Happy Wednesday, Illinois. There’s a reason the Bidens look like giants.
State lawmakers are starting to move on the remap. Democratic caucus members are looking at their individual districts and regions and discussing how boundary lines could look like based on early census numbers.
They’ve been charged with determining what boundary lines could look like. It’s a way to get the ball moving before the June 30 deadline required to have legislative districts drawn.
Legislators have assured there will be public hearings to offer input on the boundaries before the end of next month.
In the meantime, a new round of census data was released Tuesday showing county population figures. All but five Illinois counties saw their populations drop. Cook County, the largest in the state, saw its population fall from 5,194,675 in 2010 to 5,108,284 in 2020. That’s a 1.6 percent drop.
Kendall County saw its population soar 14 percent from 10 years ago. Three of the five collar counties that surround Cook saw their populations climb too: Kane edged up 3 percent, Will, 1.65 percent, and DuPage .06 percent. McLean County’s population went up 1 percent.
Tension is building around the budget talks in Springfield. Discussions have been focused on affordable housing and implementing the four policy pillars put forth by the Black Caucus that are critically important to Democrats. The concern is that there won’t be enough funding to get things done. “It’s hard to prioritize because it’s all important,” according to a source close to the budget talks.
This year’s budget is also proving trickier to nail down because legislators are waiting on the U.S. Treasury to determine how to use federal Covid relief funding that’s coming to Illinois.
There are rules about what states can do with the money (some conservative states are annoyed they can’t use it to offset tax cuts, for instance), and no one wants to overstep and appropriate for what’s not allowed. So they wait.
There’s another glitch, too. With tax filing extended to May this year, receipts that might have been received in April have been delayed, which makes it difficult to use as a benchmark from last year.
Lawmakers don’t want to spend too much, and they don’t want to leave too much on the table, either. And they can’t make big decisions until they have more answers from Washington.
What they do know: they’re required to make debt service payments and pension payments, to make sure the state complies with court orders, and to make Medicaid available to all who are eligible. There’s not much left in discretionary funding after that.
Add all that to there being a new House speaker, and it’s made the budget process even more difficult this year as lawmakers try to adapt to new rules and a new way of operating — bills that might not have come to the floor before are now up for a vote. “We’re just going through growing pains,” the budget insider said.
Pritzker administration boosts spending proposal for adults with disabilities, by WCIA’s Mark Maxwell
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Headlining a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the Cook County Health Professional Building to promote a Mother’s Day vaccination effort.
The Illinois Department of Public Health on Tuesday reported 19 additional deaths and 2,211 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,066 fatalities and 1,343,988 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from April 27 through May 3 is 3.3 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 4.7 percent.
— We’re getting closer to normal. Lightfoot wants to fully reopen Chicago by July 4: “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s optimistic pronouncement comes with a major caveat — one that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker echoed: continue keeping the coronavirus at bay… Lightfoot’s plan may sound optimistic but if current trends hold, the state could move to full reopening under Pritzker’s revised plan by early-to-mid June.” Tribune’s Gregory Pratt, Dan Petrella, Jenny Whidden, Alice Yin and Rick Pearson report.
… And the Chicago Auto Show is set to return in July, too, as Illinois prepares for large events: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the return of one of the state’s top convention attractions is a ‘critical step’ towards the state’s full economic recovery,” by Capitol News’ Tim Kirsininkas.
… The re-opening rules for restaurants, gyms, concerts, conventions and more, by Tribune’s Chad Yoder
— Study shows working mothers hard hit by pandemic-related child care burdens: “A data review in that report showed the workforce participation rate among women hit its lowest level in more than three decades in January 2021, at 57 percent nationally. One of the most significant findings, according to the researchers, was that 40 percent of working moms who were employed at the beginning of the pandemic were out of work or saw reduced hours as a result of the pandemic,” by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic.
— Indiana added to Chicago’s Covid-19 travel order, reports WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— Why children now account for 22% of new U.S. Covid case, by NPR’s Bill Chappell
— MGM likely to pass on ‘complicated’ Chicago casino: “CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the company isn’t “overly keen” on pursuing opportunities here due to taxes and the city’s plan for an integrated resort,” by Crain’s A.D. Quig.
— Moody’s likes the city’s monthly revenue reporting ordinance: Moody’s Investors Service has published a new report giving a positive outlook of a new ordinance approved by the City Council that would require the Department of Finance to publish a monthly report on all corporate fund revenue, including the variance between budgeted and actual revenue and a comparison with the preceding fiscal year. The mandate will increase the frequency and timeliness of the city’s financial disclosures, “enhancing transparency, a credit positive improvement in the city’s governance,” according to Moody’s.
— Aldermen, advocates want federal relief funds used to prevent summer violence this summer: “Violence prevention advocates testified Tuesday at a joint session of the City Council’s Public Safety and Health and Human Relations committees that the federal relief funds headed to Chicago give the city a chance to rethink its approach to violence prevention. ‘I do not want the summer of 2021 to look like the summer of 2020,’ Ald. Daniel La Spata (1st) said,” WTTW’s Heather Cherone reports.
— Chicago has more summer jobs than applicants, aldermen told: “The One Summer Chicago program will run from July 5 to Aug. 13 and include both remote and socially-distanced, in-person jobs and life skills training for 21,000 young people. The deadline to apply is June 11,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.
— Latino leaders want moratorium on CPD foot pursuits: “Attorney Arturo Jáuregui said he wants new policies and procedures to clearly outline when an officer should engage in a chase and under what circumstances lethal force can be used,” by Sun-Times’ Manny Ramos.
— 2 high school seniors, bound for Division I basketball, wounded in drive-by shooting: “T.Y. Johnson, a DePaul Prep star and Loyola recruit, and TaKiya ‘T.K.’ Howard, a De La Salle Institute student who’s expected to play at Murray State University in Kentucky next season, were injured in the South Side shooting,” by Sun-Times’ Michael O’Brien, Madeline Kenney, and Sam Kelly.
— Most Chicago trading pits closed for good, CME Group says: “The futures market owner shuttered the so-called ‘open outcry’ floors at the beginning of the pandemic,” by Sun-Times’ David Roeder.
— Music to our ears: CSO to welcome back a limited live audience, Hedy Weiss reports for WTTW.
— Column: ‘Trump Forever’ clobbers ‘Never Trump’ in Texas, darkening the future of rebel Republican Kinzinger: Michael Wood lost big in a congressional special election in Texas that was “widely seen as the first major test of ‘Country First,’ the political action committee Rep. Adam Kinzinger formed earlier this year to reclaim the soul of his party from the cultists, kooks, seditionists and conspiracy theorists who now make up the GOP base. The test failed. The ‘bridge to the GOP regaining its focus’ collapsed,” writes Tribune’s Eric Zorn.
— Hitting the road: Chicago City Clerk Anna Valencia is making her first trip downstate this week since announcing her run for Illinois Secretary of State. Valencia, a Granite City native, will meet with labor leaders and other supporters in the Metro East area. It will also be the first time she, her husband, businessman Reyahd Kazmi, and their 1-year-old daughter will visit her parents’ home since they’ve all been vaccinated. Valencia’s father is a union painter, and her mom worked in education before her job was eliminated during the budget cuts of the Rauner administration. Watch for those stories to be talking points during her meetings with voters.
— Republicans target Newman: The NRCC announced Tuesday that it added Rep. Marie Newman and nine other Democrats to its list of takeover targets, bringing the total to 57. The recently added members are all from states that will lose a congressional seat based on newly released census data. Illinois is losing one of its 18 House seats.
— Dan Balanoff has announced his candidacy for a Cook County Circuit Court judge seat, making equal justice the centerpiece of his campaign. The estate planning attorney ran for judge last year but bowed out before the election after a petition challenge. He’s the son of Judge Robert Balanoff and nephew of progressive political consultant Clem Balanoff and SEIU President Tom Balanoff.
— A BILL IN THE CROSS HAIRS: State senator seeks to stop school dress code restrictions on hair: “Sen. Mike Simmons, D-Chicago, wants to withhold funding from schools that apply dress codes to hairstyles. He says policies that ban certain hairstyles in schools are outdated,” by Illinois Newsroom’s Christine Hatfield.
— Stand for Children Illinois has launched a six-figure multi-media campaign urging Springfield lawmakers to reach a compromise for an elected Chicago school board debate.
— Catholic Church opposes governor’s proposed change to scholarship tax credits: “In a letter released Tuesday, Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago joined bishops representing the state’s other five dioceses — administrative districts under the Catholic Church — asking Catholics to call their local legislators and ask them to oppose the measure put forward by Gov. JB Pritzker, which they called ‘an important matter of public policy and social justice,’” by Capitol News’ Raymon Troncoso.
— Advocates hope lawmakers pass proposals for cancer treatment, drug affordability: One area of interest: they want legislators to expand coverage of biomarker testing for public and private insurance plans. “These tests can find abnormal functions in your blood, tissue, or fluids that can help a doctor quickly diagnose cancer and create the best treatment plan. Advocates explained the tests are usually only available near larger cities. They want to make sure everyone can receive the same health care, regardless of zip code,” reports WGEM’s Mike Miletich.
— Secretary of state calls for new Martin Luther King statue on Capitol grounds: “Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White says King deserves a Springfield statue which is distinctive. ‘When you see the Lincoln statue, you know that’s Abe,’ said the secretary. ‘But when you see this statu , it doesn’t look like Dr. King,’” reports WJBC’s Dave Dahl.
… White said he would personally contribute the first $5,000 in funding the new statue that would be situated in a more prominent location on the Capitol grounds, reports Capitol News’ Sarah Mansur.
— Privately run nursing homes want to help: A day after Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to beef up protocols at state-run veterans’ homes, a coalition of Illinois nursing home caregivers is reissuing its offer to help the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs mitigate the virus from spreading among vulnerable patient populations. Paul Gaynor, spokesman for the coalition called Healthcare Heroes Illinois, points to a recent Inspector General report that found privately run nursing homes “better controlled their outbreaks among residents and staff” and blasted the LaSalle Veterans Home for not instituting protocols that may have prevented the 36 deaths due to Covid-19. His coalition has called for several infection prevention practices, including requiring masks, training staff on specialized cleaning, and intensive quarantine measures.
— Bus provides ‘safe space’ for conversations about intolerance while traveling Illinois: “The Mobile Museum of Tolerance — an initiative of Chicago’s Simon Wiesenthal Center — made a temporary home for itself outside the State House Inn on East Adams Street where it will remain until Thursday. The mission of the mobile museum is to provide a space where people of all ages and backgrounds can learn about the societal impact of intolerance, in an effort to empower them to take steps to combat things like hate, bullying and racism,” by State Journal-Register’s Natalie Pierre.
Candy giant Wrigley sues weed sellers for trademark infringement: “In federal suits filed this week, Chicago’s Mars Wrigley is asking for millions of dollars in damages and the shutdown of shady websites allegedly peddling counterfeit products,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba.
— Financial adviser gets 13 years in prison for swindling $5.1 million from investors: “Darayl Davis, 48, spent the funds on plane tickets, luxury hotels and a mansion in Los Angeles, prosecutors said,” by Sun-Times’ Emmanuel Camarillo.
THE FIFTY: Texas Republicans want Biden to play the villain. They just need to make it stick, reports POLITICO’s Renuka Rayasam. “Texas AG Ken Paxton has already sued the Biden administration over the Keystone XL pipeline, immigration and environmental regulations.”
Rush pushing for release of secret FBI files on Black Panther Fred Hampton’s killing in Chicago: “Rush, a co-founder of the Illinois Black Panther Party, filed a bill mandating disclosure of secret FBI files. He also asked AG Merrick Garland to release unredacted documents,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Biden shakes up vaccine strategy as he sets new goal, by POLITICO’s Rachel Roubein
— Meet the people deciding Trump’s fate on Facebook, by POLITICO’s Cristiano Lima
… How Facebook could give Trump a huge boost, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw and Sam Stein
… The Facebook ban hurt Trump in surprising ways, writes POLITICO’s Michael Kruse
— House GOP set to dump Cheney for Stefanik, from National Playbook
— Broadway needs big structural change. The producers behind The Theatre Leadership Project hope to deliver it, by The Undefeated’s Soraya Nadia McDonald
— Charles Kyle is joining APS & Associates as public affairs associate. A lifelong South Side resident, Kyle is a veteran of campaigns, having worked as an organizer for Elizabeth Warren and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Kyle also ran for 7th Ward alderman in 2019.
— Kamaria Morris has been named administrator of Public Affairs for the state Capital Development Board, which oversees design and construction of state-funded facilities. She most recently was assistant comms director at Erikson Institute.
— Today at 11 a.m.: “Reset” on WBEZ looks at Chicago’s “strong mayor” system and explores the question: “What if the mayor had a different set of powers?” Reset checks in with Phoenix, Ariz., one of the first U.S. cities to adopt a “council-manager” city council, which limits a mayor’s powers and appoints a city manager. The show is part of the station’s week-long exploration into city government as part of its “Re-Imagine Chicago” series with the University of Chicago’s Center for Effective Government.
— Today at 6 p.m.: Chicago News Guild hosts a Community Forum to Save News. The webinar will focus on Alden Global Capital’s bid for Tribune Publishing, which includes the Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun. The hedge fund is known for aggressively cutting staff to help boost profits. Speakers at the forum include political consultant and former Obama adviser David Axelrod, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism’s Jim Friedlich, Chicago community activist Emma Lozano, Citizen Action Illinois Director William McNary, Baltimore Sun Guild’s Lillian Reed, and the Rev. Janette Wilson. Tribune columnist Heidi Stevens will moderate.
TUESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Jennifer Welch, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, for correctly answering that Ludwig Mies van der Rohe fled Nazi Germany before becoming an iconic architect in Chicago, designing, among other buildings, Chicago Federal Plaza. And h/t to Bill Velazquez, for also pointing out that architect James Freed also landed in Chicago after leaving Germany in 1939.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the renowned Illinois writer whose father was a University of Illinois philosophy professor? Email to [email protected]
Federal judge Robert W. Gettleman, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Joe Panarese, attorney Drew Beres, businessman and former state Rep. Dwight Kay, and Charise Williams, deputy director at Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.
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May 5, 2021 at 07:28AM