With help from Maria Carrasco
Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. Face it, Meghan and Harry will never be this interesting again, reports POLITICO’s Jack Shafer.
A ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court paves the way for Democratic Rep. Thaddeus Jones to become mayor of Calumet City. He will be the first Black person to hold the position — and the second legislator to simultaneously lead a local government.
Jones won the February primary, but a question remained about his name appearing on the ballot.
“I feel excited,” Jones told The Times of Northwest Indiana after the Supreme Court ruling. “It’s a new day in Calumet City. It’s a new day for the voters who have been disrespected and left behind.”
He congratulated incumbent Michelle Markiewicz Qualkinbush “for her service,” but said he never doubted he’d prevail in the court fight.
Jones, who didn’t immediately return a late call for comment, will earn $94,000 as mayor on top of his $69,000 salary as a part-time legislator.
He won’t be the first to double-dip. Rep. Bradley Stephens is mayor of Rosemont. He takes his full $69,000 state government salary for the part-time work in the General Assembly, but he said he’d cut $1,000 every day he works in Springfield from his $260,000 mayoral salary.
That fits within Illinois rules that state no member of the General Assembly shall receive compensation from any other government entity while working in the Legislature, according to state by state research by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Stephens had defended having dual roles, saying technology makes it easy to juggle the two jobs.
It also requires good delegating. The question is whether lawmakers should be delegating at all, given they were the ones elected to a position.
There’s also an issue about that pesky potential for conflict of interest should bills benefiting your community pop up in the General Assembly.
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Illinois Senate Republicans are switching gears on their fundraising as they set a goal to gain six more seats. That would get them out of super-minority status and give them a greater voice in legislating — and vetoing — bills.
The newly created finance committee under the Republican Senate Campaign Committee will see senators with more experience fanning across the state to help the caucus and to mentor rank-and-file members on how to raise funds.
“We’re empowering members and encouraging them to raise for each other and for the caucus, instead of just relying on the deep pockets of a select few,” state Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), who chairs the RSCC, told Playbook. Fundraising allows candidates to better engage with constituents, he said. “It creates energy and enthusiasm to recognize that if we don’t want to be in the super minority, we all have to row the boat in the same direction.”
It’s a noticeable shift in GOP fundraising under recently elected Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie.
For years, Republicans in the General Assembly have relied on top members of leadership to do the heavy lifting on fundraising. That worked fine when Bruce Rauner was governor and was able to make up the difference.
Also on the RSCC are state Sens. Jil Tracy (Quincy), Don DeWitte (St. Charles) and Jason Plummer (Edwardsville).
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
At the United Center at 9:15 am. for an update on the mass vaccination site.
At the United Center at 9:15 am. for an update on the mass vaccination site. At 6 p.m., he’ll join a telephone town hall with the AARP Illinois to answer questions about combating Covid-19. Both will be livestreamed.
At the United Center at 9:15 am. for an update on the mass vaccination site.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 5 new deaths and 1,182 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 20,767 fatalities and 1,199,517 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 1 through 7 is 2.3 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.8 percent.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those who are vaccinated for Covid-19 can socialize with each other indoors — without masks and without worrying about social distancing. It’s a big step toward normalcy, my POLITICO colleagues explain here.
In Illinois, the news was tempered by confusion about how to get the vaccine. Illinoisans who aren’t Chicago residents were blocked over the weekend from booking vaccine appointments at the United Center.
It prompted finger-pointing and damage control among politicos, reports WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.
The switcheroo came about when the federal government realized the vaccine wasn’t going to people of color who qualify, including those with serious underlying health conditions. It was people from the suburbs who were signing up, according to their ZIP codes.
“We wanted to make sure that people who were most in need were getting the vaccines,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told reporters Monday in defending the decision.
Chicago public health commissioner Allison Arwady said she expects the United Center site to eventually be open to all Illinois residents. Arwady promised more details today, when the site is scheduled for a “soft opening” before a full-blown welcome Wednesday, reports the Tribune.
— Former department store in Aurora turned into site for mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic, by Aurora Beacon-News’ Megan Jones
— Baxter strikes deal to help Moderna manufacture up to 90 million COVID-19 vaccines this year, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker
— NEW GAME PLAN: White Sox, Cubs can have fans attend games, mayor says: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot gave both teams the go-ahead to sell 20% of the seats at Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field citing the ‘remarkable’ progress Chicago has made toward containing the coronavirus and vaccinating its residents,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— SCOOP: N.Y. DA’s probe into Trump finances expands to include millions loaned for Chicago hotel: “Prosecutors are examining whether the company misled lenders or insurance brokers about valuations for certain properties. They are also investigating fees paid to consultants and a conservation easement taken on a New York family estate called Seven Springs,” via CNN.
— Here’s what the Loop could look like post-pandemic: “The Loop was the city’s fastest-growing residential neighborhood over the past decade, but the pandemic has slowed that growth. And now that businesses have discovered their employees can work remotely, at least part of the time, office footprints are shrinking,” by Edward McClelland for Chicago magazine.
— Chicago schools will begin testing students for Covid-19 next week: “That effort — which officials say they expect to begin rolling out late next week — is part of a broader public health strategy the district is implementing now that schools are open, including an online health screener, in-school temperature checks, a new contact tracing team, and regular testing of teachers,” writes Chalkbeat Chicago’s Yana Kunichoff.
— Target in talks to replace Macy’s in Water Tower Place: “How embarrassing is this to the city,” Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas said during the radio interview. “I’m trying to figure out what is magnificent on the Magnificent Mile about Target? It’s disgusting. I’m like, what are you thinking Brookfield?” by Tribune’s Ryan Ori and Lauren Zumbach
— Some Chicago restaurants are ending the practice of tipping: “Restaurants are raising prices, adding service charges to bills, or finding new sources of revenue so they can raise wages and become less dependent on tipping. It’s a risky move, both financially and culturally, but some restauranteurs say they are emboldened to try because of the disruption caused by the pandemic,” by Tribune’s Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz.
— Louder Than a Bomb postponed to late spring as Young Chicago Authors works to re-establish trust with community: “In an open letter, interim leader said Young Chicago Authors will ‘fully cooperate’ with Chicago Public Schools’ investigation into their partnership,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.
— Activists end their hunger strike, but vow to continue protesting metal shredder: “The activists are determined to keep the city of Chicago’s Public Health Department from issuing a final permit needed for the new shredder to start operations,” reports WBEZ’s Linda Lutton.
— Pritzker signs Black Caucus-backed education plan as criticism continues about school spending: “While winning praise from the legislators at the ceremony, Pritzker has been criticized by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle over schools spending in his $41.6 billion proposed budget for the year that begins July 1. For the second year in a row, Pritzker wants to forgo a $350 million year-over-year increase in funding for elementary and secondary education,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.
… State school board requests $400 million funding increase, including K-12 boost, by Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki
— Five bills education bills to watch during the March legislative session: “As this legislative session heats up, Pritzker is still reviewing and signing bills that passed during the last legislative session, such as the bill that would restore many of the Chicago Teachers Union’s bargaining rights,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago’s Samantha Smylie.
— Bills address tollway rates for small trailers, future railway infrastructure: “HB 394 states that the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority shall not charge a toll for a vehicle pulling a single axle trailer at a rate higher than twice the regular car rate. …HB 399 would create the High Speed Railway Commission, which would create a statewide plan for a high-speed rail line and feeder network connecting St. Louis and Chicago that includes current existing Amtrak and Metra services. It would also connect the cities of Rockford, Moline, Peoria and Decatur and use inner city bus service to coordinate with the rail line,” by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic.
— With teacher vaccines up and Covid-19 cases down, some high schools eye reopening: “While many suburban secondary schools have resumed or are expanding classrooms offerings, as of Monday, high school students are the only ones in CPS who have not yet been given an in-person option. …North of the city at New Trier High School, where the school board recently expanded its in-person learning plan to include a four-day-a-week option, 70 percent of the 1,435 students who were enrolled in the high school’s in-person instruction on March 2 actually arrived on campus, with the remainder joining remote classes from home,” by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta.
— Monarch butterfly population down so it’s not too early to plan your urban monarch garden: “Many stops along the monarchs’ multigenerational migratory route, including Illinois, are taking an all-hands-on-deck approach to helping out the butterfly, looking for more places where milkweed might grow. What happens in the Chicago area can be crucial to the success of the generation that will make the long journey back to Mexico,” reports Tribune’s Morgan Greene.
Rep. Garcia endorses Joliet candidate Guerrero: “There are 12 candidates in the race for the three at-large seats on the City Council in the citywide election. ‘It’s hard to overstate the significance of the congressman’s endorsement,’ candidate Cesar Guerrero said. ‘As the leading figure in the struggle for Latinx representation in Chicagoland, ‘Chuy García’ has always been a household name in my community,’” by the Herald-News’ Bob Okon.
— Madigan wins legal battle centered on dirty tricks allegation: “Challenger Jason Gonzales contended that putting up fake candidates represented a dirty trick, but the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Constitution does not give judges authority to penalize a politician for a ‘shady strategy that voters tolerate,’” by Tribune’s Ray Long.
— With methadone lawsuit concluded, DuPage County Jail looks to expand opioid addiction treatment: “DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick said 80% of inmates enter the jail with an addiction, often with mental health issues to boot. The usual route is to put them through detox, then work on everything from anger management to vocational training,” reports Tribune’s John Keilman.
— Weed finds a home in the Windy City: “The Midwest’s biggest city is emerging as an increasingly crucial financial epicenter of the booming multibillion-dollar marijuana industry. Three of the country’s biggest publicly traded weed companies — Green Thumb Industries, Cresco Labs and Verano Holdings — are headquartered here. Another major national player, privately held PharmaCann, also calls Chicago home. And a growing number of legal, financial and technology firms with big books of cannabis business are based in Illinois. Chicago’s rising profile as a magnet for marijuana companies has been boosted by the failure of New York to enact legalization, as well as Illinois’ rapidly growing cannabis market, which racked up more than $1 billion in revenues during its first year of recreational sales.” Your morning host reports for POLITICO Cannabis
— Chicago weed giant illegally took pot to Arkansas in Whole Foods salad containers, suit claims: “An employee of Verano Holdings allegedly took the marijuana on a commercial flight, the suit filed in Colorado says. Verano calls the claims ‘totally false and absurd,’” reports Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Luxury weed: Pot pills, Metric Coffee caramel edibles and the ‘Hermès of marijuana’: “So far this year, cultivators looking to feed Illinois’ growing need for legal weed have flooded pot shops with everything from THC-laced pills to artisanal edibles to a weed label focused on ‘high-fashion and luxury,’” writes Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba
— Rush’s top aide returning to K Street: “Yardly Pollas-Kimble, who is currently chief of staff to Rep. Bobby Rush, is heading back downtown to join the lobbying firm Venable. Pollas-Kimble rejoined the Illinois Democrat’s office in 2015 after seven years in the private sector, leading government affairs for Motorola before becoming a principal at Upstream Consulting and then starting her own firm,” via POLITICO Influence newsletter. In a statement provided by Venable, Rush called Pollas-Kimble a “key part of my life in Congress for almost 20 years,” adding that he will be keeping her on speed dial. As a “true confidant, advisor, friend,” he said, “we have become part of each other’s families, celebrating triumphs and mourning tragedies.”
Illinois politicians seek a federal crackdown on ‘shocking’ toxins in baby food: “Democratic U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, of Schaumburg, drafted legislation along with Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth and two other federal lawmakers to confront the presence of toxic contaminants in baby food. The group last week sought guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on tighter restrictions proposed after a roughly 16-month study of the issue by a congressional subcommittee chaired by Krishnamoorthi,” reports WBEZ’s Dave McKinney.
— Soaring home prices are starting to alarm policymakers, by Katy O’Donnell
— Trump’s House GOP fans don his mantle as they seek higher office, by POLITICO’s Melanie Zanona
— Inside the secret society of White House social secretaries, via Town & Country
March 24: Secretary of State candidate Anna Valencia hosts a Black & Brown Women for Valencia fundraiser featuring state Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado, Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller, Midway Broadcasting Chairman Melody Spann-Cooper, and businesswomen Gloria Castillo and Pat Pulido Sanchez, among others. Price ranges from $50 to $2,500.
MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Nancy Rotering, who teaches Women and American Political Leadership at Northwestern University, and Corrine Ann Williams, president of CW Strategies LLC and regional media consultant to The Heritage Foundation, for correctly answering that Illinois beat Wisconsin by one hour in ratifying the 19th Amendment but due to a typographical error in the transmission document (not the amendment), Illinois worried it’s passage would be challenged. So a week later, the General Assembly ratified the amendment again. Wisconsin says the error nullified Illinois’ ratification — debatable. Illinois says it was just playing it safe. It’s something akin to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts giving President Barack Obama the oath of office a second time a day after the inauguration since he flubbed his lines the first time, says Illinois State Archives director Dave Joens, who submitted the question.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the future U.S. president who was so poor he sold his watch to buy Christmas gifts for his family? Email to [email protected].
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman.
via “Illinois Politics” – Google News https://ift.tt/2DKMb2N
March 9, 2021 at 07:44AM