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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Jun 10, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Governor Pritzker heads to Canada to discuss trade opportunities. SJ-R

    - The governor will give the keynote address at the 2024 U.S.-Canada Summit in Toronto and hold meetings with business and government leaders between Monday and Thursday.
    - The delegation will tour the Lion Electric headquarters in Montreal, an electric vehicle manufacturer who opened the nation’s largest EV facility in Joliet last July, and North America’s largest urban innovation hub, MaRS Discovery District, to discuss potential quantum investments.

* Related stories…

* Healthy Illinois…

The Healthy Illinois Campaign announces the departure of campaign director Tovia Siegel, who will be transitioning out of her role after more than two years leading the organization. Under Siegel, Healthy Illinois led advocacy efforts to expand healthcare coverage to undocumented immigrants ages 42-54, implement coverage expansions for immigrants ages 42-54 and 55-64, facilitate the enrollment of more than 50,000 people in health coverage and win state budget appropriations totaling more than $1.2 billion for immigrant health coverage across three legislative sessions. […]

Later this summer, Siegel will start a new role as director of organizing and leadership at The Resurrection Project, which is a member of the Healthy Illinois Campaign. Healthy Illinois will be hiring a new campaign director. Interested applicants can learn more and apply here. In the interim, media and other requests for the Healthy Illinois Campaign can be directed to MaríaVerónica Garibay at

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* Chicago Reader | Illinois promised to help with funeral costs for children lost to gun violence. Only two families benefitted: But almost a year after the measure went into effect, only eight people across the state have applied. Two of them have received funds. That number is far below the 106 juveniles who’ve been fatally shot in Chicago alone since July 1, 2022, and whose families could have been eligible to apply for the funding. Across the state, 203 died in a similar manner. These unexpected deaths leave families to cope with overwhelming grief as well as thousands of dollars in burial costs. The statewide compensation program is meant to relieve families of these financial burdens but, despite the bill’s clear guidelines for how to publicize it, it’s reaching just a few applicants. The bill passed unanimously, but the program’s advocates were uncertain if the program was open a year later, until they were contacted by a Trace reporter.

* WCIA | State Representative thanks first responders after a deer got stuck in his office: State Representative Jason R. Bunting is thanking Watseka first responders for their quick response after a deer got stuck in his office on Friday. According to Bunting, the deer jumped and broke through a window at the building, before getting stuck inside. Watseka EMS, Fire and Police Departments all responded to the scene.

* WBEZ | Illinois Legislature puts the brakes on a carbon capture boom: “It does offer some really good protections for Illinois that are needed at a time when we are not just anticipating projects —- but those projects are moving forward rapidly,” said Pam Richart, the co-founder of the Coalition to Stop CO2 Pipelines, an environmental advocacy group that has been organizing across southern and central Illinois. The sweeping package of new rules breaks down into three categories: requirements for how carbon emissions must be captured, regulations around pipeline construction, and rules for what happens once the carbon is stored underground.

*** Statehouse News ***

* Crain’s | Biz leaders give Pritzker, legislators solid marks after spring session: In separate interviews, the heads of the Illinois Manufacturers Association, Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Chamber of Commerce all cited progress on things such as cutting back on the state’s franchise tax and expanded efforts to lure the emerging quantum computing industry and more TV and film production here. Business would have liked more, all three conceded. But with all three branches of state government controlled by Democrats, “We’re making the best lemonade we can,” chamber CEO Les Sandoval put it. “I’m a realist.” Still, he added, “There are a lot of plusses.”

* WBEZ | Chair of Illinois Democratic Party floats state law granting work permits to immigrants: Illinois State Rep. Lisa Hernandez, D-Cicero, said she is exploring state legislation that could grant work permits to all unauthorized immigrant workers in Illinois. That would include the thousands of migrants who have arrived in Illinois over the last two years, and an estimated 400,000-plus longtime undocumented immigrant workers. Hernandez spoke at a press conference Friday, championing a recent state resolution urging President Joe Biden to use his executive power to grant work permits to all immigrants.

* WGEM | DCSF receives more money from new Illinois budget: Illinois lawmakers passed the new state budget Wednesday, which included an additional $50.3 million for the Department of Children and Family Services. Local organizations who partner with DCFS say that money will benefit them as well. Todd Shackleford, the executive director of the Advocacy Network for Children, said they get money from DCFS and the boost gives their organizations much needed help, as they have had a 16% increase in clientele this year.

* Pantagraph | Proposal to shield farm families from estate tax doesn’t move in Springfield: The concept, introduced as a standalone bill in January by state Rep. Sharon Chung, D-Bloomington, and state Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, was not among the tax code changes that were included in a massive revenue package that passed alongside the state’s fiscal year 2025 budget last month. […] Koehler told Lee Enterprises that a legislative push on estate tax relief is unlikely during the fall veto session in November, but that he expects it’s “gonna be part of the next year’s budget discussions.”

* Center Square | Pretrial service expansion awaits Pritzker’s signature: House Bill 4621 was sent to the governor’s desk for signature and would create the Office of Statewide Pretrial Services, allowing it to provide pretrial services to circuit courts and counties that don’t currently have pretrial services agencies. There has been an explosion of pretrial hearings since cash bail was eliminated with the Pretrial Fairness Act, a component of the SAFE-T Act.

*** Statewide ***

* Daily Herald | Illinois to consider the ‘Future of Gas’ in unprecedented regulatory proceeding: Between electric vehicles and all-electric buildings, electrification has emerged as a leading tool in the fight against climate change. But if we start to plug everything into the grid, where does that leave Illinois’ extensive natural gas system? It’s a question the Illinois Commerce Commission is looking to answer. The regulatory body, which oversees Illinois’ investor-owned utilities, initiated what’s called a “Future of Gas” proceeding this March. The process will “evaluate the impacts of Illinois’ current decarbonization and electrification goals on the natural gas system,” according to the commission website.

* Tribune | With soy products booming, Illinois farmers have their eyes on clean, green innovation: Todd Main, director of marketing development for the association, said the innovation center will not only commercialize new uses of soy, but also create jobs in Illinois. “Because about 60% of Illinois soybeans go overseas, we have a broader focus than a lot of other states because we have to have a good relationship with buyers all over the world,” Main said.

* Sun-Times | How do I change my name and gender marker? A guide to Illinois’ system for the LGBTQ+ community: In 2019, legislation out of the statehouse paved the way for the state to add an “X” gender marker to designate a nonbinary identity, or one that doesn’t fall under male or female. Last year the state made it so that people can choose the gender on their birth certificate without medical documentation. A way to reduce costs for name changes, which currently can exceed several hundred dollars, is also in the works.

*** Chicago ***

* Tribune | Black Chicago drivers more likely to be stopped by police than to get traffic camera tickets, study finds: The findings, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, follow years of scrutiny of racial disparities in Chicago traffic stops. They also come amid renewed debate about the use of the stops, as outgoing Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx unveiled a controversial proposal to decline to prosecute possession cases when guns or drugs are found during traffic stops initiated for reasons like expired registration or a broken light. Officials also recently moved to add oversight of traffic stops to a federal consent decree guiding Chicago Police Department reform.

* Tribune | Migrant woman searches for husband who has vanished, a common occurrence as men struggle to find jobs: Licensed therapists and those working closely with migrants say the frustration and shame felt by men of not being able to provide for their families may be a factor in their choice to just walk away. “We see cases like that,” said Ana Gil-Garcia, founder of the Illinois Venezuelan Alliance, who has led informational sessions for migrants at dozens of shelters across the city. “When men can’t provide, they decide to leave. They don’t take responsibility — and then mom is left with the children.”

* Tribune | Democratic National Convention poised to drive up hotel room rates this summer — even more than Lollapalooza: Lollapalooza is typically the busiest weekend of the year for Chicago’s hotels, but 50,000 people flocking here for the Democratic National Convention this August are pushing hotel room rates even higher. The average rate during the DNC is $534.88 a night, according to a Sun-Times search of downtown hotel rates during three major events taking place in the city this year — the convention, Lollapalooza and NASCAR Chicago Street Race Weekend. The search, which was conducted Thursday, looked at hotels within a one-mile radius of downtown Chicago.

* WBEZ | Northwestern is so busy it’s cutting back on scheduling patients for induced labors: That’s even though Northwestern led a national study that found inducing low-risk women at 39 weeks instead of letting labor happen naturally reduces the rate of Cesarean sections and decreases complications for mothers and babies. C-sections can be life-saving, but also are major surgeries with potential consequences that disproportionately affect Black women, research shows, such as infections and hysterectomies.

* Tribune | Country’s first documented gay rights organization started 100 years ago in Old Town: A plaque in the sidewalk outside the building where he lived on the second floor notes it is a Chicago landmark, explaining that the home was where Gerber wrote at least the first of the two published issues of “Friendship and Freedom,” the first documented gay periodical in America.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Tribune | Mom of Palestinian boy who was fatally stabbed in Will County files suit against alleged killer: Shahin’s attorney, John Simon, said the lawsuit, filed late last month in Will County Circuit Court, had been delayed due to the federal hate crime investigation that is currently underway and which has limited some discovery. “We are welcoming the opportunity to get to the bottom of what caused this man to do this and who knew about it,” he said. “This is a racially and religiously charged incident and anyone who had any ability to stop it should have intervened.”

* Daily Herald | ‘We’ve got to be ready’: Suburban police gearing up for political conventions this summer: With the national political conventions in Chicago and Milwaukee just weeks away, some suburban law enforcement agencies are preparing for an influx of visitors as well as protests and other activities that could require their intervention. The Lake County sheriff’s office and the Rosemont Public Safety Department already have been asked to assist Chicago police when the Democratic National Convention occurs Aug. 19-22 at the United Center.

*** Downstate ***

* SJ-R | 3 a.m. alcohol sales could be coming to an end in Springfield: If the ordinance were to clear the committee of the whole meeting and pass through full city council, bars would have to stop serving alcohol at 1 a.m. This would take effect Jan. 1, 2025. The proposed change would include during the Illinois State Fair when Springfield locations have previously been granted temporary 3 a.m. sale permits for packaged alcohol.

* WCIA | Boat races return to Lake Decatur after two decades: Hardy’s Highway Race for the Lake returned on Saturday. A total of 64 boats from throughout the country turned out to race. The event did have a wind delay which pushed back the event later into the afternoon. […] Upwards of 30 sponsors from the community helped to make it happen. Races will continue into Sunday night. Organizers say the race will be back in Decatur for years to come.


  1. - H-W - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 8:18 am:

    At the state, local and individual levels, granting work permits to immigrants is a win-win. Not doing so creates artificial burdens on local and state economies.

    The only logical opposition to this proposal is a moral argument justifying inequalities of access to life, liberty, and the pursuit of property, so as to maintain unequal outcomes by social design. Such arguments also intentionally maintain ideologies of superiority / inferiority of worthiness (e.g., race-based arguments supporting racism, or ethnocentrism if you prefer).

    These justifications for inequalities of access arguments based on place of birth deny employers workers. Institutionalist economists suggest these arguments actually drive up costs for employers, by introducing inefficiencies in labor markets. Irrational exclusionary practices in labor markets denies the state tax revenues, increase social welfare costs, and deny individuals human dignity, for the sole purpose of making a moral argument asserting the inequality of humans (or as I like to say, God’s children), and at the expense of economic efficiencies.

    I hope State Rep. Lisa Hernandez can get this through the House (and Senate) as quickly as possible.

  2. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 8:42 am:

    I really do not see a real issue with granting work permits. I get that they may or probably have arrived here illegally and therefore theoretically should not be entitled to a work permit but really our immigration system is broken so just call them temporary permits until immigration is fixed. Besides wouldn’t this help keep track and help no the extent of the issues?

  3. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 9:03 am:

    - The only logical opposition to this proposal is a moral argument -

    I’m 100% in support of letting these people go to work, but if I believe there is a concern that doing this at a state level could cause them to violate the conditions of their asylum status.

  4. - Friendly Bob Adams - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 9:07 am:

    Creating a Resurrection Project is a bold move for a health organization, which is mostly dedicated to keeping people alive. Now they’re expanding their scope?

  5. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 9:51 am:

    I hope JB’s “mouse in a bottle” plan works, eh.

  6. - Northsider - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 10:36 am:

    I guess Rep. Bunting will be dealing with the ruminants of that incident for a while.

  7. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 10:56 am:

    =At the state, local and individual levels, granting work permits to immigrants is a win-win. Not doing so creates artificial burdens on local and state economies.=

    If only rural Illinois would get out of their right wing news bubble and embrace these folks and let them fill jobs that badly need hardworking employees. This would be the ultimate win for them and may even, eventually, add enough population to make these communities relevant in elections again.

  8. - TJ - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 11:13 am:

    Dear Guv:

    Avoid any talking head that suggests that you congratulate the Canadians for one of their teams being back in the Stanely Cup Final. While some empty heads may like to bring up “Canada’s team” to describe the last-standing Canadian NHL team in the playoffs, the vast majority of Canadians only want their team to end the national drought as any of the others would lord it over the rest for years on end.

  9. - Just a Citizen - Monday, Jun 10, 24 @ 1:56 pm:

    Why is there a move to shield only family farms from estate taxes and not all family businesses? That would seem more equitable.

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