capitol City Now | IL Chamber rains on guv’s parade: Illinois Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Lou Sandoval (pictured) used Crespo’s warning as a jumping-off point to criticize the legislature and especially Gov. JB Pritzker. “As rosy as the governor may want to make it sound, it’s almost a flippant response to Fred Crespo’s comments,” Sandoval said, citing the governor’s reaction of “oh, yeah, every year the Republicans talk about hitting the wall, and we always seem to do okay.

*** Statewide ***

* Politico | Illinois set to adopt ‘nation-leading’ carbon pipeline, storage rules: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to sign legislation to enact sweeping regulations for carbon dioxide storage and transportation, including a pause on approvals of CO2 pipelines for up to two years. The Illinois Legislature on Sunday passed a 104-page “SAFE CCS Act” meant to create standards for the burgeoning carbon capture and storage (CCS) industry. The legislation includes a pause on carbon pipelines until July 2026 or until the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration updates its safety rules.

* Sen. Tammy Duckworth | Capturing carbon emissions can have major positive economic impact in Illinois: Illinois is already a leader in research and early deployment of this technology. And now, our state has an opportunity to go further thanks to legislation passed by the Illinois House and Senate. This legislation recognizes the role CCS can play in growing our state’s economy and the importance of safety by establishing a comprehensive regulatory framework that provides certainty to investors and stronger rights for landowners. It also rightly presses pause on new carbon pipelines until federal regulators finalize updated safety rules.

*** Chicago ***

* WBEZ | Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson unveils plans to reopen mental health clinic in Roseland: This year the city plans to re-open the Roseland Mental Health Clinic and add mental health services at the city’s Pilsen clinic and at the Legler Regional Library in West Garfield Park. These neighborhoods were picked based on need, and the city says Legler is one of the busiest distribution sites for the overdose-reversing nasal spray Narcan. […] “Our city went from 19 mental health centers to a mere five. And we began relying heavily on our police and fire departments to respond to behavioral health crises. But that trend ends today,” Johnson said standing in front of the red brick building that formerly housed the Roseland clinic, later adding: “I’ll continue to keep my brother Leon front and center”

* Sun-Times | Bears keep stadium focus on lakefront despite Springfield funding shutout: As the Chicago Bears gear up this summer for their upcoming season on the field, they’ll be refining their business pitch off the field after state lawmakers concluded their spring legislative session this week without acting on the team’s request for public dollars to help build a new lakefront stadium. That pushes their drive for a dome to the fall veto session, when the Bears will try to avoid going three-and-out in their Springfield stadium efforts. They came up empty-handed in a push last year for a change in state law to freeze property taxes on land they bought in Arlington Heights to make a potential suburban move more palatable.

* Tribune | Peoples Gas loses funding bid for pipeline replacement projects in progress: State regulators rejected most of an additional $7.9 million rate increase proposed by Peoples Gas, which was seeking to charge consumers to complete unfinished work in the paused pipeline replacement program. Instead, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a $1.6 million rate increase for emergency work “out of an abundance of caution,” Chair Doug Scott said during an open meeting in Springfield Thursday.

* Sun-Times | Northern lights could be visible again in Chicago, but less illuminating than last display: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a moderate geomagnetic storm in the Northern Hemisphere late Friday night and early Saturday, causing the aurora borealis to stretch farther south than usual again, possibly just reaching the edge of northern Illinois.

* Sun-Times | Russian propaganda push expected in Chicago for Democratic National Convention, experts say: When the Democratic National Convention hits Chicago in August, demonstrators are expected to take to the streets to draw attention to a wide range of causes — immigration, police misconduct, abortion, the wars in Gaza and Ukraine. What they might never know is how much Russia and other nations will have been aiming to influence the marches and demonstrations near the United Center and McCormick Place convention sites, experts on disinformation say.

* Tribune | Chicago watchdog warns Police Department crowd management training ‘insufficient’ ahead of DNC: While the report from Inspector General Deborah Witzburg acknowledged several of the department’s strides — improving its written policies and procedures after the fumbled response to unrest in 2020 — it highlighted a lack of community input in those policies and “outdated concepts and tactics” in CPD’s plans to manage crowds.

* NBC Chicago | Chicago Air and Water Show dates shift due to Democratic National Convention: The Chicago Air and Water Show will once again put on incredible displays in the skies and waters of Lake Michigan, but the dates were moved due to one of the biggest political events on the calendar. With Chicago hosting the Democratic National Convention for the first time since 1996, the Air and Water Show will take place one week earlier than normal, according to city officials.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | DuPage County clerk controversy prompts push for 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 a Tuesday evening county board meeting, Conroy announced lawmakers approved changes providing the “highest level of clarity” regarding competitive bidding and budget transfer regulations as they relate to countywide elected officials.

* Tribune | Morton Grove to OK video gaming for ‘legacy restaurants’: Morton Grove’s legacy restaurant program would allow longtime family-owned restaurants to receive a $5,000 facade grant or a video gaming license, if they qualify. The Village Board, which reviewed proposed changes to Morton Grove’s video gaming ordinance to accommodate the legacy program at its May 14 meeting, is expected to approve the program and the amendments at its May 28 meeting.

*** National ***

* Sun-Times | Amid presidential chatter, Gov. Pritzker will address Wisconsin Democrats at annual convention: The party plans to host Pritzker as a keynote speaker for its annual state convention in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 8. Other Democratic speakers at the two-day convention include Wisconsin’s U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wisc., and Gwen Moore, D-Wisc., and Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison.


  1. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 8:04 am:

    As far as the mayor’s many demands are concerned, I still want to know what was said in his meetings with Kevin Warren that got him so completely turned around morally and politically to the point where he is making this ridiculous, no-chance ask of the public and other politicians.
    What promises were made? How was it framed to him? Because it’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.

  2. - TJ - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 8:06 am:

    Russian propagandists are going to push the Chiberia angle a tad too literally.

  3. - JS Mill - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 8:12 am:

    = “It is a false choice.”=

    The mayor of one of the world’s great cities and economic power houses cannot find money in Chicago for his “demands”? Without a doubt there is no place in Illinois with the capacity Chicago has to generate revenue and he has not lifted a finger and would like suburban and small communities across the state to pay the freight for their fantasies?


  4. - vern - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 8:33 am:

    === He saw the state legislature reject his biggest agenda items ===

    Not really accurate to call them his biggest agenda items if he didn’t mention them at all in Springfield. They weren’t on the agenda at all.

  5. - H-W - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 8:40 am:

    Re: IL Chamber rains on guv’s parade

    Wow. Just imagine if the Legislature had passed the minimum wage for women in restaurants act. The whole earth might have imploded, apparently.

  6. - lake county democrat - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 9:24 am:

    It may not get a lot of attention but the CO2 pipeline is, imho, a big deal - carbon capture remains a big technical challenge but it’s been unfairly dismissed by a lot of environmentalists and still has a lot of potential as part of a fix to climate change. Good to see the state taking a leadership position on this.

  7. - Chicago Blue - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 9:31 am:

    Last I checked, MBJ was supposed to be an organizer, has he forgotten those principles? Why isn’t he organizing support folks in Peoria to support demands that can benefit everybody?

  8. - Suburban Mom - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 9:36 am:

    ===I still want to know what was said in his meetings with Kevin Warren ===

    My theory is that being mayor meant that everyone was mad at him all the time and being mean to him, so Warren just schmoozed and flattered and was the one meeting in his day where nobody yelled at him, so naturally he wanted to be helpful to the only person being nice to him.

  9. - RNUG - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 10:11 am:

    == host Pritzker as a keynote speaker … ==

    Building a national profile / presence. Have to assume he he has his eye on 2028 …

  10. - RNUG - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 10:13 am:

    == , Mayor Brandon Johnson vows: ‘We keep demanding’. ==

    The General Assembly doesn’t like demands …

    Better to have his legislative team doing the ask in Springfield.

  11. - VK - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 11:16 am:

    ==Despite lackluster response to his Springfield agenda, Mayor Brandon Johnson vows: ‘We keep demanding==

    Alternative headline pitch, “Mayor Brandon Johnson vows: ‘Wax wings will surely get us closer to the sun this time’.

  12. - Grandson of Man - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 12:09 pm:

    Good on MBJ for reopening and expanding mental health clinics. Good on supporting early mental health intervention for troubled individuals, having mental health professionals try to prevent involvement by police, jail and courts.

  13. - froganon - Friday, May 31, 24 @ 3:52 pm:

    MJB asks one billion for schools and 5 billion. for the Bears -his priorities in a nutshell. No money for billionaire sports teams.

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