With help from Maria Carrasco
TGIF, Illinois. A year ago, our lead headline said it all: “The enveloping virus.”
GOV. J.B. PRITZKER applauded President Joe Biden’s order Thursday that states make Covid-19 vaccines available to all American adults by May 1.
“The Biden administration has delivered on its promises and provided states the stability we need,” Pritzker said in a statement to Playbook Thursday night.
In his first primetime presidential address, Biden focused on returning the country to a normal time where grandparents can hug their grandkids and consoling those who have lost family members to the pandemic.
He also used the speech to announce his goal that all Americans 18 and older get vaccinated by the Fourth of July. It’s a sentimental goal for families eyeing the patriotic day. It’s also an ambitious target, according to POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and Benjamin Din.
The CDC is expected to issue new rules about travel and what’s allowed for group activities. And Biden said there was a “good chance“ that Americans would be able to have small gatherings to celebrate the holiday as long as they keep taking the pandemic seriously, which as everyone knows varies depending on where you live.
Earlier on Thursday, Pritzker said he was “cautiously optimistic” that larger-scale events could begin to take place later this year. Illinois would turn a corner in the pandemic if conventions — major economic engines here — could return, something the state is already working on, the Tribune reports.
And there’s a plan for the Chicago Auto Show, usually a big draw in February, to be held this summer, according to the Sun-Times.
Until now, the federal government has left it up to states to determine how to prioritize the vaccine distribution.
Pritzker said his administration has looked to the federal government for a year for guidance and assistance “to no avail” — who can forget some of the verbal battles with former President Donald Trump? “Thankfully,” he added, “that changed when President Biden took office.”
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: State lawmakers are moving quickly to get public input from Illinois residents about redistricting even though census data from the federal government will be months behind schedule.
The House Redistricting Committee has scheduled 23 public hearings in April, according to a list obtained by Playbook.
The meetings will be held statewide, and so far, only the dates and locations that have been set. The House Redistricting Committee is still trying to determine if and how many of those meetings will be in-person versus virtual. The Senate’s Redistricting Committee will come up with its own hearing list.
A state law signed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn requires that the House and Senate each hold at least four public hearings before moving forward on redrawing the state’s 59 Senate and 118 House districts to reflect changes from census data. Ten years ago, lawmakers had that information in-hand by now. Due to the chaos of Covid-19, those numbers won’t be delivered until September.
The drama: State lawmakers are required to complete the remap by June 30 or a bipartisan committee (ie. a panel that would give Republicans a bigger voice in a Democratic-dominated state) will take over the work, something Democrats are looking to avoid.
Critics of the process say the hearings are simply a show and that Democratic legislators will decide on their own how the lines are drawn.
But Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, the state senator at the time who carried the bill Quinn signed, said the hearings in 2011 helped determine the remap. He also chaired the Senate Redistricting Committee that year.
“There were specific things expressed that quite frankly no staffer or member of the General Assembly would have known but for the input during the hearings,” he told Playbook. “As much as people want to criticize the overall process, we heard back from people who said they came to the hearings, expressed their concerns and the resulting map reflected things that they had shared.”
PUBLIC HEARING DATES:
April 1: Chicago in the Bilandic Building in the Loop.
April 2: Villa Park, Peoria, and Cook County West
April 3: Rock Island, Berwyn/Cicero, and Chicago South
April 5: Elgin, Joilet, and Rockford
April 7: Decatur, Lake County, and Cook County NW
April 8: Champaign, Cook County South, and Chicago West
April 9: McHenry, Aurora, and Illinois River Valley (LaSalle County)
April 11: Cook County North and Metro East
April 12: Springfield at the State Capitol
April 17: Carbondale
Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]
No official public events.
At Loretto Hospital at 11:30 a.m. for an announcement on healthcare equity in Illinois.
No official public events.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Thursday reported 55 additional deaths and 1,700 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 20,863 fatalities and 1,204,409 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 4 through 10 is 2.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.8 percent.
— Eligibility at Chicago’s United Center vaccination site is confusing. Here’s the deal: “Public health officials are reserving 60 percent of the United Center appointments for Chicago residents. City officials say 30 percent of the remaining slots at the United Center will go to residents of suburban Cook County and the last 10% will go to Illinoisans who live elsewhere. But there are no details yet for how those groups can book slots to get shots,” reports WBEZ’s Becky Vevea.
… Pritzker says FEMA changed the rules: “FEMA decided that there wasn’t enough equity that was being achieved. They had hoped to get more Black and brown people in to get shots so they changed some of the rules, locations and zip codes for people,’” Pritzker said Thursday. WGN/9’s Mike Lowe reports.
— Cook County launches mobile vax program and says United Center sign-ups are next: “The pilot program by the Cook County Health and Hospitals System and the Cook County Department of Public Health debuted by inoculating a hundred residents, caregivers and employees at the Garden House of Maywood, a Housing and Urban Development-subsidized senior home, with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.
— At Illinois’ biggest nursing home, workers and residents still not vaccinated: “Local health officials said they have long known of the need to get shots to City View but weren’t able to arrange it because of limited supply. The first shots should arrive Sunday, they said,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr.
— Pregnant women deserve more vaccine data, says Duckworth in letter to CDC director: “With experts agreeing vaccines ‘must be made available to pregnant individuals,’ she said, the CDC should clarify that pregnant people are included in phase 1c and encourage states to follow this recommendation,” by Tribune’s Alison Bowen.
— What should Illinois do with new federal funds? Illinois must decide how much to use for its own financial needs and how much to dole out to businesses that are looking for help, writes Daniel C. Vock for Center for Illinois Politics.
… State lawmakers want a role in spending federal stimulus money: “Lawmakers from both parties told officials from Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration on Thursday that the General Assembly should have some say in how the state spends the $7.5 billion in federal funds that Illinois expects to receive from the newly-enacted American Rescue Plan,” by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
— Pritzker announces $250M for transportation improvements under latest phase of Rebuild Illinois: “Pritzker announced the latest installment of capital funds at Baie & Baie, a trucking facility in DeKalb County, where program money is being used for the reconstruction of a stretch of Waterman Road,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.
— Aldermen begin debate on reparations for descendants of slaves: “The first meeting was mainly a chance for the group to get organized and hear from experts on the issue of providing reparations to Black residents who are the descendants of slaves. Evanston Ald. Robin Rue Simmons talked about the important process of making sure there’s adequate community input into the plan from Black Chicagoans. Evanston opted to use sales tax revenue from marijuana sales to set up a housing reparations program there,” by Tribune’s John Byrne.
— First step toward universal basic income pilot program: “Ald. Gilbert Villegas hopes to use $30 million in federal relief funds to test the idea of a guaranteed basic income. As a test, he envisions giving 5,000 of Chicago’s neediest families $500 a month, no strings attached,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— CPD suffers ‘deficit of trust’ from public, officers, deputy inspector general says: “Deborah Witzburg, the city’s deputy inspector general for public safety, argued ‘transparency’ is key to rebuilding public trust. But restoring the confidence of front-line officers who feel under siege will be even more difficult,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— A year into pandemic, how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day weekend? “With new variants and hundreds of new cases still being reported each day in Chicago, downtown Ald. Brian Hopkins believes it’s still too early to return to normal — even if that costs businesses in his ward. ‘A closed room where people aren’t wearing masks — because you can’t drink your green beer through a mask — it’s a super-spreading event,’ Hopkins said. ‘That’s our worst-case scenario right now,’” by WBEZ’s Libby Berry.
— Questions still remain on Jones becoming mayor of Calumet City: “State Rep. Thaddeus Jones’ name was legally placed on a February primary ballot seeking the Democratic nomination for Calumet City mayor, according to an Illinois Supreme Court opinion released Thursday. But it’s unclear whether the opinion authorizes the Calumet City Democrat to be sworn in as that city’s mayor if he wins the April 6 General Election and remains a state lawmaker, according to an attorney for the city. That’s still in question, because the residents of Calumet City passed a referendum in November prohibiting anyone who holds an office created by the state’s constitution from serving as mayor,” by Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— A year of COVID deaths: How the virus spread into every corner of Cook County: “At the height of the pandemic’s first wave, most Cook County COVID-19 deaths were Black residents. Since then, white suburbs bore the brunt. It’s continues to hit Latino areas like Cicero hard,” by Sun-Times’ Kyra Senese and Eric Fan.
— Co-workers enjoyed ‘lavish lifestyle’ after theft at social service agency, prosecutors say: “A chief financial officer and her co-worker are accused of pocketing nearly $400,000 from Chicago House, a social service organization that helps those suffering from HIV, prosecutors said. Andrea Peoples, 42, was charged with felony theft and her workplace friend, Tijana Timatyos, 54, was charged with theft,” by Tribune’s Rosemary Sobol.
— Former ‘Windy City Rehab’ contractor ordered to pay Chicago supply company: “A Cook County judge entered a default judgment Wednesday for a Chicago plumbing supply company that accused former “Windy City Rehab” contractor Donovan Eckhardt of not paying an $11,800 bill. The Crawford Supply Group sued Eckhardt in September for $15,566.63 plus costs. The amount includes the $11,858.69 balance and more than $3,700 in attorneys fees, according to the suit,” by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.
— Illinois lawmakers working to end changing of the clocks: “The grumbles of losing an hour of sleep in March give way to the joy of gaining an hour of sleep in November each year in Illinois. However, if some state lawmakers have their way, the annual ritual of moving clocks will end Sunday. Seven bills have been filed in the Illinois House to set the state on either standard time or daylight saving time year-round,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski.
— Another attempt to overhaul Illinois energy policy: “State Rep. Ann Williams, D-Chicago, and state Sen. Cristiana Castro, D-Elgin, have introduced a 900-page Illinois energy bill, the Clean Energy Jobs Act, House Bill 804, which has the potential to overhaul energy policy in Illinois. The bill focuses on carbon reduction, job creation and holding utilities accountable, Williams said. Williams said legislation is urgently needed because of recent announcements that several coal-fired and nuclear power plants in Illinois are expected to close,” by WJPF’s Robert Thies.
— Legislative watchdog seeks $920,000 to investigate state lawmakers: “Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope said it’s unlikely they’ll spend that amount. ‘We just can’t predict it though because you can’t foresee the future, what’s going to walk in the door, what’s going to come in as an allegation, how complicated is it, how many people do you have to interview, how much cost is expended in travel to interview your witnesses and that type of thing.’” Center Square’s Greg Bishop reports.
— Proposed bill would require bachelor’s degree for officers: But Champaign County Sheriff Dustin Heuerman, who holds a master’s and doctorate, raises questions about the bill: “[W]e’re always talking about diversity,” he said. “We’re always talking about how we want our police departments to look like our communities. And then I also think about how it’s easier for some to get college education than others. It seems like a balancing act. Do we want diversity? Or do we want to only employ as police officers those who can afford to get an education on their own?” WCIA’s Jen Lask reports.
— House committee mulls effectiveness of insulin price cap: “A new Illinois law caps insulin prices for those with state-regulated insurance plans, but some lawmakers are saying that is not enough and more needs to be done to address prescription drug prices,” reports Center Square’s Kevin Bessler.
— Kinzinger, 7 other House Republicans vote for gun background checks bill: “The vast majority of Americans believe in universal background checks,” Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger wrote in a Thursday tweet. “As a gun owner myself, I firmly support the Second Amendment but I also believe we have to be willing to make some changes for the greater good.” Newsweek reports.
— Duckworth rebukes Tucker Carlson’s comments on women in military, mocks his dancing skills: “Illinois U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth joined with top Pentagon and senior military officials Thursday in sharply condemning Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson, who decried efforts to accommodate women in the military while ‘China’s military becomes more masculine.’ Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran combat veteran who lost her legs after her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, took to her campaign’s Twitter page to declare: ‘F*ck Tucker Carlson,’” by Tribune’s Rick Pearson.
… and the liberal VoteVets group is out with an ad branding him #TraitorCarlson
— Fauci’s star rises as relationship with Biden deepens, by POLITICO’s Sarah Owermohle, Erin Banco and Adam Cancryn
— Biden has options for the border. They’re just politically painful, by POLITICO’s Anita Kumar
— Trump dives into battle for Senate, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett
— Sen. Geraldo Rivera? He says maybe, according to a story in Jewish Business News
— How Chicago native Donovan McNabb and former Black QBs hope to mold the next generation, by The Undefeated’s Martenzie Johnson
Juan Hinojosa has stepped down as chief of staff to Rep. Mike Quigley to become managing director of government relations for American Airlines. Hinojosa has been in public service for 13 years.
Allison Jarus has been named Quigley’s new chief of staff. Jarus has eight years of Capitol Hill experience, most recently as Quigley’s legislative director. Before that, she was legislative assistant for Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur.
Sunday at 7:30 p.m.: Bruce DuMont’s Beyond the Beltway program looks back at the 1986 Illinois Democratic primary upset that saw two Lyndon LaRouche supporters, Mark Fairchild for lieutenant governor and Janice Hart for secretary of state, defeat party backed candidates Sen. George Sangmeister and Aurelia Pucinski. The election led gubernatorial candidate Adlai Stevenson III to abandon the Democrat position on the ballot that November and ultimately end his 1988 presidential plans. DuMont will talk to the campaign manager of those Illinois upsets: Gerald Pechenuk of LaRouche PAC.
THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Chicago lawyer and bundler Mike Lieber, retired Assistant Cook County Public Defender Christopher Sneed, and Edwardsville Township Supervisor candidate Kevin Hall for correctly answering that Hugh Rodham, father of Hillary Rodham Clinton, ran for alderman of the 49th Ward in 1947, garnering less than 5 percent of the vote. He soon after moved his family to Park Ridge. H/T former 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore.
TODAY’s QUESTION: What do Illinois Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin have in common with former Massachusetts Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry? Email to [email protected].
Today: Sen. Tammy Duckworth, All-Circo founder Jim Houlihan, Duckworth deputy press secretary Courtney Jacquin, Durbin Senate aide Joe LaPaille, Exelon public affairs VP Jennifer Mullin, and Steven Monroy, legislative staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.
Saturday: former Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak, and The Undefeated deputy editor Steve Reiss.
Sunday: former state Democratic Party Chairman Gary LaPaille, brand strategist and former Michelle Obama aide Ebs Burnough, former Chicago alderman and broadcaster Cliff Kelley, and pediatrician Demetra Soter.
via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq
March 12, 2021 at 07:35AM