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Reader comments closed for the weekend

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Talk with you Monday

But not a drop on me

- Posted by Rich Miller   Comments Off      


Question of the day

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Caption?…


Thank you for all the name submissions. I've decided to name it after my attorney Tom DeVore. Thanks Tom for all your hard work!!!!

Posted by Buford’s Pub on Saturday, January 16, 2021

- Posted by Rich Miller   32 Comments      


Illinois’ panhandling law violates First Amendment

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* 625 ILCS 5/11-1006(c)

No person shall stand on a highway for the purpose of soliciting contributions from the occupant of any vehicle except within a municipality when expressly permitted by municipal ordinance. The local municipality, city, village, or other local governmental entity in which the solicitation takes place shall determine by ordinance where and when solicitations may take place based on the safety of the solicitors and the safety of motorists. The decision shall also take into account the orderly flow of traffic and may not allow interference with the operation of official traffic control devices. The soliciting agency shall be:

    1. registered with the Attorney General as a charitable organization as provided by “An Act to regulate solicitation and collection of funds for charitable purposes, providing for violations thereof, and making an appropriation therefor”, approved July 26, 1963, as amended;
    2. engaged in a Statewide fund raising activity; and
    3. liable for any injuries to any person or property during the solicitation which is causally related to an act of ordinary negligence of the soliciting agent.

* Amanda Vinicky

A federal judge has permanently banned Illinois’ panhandling law from being enforced on the basis the statute violates the First Amendment. The case was part of a yearlong effort by advocates including the American Civil Liberties Union and Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) to eliminate such laws.

But at least one Chicago alderman said the city wants a new plan to help curtail the aggressive begging that began after Chicago revoked its panhandling ordinance in late 2018.

In the case that resulted in the federal order issued Jan. 11, CCH attorney Diane O’Connell said the plaintiffs — a pair of homeless men, Michael Dumiak and Christopher Simmons — had been ticketed multiple times by Downers Grove police for soliciting for money when suburban homeless shelters were out of space. […]

In a federal decision handed down last week, Judge Robert Gettleman agreed, issuing a permanent injunction based on the finding that Illinois’ law is “a content-based restriction on the freedom of speech that is not justified by any compelling interest and that the provision violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional on its face under clearly established law.”

The order is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   27 Comments      


Credit Unions: The People Helping People Philosophy

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

[The following is a paid advertisement.]

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Friday, Jan 22, 2021

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Friday, Jan 22, 2021

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Pritzker announces vaccine plan, Phase 4 sports guidance

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Press release…

Building on the state’s progress in administering the COVID-19 vaccine, Governor JB Pritzker announced the state will move into the early stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Plan beginning on Monday, January 25. While federal vaccine shipments to states remain limited, the state is aggressively building out provider capacity to ensure efficient distribution as soon as more vaccine becomes available. Illinois remains committed to distributing the vaccine in an equitable, accessible way and as a part of Phase 1B, all residents over the age of 65 and frontline essential workers can receive the vaccine. Illinois will begin vaccinating eligible residents by appointment only.

As the state substantially completes Phase 1A, Illinois has surpassed its daily vaccination record multiple times, most recently vaccinating more than 44,000 people in a 24-hour period. The state has administered more than 60 percent of its vaccine allocation outside of Chicago and not including the federal Pharmacy Partnership Program, and substantially more once data lag in the reported administrations is accounted for.

“Illinois is building capacity so that as the vaccine supply increases, we will be ready,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “As the nation awaits greater supplies and we ramp up vaccination sites, every Illinoisan can do their part to fight this pandemic with the tools we know to work – masking and distancing – and over the last 8 weeks we’ve all used those tools and made real progress. Enormous sacrifices are being made to achieve this progress, but those sacrifices are making a real difference.”

“As more vaccine is allocated to Illinois, and more people are eligible to be vaccinated, we are starting to see the finish line coming into focus,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “I am cautiously optimistic with the trends we are seeing in Illinois, but I want to stress how important it is for us to continue our public health actions of wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings. Getting to the end of this pandemic will be about the choices we make. The choice to wear our mask, the choice to keep our distance, and the choice to get vaccinated.”

Over 3.2 million Illinoisans are eligible for Phase 1B. Eligible residents will be able to receive a vaccine at one of the Illinois National Guard (ILNG) assisted sites, at a site operated by a local health department, or at a partner pharmacy. Walgreens is now online in limited number of sites statewide. CVS and Jewel-Osco will be coming online early next week and additional pharmacies such as Hy-Vee, Mariano’s, and Kroger will be joining later next week. Taken together, these pharmacy partners will provide hundreds of sites in every region of the state.

At this time, these sites will be available by appointment only. As the federal supply of vaccines increases and Illinois receives more vaccines, the state will launch walk-in locations and expand sites to additional providers like doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics. More information about those locations will be released in the coming weeks.

In addition, over 18 state and federal agencies, including the ILNG, the Illinois State Police, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency personnel who could be assisting in COVID-19 response will be vaccinated at McCormick Place in Chicago and the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield. These sites are not open to the public at this time.

* Meanwhile…

Sports Guidance Under Phase 4

Working alongside the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), IDPH also announced sports guidance for all youth and adult recreational sports under Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. Sports guidance under Phase 4 expands the level of play allowed for all sports to allow play at the intra-conference, region, or league levels.

While regions in the state continue to move toward Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan, the risk of a resurgence, particularly with new variants such as the U.K. variant remains serious. The state urges all Illinois residents to continue following guidance aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing a mask, reducing interactions outside the household, practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing, and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine when eligible.

IDPH will continue to closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19. Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, based on the established mitigation metrics, regions could once again find themselves in a higher tier with increased measures.

More on the sports guidance is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller   11 Comments      


Because… George Ryan and Don Harmon!

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Tribune gonna Tribune, I suppose…


* To the column by the president and chief executive officer of the Better Government Association

Even so, Welch’s early pronouncements — opposing the gerrymandering of electoral maps and calling for a 10-year limit on terms of legislative leaders — represented at least a verbal departure from Madigan’s methods.

So how will we know if Welch is a “mini-Mike,” or something better than that? We can watch for certain tells.

Madigan used the House Rules Committee to exert unrivaled control over which bills came to a vote and which did not. Welch is launching a rules rewrite. If he’s serious about reform, the new House rules will allow bills he opposes, even those written by Republicans, to still reach the House floor for a vote.

The patronizing attitude is ridiculous enough, but there are also substantive critiques here.

* For about the last decade or so, Speaker Madigan moved all substantive bills out of the House Rules Committee to standing committees during odd-numbered years. The House rules have long limited bills for consideration in even-numbered (election) years to appropriations, emergencies and other top governing priorities. Most people don’t know that because they prefer the cartoon version of Madigan.

The rules to discharge bills from the House Rules Committee are, indeed, onerous. The motions must be signed by no less than three-fifths of the members of both the majority and minority caucuses and all those who sign must be a sponsor of the underlying bill. However, the Senate’s rules to discharge bills from the Assignments Committee are identical, so Madigan most definitely did not exert “unrivaled” control. Curiously, no “to-do list” was also handed to Senate President Harmon. Once again, that would clash with the cartoon version of Illinois politics.

* Now, a whole lot of the bills that were moved out of Rules were assigned to the House Executive Committee, where they went to die (click here to see the list of Leader Durkin’s bills as an example).

However, last night I used the Google and found an explainer of Illinois House rules and procedures published in 1982, the year before Madigan was elected House Speaker and while the Republicans held the chamber and George Ryan was Speaker. Discharging a bill from committee required a three-fifths vote in writing and mandated its inclusion on the daily calendar. The last version of Madigan’s rules only required a simple majority to discharge bills from standing committees.

Beyond all this, there’s also the question about why bills sharply opposed by Democrats in a Democratic super-majority chamber ought to be given the right to floor votes.

* This is not to say that none of the rules should be changed. They should. We’ve discussed this several times before. I’m just arguing for a fact-based approach, unlike the BGA. Also, the Illinois Policy Institute has some rules ideas. Some are decent, some aren’t. Click here to see them.

- Posted by Rich Miller   14 Comments      


RIP Henry Aaron

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Watch it…


- Posted by Rich Miller   26 Comments      


7,042 new confirmed and probable cases; 95 additional deaths; 3,179 hospitalized; 661 in ICU; 5.0 percent average case positivity rate; 6.2 percent average test positivity rate; 24,190 average daily doses administered; No regions in Tier 3 mitigations

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* This is a huge increase in the number of cases (4,979 yesterday), but the positivity rates still look OK for now. We’ll see. Press release…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today reported 7,042 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 95 additional deaths.

    - Adams County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 90s
    - Coles County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
    - Cook County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 50s, 3 males 50s, 8 females 60s, 9 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 11 males 70s, 5 females 80s, 4 males 80s, 1 male 90s
    - DuPage County: 1 male 70s, 2 males 80s, 1 female 90s
    - Hancock County: 1 male 80s
    - Kane County: 1 male 60s, 2 females 80s
    - Lake County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
    - Madison County: 1 female 80s
    - Marshall County: 1 female 70s
    - McHenry County: 1 female 70s
    - McLean County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
    - Montgomery County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 male 90s
    - Ogle County: 1 male 60s
    - Peoria County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
    - Piatt County: 1 male 90s
    - Randolph County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
    - Richland County: 1 female 60s
    - Rock Island County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
    - Sangamon County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 male 90s
    - St. Clair County: 2 males 80s, 3 female 90s, 1 male 90s
    - Washington County: 1 male 80s
    - Will County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
    - Winnebago County: 1 female 30s, 1 female 90s
    - Woodford County: 1 male 70s

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 1,093,375 cases, including 18,615 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 125,831 specimens for a total 15,209,516. As of last night, 3,179 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 661 patients were in the ICU and 348 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from January 15–21, 2021 is 5.0%. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from January 15–21, 2021 is 6.2%.

Beginning today, IDPH has adjusted reporting probable cases, which caused an artificial one day increase in cases of 1,903. Previously, only confirmed deaths were included in the total case count. However, the total case count includes both confirmed and probable cases. Therefore, probable deaths are now being included in the total case count. Confirmed deaths and probable deaths will still be reported separately.

As of last night, 922,325 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago. In addition, approximately 524,050 doses have been allocated to the federal government’s Pharmacy Partnership Program for long-term care facilities. This brings the total Illinois doses to 1,446,375. IDPH is currently reporting a total of 616,677 vaccines administered, including 93,683 for long-term care facilities. Yesterday, a total of 44,288 doses were administered. The 7-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 24,190 doses.

*All data are provisional and will change. In order to rapidly report COVID-19 information to the public, data are being reported in real-time. Information is constantly being entered into an electronic system and the number of cases and deaths can change as additional information is gathered. For health questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email dph.sick@illinois.gov.

* Meanwhile…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced Region 4 (Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, Washington) is moving to Tier 2 effective today. All 11 regions have now moved out of Tier 3 mitigations. If metrics continue to improve or are stable, regions 10 and 11 are on track to advance to Tier 1 on Saturday, January 23, 2021. Information about which tier and phase regions are in can be found at the top of the IDPH website homepage.

“With all regions of Illinois now out of Tier 3, we can now see that the entire state is headed down the right path,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “During the summer, we were on this same path. We know that we must continue to take precautions and be smart about how we relax some of the mitigation measures, which are in place to protect our health and safety.”

“We are pleased to hear our region as whole is trending in the right direction,” said St. Clair County Board Chairman Mark Kern. “We will continue to advocate to our residents to mask up, wash their hands, and stay safe so we can continue to increase capacity at our hospitals and reduce our positivity rates. We appreciate the work and partnership of IDPH and Governor Pritzker.”

IDPH will continue to closely monitor test positivity, ICU bed availability, and the number of people in the hospital with COVID-19. Should data show regions trending in the wrong direction, based on the established mitigation metrics, regions could once again find themselves in a higher tier with increase measures.

The governor’s press conference today is focused on youth sports. Stay tuned for updates.

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Learn something new every day

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* An Illinoisan sent a blast email to legislators last night

Pritzker got 98% of the black vote. Its time we get a return. He has said “its hard being black…and we must do something about it” this Executive Order is the something.

The person apparently used an old email list which included folks who lost their reelections. Former Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) hit “reply all” from his official ilhousegop.org address

Pritzer should be in jail for his crimes.

* Some members were grumbling about it this morning, particularly since Cabello continues to relentlessly troll Pritzker on Twitter. So, I asked why he still has access to his official account, even though he lost reelection. The reply…

Our policy is to shut down all accounts including emails, social media and websites 30 days after a member leaves office. This is to give time for the transition to a new office holder, and allow for any wrap up of constituent work and other outstanding items.

- Posted by Rich Miller   15 Comments      


Madigan’s legal tab rose by $1 million in the fourth quarter

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* WBEZ

During the final three months of 2020, ex-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan spent more than $1 million for work by a Chicago law firm specializing in white-collar criminal cases, newly filed state campaign records show.

The $1.03 million the Friends of Michael J. Madigan political fund spent with Katten Muchin Rosenman represents a sharp uptick in legal spending by the Chicago Democrat and comes as a federal bribery probe intensified.

During the first three quarters of last year, Madigan’s campaign committee spent about $726,000 with the firm.

As I’ve told you before, Madigan spent $2.66 million on lawyers between July of 2017 and July of last year.

* Related…

* Madigan no longer ‘Mr. Speaker,’ but he’s still ‘Public Official A’

- Posted by Rich Miller   7 Comments      


Today’s number: $330,000

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* AP

The Illinois House spent $187,000 to rent out Springfield’s downtown convention center last week due to fears about conducting business at the Capitol during the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents disclosed to The Associated Press.

Lawmakers in the House have now spent a total of about $330,000 in taxpayer money to rent the center for less than two weeks during the pandemic because officials decided the House chamber does not allow sufficient distance between legislators to avoid transmission of the virus.

The House jammed months of work into last week at the convention center and anticipates 56 more days of legislative action between Feb. 2 and May 31. Considering it’ll likely be months before most people receive a COVID-19 vaccine, continuing the arrangement with the Bank of Springfield Center would be costly. […]

Like last week, the May session saw the House, with 118 elected officials and dozens of support employees, operated from the BoS Center. Facility rental is $5,000 a day, the standard rate, but with catered meals, security, audio-visual equipment and other incidentals, the four-day contract ran to $144,000, according to invoices disclosed under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Add to that the $187,000 rung up for this month’s stretch, and it amounts to a daily rate of $30,000.

Click here for the invoice for last May’s special session.

- Posted by Rich Miller   31 Comments      


Aren’t we missing something here?

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Daily Herald

New Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch’s leadership team, which he announced Thursday, does not have enough suburban representation and includes too many Michael Madigan loyalists, says Democratic state Rep. Kathleen Willis of Addison.

The team also does not include any of the women who ran for House Speaker — Willis, Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Rep. Ann Williams of Chicago, she noted.

Neither Willis nor Rep. Fred Crespo, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates, was retained by Welch in House leadership.

Suburban representation will include only Reps. Natalie Manley of Joliet and Robyn Gabel of Evanston, plus Rep. Deb Conroy of Villa Park in one of six new positions of caucus whip, which do not pay leadership stipends.

Um, the new House Speaker (remember him?) is from the suburbs.

Rep. Marcus Evans’ district has a big chunk of suburbia. Also, there’s Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez. Last time I checked, Cicero was in the suburbs. [Rep. Mary Flowers’ district also includes a chunk of suburbia.]

* Meanwhile, here’s Rep. Stephanie Kifowit’s take

“I assumed people would be appreciative and supportive,” she told me earlier this week. “In reality, what I found was my candidacy was not taken seriously.”

I’d say that sentiment could bring an emotional kind of exhaustion to anyone who already was physically tired. But after getting a few days of solid shut-eye following all of last week’s drama, Kifowit, a Marine veteran who does not back down from adversity, insists there are no sour grapes. […]

Even though there’s plenty of speculation that Welch, a Madigan supporter, may be strongly influenced by the former speaker, Kifowit sees that as “a fallacy.” Because he’s in the spotlight and under the gun to turn things around, “I am hopeful,” she said, “he will be independent and tread his own course.”

The good news is that with a strong movement away from the Chicago-machine-style politics that kept him in power too long, “there will never be another Mike Madigan,” she predicted.

…Adding… Rep. Kifowit just told me that despite what Rep. Willis may have implied…

I did not ask Speaker Welch for a leadership position. I am excited to work with him and his new leadership team for the betterment of Illinois. I know there is a lot of work that we all need to do and I have the utmost confidence in the Speaker and his leadership team during these difficult times.

* Related…

* Power shifts from city stronghold to west suburbs

- Posted by Rich Miller   35 Comments      


Good job, Senator

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* People in charge of things can be so stupid sometimes. Fortunately, it appears to have ended well and no Illinois National Guard members were treated this shabbily…


- Posted by Rich Miller   41 Comments      


Open thread

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Local topics, polite conversation. Thank you kindly.

- Posted by Rich Miller   13 Comments      


Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

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Protected: SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today’s edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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*** LIVE COVERAGE ***

Friday, Jan 22, 2021

* Follow along with ScribbleLive


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PREVIOUS POSTS »
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Question of the day
* Illinois' panhandling law violates First Amendment
* Credit Unions: The People Helping People Philosophy
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - HDem caucus stuff
* *** UPDATED x1 *** SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Update to this morning's edition
* Pritzker announces vaccine plan, Phase 4 sports guidance
* Because... George Ryan and Don Harmon!
* RIP Henry Aaron
* 7,042 new confirmed and probable cases; 95 additional deaths; 3,179 hospitalized; 661 in ICU; 5.0 percent average case positivity rate; 6.2 percent average test positivity rate; 24,190 average daily doses administered; No regions in Tier 3 mitigations
* Learn something new every day
* Madigan's legal tab rose by $1 million in the fourth quarter
* Today's number: $330,000
* Aren't we missing something here?
* Good job, Senator
* Open thread
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today's edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* *** LIVE COVERAGE ***
* Sweet dreams
* Senate cancels next week's scheduled session
* Yesterday's stories

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