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Isabel’s morning briefing

Friday, Jun 14, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: IDOC holds public meeting on relocation of Lincoln women’s prison. 25News Now

During Thursday’s hearing, IDOC leaders said rebuilding Logan would provide a more regionalized approach for women’s facilities by offering a prison up north to pair with the centrally located facility in Decatur. They add there are more services for rehabilitation and re-entry offered near Stateville. […]

With this move, almost 500 people employed at Logan Correctional Center would have to relocate.

The IDOC says more than 800 employee positions are available within a 90-mile radius of Lincoln, including openings at Lincoln, Decatur, Pontiac, Jacksonville, Illinois River, and Taylorville Correctional Centers.

However, the president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 2073, the correctional officers’ union, said the move doesn’t make sense.

“You’re going to lose the 450 to 500 employees we have here. We’re not going to make that move; it’s just too far away for us, so they would be starting a fresh, brand new facility, with literally no employees to operate it,” Union President Kenny Johnson said. “Someone needs to make it make sense to us.”

* Related stories…

Governor Pritzker is back in Illinois after a trade mission in Canada. The governor will be in McCook today to announce a multi-year infrastructure improvement plan with the Illinois Department of Transportation. Click here at 2 pm to watch.

Click here to view the AFL-CIO’s endorsements for the 2024 General Election.

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* Sun-Times | CTA Second Chance trainees say they faced discipline after complaining of burns from caustic cleaners: The approximately 240 people working in the [Chicago Transit Authority’s Second Chance job-training program] don’t get health insurance or paid sick time and make $15.80 an hour in the temporary jobs. Dorval Carter Jr., the CTA’s president, has touted Second Chance as “giving individuals with barriers to employment the opportunity to really turn their lives around and provide them with really good CTA union-paying jobs.” […] [T]he union is backing the Second Chance workers’ claims that exterior wash crew supervisors lean heavily on them to scrub the outsides of L trains with a heavy-duty acid cleaner that carries warnings about the chances for severe burns and requires the use of protective gear from head to toe.

* Sun-Times | Dolton Mayor Tiffany Henyard federal probe looking into work of contractor who faces prison for bribery: At the urging of Mayor Tiffany Henyard, the village of Dolton paid a Summit construction company that’s been linked to multiple corruption investigations more than $200,000 for no-bid, no-contract work replacing senior homeowners’ roofs and windows. Now, federal investigators are seeking records from Dolton officials about the construction work by O.A.K.K. Construction Co., owned by Alex Nitchoff. His family was the longtime owner of a restaurant in Dolton, and the Chicago Sun-Times has reported that his late father Boris Nitchoff engaged in a scheme to clear hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes from properties the family owned in the suburb.

*** Statehouse News ***

* WaPo | States bet on boosting taxes for online sports betting companies like DraftKings, FanDuel: DraftKings, FanDuel and other betting apps are facing a bigger tax hit in Illinois following changes to tax policy this year. New Jersey, Massachusetts and other states have also tried to raise taxes on the industry or plan to. […] The new policy puts Illinois’ top tax rate for online sports gambling operations in the same league as New York, which has a 51% top rate. New Jersey is considering doubling its tax rate to 30%. A proposal to boost Massachusetts’ rate from 20% to 51% failed in May.

*** Statewide ***

* WGEM | IL families to see new child tax credit: “The Illinois child tax credit is based off of what the federal government did during the pandemic to institute their own child tax credit to kind of give families that little extra boost,” said state Sen. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island. The credit is open to families with kids ages 12 and younger who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It’s a federal and state credit for low- and middle-income earners. Families who qualify will add an additional 20% to their state EITC refund next year. That number jumps to 40% in subsequent years.

* Capitol News Illinois | Illinois child tax credit: who gets it, how much is it?: Starting in tax year 2025, the state’s child tax credit will double to 40 percent of the state EITC, meaning that it will max out at a bit over $600 for families with three children. Because the federal tax credit that determines its size is tied to inflation, the actual size of future years’ child tax credits is yet to be determined. In its first year, the program is expected to cost the state $50 million, with a cost of about $100 million in subsequent years.

* 21st Show | A report looks at how Illinois’ limited regulations on homeschooling leave children at risk: Thousands of children in our state are homeschooled. Parents who decide to homeschool are required by state law to follow the same educational standards as public schools. But the law doesn’t say how they have to go about that. The state can’t require parents to demonstrate how they teach, their curriculum or testing outcomes. As the regulations are set up now, it’s difficult for officials to investigate or intervene when homeschooling concerns arise.

*** Chicago ***

* Block Club Chicago | Juneteenth 2024: Here Are 40+ Parades, Marches, Barbecues And More To Celebrate: There are dozens of parades, barbecues, art shows, skating events, marches, festivals and other celebrations over the next two weeks to honor Juneteenth this year. Juneteenth is the federal holiday that commemorates June 19, 1865, when traveling federal troops informed the last groups of enslaved people living in Galveston, Texas, of the end of slavery in the United States two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

* WBEZ | CPS elementary reading scores rise, surpassing pre-pandemic levels: What district officials didn’t know, and were especially pleased to learn from a study from Harvard and Stanford universities, was that CPS was improving more than most other large districts in the nation, Martinez said. But, at the Joyce Foundation event Thursday, Harvard professor Tom Kane said the analysis might need to be revised later this year.

* Tribune | Lightfoot to be visiting professor at University of Michigan: Lightfoot will join the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy as a visiting professor in the fall, the school wrote in a news release. The former mayor will teach a class on strategic public policy consulting alongside public policy and sociology professor Jeffrey Morenoff. Lightfoot graduated from the university as an undergraduate in 1984.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Southtown | Economic development breakfast touts Will County’s economy, but notes lack of diverse housing and sufficient workforce: Doug Pryor, president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development said Will County places in the top 20 of counties nationwide for new and expanding companies and for five years has held the top position in the state for job creation. However, the labor force for an area that’s principal industry is manufacturing has not kept up, despite a 26% total wage increase from 2019 to 2023, he said.

* Tribune | County appoints insider as new inspector general: A new watchdog will be taking over the Cook County Office of the Independent Inspector General, responsible for rooting out waste, fraud and corruption across much of county government. The post, which has not had a permanent leader since the fall of 2022, will be filled by current Deputy IG Tirrell Paxton. County commissioners approved his appointment unanimously on Thursday. A certified public accountant and fraud examiner, Paxton has worked in the office for more than 14 years. In a hearing on his appointment on Wednesday, he pledged to “work diligently” to maintain the office’s progress since its founding in 2007.

*** Downstate ***

* WCCU | Illini 4,000 bike from New York to California to support cancer research: Throughout their ride, the Illini 4,000 stop in local communities across the country and sat down with individuals affected by cancer to hear their stories. The Illini 4,000 are expected to finish their ride around August 11th by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in California. To keep up with the Illini 4,000’s journey, you can read their daily journals by clicking here.

* KHQA | Illinois Department of Public Health fines Macomb nursing home $25,000: Macomb Post Acute Care Center located in Macomb, Illinois was one of four nursing homes in the area who were fined by the Illinois Department of Public Health over licensure violations. […] They found the facility had failed to implement fall interventions for a cognitively impaired resident and to prevent falls causing injury for other residents.

*** Sports ***

* Sun-Times | Ex-Illinois star Terrence Shannon Jr., potential first-round NBA draft pick, not guilty of rape: Shannon’s lawyers called the allegations a “blind accusation” and questioned the motives of the woman. They also criticized the prosecutors in Douglas County for a lack of evidence and a Lawrence detective for the thoroughness of his investigation. Following the verdict, Illinois basketball coach Brad Underwood issued a statement of support: “I am thrilled for Terrence with the news of today’s verdict. Under six months of intense scrutiny, Terrence has shown tremendous composure, maturity, and focus.


  1. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 8:24 am:

    =Lightfoot will join the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy as a visiting professor in the fall=

    I wonder on the first day of classes, what the first question LL will ask her students will be?

  2. - Friendly Bob Adams - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 8:58 am:

    “The former mayor will teach a class on strategic public policy consulting…” because her term in office was noted for its strategic approach to government???

  3. - JS Mill - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 9:07 am:

    =We’re not going to make that move; it’s just too far away for us, so they would be starting a fresh, brand new facility, with literally no employees to operate it,” Union President Kenny Johnson said. “Someone needs to make it make sense to us.”=

    People have to move all the time for jobs. If they don’t they need to look for a new job. As a rural school admin, I am expected to live in the district so I have to move if I change jobs usually.

    These guys need to grow up.

  4. - Homebody - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 9:18 am:

    I’m absolutely sympathetic to employees who don’t want to move. I’m in a Chicago office of a state agency. If my job was relocated to Springfield I would 100% tender my notice of resignation within 48 hours of being informed of the move. I get where they are coming from.

    But at the same time, prisons aren’t (or shouldn’t be) jobs programs. While the impact on employees can’t and shouldn’t be ignored entirely, the impact on effective functioning of the penal system should come first.

    In many respects it reminds me of the Chicago school closure debate. Everyone has legitimate interests. But from the perspective of the State when making decisions, some interests are above others.

  5. - Jose Abreu's Next Homer - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 10:18 am:

    Will Lori Lightfoot bring her CPD detail with her to Michigan?

  6. - JB13 - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 11:10 am:

    – These guys need to grow up –

    It’s just an economic deathblow to a town. What’s the big deal?

    Or put another way, circa 2020: Don’t they have insurance?

  7. - cermak_rd - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 11:26 am:

    It’s any unions job to advocate for their members’ jobs so I don’t have a problem with the statement. But I think if it is true that there are more re-entry and rehabilitation offerings at Stateville, then that might be a better approach.

  8. - Responsa - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 11:29 am:

    The reporting on the seeming dearth of any actual prosecution evidence in the Terrence Shannon trial makes Illinois’ initial mad rush to suspend him look even more poorly considered.

  9. - family matters - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 12:20 pm:

    Final Exam Question: Who has the biggest…. in Chicago?

  10. - @misterjayem - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 1:19 pm:

    “The former mayor will teach a class on strategic public policy consulting”

    Oh, I’m sorry. That should read “tragic public policy consulting.”

    Our mistake.

    – MrJM

  11. - Candy Dogood - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 1:51 pm:

    ===With this move, almost 500 people employed at Logan Correctional Center would have to relocate.===

    Does someone in the administration think that state government pays for relocation expenses?

    Why are there 800 vacancies at those other facilities?

  12. - Tim - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 3:05 pm:

    JS Mill,

    They don’t need to grow up. They are AFSCME employees and the job should be tailored to their individual needs.

  13. - Dotnonymous x - Friday, Jun 14, 24 @ 3:57 pm:

    Tahoe Tiffany gonna have to tap out…soon…the Feds on Baby Girls trail.

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