Happy Tuesday, Illinois. It’s impeachment time, and the former president is looking at it like an episode of the “Apprentice,” according to national Playbook. He may see high-impact drama, but we’re expecting something akin to an episode of Sean Hannity.

Moments after being sworn in as speaker of the Illinois House last month, Emanuel “Chris” Welch told reporters he supported term limits for the position.

It turns out he meant it. Rules that govern the legislative process in the Illinois House of Representatives were released Monday night, and the first thing that pops out is term limits for the House speaker — and minority leader. The proposal states those top leaders can serve only five General Assemblies (10 years).

The rules changes were filed by Majority Leader Greg Harris and will be voted on when House lawmakers meet in Springfield Wednesday.

The other big change: the rules also allow for remote legislating — something the state Senate has been doing for months. This change will clear lawmakers to call into committee hearings and task force talks.

And according to the resolution, bills that are sent to the Rules Committee must get reported out to a subject matter committee for debate. “A lot of people say bills go to the Rules Committee to die. And that’s not going to happen anymore,” Harris told Playbook. “It’s a big improvement.”

It’s the most significant change since Welch became speaker following Michael Madigan’s decadeslong run of the gavel where he drew criticism for dictating when and how lawmakers vote on bills.

Republicans say the proposed changes are mostly cosmetic and that Welch will retain power over the House the way Madigan did.

“While it’s great that bills get assigned to committee, they will die there just as they did in Rules. It’s the same process, different committee,” said Eleni Demertzis, a deputy chief of staff for House Minority Leader Jim Durkin. “Our focus was to allow bills to get an up or down vote in committee to prevent the speaker or chairperson from unilaterally blocking a bill from being heard.”

Welch, for example, still retains considerable power by appointing committee chair positions — and the stipends that go along with them. Those lieutenants, in turn, control what bills make it to a vote.

Counterpoint: Harris says Republicans adopted similar rules when they controlled the House way back when. He added there will be bipartisan talks on what works and what more needs to be done.

Another subtle change: The next time a special investigating committee is called, if the speaker or minority leader is subject of the complaint or the petitioner, then they must recuse themselves from supervising the disciplinary process. That change follows the investigation into Madigan’s connection to a federal corruption investigation and the complaint filed by Durkin.

The death of Karen Lewis, the former Chicago Teachers Union president who’s credited with reviving the labor movement in Chicago and across the country, drew an outpouring of support Monday.

Even Sen. Bernie Sanders expressed grief, tweeting that Lewis “lived her life on the front line of the struggle for justice in education, and to honor her memory we must recommit ourselves to building the fairer future students and families deserve.”

But it was former Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s message that everyone noticed. “While we often found ourselves on different sides of the debate, I grew to have enormous respect for Karen and our regular conversations were a benefit to me and to the City of Chicago. May her memory be a blessing,” he tweeted.

Lewis’ prominence is inextricably linked to Emanuel, with whom she had a turbulent relationship.

It started when Lewis revealed the two cursed at each other in the lead-up to the 2012 teacher strike. Emanuel yelled, “F— you Lewis,” and she responded in kind. “Who the f— do you think you are talking to? I don’t work for you.”

Teachers were emboldened by the exchange.

After the dust settled from that strike, Lewis turned her attention to her faith and studying for her bat mitzvah.

Judaism helped Lewis recover from a “tough year,” she told me at the time. “It’s an intellectual religion. It’s about studying and questioning and righteousness and doing the right thing, and that appealed to me.”

After the bitterness of the strike, Emanuel said he “wanted to break the ice and start talking again.” Lewis’ bat mitzvah was a good opportunity to do that. Their shared Jewish faith was something they could agree on.

Going forward, their relationship was “totally different.” They exchanged prayers or rabbinical quotes that they thought the other would enjoy, Emanuel said. And they appreciated each others’ sense of humor. “Since she got bat mitzvah’d late in life and it is a recognition that you have become a Jewish adult, I teased her that it was never too late to grow up.”

Emanuel said Lewis “laughed out loud and said ‘Good.’ I said mazel tov.”

They clashed, in part, because they were very much alike, writes Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

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The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 35 deaths and 1,747 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus. That’s a total of 19,668 fatalities and 1,148,088 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from Feb. 1 through 7 is 3.3 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.9 percent.

Physicians ask Pritzker to waive background check rules for doctors, nurses volunteering at vax sites: “In the letter addressed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Chicago Medical Society said the requirements, set by local governments, are unnecessary for health care workers who are already licensed and in good standing in Illinois, and instead act as barriers for the workers who are trying to lend a hand in the vaccination effort,” by Tribune’s Madeline Buckley.

Chicago health commissioner says librarians shouldn’t get moved up in vaccine line: “After a group of progressive aldermen and union leaders last week called for public library workers to be considered front-line workers and moved up the vaccine line, Dr. Allison Arwady said the stats don’t support such a change,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.

State Senate committee to hold hearing on vaccine rollout: “The Covid-19 vaccine is the greatest line of defense we have against the pandemic,” state Sen. Julie Morrison said in a Monday news release. “Unfortunately, many people across the state who are eligible for the vaccine haven’t been able to get their dose – and that’s disheartening.” by Capitol News’ Tim Kirsininkas

AARP says the Covid-19 crisis has widened racial and economic disparities: “Unveiling a program called ‘Disrupt Disparities,’ AARP Illinois president Rosanna Marquez said, look at the vaccination numbers. ‘Illinois needs to do a better job of helping older adults sign up for the Covid-19 vaccine,’ Marquez told an online news conference Monday. ‘There is no time to waste,’” by WJBC’s Dave Dahl.

— NOW IN TEACHERS’ HANDS: Deal that would reopen Chicago schools clears key hurdle: “Chicago teachers will have just over 24 hours to decide whether to greenlight a tentative agreement that would pave the way for schools to reopen for in-person learning in the coming weeks. The agreement passed the union’s House of Delegates with 85 percent approval Monday; 13 percent of delegates voted against and 2 percent of delegates abstained. The final step is the broader membership vote,” by Chalkbeat’s Yana Kunichoff.

CTU delegates also issued ‘no confidence’ vote against Lightfoot, CPS, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa.

Lightfoot v. CTU escalates long-running conflict between City Hall and public school teachers, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Bill Ruthhart and John Byrne.

It’s 2021 — CPD creates new policy banning retaliation against officers who report misconduct: “In an apparent attempt to strike a blow against the department’s long-alleged ‘code of silence’ that protects bad cops, the Chicago Police Department has created a policy banning retaliation against officers who report misconduct. The new policy comes after years of claims that CPD has a pattern of punishing officers who speak out, with multiple whistleblowers claiming they were demoted or threatened, and left with nowhere to turn because their own supervisors were against them,” by WBEZ’s Patrick Smith.

Another Lightfoot cabinet member resigns: “Family & Support Services Commissioner Lisa Morrison Butler announced her resignation Monday, saying a recent “health scare” had ‘really made me crave just a little more professional and personal flexibility,’” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Mercy Hospital has one of the busiest ERs in the city. But now it’s turning away ambulances: “More than three months before Mercy Hospital aimed to shut its doors, several lawmakers and physicians fear the Near South Side medical center is closing faster than expected,” reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.

To keep up with pandemic demands, Chicago food pantries expand — and get a facelift: “The Greater Chicago Food Depository wants to change the aesthetics of food pantries while expanding access in Black and Latino communities,” by WBEZ’s Natalie Moore.

Cubs top list of most expensive baseball stadiums: “Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, tops the list for the most expensive places to see an MLB game. On average, a ticket, two beers, a hot dog and parking will cost you $109.78. Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, comes in at a close second place ($96.62) followed by the New York Yankees ($95.91),” reports Tennessee Bets.

— Brandon Breaux, the Chicago-based artist and creator behind Chance the Rapper’s album covers, is teaming up with Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation this Black History Month to highlight everyday Black heroes making a difference in their community through art. For #28DaysofGreatness, Breaux will unveil a digital portrait of current history makers for each day of February. Later this month, Rebuild Foundation will post physical copies of each portrait outside of the Stony Island Arts Bank for passersby and community members to view.

‘He’s Teflon:’ Trumpworld thrilled at his standing heading into impeachment: “The president’s fortunes have improved from Jan. 6. And both his team and his critics know it,” by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw and Gabby Orr.

Biden’s strategy for Trump’s impeachment: Sit back and STFU: “The Biden team has shut down question after question about where Biden stands on this week’s trial, even with its massive historical, constitutional and political ramifications. On Monday, press secretary Jen Psaki wouldn’t even say whether the president would receive daily updates on the trial’s progress,” by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki.

How to watch Trump’s second impeachment trial like a boss: “The outcome may be a foregone conclusion, but the details matter,” by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney.

MAGA is already over Trump’s impeachment trial: “With Trump out of the White House and stripped of his Twitter megaphone to air his grievances and rally his supporters, his MAGA movement has moved on to other pursuits,” by POLITICO’s Tina Nguyen.

Stuart says she had no role in changing opioid legislation to include criminal reform bill: “Madison County’s top elected law officials from both parties on Monday condemned the criminal justice bill being considered this week by the General Assembly in Springfield. House Bill163 was introduced in December by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, as a prescription monitoring bill. But on Jan. 4 it had a 600-page amendment added to it that is upsetting law enforcement and prosecutors,” by Edwardsville Intelligencer’s Ron DeBrock.

Illinois sports betting scores big in Super Bowl LV: “The total handle was $45,610,513 — with $42,756,647 of those bets being made online, according to figures released Monday by the Illinois Gaming Board. The state’s cut of that is $1,148,890 in tax revenue,” by Sun-Times’ Andrew Sullender.

IDES remains mum on when offices will open back up: “The entire state of Illinois is back in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, which means nearly everything is back open. One exception, though, is the offices for the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), which closed their doors 328 days ago,” by ABC/20’s Matt Roy.

Dems say ‘amazing candidate’ was appointed to Senate seat — but Cassidy complains of ‘backroom deal’: “North Side Democrats promised no backroom dealing in appointing a successor to former state Sen. Heather Steans, vowing the process would be open and transparent. But state Rep. Kelly Cassidy said Monday that wasn’t the case — and her decision to not engage in those dealings may have been a key reason why she lost the chance to win the appointment herself,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

Naperville family sues Robinhood, saying stock trading app played role in son’s suicide last year: “The family of a Naperville college student who took his own life last year after apparently becoming convinced he had racked up a six-figure debt on the stock trading platform Robinhood has sued the company, alleging it allowed him to make risky transactions without proper oversight or guidance,” by Tribune’s John Keilman.

Bellwood police commander charged with possession of child pornography: John Trevarthen, 45, appeared in Bond Court on Saturday. Judge Anthony Coco set bond at $150,000 with 10 percent to apply. Trevarthen is charged with three counts of possession of child pornography, a Class 2 felony, according to a statement by the DuPage County State’s Attorney Office.

Pot firm’s co-founder settles suit alleging he created ‘toxic working environment,’ used company secrets for new venture: “Joseph Caltabiano denied allegations he engaged in a ‘litany of misconduct’ as he helped build Cresco Labs into a multi-state behemoth in the lawsuit filed Jan. 29,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.

The half-legal cannabis trap: “In L.A., people are getting arrested for what they think are legit jobs in the pot business. Will ‘decriminalization’ just spread the problem nationwide?” by Amanda Chicago Lewis for POLITICO.

REP. LAUREN UNDERWOOD introduced the “momnibus” bill with Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). The 12-bill package is aimed at improving maternal health and closing racial and ethnic disparities in pregnancy and birth. Among the bills are measures to fund community-based organizations, grow the perinatal workforce and address the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change have had on maternal and infant health. "As maternal mortality rates continue to drop around the world, they are rising in the U.S., leaving behind devastated families and children who will grow up never knowing their moms," Underwood, co-chair and co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, said in a statement. She also talked about it on MSNBC.

Dems split as progressives rage over immigration vote, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Marianne Levine

Democrats’ plan to lift work requirement could complicate child poverty plan, by POLITICO’s Brian Faler

Minimum wage increase could work under Biden’s stimulus, CBO report suggests, by POLITICO’s Jennifer Scholtes and Rebecca Rainey

How George Shultz escaped two scandal-plagued administrations unscathed: The former dean of the University of Chicago worked in the Reagan and Nixon administrations, where “In a White House rife with schemers, Shultz earned a reputation for playing it straight,” writes David Greenberg in POLITICO magazine.

Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76, by the AP

— Don Andres has been named chief of staff to Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. Andres, who had been Garcia’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff, succeeds Kari Moe, a longtime congressional staffer who will return to teaching and training in progressive leadership. “Don has played a key role in my team for the past two years, providing sound legislative advice and helping steer my work on behalf “ of the district, Garcia said in a statement. “I want to thank my friend Kari Moe for her service as chief of staff during my freshman term.” Before joining Garcia’s team, Andres was a legislative staffer for Reps. Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Steven Horsford of Nevada. He began his career as an intern for then-Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti, and later for Rep. Karen Bass of California.

— Mavilen Silva has been named chief of staff to state Sen. Cristina Castro. For the past seven years, Silva was district director for state Rep. Anna Moeller.

— Amy Gooden has been promoted to partner at Left Hook, the Los Angeles and D.C.-based political strategy and media firm. She’s in Chicago. In 2020, Left Hook was the DCCC independent expenditure (IE) media team working on behalf of Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, Rep. Sean Casten and Rep. Lauren Underwood. DCCC IE media team also worked on the the Illinois gubernatorial and Chicago mayoral race, and was the media team to elect Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin.

Today at 10 a.m.: Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis headlines a virtual discussion sponsored by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Subject: his journey to become mayor and the challenges facing Peoria.

Today at 1 p.m.: A virtual discussion about Julius Rosenwald is being held as part of Black History Month. Rosenwal was a Chicago businessman who partnered with Booker T. Washington to build almost 5,400 Southern Schools in communities of color. Fully 35 percent of all Black children in the South (and 27 percent of all Black children in the country) were educated in a Rosenwald school in 1932, according to the Illinois State Society, which is co-sponsoring the event.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Robin Johnson, who teaches political science at Monmouth College, and writer and author Edward McClelland for being first to correctly answer that Forgotonia is the west central Illinois area that legislators in the 1970s felt had been forgotten or ignored when it came to four-lane highways and other infrastructure improvements.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Illinois county had the longest streak of voting for the winner in presidential elections broken in 2020? Email to [email protected].

State Treasurer Office COO Aimee Pine, and lobbyist Scott Marquardt.



February 9, 2021 at 07:44AM

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