Good Monday morning, Illinois. Watermelon Sugar high! The Grammys were just the perk this girl needed to start the daylight saving “week” — BEYonce’s all-time record, Cardi B’s gyrations et al.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s congressional seat could be eliminated when Illinois conducts its remap, according to the Cook Report’s David Wasserman.

Taking out the current 16th Congressional District makes “geographic sense,” Wasserman said in his subscription-only report. He also tweeted how the new map might look amid the state’s expected one-seat loss.

Democrats who control the remap because they also control the state House, Senate and governor’s mansion, are likely to redraw congressional lines to cushion neighboring Reps. Lauren Underwood and Cheri Bustos, who had tight races in their GOP-heavy districts last year.

Democrats controlling the remap may also try to eliminate one of the five downstate GOP seats to account for the state’s loss.

The 16th District stretches from Indiana up to the border with Wisconsin and touches the fast-growing Chicago exurbs and some downstate districts. “More rural/GOP parts of it could go to Rep. Darin LaHood’s 18th CD and Rep. Mary Miller’s 15th CD, while its Rockford suburbs and the liberal university town of DeKalb could go to Democratic seats,” writes Wasserman.

Kinzinger has already made himself vulnerable by voting to impeach former President Donald Trump. Some Republicans are circling to defeat him in the primary, which Democrats see as an advantage. Catalina Lauf, who ran unsuccessfully in the 14th Congressional District last year, has even traveled to Mar-a-Lago resort to meet with Trump, who is on a campaign to defeat Republicans who voted to impeach him.

“It’s too bad, because [Kinzinger is] the Republican we’d keep,” a Democratic insider told Wasserman. “But we can’t control their primaries.”

RELATED: Republican state Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield has been appointed to serve as a GOP spokesman for the House Redistricting Committee, which will redraw the state’s Senate and House seats as well as congressional seats. Last week, we listed the Democrats who will lead Redistricting committees for the House and Senate, and we scooped the list of where the public redistricting hearings will be held.

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie has introduced a bill requiring the General Assembly to step in if an emergency order issued by the governor needs to be extended beyond 30 days.

The bill comes a year after Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued his first executive orders to tackle Covid-19, which has killed thousands of Illinois residents and forced businesses to limit customers or temporarily close. McConchie says Pritzker issued 76 executive orders.

“This go-it-alone strategy is not representative of our democracy,” the Republican from Hawthorn Woods said in a statement explaining why he introduced Senate Bill 103. The bill calls for the General Assembly to approve any subsequent renewal of emergency powers after the initial 30-day state of emergency declaration.

If a “future pandemic or disaster” occurs, lawmakers should “allow for more seats at the decision-making table to reach better outcomes,” McConchie said.

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At the Thompson Center at 1:30 p.m. with Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to announce changes to the tax intercept program.

No official public events.

At Proviso Missionary Baptist Church at 10 a.m. to announce Cook County’s new vaccination outreach campaign.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 19 deaths and 1,484 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 20,943 fatalities and 1,209,331 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from March 7-13 is 2.2 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.8 percent.

Illinois becomes 5th state to dole out 4M vaccines: “Illinois joined California, Florida, New York and Texas as the only states in the U.S. to dole out 4 million or more vaccines over the last month, narrowly edging out Pennsylvania, which became the sixth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database,” by Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney.

Congressional Dems criticize FEMA over United Center vax restrictions: “The Federal Emergency Management Agency restricted who can get their shots at the sports arena after early appointments got snatched up mostly by suburbanites – not by the Chicagoans living in communities of color that have been hardest-hit by the pandemic,” by WBEZ’s Tony Arnold and Claudia Morell.

4 more Chicago zip codes can schedule vaccine appointments at United Center: “Blocks of appointments at the United Center have been set aside for targeted outreach to residents living in high-need ZIP codes, which include neighborhoods such as Pilsen, Chatham, Auburn Gresham, West & East Garfield Park, Austin, South Shore and Humboldt Park,” by WGN/9’s Jenna Barnes.

— ESQUIRE ESSAY: What happens after this? “[T]oo much has been lost to simply set the clock back to 2019 and pretend nothing happened. Too many truths have been exposed, too many lives uprooted. Covid exploited the fissures in our society in a vicious, meticulous, unrelenting way and we do ourselves a disservice to paper back over them in the name of ‘normalcy,’” writes Dan Sinker, a Chicago-area culture critic and author of the fake Rahm Emanuel Twitter account.

— NCAA Tournament: Illinois earns No. 1 seed, Loyola No. 8 seed in Midwest Region: The two teams could face off in the second round if both win their first round games, via NBC/5

— THE GRAMMYS: Wins for John Prine, posthumously, and Kanye, via the AP.

— MASS SHOOTING: 15 people shot, 2 fatally at South Side ‘pop-up party,’ police say: “A fight broke out between several people attending the party about 4:40 a.m. in the 6700 block of South South Chicago Avenue when gunfire erupted, Chicago police said. Fifteen people were struck, ranging in age from 20 to 44 years old,” reports the Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry and Tom Schuba.

… The shooting, believed to be “gang-related,” is the second shooting with 15 people injured in less than a year, according to the Tribune’s four-bylined report.

Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick’s Day in surprise move from the city: “Although we didn’t gather, we were able to honor long-standing tradition by dyeing the Chicago River green,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted Saturday, via NBC/5’s Nicole Acevedo.

— CRAIN’s REPORT: The wealth gap: How it happened and what can be done: “Area corporations, nonprofits and government groups are working to bridge it,” by Judith Crown.

How contract selling — a ‘color tax’ — devastated Black homeowners, by Whet Moser.

Black people lag white peers in investing, saving, by Crain’s Wendell Hutson.

Chicagoans in for a shock as winter’s utility bills come due: “Late payments to Peoples Gas and ComEd surge as COVID hits poor people hardest,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.

Trying for a miracle: Chicago cop reaches out to help boy, father down on their luck on the West Side: “Sgt. Rhianna Hubbard found the 11-year-old pumping gas for others for change, then helped arrange an apartment and a job for his dad. But happy endings are hard to come by in real life,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

Grassroots effort brings changes in Hilco development of Target warehouse in Little Village: Activist Anthony Gonzalez said he and about a dozen advocates got “agreements to keep trucks out of residential side streets and to forego the fuel tank,” reports CBS/2’s Jeremy Ross.

River North bar cited for Covid-19 violations during weekend celebrations for St. Paddy’s Day, by Tribune’s Morgan Greene

— Opinion: Where is the outrage for the unsolved murders of 51 Chicago women? “Chicago figured out how to build a skyscraper and reverse a river’s flow, but it has not found the killers of these women, most of whom were Black,” writes John W. Fountain, who led a Roosevelt University project on the 51 murdered Chicago women. To view the project, visit:

How a naming dispute over a small Chicago park led to an attempted bribery charge: “Victor Cacciatore and Oscar D’Angelo were masters of clout. After they died, that caused a problem,” by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.

FOXX RELATES TO MARKLE: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says she was “triggered” by the media criticism Meghan Markle has experienced. “My tenure has been one that has been one to celebrate, much like Meghan’s. The first Black woman to do this. … Everybody talks about what that looks like. What we don’t talk about is the backside of that. It’s the press. It’s been the unrelenting scrutiny on things that others who’ve held the seat haven’t had. As a public official, I’m subject to scrutiny, and I welcome that. But it is watching the difference in how your work is perceived versus others,” she told POLITICO’s Brooke Minters for the Recast newsletter, which examines how race and identity shape politics and policy.

Naperville rally demands full-time return to in-person classes: “Chanting ‘five days a week,’ many of those in the crowd estimated to be between 200 and 400 carried signs with such messages as ‘get our kids back in school’ and ‘flip the school board.’ A large number of those in attendance did not wear the face masks required by the Naperville Park District for Covid-19 safety,” by Naperville Sun’s Rafael Guerrero.

Naperville District 203, Indian Prairie District 204 students can return to in-person classes 5 days a week in April, by Naperville Sun’s Rafael Guerrero.

Bourbonnais teachers strike ends, students return to school, by Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta

Cicero firefighter hospitalized after inhaling ‘intensely’ hot smoke in house fire, by Tribune’s Leslie Bonilla.

Pritzker signs bill aimed at reducing health care inequities statewide: “The new law provides $150 million in state and federal money annually… The money is aimed primarily at hospitals and clinics in poorer neighborhoods and regions of the state, as well as those areas hardest hit by the pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

Pandemic prompts state to offer break on overdue traffic fines and other fees for low-income residents: “In a typical year, the office automatically takes fees out of residents’ tax refunds or other state-provided funding. While all municipal fines are included in the deferral, including court dues, the majority of the affected bills consist of parking and traffic fees. The comptroller’s office will not collect unpaid fines on behalf of the city of Chicago or the 60 Chicago suburbs it contracts with from any tax filer who qualifies for the earned income tax credit (EITC),” by Tribune’s Jenny Whidden.

Covid wears on the elderly, loved ones: “The final months of 2020 were the deadliest months of the pandemic for many long-term care facilities across the country, with over 26,000 Covid-19 deaths reported between Thanksgiving weekend and Dec. 31, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on national health issues. However, the group says, nursing-home deaths decreased by two-thirds after long-term care vaccination efforts started at the end of December. Those trends have echoed in Illinois,” by Peoria Journal Star’s Phil Luciano.

… RELATED: A group that advocates for Illinois caregivers has sent a letter to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, asking him to restore the executive order that he set last year that protects long-term care facilities from being sued for Covid-19 claims. The group is making the request after the federal government announced new guidelines that allow indoor visits at nursing homes even with visitors who have not yet been vaccinated for Covid-19. “In the event of an outbreak, the federal guidelines expose caregivers and providers to lawsuits, as they would be facilitating and hosting indoor visits with unvaccinated individuals,” writes Paul Gaynor of the Alliance of Healthcare. “The trial lawyers lay in wait and leaving caregivers and providers in the untenable position of choosing between depriving family members of much needed visits and legal exposure.” Gaynor’s group also has pushed for the governor to veto a bill that mandates 9 percent annual prejudgment interest in personal injury and wrongful death cases related to the pandemic.

Sad state of spring break: “Like many schools across the country, SIU canceled its traditional weeklong spring break to limit travel during the coronavirus pandemic. Other colleges are either shortening the break or advising students to stay put — one is even offering students $75 gift cards to remain on campus during the recess. At SIU, the spring term started a week later than normal and an optional “spirit week” is scheduled to run through Saturday, while classes will continue. The spirit week will include activities such as bingo, crate stacking and painting … Students can also claim free apparel that says, ‘I lost my spring break and all I got was this T-shirt,’” by Tribune’s Elyssa Cherney.

— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx has made two key hires: Ted Berger is now deputy chief of staff, and Lea Gutierrez is chief diversity and inclusion officer. Berger most recently served as the Emergency Management deputy incident commander for Cook County’s unified command response to the Covid-19 pandemic. In his new role, Berger will work with managers and supervisors to oversee and implement policies within the state’s attorney’s office. Berger replaces Alyson Miller, who was appointed chief of staff and policy in January. Gutierrez previously was the founding director of diversity and inclusion at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois. In her new role,

— Linda Chapa LaVia, a former state representative and director of the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs, has joined 1833 Group, a Democratic consulting firm. While serving in the General Assembly, Chapa LaVia was elected assistant majority leader and chaired the Veterans Affairs and Energy committees.

Battle over backyard gardening now in General Assembly’s hands: “Twin measures, Senate Bill 170 and House Bill 633, would block outright bans on vegetable gardens, while also prohibiting code enforcement that selectively targets gardening structures like hoop houses,” according to writer Daryl James and activist Melanie Benit.

Bill addresses suicide prevention in schools: The House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee passed HB 577 , which is aimed at building on current law identifying groups of students who are more at-risk of committing suicide — including students who are homeless, identify as LGBTQ, or suffer from substance abuse, reports NPR’s Derek Cantu.

Bill would require abortion clinics to offer ultrasound viewing: State Rep. Paul Jacobs’ House Bill 683 “would create the Ultrasound Opportunity Act. It would require attending physicians, referring physicians or other qualified personnel to offer any woman seeking an abortion after 8 weeks of gestation the opportunity to receive and view an active ultrasound prior to an abortion being performed,” via W3D radio.

— Rep. Robin Kelly, has finalized her transition team as she takes over as chair of the Illinois Democratic Party. There are notable names on the list, including Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris, who competed against Kelly for the chairmanship.

… Column: Changing face of Illinois Dems evident in Madigan’s successors, writes News-Gazette’s Jim Dey

Gonzales case may answer the question of shills in judicial races: “It would appear that Cook County judicial candidates are free to recruit shills if they think it will help their prospects. Which it probably won’t,” writes attorney Jack Leyhane in his For What It’s Worth blog.

— Some political history: Illinois had a role in turning Maine from Democrat to Republican, writes historian Heather Cox Richardson, who is celebrating Maine become a state today.

— VAX VISIT: Reps. Brad Schneider and Jan Schakowsky, Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle, and Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, toured the mass vaccination site in Des Plaines on Saturday. The site is capable of administering up to 3,500 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine per day once operating at full capacity. Cook County residents 65 and older eligible in phase 1B can make an appointment at the site by signing up through or calling (833) 308-1988.

— REP. DARIN LAHOOD has been named to the House Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the government’s top-secret information about threats to national security. The committee is chaired by Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California. LaHood was nominated by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who said the Peoria Republican’s experience as a former assistant U.S. attorney and prosecutor “will greatly benefit” the panel’s oversight activities. LaHood was a federal chief terrorism prosecutor before he became a congressman.

Did Casten push the envelope on post office move? “The suburban Democrat sets off a mini-furor in objecting to a branch renaming in Mississippi because of the sponsor’s politics,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.

How Trump’s team amassed a $1T war chest for Biden to deploy, by POLITICO’s Victoria Guida

‘Most influential voice’: Warren’s network spreads throughout Biden administration, by POLITICO’s Zachary Warmbrodt

Beyond Covid relief: Biden invokes LBJ as Democrats aim to expand welfare state, by POLITICO’s Megan Cassella

A pro-Trump scam PAC wants $100 donations to get him back on Twitter, by POLITICO’s Theodoric Meyer

Trump was supposed to be a political Godzilla in exile. Instead, he’s adrift, by POLITICO’s Gabby Orr and Meridith McGraw

New suitor may enter fray for Tribune publishing: Hotel magnate Stewart Bainum and Alden Global Capital have reached an impasse over his agreement to buy The Baltimore Sun, and now Bainum wants to try to put together a bid for all of Tribune Publishing, reports the New York Times’s Marc Tracy.

— FEDER HAD THE SCOOP: ABC 7 sacks Mark Giangreco after ‘ditzy, combative’ comment about Cheryl Burton: “Mark Giangreco officially ended his 27-year run as the top sports anchor at ABC-owned WLS-Channel 7 Friday with a settlement on the remaining 18 months of his contract and a farewell memo from management,” reports Media Reporter Robert Feder. “It’s unlikely those words alone would have cost Giangreco his job, but in light of his disciplinary record that included three prior suspensions for comments or tweets deemed inappropriate, the latest incident proved fatal in the current corporate climate, according to all accounts.”

Giangreco and others have learned, words matter: “Some people can say certain things others can’t. That’s reality. That’s our world,” by Sun-Times’ Rick Telander

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet for correctly answering that Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin of Illinois and former Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry of Massachusetts are the only pairs of senators in the 21st century from the same state who have their names called right after the other in a roll call vote.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What is the longest river entirely within the state of Illinois? Email to [email protected].

Kate Dickens of S-3 Public Affairs and former chief of staff to Mark Kirk; Crown Family Philanthropies director Wendy Platt Newberger; CPS teacher and journalist Craig Newman; and journalist Rogers Worthington.



via Illinois Playbook

March 15, 2021 at 07:27AM

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