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Isabel’s morning briefing

Monday, Jun 17, 2024 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* ICYMI: Speaker Welch asks IL high court to toss ruling barring Dems from blocking many GOP candidates from fall ballot. Cook County Record

    -A notice of appeal filed by Welch and his attorneys said the Speaker is asking the court to vacate the order issued by Sangamon County Judge Gail Noll, which blocked Illinois election authorities from enforcing the new law.
    -The case was appealed directly to the Illinois Supreme Court after Noll declared the law to be unconstitutional.
    - No documents yet filed offer insight into the arguments Welch and his legal team will use to challenge Judge Noll’s reasoning on appeal.
    -Welch’s lawyers followed up with a petition filed June 13, asking the court to accelerate the appeal proceedings so briefing in the case is completed in about a month.

*** Isabel’s Top Picks ***

* Al Llorens | Illinois just took a vital step forward for safer schools : The General Assembly recently passed legislation, Senate Bill 1400, meant to address the unintended consequences caused by another bill that was passed, SB 100. This is a monumental step toward addressing challenges surrounding student discipline and educator safety. This legislation not only provides much-needed oversight and guidance in handling disciplinary issues but also acknowledges the alarming statistic that 20% of teachers and support staff have been assaulted on the job in the last five years. The fact that 1 in 5 teachers and support staff members have experienced physical and verbal assault is unacceptable and indicative of a systemic problem that demands urgent attention.

* Tribune | CTA could play a key role in reducing Chicago emissions. But first, it will have to get riders back.: The Regional Transportation Authority doesn’t project the region’s ridership will come back this decade. In 2022, the agency estimated ridership could hit 74% of pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2031 if current circumstances persist, though RTA staff said the figures are likely conservative. In May, the CTA carried 69% of the passengers it transported in 2019.

*** Statewide ***

* Center Square | Pritzker says bump stock ruling won’t affect Illinois: Pritzker said Illinois lawmakers need not take action but elsewhere is a different story. “I do think it’s going to spur action at the state level as well as the federal level to try to once again ban bump stocks,” said Pritzker. “Here in Illinois we’ve already done that, we do not need to take action to fill in what the Supreme Court has taken away from other states.”

* ABC Chicago | Illinois State Treasurer’s Office holding online auction for unclaimed property this week: A 14-karat gold charm bracelet, a 1783 Spanish milled dollar and a 1997 U.S. quarter-ounce platinum-proof coin are among the hundreds of unclaimed property items to be auctioned online by the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office from Monday through Friday. You can click here for more information about the items being auctioned off.

* WBEZ | Has performing arts employment in Illinois recovered from COVID-19?: About 1,000 fewer people report being employed by performing arts groups – that is, theater companies, dance companies and the symphony – compared to 2019, the year before the COVID-19 pandemic prompted widespread shutdowns. For the arts, those shutdowns lasted well into 2021. According to inflation-adjusted data, the performing arts industry generated about $555 million for the Illinois economy in 2022, an 11% decrease from 2019.

* Crain’s | Intersect Illinois appoints members to new ‘CEO-centered’ board: The organization announced three new appointments to its board of directors. Michael Sacks, chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor; Smita Shah, president and CEO of SPAAN Tech; and Kevin Warren, president and CEO of the Chicago Bears, were all named to the board to “help advance Intersect Illinois’ mission to attract new jobs and investment to Illinois,” the organization said in a press release.

* Farm Progress | State of Illinois cuts conservation funding: The operation budget for soil and water conservation districts across Illinois was cut nearly in half, according to Michael Woods, executive director for the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Those funds pay salaries for SWCD technical staff, the folks who leverage millions of dollars in federal conservation funding for farmers and landowners, serving as a conduit for funneling those dollars to conservation-minded landowners.

*** Chicago ***

* Sun-Times | Stevenson Expressway upgrades included in latest round of Gov. Pritzker’s $41B transportation plan: A total of $364 million is earmarked for Interstate 55 upgrades on 49 bridges from Wolf Road to the Chinatown feeder ramp, highlighted by full rebuilds of the Harlem and Cicero Avenue interchanges that are among the busiest in the state.

* Tribune | Will Bally’s planned $1.7 billion Chicago casino get built by 2026? The odds may be shrinking.: Responding to doubts raised this week by Mayor Brandon Johnson about the viability of the ambitious project selected by the previous administration to be the first Chicago casino, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim said that the River West entertainment complex will be built as planned. […] Analysts and investors, however, are increasingly concerned that the permanent Bally’s Chicago Casino may be delayed or downsized, given an $800 million funding gap and a more challenging financing environment than when the project was awarded two years ago.

* Tribune | Chicago Teachers Union holds first-ever public bargaining session with CPS on ‘Green Schools’: The meeting, held Friday evening at Marquette Elementary School in Chicago Lawn, was the first of roughly six sessions in which the public was invited to participate between the district and the more than 30,000-member union of teachers and school employees. CTU’s proposal includes retrofitting buildings to fix aging infrastructure, adding central air conditioning for days of extreme heat, removing lead pipes, and installing solar or heat pumps to mitigate pollution in South and West side schools located near industrial corridors.

* Tribune | Verbal abuse, a ‘sex-driven’ culture: Ex-employees describe toxic environment at Guaranteed Rate: Multiple women who used to work at Guaranteed Rate, meanwhile, described working in a sexualized atmosphere where some male loan officers and managers made sexually explicit remarks to female employees, hit on them in the office or at work events, and commented inappropriately on their appearance — even, in one case, encouraging a woman to use her looks to help close a loan.

*** Cook County and Suburbs ***

* Daily Herald | Officials decry census’ population loss estimates in Northwest suburbs: “I don’t know how they’re looking at it,” said Palatine Village Manager Reid Ottesen. “It defies logic and defies the data we have.” While the census bureau estimates Palatine has lost more than 3,000 residents since 2020 — a 4.5% drop — Ottesen said the town has seen an increase of 47 residential water customers in the past 12 months alone.

*** Downstate ***

* Daily Southtown | Landmarks: Oldest standing bank in Illinois among ‘endangered’ state sites: The imposing structure, erected in 1838, that housed the state’s first bank now stands nearly alone in a place most residents abandoned more than 80 years ago. But it’s one of the properties at the heart of legislation awaiting the signature of Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The bill would establish an appointed State Historic Preservation Board within the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, tasked with taking a hard look at the state’s historic properties.

* John Howard Association | Monitoring Visit to
Decatur Correctional Center 2024
In March 2024, Decatur was at 41% of its rated capacity, and three of its eight housing units were not occupied. Administrators were confident the prison could safely house additional individuals in custody from Logan.

* WREX | Nuclear Regulatory Commission to discuss Byron Generating Station 2023 safety performance: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will hold an open house and discuss the 2023 safety performance of Byron Generating Station. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its staff responsible for plant inspection and oversight, will be at the event to answer any questions and provide information to the community.

*** National ***

* The Hill | 171,300 patients traveled out of state for abortions in 2023: Out-of-state care accounted for more than 15 percent of the estimated 1 million clinician-provided abortion procedures between 2023 and March of this year, according to the data. That figure has more than doubled since 2020. […] States that border those with recent near-total bans, such as Kansas and New Mexico, saw a majority of abortions in their state be from out-of-state patients. Texas’s abortion ban is one of the most restrictive in the country.

* STLPR | Missouri is in the center of a national drug pricing battle — with billions on the line: In a battle that pits some of the biggest players in health care against each other, the Missouri General Assembly has come down on the side of hospitals who want unlimited access to discounted drugs for their pharmacies. On the last day of this year’s legislative session, the Missouri House passed a bill making it illegal for pharmaceutical manufacturers to refuse to supply the discounted medications to qualifying hospitals and health clinics and their contracted pharmacies.


  1. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 17, 24 @ 8:44 am:

    =This legislation not only provides much-needed oversight and guidance=

    No it doesn’t, and at least the districts I am familiar with didn’t need it.

    =The fact that 1 in 5 teachers and support staff members have experienced physical and verbal assault is unacceptable and indicative of a systemic problem that demands urgent attention.=

    When politicians dictate student management, this is inevitable.

  2. - TJ - Monday, Jun 17, 24 @ 9:31 am:

    I swear, we’re going to have complaints about the 2020 census pop up every couple of months until the 2030 census starts. I’m not sure that dead horse can be beaten any further.

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