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Afternoon roundup

Thursday, Jun 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Lee Enterprises took a look at the racial spread between police departments/sheriffs’ offices and the communities they serve.

The narrowest gap was in Rock Island County, which is 30.4 percent people of color and the sheriff’s office is 27.69 percent people of color.

The widest gap was in Macon County, where the population is 25.2 percent people of color and yet the sheriff’s office is 100 percent White.

Illinois as a whole is 40 percent persons of color and the Illinois State Police is 19.43 percent persons of color.

Anyway, click here to see if your community is on the list.

* Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association…

Tazewell County Circuit Court Judge Paul E. Bauer has ruled that the City of Pekin’s ordinance taxing video gaming is unlawful and barred by state law, resulting in a major victory for Illinois small businesses and their customers.

Pekin officials in October approved a city ordinance assessing a “fee” worth 2.5 percent of net revenues received by any video gaming machine registered to do business in the city. The ordinance called for proceeds from the fee to be split between the City’s police and fire pension funds. Violations could trigger fines of up to $750 a day. Two members of the Illinois Gaming Machine Operators Association, which represents the companies that provide video gaming terminals in thousands of small businesses across the state, sued the City of Pekin late last year in Tazewell County Circuit Court.

The IGMOA members — J&J Ventures Gaming, LLC, and Accel Entertainment Gaming, LLC – argued that the City’s so-called “fee” is in reality an illegal tax on terminal operators. Such a tax is “unauthorized, is unlawful and unenforceable” because the state’s Video Gaming Act bars them, the plaintiffs argued in their lawsuit filed in December 2022.

The order is here.

* This is not CNN’s Sanjay Gupta…

Governor JB Pritzker announced today that he has named Sanjay Gupta, a national IT leader with private and public sector experience, to serve as the new Secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), pending Senate confirmation. Gupta has served in major roles across the public and private sectors, including running the federal government’s pandemic aid portals for small businesses and serving as a board member of the federal Technology Modernization Fund.

“Sanjay Gupta brings invaluable expertise in public and private sector information technology to DoIT,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “His previous work and vision for enterprise architecture, digital transformation, and user experience make him a vital addition to the agency. I am confident that this team will lead the nation in cybersecurity, service delivery, and user experience.”

Previously, Gupta was the Chief Information Officer for the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. He also served for more than four years as Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Small Business Administration, where his efforts to modernize the agency allowed it to process more than $1 trillion in loans for the nation’s largest economic recovery effort.

Prior to his career in public service, he spent nearly 20 years in management and as a consultant and analyst in leading global technology organizations, including several companies based in Illinois.

“I want to thank Governor Pritzker for giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Illinois, my adopted home,” said Sanjay Gupta. “Over decades in IT, I’ve learned how to apply the private sector’s best practices to government work. The team at DoIT has propelled the state forward tremendously in the past five years, and I look forward to working with the committed professionals in Illinois.”

Gupta holds a Bachelor of Science from Punjab Engineering College, a Master of Science from Wayne State University, and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan. He and his wife raised their two daughters in the suburbs of Chicago, where they lived for more than two decades.

Acting Secretary Brandon Ragle will take on the new role of Deputy Secretary, pending Senate confirmation. Ragle has served the state for over 30 years and will work closely with the new Secretary, providing invaluable insight into the agency’s operations. During his tenure as Acting Secretary, DoIT was upgraded by the Digital States report to an A-, receiving accolades for its connected infrastructure, resilience and cybersecurity, and data-driven government.

“Brandon is an essential asset to modernizing our technology for the people of Illinois, and he is part of a strong leadership team that is widely acknowledged nationally as a model,” Governor Pritzker said. “He stepped up at a critical time for the agency, and I want to recognize his contributions with this important new role.”

* But, didn’t Rep. Chris Miller tell us that this climate change thing doesn’t exist?

Bloomington, Illinois-based State Farm has announced it will no longer insure new homes or businesses in California due to the high wildfire risk and increased construction costs. State Farm is the second insurance carrier to stop offering coverage due to wildfires. Last year, AIG notified thousands of state homeowners their policies would not be renewed. California has experienced a record amount of wildfires in the past few years.

*Blows into the microphone*

* Press release…

Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford championed legislation in 2021 to ensure that the people of Illinois understood that Black history is American history. This year she is building upon that monumental measure by encouraging people to celebrate Juneteenth and reminding them of the reason for the holiday.

“Juneteenth being a state holiday reminds us that freedom and racial equality have always been a hard-fought battle for Black Americans,” said Lightford (D-Maywood). “This day gives everyone an opportunity to celebrate Black culture, Black achievements, and learn more about Black history.”

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which established that all enslaved people in Confederate states were forever free. However, it was not until two years later in June of 1865 that federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the proclamation freeing the last of slaves in the United States.

In 2021, Lightford championed House Bill 3922, which established June 19 as a state holiday for Juneteenth National Freedom Day. It is now a paid day off holiday for all state employees and a school holiday.

Today, Juneteenth has grown from the celebration of the abolition of slavery into a celebration of Black arts, culture, and the impacts of the civil rights movement throughout the country.

“The struggle for our people to achieve full equity in Illinois and across the nation continues still to this day,” Lightford said. “Juneteenth recognizes our accomplishments, our achievements, our culture, and reminds us that our fight is not over.”

…Adding… Not a good sign when the appellate court calls your appeal frivolous…

…Adding… U of I…

The University of Illinois Flash Index for May 2023 increased to 103.2 from 102.9 in April. This continues the perplexing path of the U. S. and Illinois economies with most observers still waiting for at least a mild recession that has yet to materialize.

“Reversing last month’s weak performance, Illinois tax receipts (the major components of the Flash Index) for May were surprisingly robust.”

Both individual income and corporate tax receipts were up in real terms compared to May 2022 while sales tax receipts were down only slightly after adjusting for inflation. Even more confounding, both the national and Illinois unemployment rates declined, falling in Illinois to 4.2% to a post-Covid recession low.

“It is still too early to claim a soft landing following the strong recovery from the recession. Watchful waiting continues.”

The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending, and personal income as estimated from receipts for corporate income, individual income, and retail sales taxes. These revenues are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through May 31, 2023. Over three years since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, ad hoc adjustments are still needed.

* Isabel’s roundup…


Todd Maisch

Thursday, Jun 1, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Todd Maisch started working for the Illinois Chamber back in 1994, eventually rising up the ranks to take over as President/CEO in 2014. I’ve known him and his wife Kim for what seems like forever. My heart goes out to his family. He was just 57 years old.

From the ILGOP…

“Todd Maisch was a champion for the business community in Illinois and will be deeply missed. He devoted his career working to building up small businesses, enact sound policy that energized local economies, and reduce the undue burdens that Illinois businesses and employers face. Our prayers are with his family during this difficult time” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy.

This post will be updated.

…Adding… House Republican Leader Tony McCombie…

Todd Maisch was a fierce advocate for Chambers and job creators around Illinois, as well as a devoted friend to me and our caucus. On behalf of the Illinois House Republicans, we extend our deepest condolences to Kim, their two boys and the many he has touched over his many years of service and friendship. He will be missed!

* Comptroller Susana Mendoza…

“I am so heartbroken to hear the news about Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch passing away at 57. His departure leaves such a void in Illinois. He worked so hard to find bipartisan approaches to grow Illinois businesses. He understood we are all in this together. I treasure the time I spent with him, listening to him, speaking to his board. Democrats and Republicans around the state should all take a moment to honor Todd Maisch today for his advocacy for Illinois businesses. Our condolences go out to his wife and sons. May he rest in God’s peace and eternal glory.”

* Senate President Don Harmon…

“Todd Maisch was a statehouse fixture and synonymous with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. A fierce defender of and astute negotiator for the business community, Todd was also a genuinely likable person who could find the path forward among adversaries. He departs this world far too soon. My sympathies and thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

* House Speaker Chris Welch…

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Illinois Chamber of Commerce President, Todd Maisch.

“Todd was a fierce champion for the business community and an integral part of major policy wins for our economy, namely the Blue Collar Jobs Act and the historic Rebuild Illinois capital bill. Though Todd and I often found ourselves at opposite ends of policy debates, I knew he was driven by an adoration for our state and a sincere commitment to doing what he believed was right.

“I send my condolences and prayers to his family, friends, and the Illinois Chamber community. May your memories bring you comfort during this time of mourning.”

* Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea and Secretary-Treasurer Pat Devaney…

“We are saddened to hear of Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO’s Todd Maisch’s passing.

Todd was a veteran of the statehouse and will be greatly missed. Although we often sat across the table from each other on issues, we always worked to put our differences aside and find common ground to build a better Illinois for everyone.

Our hearts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”

* Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora)…

“I am so sorry to hear of Todd’s passing. I have known Todd since I joined the Senate in 2007. We worked well together as we shared a passion for encouraging and empowering business development. He was a steadfast advocate for Illinois businesses of all sizes. He will be missed by many, and my thoughts are with his family.”

* Senate Republican Leader John Curran…

“The business community is losing a champion for working people throughout our state with the passing of Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. Todd dedicated his career to building a stronger business climate and a stronger Illinois and he and his work will be greatly missed. My prayers are with his family.”

* Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association…

The Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association is saddened by the passing of Todd Maisch, and extends condolences to his friends and family. The transportation industry lost a great ally. Todd spoke clearly about the importance of transportation infrastructure to keep our economy moving. He championed investments in transportation and was key to making the Rebuild Illinois program a bipartisan win. Todd and the Illinois Chamber also worked with a diverse coalition in championing the enactment and enforcement of the Safe Roads Amendment to the Illinois Constitution to end diversions of transportation revenues once and for all. Todd expanded the traditional reach of the Chamber by working with labor and progressives on advancing economic opportunities for Illinois and its citizens. Todd Maisch made a difference. He will be missed.

* Illinois Manufacturers’ Association…

“On behalf of manufacturers across Illinois, we mourn the loss of Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch, who dedicated his career to strengthening the business community and bettering our state. We offer our sincerest condolences to his wife Kim and his two children, as well as the many colleagues who will carry on his memory and mission.”

* Gov. JB Pritzker…

“I am deeply saddened to learn of Todd Maisch’s passing. Throughout his career, he worked to advance proposals to grow the state’s business community, big and small. He was passionate about making Illinois a better place to live, work, and do business and he leaves behind a storied legacy of service.

MK and I send our deepest condolences to Todd’s friends and family during this difficult time. May his memory be a blessing.”

* Attorney General Kwame Raoul…

“Todd Maisch spent decades working tirelessly to bring business opportunities to every region of Illinois. I had the opportunity to work with Todd on various issues as a state legislator and as Attorney General. We may not have always agreed on policy perspectives, but Todd was always a gentleman and maintained an appropriate tenor during often-tense negotiations. His legacy will be one of service to the state of Illinois, and he will be missed.

“My heart goes out to Todd’s colleagues at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and my prayers are with his wife Kim and their two sons.”


* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* *** UPDATED x1 *** Afternoon roundup
* Bears dangle possible move to Naperville
* Pritzker suggests changing Invest in Kids tax credit
* Question of the day
* Fentanyl overdose deaths have fallen 42 percent in Chicago this year compared to 2022
* Crowds ease at Mexican border, but will that lead to fewer asylum-seekers in Chicago?
* Pritzker, other Dem governors warn school textbook publishers: "Sanitizing our educational texts for the mercurial comfort of a few today ultimately limits the next generation’s ability to make informed decisions for themselves"
* Justice Jesse Reyes announces second bid for state's top court
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* Live coverage
* Yesterday's stories

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