Happy Monday, Illinois. We’re at the two-week countdown mark for state lawmakers to wrap up the budget and hundreds of other bills. Word of the week: busy.

Tension is building in Springfield as state lawmakers zero in on how to redraw congressional and state legislative districts. And when we say “lawmakers,” we mean Democrats. Republicans have so far been iced out of the room where it’s all happening — though there might be a reveal sometime this week.

A congressional map emerged Sunday showing how the state might divide up its 17 seats — down from 18 after the latest census showed showed a population. Greg Hinz of Crains, which published the map, says Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s seat is being eliminated and a chunk of Rep. Rodney Davis’ district would merge with the area now represented by freshman Rep. Mary Miller. All three are Republicans.

“Democratic-leaning portions of [Kinzinger’s] district in the Joliet area would be given to Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville to shore up her standing, with Republican sections annexed on to GOP-leaning districts downstate,” Hinz writes. He adds: “None of this is anywhere near final.”

Senate President Don Harmon told Playbook he is “unfamiliar” with the map in Crain’s. And a House spokesperson said they doesn’t know where the map originated either.

FYI, it looks a lot like the map David Wasserman put out a few months ago.

The continued concern some Democrats have is that while great effort is being taken to make sure the four Black congressional seats stay solid, there’s still only one Latino-heavy district — Rep. Chuy Garcia’s. It’s most likely Garcia’s call on how Latino representation gets laid out. Would lawmakers adjust the neighboring district now held by Rep. Marie Newman, whom Garcia backed over former Rep. Dan Lipinski last year? It’s a dilemma.

On the state legislative side, there’s handwringing among Democrats who aren’t all that pleased with how the redraw — so far — is going. As one representative said, “Things are constantly changing. And newer members are having a harder time with it.”

State Reps. Anne Stava-Murray, Rita Mayfield and Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz have expressed concern (putting it mildly) about how their districts are being redrawn. And state Sen. Tom Cullerton, who faces a corruption trial in February, is expected to see his seat redrawn. This seat is already too purple for the baggage of a trial, so a redraw isn’t surprising.

“Some people are upset. We keep going in and fighting for our districts,” said another Democrat.

Those who are most upset likely have the least seniority, or experience in reading the process. There’s a ripple effect, after all. A change in a district two doors down could affect you.

A few Democrats say the absence of former House Speaker Michael Madigan is being felt as Harmon, who’s gone through redistricting before, took an early lead in controlling the remap. He’s now working more closely with House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who is new to the remap process, having first been elected in 2013.

Republicans, meanwhile, are frustrated about not being let into the room where the Democratic majority is holding the maps. They’re also feeling stifled by their own party. Minority Leader Jim Durkin has told his caucus not to talk to Democrats about the process. The thinking is that if/when maps are challenged in court, the party doesn’t want to appear to have supported the redraw in discussions.

House GOP spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said only: “We don’t support the House Democratic process of politicians picking their voters behind closed doors with faulty data,” a reference to the fact that lawmakers are using estimates since final census numbers won’t be out until late summer.

Interesting side note: Remember the groups pushing for independent commissions to handle the remap? None of them offered suggestions on how to draw the lines.

Timing: The goal is to have maps done by May 31, reports Daily Herald’s J.J. Bullock. That would give Republicans and the public a month to look at them before the June 30 deadline.

Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford expects the latest version of the cannabis social equity bill to get bipartisan approval from the House this week before it’s sent on to the Senate.

If the bill becomes law, there’s hope that a long-awaited lottery will take place and that two additional lotteries for cannabis licenses would also be held: one that focuses specifically for social equity applicants and another that would accommodate those who were left out of last year’s lottery because of scoring mishaps.

Ford is hopeful that if the bill gets the governor’s signature, lotteries could be conducted before summer’s end.

Ford told Playbook he’s confident “there will be diversity in the industry in Illinois.” But he added: “I can never be completely satisfied that there will be equity.” As long as the same wealthy businessmen control the industry, Black and brown people “will never be able to catch up.”

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

At Segundo Ruiz Belviz Center in Chicago at 9 a.m., at Jackie Joyner-Kersee Community Center in East St. Louis at noon, and at Union Baptist Church in Springfield at 3 p.m talking each time about rental relief efforts. WGEM explains the legislation here.

At Phalanx Family Services at 1 p.m. to announce summer youth engagement opportunities.

No official public events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday reported 24 additional deaths and 1,248 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,439 fatalities and 1,366,268 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 9 through 15 is 2.4 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 3.4 percent.

Sudden change in mask policy leaves many unanswered questions in Illinois: “The CDC still recommends mask requirements, even for vaccinated people, in health care facilities or on mass transit and airplanes. It would only lift restrictions for people who have had a full course of vaccinations, plus at least two weeks for immunity to build. It has only been five weeks since Illinois lifted all eligibility restrictions on Covid-19 vaccines, meaning the new CDC guidelines would not apply to a big swath of the population,” by Daniel Vock in Center for Illinois Politics.

Desperate for treatment, Covid ‘long haulers’ push for 9/11-style health registry: “The aim is to help survivors who can’t shake symptoms months after infection, but some experts worry that marginalized groups could get left behind,” by POLITICO’s Alice Miranda Ollstein and Dan Goldberg.

Glendale Heights man is among the first-known ‘Covid to Covid’ double-lung transplants in the nation, by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito

— ANALYSIS: At the 2-year mark, this may be Lightfoot’s biggest obstacle: “Covid crises. Union standoffs. Policing controversies. Budget battles. Any of these could qualify as the most significant hurdle the mayor has faced in office. But as the re-election race looms, it’s starting to look like her success will turn on her capacity to either change the minds of those around her — or change her own,” write Crain’s Greg Hinz and A.D. Quig.

… BGA’s David Greising: Lightfoot ‘can’t be written off completely’ but has ‘a lot of work to do’ to have shot at re-election, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

Racial inequality in how Chicago-area homes are valued is increasing: “The disparity in home values between white neighborhoods and Black and Latinx communities has increased more than six-fold since 1980,” by WBEZ’s Natalie Moore.

Thousands take to Michigan Ave. to protest occupation of Palestinian territories: “The violence and aggression over the past week display desperation and need for a just, two-state system, said U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia, D-Chicago,” by Tribune’s Clare Proctor.

Officials set to consider whether to greenlight scooters in Chicago permanently: “The second pilot program increased transportation options in areas with gaps in the transit network, including the South and West sides. The first pilot, which took place in June and July 2019, failed to meet that goal, officials said,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone.

In Pilsen, tavern’s opening a sign of alderman’s rift with Lightfoot: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration OK’d the project despite a liquor license moratorium and opposition from neighborhood residents and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez,” by Sun-Times’ Mark Brown.

Twin doctors battle entrenched racism in the medical world: “Brittani James treats patients at a clinic on Chicago’s South Side and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Brandi Jackson has taught at Rush Medical College and is the behavioral health director at a Chicago health network that treats LGBTQ and other underserved patients,” by The Associated Press’ Lindsey Tanner.

Companies plotting returns to the office. It won’t be as simple as turning off Zoom: “[A]s many large companies begin nudging employees back to the workplace, executives and human resources departments are weighing how soon, and how strictly, they should return to rigid conventions of the office,” write Tribune’s Ryan Ori and Robert Channick.

2 cops shot in Lawndale, suspect wounded:The officers responded to a ShotSpotter alert about 7:20 a.m. in the 1400 block of South Lawndale Avenue and saw a person in a vacant alley nearby, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown told reporters outside Mt. Sinai Hospital,” by Sun-Times’ Sophie Sherry and Tom Schuba.

Is a Bears move to Arlington Park realistic? Other NFL towns show what has to happen, by Daily Herald’s Kevin Schmit.

No dinner or dancing, but seniors get a prom to remember at Soldier Field, by WBEZ’s Linda Lutton

Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin announces he’ll retire in 2022: “The Evanston Democrat who for two decades has been a mainstay on the Cook County Board announced Friday… He will serve out the remaining 1½ years of his term, which runs through December 2022,” by Tribune’s Alice Yin.

Judge orders county-wide recount in DuPage auditor race: Former DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan, a Republican who lost his reelection bid by 75 votes, seeks a full recount. He was defeated by Democrat William “Bill” White after the final tally of the Nov. 3 vote. Now a DuPage County judge has ordered a recount, the Edgar County Watchdogs report.

Despite brighter financial picture, budget battle looms: “Lawmakers from both parties maintain their dim view of parts of Pritzker’s proposal to raise revenue by closing what he describes as corporate loopholes, but what business groups say represent tax hikes that will further beat down pandemic-battered businesses. And the promise of $8.1 billion in federal coronavirus relief money, while solving some problems, appears to have a major string attached that might not allow the state to use the windfall to cover pandemic-induced borrowing,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

Citing understaffing and abuse allegations, state will remove students from private facility: “The state will be revoking approval of the facility and help school districts transition their students to another state-approved facility,” by Chalkbeat’s Samantha Smylie.

Dating app reps left unprepared to respond to assault victims: “At OkCupid and other dating apps, moderators are expected to resolve customer claims of sexual assault in minutes — and with no special training,” via ProPubica.

— Opinion: Messy bills may result in Pritzker vetos: “[C]ommittee chairs in both chambers have been far more reluctant than usual to bottle up potentially problematic bills, while floor debates have frequently involved sponsors promising colleagues that their legislation would be fixed when it crossed the rotunda to the other chamber. Well, the bills have pretty much all been moved to the other chamber, and lots of problems remain,” writes Rich Miller in The Southern.

Downstate Black residents say Black lawmakers ignore their views on energy bills: “A group of Black metro-east residents concerned about the environment say their local leaders are out-of-step with voters on energy overhaul bills pending before Illinois lawmakers,” by Belleville News-Democrat’s Kelsey Landis.

New legislation urges U. of I. to adopt Holocaust remembrance definition: House Minority Leader Jim Durkin introduced the bill “amid a spate of antisemitic incidents,” reports Jewish Insider.

Craft Brewers Guild hopes to help local breweries with week of action, via ABC/7.

Blagojevich seeking early end to supervised release, left intact by Trump: “Prosecutors do not oppose the move, which remains as a formality to bring an end to the corruption case that roiled Illinois more than a decade ago.” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Mike Halpin elected Rock Island County Dem Party Chairman; considering run for Congress: The state rep says he’s considering running for Congress to represent the 17th District after Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, announced April 30 she would not seek re-election, reports Quad-City times’ Sarah Hayden.

Gun used in daylong shooting rampage linked to shootings going back to 2009: “The gun that a 32-year-old man used in a daylong spate of fatal shootings that stretched from Chicago’s South Side into Evanston in January… was believed to have been first used to shoot someone in Chicago in June 2009 in the South Shore community, according to police reports,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Annie Sweeney.

Depositions underway in revenge porn case against Joliet Police: “In August 2018, Socha filed a federal lawsuit accusing a number of upper-level Joliet police supervisors of engaging in a revenge porn scheme to embarrass and humiliate her by illegally seizing her private cell phone,” by Patch’s John Ferak.

Chicago man faces charges after leaving fake pipe bomb near CTA station, via WGN/9

Marine Corps major from Chicago seeks visa for Afghan interpreter he says saved troops’ lives: “When he left Afghanistan, Maj. Thomas Schueman left behind a young Afghan he says probably saved his life and those of many others. Now, he’s trying to help that man escape the Taliban,” by Sun-Times’ Stefano Esposito.

Teflon Joe muddies GOP’s midterm strategy, by POLITICO’s David Siders

How Dems learned to stop worrying (mostly) and embrace tax hikes, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris

Thiel makes a play for the Senate, by POLITICO’s Alex Isenstadt

— David Axelrod: I’m sharing my father’s story to help end a stigma, via CNN

Jimmy Butler focused on making playoff push and using his platform, via The Undefeated

— Doniel Sutton, chief people officer of Fastly Inc., has been elected to Chicago-based Morningstar’s board of directors.

— Julia Reed is now day scheduler for President Joe Biden, according to POLITICO’s Daniel Lippman. Reed, whose father is White House deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed, spent two years as an advance site lead for the Biden campaign and also worked for two years teaching middle school on the south side of Chicago.

Tribune employees hold 11th hour ‘Save Local News’ rally as shareholder vote to sell to hedge fund looms: “The message to Tribune Publishing shareholders, who are set to vote Friday on Alden’s proposed $633 million bid to buy the Chicago-based newspaper chain, could be winnowed down to an oft-repeated chant: ‘Vote no.’ ‘We are here because we want to save the Chicago Tribune,’ Greg Pratt, a Tribune reporter and president of the Chicago Tribune Guild, told the crowd. ‘In six days, Tribune Publishing shareholders will vote on whether to accept an offer from a company that will destroy our newspaper,’” by Tribune’s Robert Channick.

Robert Feder, Walter Cronkite and a defense of journalism, via the Daily Herald.

Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and Bryan Bautista, a public health professional originally from Washington state, announced their engagement over the weekend while visiting Wenatchee National Forest just outside of Bautista’s hometown of Yakima, Wash. Pic!

— Patrick Mullane, comms director for Rep. Marie Newman, popped the question to Bella Fioretto, a teacher at Rutledge Hall Elementary, at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park Conservatory. Pic!

Beloved, successful Bogan basketball coach Arthur ‘Goodie’ Goodwin dies at 54: “The Public League and Bogan High School lost an important figure in their community on Friday,” by Sun-Times’ Joe Henricksen.

— Today at 11 a.m.: Reset on WBEZ looks at tax increment financing and opportunity zone incentives — strategies used to revitalize cities — and asks “how do they work in theory, how do they work in practice, and could these work better?”

— Tuesday at noon: MWRD Commissioners Mariyana Spyropoulos and Josina Morita moderate a Covid-19 and Wastewater Virtual Town Hall with IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike and Argonne National Laboratory ecologist Mark Grippo. They’ll discuss current research, trends and next steps.

— Tuesday at 6 p.m.: Gov. J.B. Pritzker, state Sen. Ram Villivalam, and state Reps. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Theresa Mah headline the virtual Asian American Action Day program. The event includes music and cultural performances, too. Sponsored in part by the Pan-Asian Voter Empowerment Coalition.

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to attorney Stephen Rosenblat and legal aid attorney Dan Schneider for correctly answering that William Dawson was the first African American from Illinois to chair a congressional committee, the Expenditures in Executive Departments Committee.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Who are the only two Cook County Circuit Court sitting judges to have lost re-election in the past 30 years — and when did they lose? Email to [email protected]

Michael Elliott, comms adviser for the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council; Jeremy Custer, political director for Local 150’s management organization; and Robert Feder, the esteemed media reporter for the Daily Herald… Also belated greetings to state Sen. Emil Jones III, who celebrated Sunday.



via Illinois Playbook

May 17, 2021 at 07:22AM

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