Good Monday morning, Illinois. Oscar stunner: Chadwick Boseman didn’t win best actor, but Anthony Hopkins, who did, offered a tribute.

With a little more than five weeks before state lawmakers wrap up their spring legislative session, there’s still a lot of heavy lifting to be done on the state budget, redistricting, ethics reform, and an energy package.

They’re all issues important to Democrats and Republicans alike, but in a General Assembly controlled by a Democratic supermajority, GOP lawmakers are bracing for a fight to be heard.

Their frustration boiled over last week as lawmakers wrapped up work to send bills to the opposite chamber by Friday’s deadline.

Republican Rep. Tim Butler expressed anger late Thursday that his bill calling for a potential government merger of Capital Township and Sangamon County was ignored — even though 22 Democrats said they’d support it.

It was an “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore” kind of speech. Butler threw down his papers, pounded his desk and yelled “dammit… I’m sick of it. Sick, sick, sick of it!”

His complaint: That things haven’t changed much since House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch took over the gavel from Michael Madigan.

“It’s supposed to be a new day… The speaker has to live up to his word,” Butler said, referring to Welch’s promise in January that he’d allow more bills sponsored by Republicans to see the light of day than his predecessor.

While more bills might have received readings, House Republicans remained frustrated that more didn’t get through committee and sent on to the Senate.

Welch responded through a spokesperson saying, Republicans should do more to “work across the aisle and come to the table to discuss bills that will help build a better future for the people of this state.” He said Republicans have pushed bills that “voters have already rejected at the ballot box.”

After Friday’s deadline to send bills to the opposite chamber, here’s how the numbers play out. House Democrats saw 333 of their bills pass, while 74 from House Republicans passed. Senate Democrats saw 305 bills pass, and Senate Republicans, 47.

The partisan tension isn’t going to end anytime soon. Democrats and Republicans are even more divided on how to handle the big issues, especially on redistricting, the budget, and ethics reform — all issues that the Democrats have control in directing.


Census Bureau: Apportionment data coming Monday: The Census Bureau will release apportionment data later Monday, making public the top line population counts that determine how many House seats and Electoral College votes each state will get for the next decade… While the release of the apportionment data is the first step to starting the mapmaking process, the release of redistricting data — more granular demographic data for specific communities — is still months away, writes POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro

— Opinion: Democrats ignore Obama on gerrymandering: “He called for nonpartisan mapmaking. They are rushing to draw theirs without Republican input,” writes Minority Leader Dan McConchie.

Court order boosts funding plea as state lawmakers build budget, by The AP’s John O’Connor

Former Congressman Luis Gutierrez on Sunday called out Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx for her handling of the Adam Toledo shooting case and for having a leadership team that he says lacks Hispanic representation.

After holding a press conference on his concerns, Gutierrez issued a statement saying Foxx “didn’t bother to review the Adam Toledo videos. Were they not important in her role as lead prosecutor for the second most populous County in the United States?”

Foxx’s office did not return a request for comment. But last week, she acknowledged that the initial description presented by a top prosecutor in the case was misleading, that she didn’t review the prosecution’s wording before the court hearing, and that she hadn’t seen the video at that point either.

Gutierrez suggested Foxx showed a lack of respect for the community and he pointed to the irony that Foxx had criticized her predecessor, Anita Alvarez, for not releasing the video of Laquan McDonald. “Now, in another episode of crisis and eroding trust in her office, Foxx attempts to explain away the misleading description offered by a top lieutenant. And in the light of a 13-year-old boy’s death at the hands of law enforcement, she effectively silenced a community’s voice.”

Though there have been long-running tensions between Black people and Latinos in Chicago, Gutierrez told Playbook his criticisms do not fit into that talking point.

He supported Foxx’s political campaign — even resigning publicly from Anita Alvarez’s reelection campaign for State’s Attorney after denouncing her over the Laquan McDonald cover-up.

“I then stood with Kim Foxx and endorsed and campaigned for her against Anita Alvarez. I want the best representation regardless of race or ethnicity,” he said. His concern today, he said, is that “Foxx and her office lied” about the Toledo case. “They demonized a 13-year-old boy and silenced large sectors of the community for over two weeks.”

The Sun-Times reports that Gutierrez plans to reach out to Foxx’s office today “to request a meeting to voice concerns” about her handling of the Toledo case and what he sees as “a glaring lack of Latino leadership in her office.”

“I want her to say I’m sorry to all of us that continue to fight for social justice or equality because she silenced our voices,” Gutierrez said.


Cards with messages against police brutality dangle from Grant Park trees following vigil, protest, by Tribune’s Alice Yin

Opinion: Though he made a ‘grievous and fatal error,’ I believe officer who shot the 13-year-old should not be charged with a crime, writes Sun-Times’ Mark Brown

Have a tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? Get in touch: [email protected]

No official public events.

At VNA Health Care in Aurora at 11 a.m. to discuss expanding Covid-19 resources and vaccine accessibility.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 24 additional deaths and 2,035 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 21,826 fatalities and 1,321,033 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 18-24 is 3.5 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 5.0 percent.

Chicago doctors group says physicians should become a key provider of Johnson & Johnson vaccine: “In anticipation of the vaccine’s resumption, the Chicago Medical Society called for making the shot widely available in physician offices. ‘The problem now is the public is afraid,’ said Dr. Vishnu Chundi, chairman of the Chicago Medical Society’s Covid-19 task force. ‘Johnson & Johnson has had all this bad press. The only person patients are going to trust is their doctor. Give the vaccine to the doctors to educate the public,’” Tribune’s Robert McCoppin reports.

Soaring number of students in quarantine is latest obstacle for schools and sports teams: “With the shifting metric for social distancing in schools — where 3 feet is now the allowable standard but exposure within 6 feet of an infected student can still result in a quarantine — the ability to remain in class is sometimes a game of inches,” report Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta and John Keilman.

NANCY PELOSI is headlining Thursday’s fundraiser for the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership Training Academy, an organization that helps train up-and-coming women lawmakers. Alumni include Reps. Cheri Bustos and Marie Newman, and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. The virtual event will include a Q&A between the House speaker and Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who is on Pelosi’s leadership team.

The event is already garnering big-time support. According to filings with the State Board of Elections, the organization has received $12,500 donations from real estate exec Diane Oberhelman and Keefe, Keefe & Unsell law firm; $10,000 from former state Sen. Heather Steans; and $5,000 donations from state Senate President Don Harmon, attorney Keith Hebeisen and the law firms of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, and Gori Law.

Pelosi’s support of IWIL goes back to 2002, when she first headlined a fundraising event for the group.

MAPS REVEAL RACIAL INEQUITY in Chicago’s road to Covid-19 recovery: “Every map of Chicago displaying racial inequity is essentially the same — they show communities of color experiencing the most negative outcomes across a spectrum of quality-of-life indicators. That’s the message of a new community project that aims to guide future investment in the city, particularly as Black and Latino communities begin their recovery from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” by WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang.

New transgender studies center aims to combat misinformation and lack of trans-led research: The Chicago-based Center for Applied Transgender Studies is a nonprofit that will “tap transgender scholars from varying institutions to collaborate and conduct empirical research to help inform policymaking and public discourse,” reports Elyssa Cherney.

New St. Anthony Hospital to be part of $600 million development at former trade school site in Little Village: “But not all residents are happy. Some had wanted the site to remain in public hands and perhaps even have a new CPS trade school built there,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.

A land rush is on around O’Hare: “Developers want to replace subdivisions with warehouses — and they’re paying top dollar to do it,” by Crain’s Alby Gallun.

COMMISSIONERS TRIED TO SWAY Cook County Health board nominees, committee says: “The nominating committee that helps pick board members for one of the nation’s largest public health systems complains of ‘increasing intrusions’ from county commissioners,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig and Stephanie Goldberg.

In Kankakee County’s Pembroke Township, race, poverty, farming, Nicor gas pipeline converge: “Hopkins Park’s mayor and the Rev. Jesse Jackson are pushing for a new pipeline that some oppose in what once was called the largest Black farming community in the Northern U.S.,” by Sun-Times’ Brett Chase.

How one suburban bar is linked to two federal criminal cases: “The would-be operators of what’s now DaVinci’s Gaming Bar couldn’t get licenses because of legal troubles. The feds investigating a failed Bridgeport bank are now looking at the bar,” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak.

Two Southland school districts that increased in-person teaching see rise in Covid-19 isolations: “Districts 218 and 230 report the increases are largely due to student athletes having to isolate due to close contact. The numbers of Covid-19 positive cases in the two districts remain small, with the increases stemming from close contact,” by Daily Southtown’s Mike Nolan.

Remembering the deadly wreck that shook Naperville 75 years ago: “Sunday mark[ed] the 75th anniversary of the crash, one of the worst train wrecks in Illinois history in which 45 people were killed and many more injured. Naperville residents — the town had a population of about 5,000 in 1946 — rushed to the aid of survivors and collect the dead in a disaster that shattered the early afternoon peace,” by Naperville Sun’s Suzanne Baker.

Man held without bail on first-degree murder charge in Berwyn good Samaritan stabbing case: “A judge ordered a 30-year-old man held without bail this weekend in connection with the fatal stabbing of a good Samaritan who had tried to step in after he witnessed a teen girl being physically attacked at a Berwyn store, court records show,” by Tribune’s Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas.

No bail for alleged getaway driver in Jaslyn Adams slaying, high-speed chase and attempted carjacking on the Ike: “Prosecutors on Sunday said a combination of social media posts and surveillance video placed an 18-year-old man inside the Audi sedan that brought two gunmen to a West Side McDonald’s where a 7-year-old girl was fatally shot,” by Sun-Times’ William Lee.

Former state rep, Worth Township supervisor charged with bribery in red-light camera probe: “John O’Sullivan, 53, of Oak Lawn, was charged in a criminal information filed in U.S. District Court with one count of bribery conspiracy. O’Sullivan was accused of conspiring with longtime political operative Patrick Doherty and an executive representing red-light camera company SafeSpeed LCC to pay $4,000 in bribes in exchange for the official support of an Oak Lawn trustee to add red-light cameras at additional intersections,” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.

Payroll Protection Plan paid off for Illinois banks; see which of them got the most money: “They got $1.5 billion in fees for handling the federal PPP loans. BMO Harris topped the list — at least $232 million in fees — helping it have ‘a good quarter’ in early 2021,” by Sun-Times’ Lauren FitzPatrick and Stephanie Zimmermann.

— FROM FORBES: Why Illinois is in trouble – 122,258 public employees earned $100K+ costing taxpayers $15.8B despite pandemic: “Six-figure earners: barbers at State Corrections trimmed off $115,000; janitors at the State Toll Highway Authority cleaned up $123,000; bus drivers in Chicago made $174,000; line workers on the Chicago Transit Authority earned $222,278; community college presidents made $418,677; university doctors earned up to $2 million; and 171 small town managers out-earned the Illinois governor ($181,670),” by Adam Andrzejewsk.

Guest opinion: Why the end of cash bail is good for Illinois survivors: “Policies rooted in fearmongering and racism have never actually served survivors, yet too many people continue to push an agenda that perpetuates a criminal legal system that fails victims and disproportionately harms Black and brown communities,” write survivor advocates Madeleine Behr and Amanda Pyron.

A step closer to Juneteenth being approved as a state holiday: “A bill that would make Juneteenth National Freedom Day the 13th official state holiday was unanimously approved by the Illinois House Friday, a day after the state Senate approved its own version of the bill. If either chamber approves the other’s bill, it will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for his signature,” by Tribune’s Jenny Whidden.

House backs replacement of brain-damaging lead service lines, but wants Congress to pay for the work: “State lawmakers are banking on Congress to follow through on President Joe Biden’s promise to earmark $45 billion to replace every lead service line in the nation. But states likely would be required to share the costs, similar to existing federal programs that help finance water and sewer improvements,” by Tribune’s Michael Hawthorne.

House lawmakers give go-ahead to public health and safety bills: “Lawmakers passed a bill expanding insurance coverage for telehealth in a unanimous vote in favor of House bill 3498. The bill requires insurance providers to cover telehealth treatment. ‘Over the last year, we’ve seen firsthand evidence telehealth preserves quality and safety, meets individual patient needs, decreases health care disparities, and protects public health,’ said state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, referencing the increased dependence on telehealth because of the pandemic,” by State Journal-Register’s Ben Szalinski.

Community colleges hope to bring students back to campus this fall: “Although no community colleges have implemented vaccination requirements so far, they are actively encouraging students, faculty and staff to get shots,” by Sun-Times’ Zinya Salfiti.

Kids are finally returning to school. But most of them are white, by POLITICO’s Juan Perez Jr. and Natasha Korecki

Democrats spar over Biden’s next mega-proposal, by POLITICO’s national Playbook

Liberals want to expand the Supreme Court. Many Democrats disagree, by POLITICO’s Marianne LeVine

— ‘Of course it’s genocide’: How Biden fulfilled a promise to Armenians that Obama wouldn’t, by POLITICO’s Natasha Korecki

Anti-Trump group started by Kinzinger faces 1st test in Texas special election, by ABC’s Benjamin Siegel and Alisa Wiersema

— SPEECH! The Professional Speechwriters Association has handed out its prestigious Cicero awards to professional speechwriters from around the country — folks who write for CEOs, governors, university professors and, it turns out, Illinois politicos. Jayette Bolinski, deputy comms director for Comptroller Susana Mendoza, was recognized for two speeches she wrote for Mendoza last year. And another award went to John Patterson, the Illinois Senate Democrats’ comms director, for a speech he wrote for Senate President Don Harmon about governing during a pandemic. You can read the speeches here. But here’s a taste. A line in a speech by Bolinski that Mendoza gave to the Illinois Realtors: “Illinois is kind of like that older home. It’s been here a long time, it has some problems, and it needs updates. But its bones are sturdy, it’s in a fantastic location, and it has charm and a lot of potential.”

— Bob Fioretti is opening an office in Springfield with his law partner Mark Roth. “Even though during the pandemic we have learned how to conduct business virtually from anywhere, the firm has had so many requests for downstate representation, we realized the importance of opening an office in Springfield,” Fioretti said in a statement. The firm will continue to focus on governmental law, complex litigation and Civil Rights issues. It’s new office is located at 725 North Grand Avenue East in Springfield. Fioretti is a former Chicago alderman.

Gerald A. ‘Jerry’ Ranalli, founder of Ranalli’s restaurants, other Chicago establishments, dead at 83: “He was a familiar face at many dining and drinking spots around Chicago, having helped establish or worked at more than 30 of them,” by Sun-Times’ Maureen O’Donnell.

Don Russell, Illinois Public Media engineer who specialized in radio and IT systems, dies at 45: “Friends and family describe Russell as a “Mr. Fix-It” personality who had a good sense of humor and quick wit. In his spare time, he enjoyed ham radio and joined many amateur radio clubs. He also spent a good portion of his life as a first responder and loved music, computers and aviation. An animal lover, he was especially devoted to his beloved dog, Nukka,” writes Current’s Elizabeth Westfield.

Mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, starred at Lyric Opera, dies at 93, by The AP.

— Retired Rep. Steven Andersson has launched the consulting firm Momentum Consulting Group LTD, working with clients such as AARP-IL, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Architects at AIA-IL. Before going out on his own, Andersson was a longtime attorney with Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi & Andersson. He also sat on the Illinois Human Rights Commission and also formed Republicans for the ERA to advocate for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment at the federal level.

— Carter Harms starts today as legislative associate for Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration, working on energy, environment, and transportation issues for the Legislative Affairs team. He most recently has served as director of Legislative Affairs for the Illinois Department of Human Rights.

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to comms consultant Jim Bray and Chicago State University government relations director Monica Gordon for correctly answering that French businessman Philip Frances Renault brought 500 enslaved people from “San Domingo” in 1719 to develop a mine near Fort Chartres, which is now Prairie du Rocher in southwestern Illinois. It failed, so Renault sold his slaves to residents and left, according to author N. Dwight Harris.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which state agency had its name changed by Gov. Jim Thompson’s executive order because its acronym, IDLE, led to a “longstanding identity problem”? Email to [email protected].

State Sen. Robert Peters (13th), Village of Coal City Trustee Tim Bradley, University of Illinois state relations assistant director Nolan Drea, journalist and “Ali” author Jonathan Eig, AKPD Message and Media’s Larry Grisolano, Lifeway Foods CEO Julie Smolyansky, and Pensions & Investments executive editor Julie Truck Tatge.



via Illinois Playbook

April 26, 2021 at 07:31AM

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