Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* From the Tribune’s story about the newly proposed SAFE-T Act revisions…
[Sen. Robert Peters], a sponsor of the original SAFE-T Act, was joined in filing Wednesday’s amendment by Democratic state Sen. Scott Bennett from Champaign, a former prosecutor who drafted his own proposed changes to the SAFE-T Act in September.
That’s hugely important.
The Senate will be taking up the amendment tomorrow morning.
* Darren Bailey on Cities 92.9…
And the bottom line, the bottom line is, frustrating as it is, early mail-in voting is what nailed us. That’s just simply all there is to it.
Mail-in voting would’ve helped, but Bailey lost by something like 12 points. I mean, if it helps convince Republicans to stop behaving against their own interests and start early voting, then fine. But that wouldn’t have won him the race and if that’s the only lesson the GOP learns, then they’ll never amount to much here.
Bailey went on to say some really off the wall things. But since he’s not running for anything at the moment, I’ll just leave it at that. Kinda tired of the rantings.
* Press release…
State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) today issued the following statement regarding his selection to be a part of Secretary of State-elect Alexi Giannoulias’ transition team:
“During the campaign I stressed that the office of Secretary of State should be more about public service than public policy. I have had the unique experience of working with Secretary White on the issues of distracted driving, organ and tissue donation, senior citizen services, and services for individuals with special needs.”
“I am honored that Secretary-elect Giannoulias is rising above party politics by drawing on that experience to make the office the best that it can be. I may be leaving elected office in a few short weeks, but I have always desired to help the people of Illinois in any way that I can. I appreciate this opportunity to use my unique knowledge to help enhance a statewide office that affects the lives of more Illinoisans on a daily basis than any other.”
* Railroad press release 1…
Today, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement after voting in support of H.J. Res. 100, ratification of the Tentative Agreement, which increases wages and benefits for rail workers, preserves the right-to-strike in the long-term, and ensures American families can access the goods and services they will need this holiday season and throughout the year, and H. Con. Res. 119, which would increase the number of sick days in the tentative agreement from one to seven days:
“I did not take this vote lightly, as I am a strong supporter of collective bargaining, and am proud that the state of Illinois has enshrined the right to bargain collectively into its Constitution.
“Let me be perfectly clear – the leadership of American railroads should be ashamed of themselves. They have spent the better part of a decade hollowing out their workforce, in pursuit of quarterly profits and at the behest of Wall Street, thus creating an untenable situation for many workers.
“This gross mismanagement brought us to where we are today and put Congress in a position it should have never been in. Collective bargaining is sacred, and Congress should not intervene in it unless the circumstances are at least as dire as they are today. The work is never done, and that is the case today. Congress must work to undo the operational changes made by railroads over the last decade that have devastated railroad workers.
“I call on the Senate to support the improvements the House made to the Tentative Agreement as reflected in H. Con. Res. 119, which would provide workers with seven days of paid sick leave.”
Railroad press release 2…
Congresswoman Mary Miller (R-IL) released the below statement on her vote to avert a rail strike impacting the agriculture industry:
“Amtrak Joe” promised to be the railroad President, but he failed to bring both sides to an agreement to prevent a catastrophe. I voted today to prevent a railway stoppage that would bring the agriculture industry and the transportation of food in our country to a grinding halt. Farmers rely upon rail and are already suffering from the Biden Diesel Crisis and the Biden Supply Chain Crisis, they cannot face another crushing blow to their ability to operate their farms and provide food to the American people.”
* Three citations in a single day?…
On November 29, 2022, the Illinois State Police (ISP) issued citations in three separate traffic crashes involving move over law violations, (otherwise known as “Scott’s Law”) violations. Two of the three crashes involved Illinois Department of Transportation vehicles. The first crash occurred on Interstate 70 eastbound near milepost 64, near Vandalia (Fayette county) in District 12. The second crash occurred on Interstate 94 northbound near 142nd Street (Cook county) in District Chicago. The third crash involved vehicles belonging to a private contractor performing roadway work on US 67 northbound at US 34 (Warren county) in District 14. Injuries were reported in two of the three crashes. The at fault drivers in all three crashes were cited for violating Scotts Law.
ISP is reminding the public of the requirements of Scott’s Law. When approaching an emergency vehicle, or any vehicle with its emergency or hazard lights activated, drivers are required to slow down AND move over. A person who violates Scott’s Law, commits a business offense and faces a fine of no less than $250 or more than $10,000 for a first offense. If the violation results in injury to another person, the violator’s driver’s license will be suspended for a mandatory period of anywhere between six months and two years. All 50 states have mandatory move over laws to protect first responders, roadway maintenance workers, roadside workers, and all motorists traveling on the road.
* Tonight? Already?…
* Isabel’s roundup…
* CBS Chicago | Jewelry, historic souvenirs among items offered in Illinois Treasury Department holiday auction: The Illinois Treasury Department is ramping up for the 2022 holiday auction of unclaimed property. It includes things like jewelry, collectible coins, and historic souvenirs.
* Center Square | This Is the Poorest City in Illinois: Among the 91 places in Illinois with available data and populations of at least 25,000, East St. Louis ranks as the poorest. The typical East St. Louis household earns $24,009 a year, compared to the statewide median household income of $68,428.
* SJ-R | Nativity scene installed at Illinois Capitol, joins menorah; other religious displays to follow: The displays can be placed in the Capitol as the organizers are privately based and not affiliated with the state of Illinois. Indeed, one of the event’s organizers, Julie Zanoza, mentioned that the state called the Christmas tree located next to the display a “holiday” tree, even though most people would recognize the holiday that it represents.
* SJ-R | In Illinois, congressional action to avert rail strike necessary or ‘horrible precedent’: Asked on Tuesday whether he supported congressional action, Gov. JB Pritzker indicated that he supported the president’s decision. “Railroads are extraordinarily important, especially right now because we are having trouble with barges on the Mississippi” he said. “We cannot have a situation in which the supply chain is cut off because there is a mass railroad strike.”
* Sun-Times | Another suburban Chicago resident gets 18 months probation for Jan. 6 role: Dawn Frankowski, 54, was arrested in Naperville in September 2021 and charged along with David Wiersma of Posen, who on Tuesday was also sentenced to 18 months of probation. Both pleaded guilty in late August to misdemeanor parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building.
* Patch | How IL Senators Voted On Same-Sex, Interracial Marriage Protection: Illinois Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth voted Tuesday with the majority on landmark legislation codifying federal protections for marriages between same-sex and interracial couples.
* WBEZ | As new federal judge takes over court-ordered reforms, CPD faces blistering criticism over its efforts so far: A new chapter began Tuesday as Dow handed over the gavel to Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer after he was tapped to be Chief Justice John Roberts’ chief of staff. During a court hearing, Dow reflected on his work on the consent decree, which he called “the most challenging, the most vexing, the most time-consuming and, in many ways, the most rewarding case that I’ve had in my 15 years on the bench.”
* WBEZ | Illinois’ weed workers are unionizing at a record pace. Now comes the hard part.: This surge in union election wins in the cannabis industry is a glimmer of hope for organized labor, which has seen its ranks decline for the past half-century, from a high of 35% in 1954 to 12% today. Most of the unionized workforce is now in the more welcoming public sector — and the reason why recent union campaigns at two of the most well-known Fortune 500 companies, Amazon and Starbucks, have captured public attention.
* Axios | Illinois hoping for earlier presidential primary: Members of the Democratic National Committee meet tomorrow to determine a new primary structure and schedule for the 2024 presidential primaries. Why it matters: The DNC has signaled it’s moving on from Iowa as the first Midwest state to hold primary voting.
* WTTW | It Was a Busy Month for Illinois Politics : Between Election Day and more candidates entering the race for Chicago mayor, it was a busy month for politics. Take our November News Quiz to see how much you know.
* Tribune | Meet the winners of the Tribune’s 2022 Holiday Cookie Contest: From a delicious shortcut using Rolo candies in decadently chocolatey cookies, to the sweet cinnamon lacing our third-place sugar cookie recipe, each of the winning cookies has a unique touch that left a lasting impression on our dozen judges from the Tribune newsroom. And yet, two of them can be made in under an hour.
* As of 2:40 today, our LSSI fundraiser had reached $12,725. While needs vary for each child, $25 is the average cost of a Christmas gift. A big thank you to all who have donated. Let’s keep this going!
24 Comments Click here to help buy presents for LSSI foster kids!
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* Background is here if you need it. Wirepoints…
Gov. JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the terms on which Illinois will finally repay the remaining debt owed by the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund to the federal government. […]
It was political theater — spin and fiction — with lawmakers slapping themselves on the back for yet another supposed triumph of fiscal prudence. […]
Repayment of the loan doesn’t solve the problem. Aside from paying off the loan, the trust fund must be restored to a positive balance sufficient to cover claims. The fund depleted a little over $1 billion that it had before the pandemic, which was already insufficient at the time. It now needs another $1.7 billion to be restored to solvency, which came out in the Q &A at the Tuesday press conference.
Where will that additional $1.7 billion come from? Nobody said and no reporter asked. Pritzker did say that, aside from paying off the loan, the state will provide the trust fund with another $450 million towards that $1.7 billion which, he said, will “replenish the fund for the future.”
But that additional $450 million is only a loan to the trust fund, to be paid off over ten years. In other words, the state is just swapping one debt for another.
And how about the remaining $1.25 billion the fund needs? Nobody addressed that on Tuesday.
I reached out to the business folks from the agreed bill process and was told that the repayment actually does restore the trust fund balance sufficient to cover claims – and then some. I was pointed (not wirepointed, just pointed) to this IDES projection showing the end-of-year net trust fund balances produced by the deal…
This deal was backed by more than 30 employer groups. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association’s president Rob Karr said the agreement would ensure employers “pay over $900 million less in taxes over the next five years than they otherwise would have.” Mark Denzler at the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association echoed the $900 million tax savings and said the deal preserves “the solvency of the Trust Fund at a time of economic uncertainty.”
So you can believe those two guys or a group that runs down the state at secessionist conventions.
25 Comments Click here to help buy presents for LSSI foster kids!
* Background is here if you need it. From the First District Appellate Court with an opinion authored by Justice Joy Cunningham and Justices Hoffman and Delort concurring…
This consolidated appeal of 10 cases arises from the circuit court of Cook County’s orders finding the appellant, Marc D. Smith, who is the director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), in indirect civil contempt of court. The contempt finding was imposed on Director Smith for not finding appropriate placements for each of the minors in question as ordered by the trial court. This court granted motions to consolidate the cases on appeal because of the similar fact patterns, arguments, and findings by the trial court in each of the cases. Each case is directed against Director Smith in his official capacity. The Office of the Public Guardian of Cook County filed petitions for rules to show cause on behalf of each of the minors in these consolidated cases. The Office of the Public Guardian of Cook County asserted that Director Smith and DCFS did not find appropriate placements for the minors in either a residential treatment center or a specialized foster home as ordered by the trial court. After the issuance of a rule to show cause and a contempt hearing conducted by the trial court, the trial court found Director Smith in indirect civil contempt of court for failing to place each of the minors in appropriate placements as ordered by the court. As a result of the trial court’s contempt finding, Director Smith was initially fined $1000 per day by the trial court. In order to purge the contempt finding and its consequences in each case, the trial court ordered that each minor in the specific case before the court be placed in an appropriate setting.
On appeal, Director Smith argues that the circuit court erred by (1) finding that he should be held in indirect civil contempt in each minor’s case; (2) alternatively finding that the consent decree entered in B.H. v. Smith, 88-C-5599 (N.D. Ill. 1997), an unrelated case, did not bar the court from finding him in contempt; and (3) finding that the Integrated Care Center at Aunt Martha’s (ICC) was not an appropriate placement for the minors in question and therefore did not purge the contempt finding imposed upon him.
For the following reasons, we reverse the judgments of the circuit court of Cook County.
The court then goes over all of the consolidated appeals and the numerous, often failed, efforts made by DCFS employees to place kids in appropriate settings.
* Back to the opinion…
In the cases before us, there are no disputes amongst the parties that DCFS did not comply with the trial court’s orders to place each of the minors in an appropriate residential treatment center or specialized foster home, based on the recommended level of care needed by the minor, by a date certain imposed by the court. Therefore, a primafacie case was made in each case that Director Smith did not comply with the trial court’s orders. The parties dispute, however, whether Director Smith and DCFS were unable, through no fault of their own, to place each minor in an appropriate residential facility or foster home in accordance with the court’s orders. Thus, the parties disagree regarding whether Director Smith met his burden of proving his inability to comply with the court’s placement orders within the given time parameters.
Director Smith claims he made every possible effort to place the minors appropriately in accordance with the court’s orders but circumstances beyond his and DCFS’s control prevented the appropriate placements within the time mandated by the trial court’s orders. For example, he cites the unwillingness of various residential treatment centers to take some of the minors, such as R.A. On the other hand, the GAL and the amicus curiae brief focus their arguments on various methods that were not employed by DCFS to secure appropriate placements for the minors in accordance with the trial court’s orders. They argue vigorously that there were other avenues available to DCFS to secure appropriate placements for the minors, yet DCFS continued to employ ineffective methods that it should have known would fail.
Because we believe R.A.’s situation is illustrative of the main issues and arguments regarding whether DCFS and Director Smith’s actions were willful and disregarded the trial court’s order, we focus our analysis of this issue on R.A.’s particular situation. We note, also, that the trial court specifically found that Director Smith had “ignored’ the trial court’s orders in the majority of the cases in which the court made a contempt finding. […]
As explained, the record shows that while DCFS’s efforts were clearly ineffective, the trial court’s orders were not ignored. Accordingly, the court’s ruling that its orders were ignored, thereby resulting in a finding of indirect civil contempt by Director Smith, was erroneous. […]
Further, it should be noted that R.A., like each of the minors in question, presented with very complicated histories, personal circumstances, and specific treatment plans. It was, therefore, appropriate for the trial court to address Director Smith’s argument regarding whether he was able to comply with the trial court’s orders. The trial court did not entertain any such consideration, however.
While we recognize that the court could reasonably have been frustrated by the pace of Director Smith and DCFS in finding appropriate placements for the minors, the record belies the trial court’s written finding that Director Smith and DCFS “ignored” the court’s orders. On the contrary, the record bespeaks a great deal of activity by DCFS following each court order, notwithstanding that the activity was, at times, seemingly inefficient and clearly ineffective. Notwithstanding, that activity shows that DCFS made efforts to comply with the court’s order to place each minor by a date certain prior to the trial court’s contempt finding. We note that in L.R.’s case, for example, DCFS did follow up with a residential treatment center to offer services to make the placement feasible for L.R. That residential treatment center still declined L.R., so that effort was fruitless. Although the effort failed to amount to L.R. being appropriately placed, it cannot be said that Director Smith “ignored” the trial court’s order in that case as the court found in its contempt ruling. […]
The only activity that the trial court could consider in determining whether there was compliance with its orders was the activity of Director Smith and DCFS after the date of the entry of the court’s orders for appropriate placement of each minor. Therefore, any arguments regarding how Director Smith and DCFS handled the placements of the minors before the placement orders are irrelevant to a finding of contempt in each of these consolidated cases. […]
While it does not appear that DCFS and Director Smith demonstrated a sense of urgency to find appropriate placements for the minors, clearly some efforts were made. Although we do not condone DCFS’s repetitive use of the same ineffective methods to place minors in these cases, we cannot say, in light of the record in each of these cases, that Director Smith ignored the trial court’s orders to find appropriate placement for the minors. Further, the trial court gave no consideration to DCFS’s ability to comply within the specified time imposed the complexity of these cases, the resources available, and the time parameters imposed by the trial court, it would have been appropriate for the court to consider DCFS’s argument regarding its inability to comply. Accordingly, we find that the trial court abused its discretion in entering findings of indirect civil contempt against Director Smith in each of these consolidated cases. […]
Nevertheless, although we acknowledge that DCFS and Director Smith did make some efforts to comply with the placement orders, those efforts fell woefully short of expectations. DCFS is tasked with providing for some of the state’s most vulnerable youth, who present a wide range of significant challenges. The fact that some of the minors were hospitalized beyond medical necessity or left in inappropriate placements for months, or even over a year in some instances, is absolutely unacceptable. While the trial court erred in the methods it employed to coerce Director Smith into action in these cases, it is clear that the trial court was attempting to address a serious, widespread problem. We note that the trial court ultimately achieved its goal of having all the minors at issue placed in appropriate settings. Thus, the ultimate goal was achieved. […]
For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the judgments of the circuit court of Cook County in each of the consolidated cases addressed in this opinion, except in appeal Nos. 1-22-0233 and 1-22-0540, where we vacate the judgments.
…Adding… From DCFS…
“We are pleased that the Appellate Court found the contempt orders were erroneous. As the Appellate Court described, DCFS has been actively working to secure clinically appropriate placements for these children. Based on the record of DCFS’ actions, the Appellate Court found it was an abuse of the trial court’s discretion to hold the agency in contempt. DCFS will continue working closely with the trial court to ensure children are placed as quickly as possible in clinically appropriate settings, as we have done with each of the youth cited in the contempt orders. After years of neglect by prior administrations and staffing challenges worsened by a global health pandemic, DCFS has, under the current leadership, continually added therapeutic beds to ensure that children with medically complex conditions and behavioral challenges are placed in the appropriate settings.”
This administration’s efforts are showing demonstrable results. DCFS has dramatically reduced the number of children who are “beyond medical necessity.” Today, the number of youth who are “beyond medical necessity” is down by more than 80 percent.
Key takeaways from the ruling:
“The court’s ruling that its orders were ignored, thereby resulting in a finding of indirect civil contempt by Director Smith, was erroneous.” (page 42)
“In each case, the trial court held Director Smith in indirect civil contempt while also acknowledging that DCFS actively engaged in trying to find appropriate placements for the minors. At times, the court commented on the activity in which DCFS was engaged in trying to secure appropriate placements for the minors. The trial court, nonetheless found that Director Smith was in contempt for failing to comply with the court’s placement orders, opining that DCFS had ‘ignored’ the trial court’s orders. Such a ruling was inconsistent with the record.” (page 42)
“We find that the trial court abused its discretion in entering findings of indirect civil contempt against Director Smith in each of these consolidated cases.” (page 45)
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|It’s just a bill
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* McLean County radio station Cities 92.9 organized a bus trip to the January 6 insurrection…
The Cities 92.9 legion is joining with thousands of others expected to descend on the nation’s capitol, and support President Trump’s claims that the election was rigged.
The station now claims it has a source within the Illinois State Police…
A bill sits and stares gun owners and dealers in the face as fall veto session and lame duck session approaches.
“I have one of these guns sitting on my counter for just under $9,000, so anybody that owns these…is the government going to give you your money back? They pick this one caliber and they get it passed. Is it going to be the .308 next? Where does it end?”asked Matt Garvin, a concerned guns dealer at Guns & Glory in LeRoy, Illinois.
A source within Illinois State Police tipped off Cities and said there is an “assault weapons ban” to be implemented the coming weeks.
* Woodstock Institute press release…
Despite groundbreaking legislation passed into law last year capping consumer loan interest rates at 36%, a Sangamon County court issued an injunction allowing pawnbrokers to ignore the statewide interest rate cap. Legislation is pending in Springfield that would fix the problem and require Illinois pawn brokers to charge no more than 36% APR for their loans.
“Pawnbrokers are not shy about exploiting a loophole that allows them to make predatory loans to our veterans as well as all other Illinoisans,” State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago) said. “I’m asking my colleagues in the legislature to close this loophole by voting for my bill.” The legislation is Senate Bill 4241.
State Rep. Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) is sponsoring the same bill in the House (House Bill 5840). A wide swath of organizations and individuals support the legislation, including the Catholic Conference of Illinois, the United Way of Illinois, the NAACP, and the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (See fact sheet)
Collins and Harper were joined at a press conference today by a woman named Jazmine T., who took out two $800 pawn loans to help her with moving expenses. With a triple digit interest rate, she ended up paying more than $8,000 in loan fees and lost property.
“Enough is enough. Illinoisans are fed up with loans that charge triple digit interest rates and prey on vulnerable families,” State Representative Sonya Harper said. “Fortunately, all we need to do is pass legislation that will fix this problem.”
Earlier this month, Woodstock Institute released the results of an investigation showing that Illinois pawnbrokers are overcharging active-duty servicemembers, who have long been protected (or meant to be protected) by a federal law that caps the interest rate on loans to active-duty servicemembers at 36%. In the course of the investigation, pawn shops charged 240% APR or higher in 19 out of 20 transactions.
“Our investigation shows that this problem is not an isolated incident,” said Horacio Mendez, president and CEO of Woodstock Institute. “The best way to solve it is by requiring Illinois pawnshops to comply with the state 36% interest rate cap. That way, pawnbrokers are relieved from having to determine customers’ military status and all customers, including veterans, are protected from predatory interest rates.”
The state’s 36% interest rate cap was part of the Legislative Black Caucus’s “Economic Access Pillar” created in the wake of the events of 2020 that shined a light on racial inequities across the country. There is considerable evidence that predatory lending disproportionately impacts Black, Brown, and underserved communities. See, e.g., High-interest loans in Chicago target Black neighborhoods (Nov. 26, 2021). In 2020, the average income of a payday loan borrower was only $37,582 according to data published by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
“If the intention of a statewide consumer loan rate cap is to help prevent wealth stripping and and predatory practices, then we need to make sure the state law closes the loophole that allows pawn shops to continue preying on our most vulnerable and historically under-resourced communities,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said.
A recent poll regarding the impacts of the state interest rate cap shows that by a margin of more than 2 to 1, Illinoisans oppose “exceptions for pawnbrokers.” Eighty-six percent of Illinoisans support the PLPA rate cap.
The Lake Research Partners poll is here.
* Illinois Policy Institute…
State lawmakers are debating a bill to push back the New Year’s Day gas tax hike.
Instead of the scheduled gas tax hikes on Jan. 1 and July 1, 2023, House Bill 5829 pushes back the next inflation adjustment to July 1, 2023. Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s election-year budget put off the July 2022 gas tax hike until after the election on Jan. 1.
The House bill is still on First Reading and was assigned to Rules, so they haven’t debated it.
* Batinick introduces Property Tax Relief Legislation for last week of veto session: Rep. Batinick’s property tax plan would result in an eventual 50% reduction in property taxes in some of the hardest-hit areas of the state. According to the Tax Foundation, Illinois was ranked the second highest state in the nation in terms of property tax rates at 2.05% in 2020. A September 2022 report by The Civic Federation identified that in tax year 2020, property tax extensions for all Illinois taxing districts were $33.8 billion, of which 61.5% was for school districts.
* IL. Rep. Denyse Stoneback Wants To Criminalize Free Speech During Elections: When a politician names something the “Truth In Politics Act” you can bet its actual meaning is the opposite of its title. Illinois State Representative Denyse Wang Stoneback has introduced HB5850 which would criminalize certain speech directed at political campaigns. The bill prescribes criminal and civil penalties for certain election speech and adds speech requirements for political campaigns.
43 Comments Click here to help buy presents for LSSI foster kids!
* The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager - Senate Democrats goes to the late Ivan Gonzalez…
Ivan Gonzalez was a great guy. Hard worker, knew his politics and genuinely a really nice guy. Always had a smile on his face and could make a joke out of thin air. But he seemed to have at least 40 years of experience in him even though I am not sure he was even 40 yet. I had looked forward to working with him for years to come. A shame he left us too early.
Ivan stomped on the terra.
Runners-up are Jack Lockhart in Senator Gillespie’s office and Mavi Silva in Sen. Castro’s office.
* The 2022 Golden Horseshoe Award for Best Legislative Assistant/District Office Manager - Senate Republicans goes to Cathy Scaife, mainly based on this strong nomination from Sen. Jason Barickman…
Affectionately known as Mama Scaife around the SGOP caucus and elsewhere, I’d like to proudly nominate Cathy Scaife.
I like to keep a lot of balls in the air and am often asked how I can keep my head on straight. The answer, quite simply, is having top notch staff and Cathy is at the top of my list. Session days can be crazy, yet Cathy takes it all in stride. Her cheerful attitude and attention to details makes my Session days manageable. Her lunch buffet is the best food in the Capitol - many of my colleagues, our staff, lobbyists, and even a few constituents, have repeatedly shown up at my office around lunch because of Cathy’s generosity…and persistence that they eat our food.
My constituents love Cathy and know that if they really want to get something done, they should call her. I’ve heard countless praises from my constituents, thanking me for having Cathy be a part of our team. Her persistence results in constituent issues moving along when they appeared to be stuck. She defies the wildly misguided notion that state employees aren’t hard workers.
And I’ve never seen her have a bad day.
Our State has lots of tremendous employees, and this year, I’m honored to tell you why Cathy is among them.
Runner-up is Sheila Sims in Sen. Anderson’s office.
* On to today’s categories…
Remember to try and do your best to nominate in both categories. I know that’s not always possible, but give it a whirl if you can. Also, please explain your nominations. That’s the most important thing.
* And after you’ve voted, or even if you don’t vote, please click here and donate to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois and help buy presents for foster kids. I mean, just look at the face of this foster child after he received an LSSI present. See how happy he is? You can spread even more of that joy by clicking here and donating…
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Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller
* Here you go…
* WILL 100 | Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch on abortion, the SAFE-T act, labor rights, and more.: Republicans in the Illinois House and Senate have chosen new leaders to begin in January 2023, but Democratic lawmakers are going to continue under their current leaders. In the Illinois House, that means another term for Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch. He joined The 21st to discuss cash bail, the recently passed Workers’ Rights Amendment, the state budget, and more.
* WTTW | Illinois State Legislators Reach Bipartisan Deal to Pay Off Unemployment Fund Debt: On Tuesday, leaders announced a bipartisan plan, which also has the backing of business and labor, to eliminate the $1.8 billion remainder of that debt, including paying back an interest-incurring federal loan that had been used to shore up the fund.
* Tribune | Gov. J.B. Pritzker announces bipartisan deal to plug nearly $1.4 billion hole in unemployment fund: Pritzker’s announcement came as state legislators gathered at the Capitol for the final session of the year, with negotiations still ongoing over what’s expected to be the primary agenda item — tweaks to controversial criminal justice measures set to take effect Jan. 1.
* Tribune | CEOs of Jewel, Mariano’s parent companies defend proposed megamerger before Senate lawmakers: At a hearing in Washington, D.C., before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s panel on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, expressed concern that the proposed merger would lead to higher food prices at a time when Americans are already facing inflated food costs. Groceries were up 12.4% in October when compared with the same time last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
* Sun-Times | Business leaders to form political action committee to prevent City Council from making sharp left turn: Mike Ruemmler, who managed Rahm Emanuel’s 2015 mayoral reelection campaign, said he plans to form a committee bankrolled by business leaders to elect moderate alderpersons.
* Effingham Radio | IL Freedom Caucus Calls for End of Consent Calendar in the Illinois House of Representatives: The Consent Calendar is a list of bills bundled together and voted on in one roll call vote. The list of bills includes ceremonial legislation such as measures to change the name of roads to honor members of the community, but the list also includes substantive legislation. The Illinois Freedom Caucus is issuing the following statement on the need to end the Consent Calendar.
* CBS Chicago | Justice Anne Burke serving last day on Illinois Supreme Court Wednesday: Today is chief justice Anne Burke’s last day on the Illinois Supreme Court. Burke has served on the state’s highest court for more than 16 years.
* WCIA | Sangamon County Father of the Year receives statehouse proclamation : Dave Dahl, the news director of Springfield radio station WTAX, was awarded Father of the Year from the Illinois Council on Responsible Fatherhood back in early October. On Tuesday, representatives from the Illinois House of Representatives recognized Dahl with a proclamation.
* Tribune | As candidates for Chicago mayor jockey for union support, ‘Chuy’ García lands a big labor endorsement: With the business community largely sitting out the mayor’s race so far, union support will be especially critical in determining who sits on the fifth floor at City Hall. Mayor Lori Lightfoot has tried to ally herself with trade unions, while Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson has received support from progressive labor groups including the Chicago Teachers Union, SEIU 73 and SEIU Healthcare.
* Sun-Times | Bally’s officials address concerns about temporary Medinah Temple casino at community meeting: Bally’s casino is set to temporarily occupy the historic Medinah Temple, 600 N. Wabash Ave., before moving to its permanent riverfront location on Chicago Avenue and Halsted Street.
* Block Club Chicago | Life And Death In Chicago’s Most Dangerous Bike Lane: In Chicago’s busiest bike lane along Milwaukee Avenue, there have been 50 reported crashes and three deaths since 2020 as cyclists navigate the city’s patchwork approach to safety.
* CBS Chicago | Former Illinois state Rep. Eugene Barnes dies: Barnes died Sunday, Nov. 13. He was 91 years old.
* WTVO | New Illinois law going into effect January 1st requires all homes have 10-year smoke detectors: According to Public Act 100-0200, which was passed in 2017, smoke alarms that were installed in homes prior to January 1st can remain in place until they are 10 years old.
* Daily Southtown | Mokena’s ‘Walking Man’ reaches 25,000-mile goal on eve of 87th birthday: Tom Sullivan’s journey “around the earth” began with a single step back in 2000, when he made a new year-new century goal to walk a thousand miles. Last month, the 87-year-old financial planner — yes, he’s still working — logged his 25,000th mile, the equivalent of the circumference of the earth.
* WSIL | Illinois & Missouri monitoring potential avian flu outbreaks in waterfowl: According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), more than 300 waterbirds, primarily snow geese, have died of suspected avian bird flu at public hunting areas in southern Illinois. The deceased wild birds have been found at Baldwin Lake, Pyramid State Recreation Area, Rend Lake, and Carlyle Lake in recent days.
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|SAFE-T Act amendment pops
Wednesday, Nov 30, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller
* HB1095, Senate Amendment 1.
…Adding… The new trespassing language…
Law enforcement shall issue a citation in lieu of custodial arrest, upon proper identification, for those accused of any offense that is not a felony or Class A misdemeanor unless (i) a law enforcement officer reasonably believes the accused poses a threat to the community or any person, (ii) a custodial arrest is necessary because the criminal activity persists after the issuance of a citation
traffic and Class B and C criminal misdemeanor offenses, or of petty and business offenses, who pose no obvious threat to the community or any person, or (iii) the accused has an who have no obvious medical or mental health issue issues that poses pose a risk to the accused’s their own safety. Nothing in this Section requires arrest in the case of Class A misdemeanor and felony offenses, or otherwise limits existing law enforcement discretion to decline to effect a custodial arrest Those released on citation shall be scheduled into court within 21 days.
…Adding… New language on what happens to people in jail on January 1. The so-called “Purge Law”…
On or after January 1, 2023, any person, not subject to subsection (b), who remains in pretrial detention and is eligible for detention under Section 110-6.1 shall be entitled to a hearing according to the following schedule:
(1) For persons charged with offenses under paragraphs (1) through (7) of subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1, the hearing shall be held within 90 days of the person’s motion for reconsideration of pretrial release conditions.
(2) For persons charged with offenses under paragraph(8) of subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1, the hearing shall be held within 60 days of the person’s motion for econsideration of pretrial release conditions.
(3) For persons charged with all other offenses not listed in subsection (a) of Section 110-6.1, the hearing shall be held within 7 days of the person’s motion for reconsideration of pretrial release conditions.
That gives the state’s attorneys time to prepare. Section 110-6.1 is here.
…Adding… Cleanup of the constitutional requirement for bail…
Pretrial release. “Pretrial release” has the meaning ascribed to bail in Section 9 of Article I of the Illinois Constitution where the sureties provided are nonmonetary in nature
that is non-monetary.
(b) At all pretrial hearings, the prosecution shall have the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that any condition of release is necessary.
Additional conditions of release, including those highlighted above, shall be set only when it is determined that they are necessary to assure the defendant’s appearance in court, assure the defendant does not commit any criminal offense, and complies with all conditions of pretrial release.
(c) When it is alleged that pretrial release should be denied to a person upon the grounds that the person presents a real and present threat to the safety of any person or persons or the community, based on the specific articulable facts of the case, the burden of proof of such allegations shall be upon the State
Detention only shall be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses a specific, real and present threat to a person, or has a high likelihood of willful flight. If the court deems that the defendant is to be released on personal recognizance, the court may require that a written admonishment be signed by the defendant requiring that he or she must comply with the provisions of Section 110-12 of this Code regarding any change in his or her address. The defendant may be released on his or her own recognizance upon signature.The defendant’s address shall at all times remain a matter of public record with the clerk of the court. A failure to appear as required by such recognizance shall constitute an offense subject to the penalty provided in Section 32-10 of the Criminal Code of 2012 for violation of the conditions of pretrial release.
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