Good Tuesday morning, Illinois. We pulled an all-nighter at the Capitol and followed it up with cold pizza, so I’m feeling pretty collegiate.

SPRINGFIELD — The Democratic-controlled Illinois Legislature passed its $42.3 billion annual budget on Monday, but after House leaders celebrated wrapping up the session, Senate President Don Harmon put a hold on the bill.

No one’s returning our 6 a.m. calls, so we can only wonder if it’s related to some of the other bumps in legislation.

Three big bills — the energy package, the Chicago elected-school board bill, and the FOID bill — failed to cross the finish line to get to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk.

The energy bill appeared to be close. After reaching a compromise about how much to give Exelon to operate nuclear plants, there’s now a disagreement on coal plants. Senate President Don Harmon and his top aide, Jacob Butcher, a former coal lobbyist, want to exempt the Prairie State Energy coal plant from decarbonization rules that are in the bill. So stay tuned.

An elected school board proposal stalled in the Senate. “We’ll have to get with the House and see what we think can pass both chambers,” state Sen. Rob Martwick, the Chicago Democrat who sponsored a bill to create a fully elected 21 member board, told the Tribune earlier today. Martwick’s bill runs counter to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s preference for an appointed board. She’s pushing instead for a hybrid elected/appointed board. Rep. Delia Ramirez already tweaked her bill to accommodate Lightfoot’s concession.

And a measure calling for all legal gun owners (who own FOID cards) to get fingerprinted failed to move in the Senate after narrowly passing the House a few days ago.

Still, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch praised the session’s successes. “It was real. It was substantive. We made it happen because we know that we have to rebuild the public’s trust in what we do in Springfield,” he said.

THERE WERE PLENTY OF WINS: The much-awaited ethics omnibus bill emerged Monday with bipartisan support. It bans lawmakers from lobbying government, expands revolving-door rules, prohibits fundraisers on days of the legislative session or the day before, beefs up statements of economic interest, and requires lobbyists to complete ethics and sexual harassment training. The bill wasn’t as strong as some Republicans, and maybe Democrats, would have liked but it passed 113 to 5. The five Republicans who rejected the bill are all members of the Eastern Bloc conservatives.

“This legislation takes the first steps in addressing some of the most egregious scandals in our state’s history,” Sen. Ann Gillespie said in a news conference Monday night. “While it won’t end corruption overnight, it closes many of the loopholes that have allowed bad actors to game the system for decades.” Capitol News Tim Kirsininkas reports.

Election bill: At a time when some states are making it harder to vote, Illinois lawmakers sent a comprehensive measure to the governor’s desk that includes a new primary date and rules that make it easier to receive a mail-in ballot. “The bill would also allow sheriffs in counties with fewer than 3 million people — meaning all but Cook County — to open temporary branch polling places at county jails for detainees,” reports the Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

BUDGET BY THE NUMBERS: It’s a $42.3 billion budget that increases funding for the evidence-based funding plan for K-12 public schools by $350 million. The budget spends $7.5 billion in state general revenues on Medicaid, plus another $7.4 billion for other human services; $1.9 billion for higher education; another $1.9 billion for public safety; and $1.4 billion for general services. The state will also spend about $2.5 billion of the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds Illinois expects to receive.

“Of that, $1.5 billion would go for things like economic recovery programs to help businesses hardest hit by the pandemic, public health, affordable housing and violence prevention programs like after-school activities, and summer youth employment. Another $1 billion of the ARPA funds would be directed into the ongoing Rebuild Illinois capital improvements program to accelerate some of the projects slated for construction,” reports Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.

Criminal justice reform trailer bill: After earlier passing groundbreaking legislation initiated by the Legislative Black Caucus, lawmakers passed tweaks to the reforms.

And Rep. Will Guzzardi’s omnibus affordable housing bill is headed to the governor’s desk. The measure appropriates $75 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds to a grant program that will support construction of affordable housing. The bill also creates property tax incentives to build affordable housing, and the bill changes the way affordable housing is assessed to take into consideration wealth gaps.


House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who navigated the complexities of being speaker while still operating in a pandemic and having to juggle the once-a-decade redistricting process. He got lawmakers in line without (much) drama and he made quick decisions when drama arose.

Reps. Lisa Hernandez and Curtis Tarver, who kept their cool while defending the Democratic-controlled legislative maps against heated GOP opposition.

Rep. La Shawn Ford, who successfully negotiated the cannabis legislation that creates 110 new marijuana dispensaries on top of the 75 minority-owned retail shops that were delayed from opening last year because of problems in scoring lottery applications.

Rep. Tom Demmer, who took the lead challenging Republican opposition to the state budget but also worked in a bipartisan effort to help pass the Medicaid omnibus bill, which increases funding for mental health services and expands other programs.

Private schools: Democrats dropped the plan to put limits on a tax credit for people who donate to private school scholarship funds.

GOP Rep. Andrew Chesney, who worked with Dems on a bill to stop puppy mills.

Springfield restaurants: With state lawmakers back in town, restaurants and bars were humming.


Republicans who were squeezed into one district after redistricting, forcing them to run against each other.

Sen. Robert Martwick, who’s spent years advocating for an elected school board, only to find himself negotiating for a hybrid model.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who has had to compromise on the school board issue and was rolled over by the governor when he signed a bill tweaking firefighter pensions.

Rep. Mark Walker, who couldn’t get his bill requiring “labor peace” deals for new and proposed data centers over the finish line. Industry leaders could revisit the idea later in the year after it resolves issues over requiring centers to hire people sent by labor unions.

Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC, who couldn’t rally lawmakers to repeal an Illinois law that requires parental notification before anyone under age 18 can have an abortion (the reason: primary season is coming up).

The folks who kept lawmakers and reporters staying at the Capitol past 3 a.m.

The Senate for keeping up the annoying fiberglass barriers in the press area.

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

Schedule wasn’t provided, but there are sure to be comments about the legislative session.

At Quinn Fire Academy to congratulate new paramedics at a Chicago Fire Department graduation ceremony.

No official pubic events.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday reported 33 additional deaths and 521 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease. That’s a total of 22,827 fatalities and 1,382,186 cases in Illinois. The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests from May 22 through 28 is 1.6 percent. Chicago’s positivity rate is at 2.4 percent.

Nation’s first school mandate on AAPI history heads to Illinois governor: Illinois is poised to become the first state to require Asian American history be taught in public schools after a bill cleared its last legislative hurdle Monday amid growing national concerns about anti-Asian hate and discrimination. The measure was rallied by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago and carried in the legislature by Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz and Sen. Ram Villivalam. A story by your host on POLITICO’s home page.

Cook County public defenders can represent immigrants facing deportation in immigration court under new bill: “Unlike criminal defendants, immigrants facing deportation don’t have the right to a government-appointed attorney. The Cook County public defender’s office created an immigration unit last year to represent immigrants in immigration court, but it needed authorization from the state legislature to do so,” by Injustice Watch’s Carlos Ballesteros.

Lawmakers ban some background checks on people who sign up to speak at public hearings: “The bill bars police agencies throughout Illinois from conducting background checks on citizens ‘for the sole reason” of that person speaking ‘at an open meeting of a public body, including police disciplinary boards.’ The measure was approved on a 73-44 final vote in the House on Monday after the bill was approved on a 38-17 vote Saturday in the Senate. The bill now awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature before it can become state law,” by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner, Gregory Pratt and Dan Petrella.

Domestic violence task force in honor of slain Joliet toddler approved by Illinois lawmakers: “The panel will be asked to establish protective networks for victims, propose treatment options for victims and offenders, bolster specialty courts to handle abuse cases and look at shortcomings in existing laws and procedures,” by Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair.

Bill passes banning police deception of young suspects: “Illinois became the first state Sunday to pass a bill that will ban police from lying to youth during interrogations — a practice that adds significantly to the risk of false confessions and wrongful convictions. It is expected to be signed into law by the governor in coming weeks,” by The Associated Press.

College athletes could sign endorsement deals under bill passed by state lawmakers: “The move comes as the NCAA has signaled it would support allowing student athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness, although the organization has yet to act in changing its long-standing bylaws that prohibit student athletes from receiving compensation in any form for playing sports,” by Tribune’s Bill Ruthhart.

Lead service line replacement bill passes: The House and Senate passed a bill that would require water utilities to replace lead service lines. “House Bill 3739, known as the Lead Service Line Notification and Replacement Act, would require all water utilities to compile an inventory of all known lead water service lines and submit a plan for removal and replacement of the lines to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency,” reports Capitol News’ Tim Kirsininkas.

Legislation requiring menstrual products in school bathrooms advances to governor’s desk:An ethics reform proposal approved by the Illinois House and sent to the state Senate would ban constitutional officeholders from lobbying the state until six months after leaving office or for the rest of their term, whichever is sooner,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton and Andrew Sullender.

Illinois second-to-last state to have medical release program for prisons: The state “will allow inmates who are terminally ill to leave their prison cells to spend the last of their life with family and loved ones,” by WCIA’s Cole Henke

Senate Republicans still pushing for review of Prisoner Review Board appointments, by Capitol News’ Grace Barbic

KUMBAYA: It’s not always a cage match between D’s and Rs in Springfield.

When Democratic Rep. Lisa Hernandez’s bill calling for stronger protections for immigrants passed, Republican Rep. Patrick Windhorst, strode across the chamber to congratulate her.

When Democratic Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz’s bill passed, adding Asian American curriculum to public schools, Republican Rep. Mark Batinick crossed the floor and asked to add his name as a co-sponsor.

And when Republican Rep. Thomas Bennett stood to pitch his bill related to guardians for adults with disabilities, Democratic Rep. La Shawn Ford stood up to support it, prompting Bennett to walk across and thank him.

Kina Collins, a gun violence prevention advocate, is launching her campaign to run for the 7th Congressional District.

This is Collins’ second run in the 7th. She challenged veteran Congressman Danny Davis in the 2020 primary.

Collins grew up on the West Side and says the trajectory of her life changed after she witnessed a child murdered in front of her home. She’s gone on to advocate against gun violence. According to a statement from her campaign, Collins sat on the Biden-Harris transition team’s task force on gun violence.

Collins’ campaign says she has the backing of Justice Democrats, the group that previously helped Rep. Marie Newman in her race for Congress, as well as the 14th Ward IPO and other progressive groups.

Chicago plans monumental O’Hare redo, and the FAA wants your thoughts on it: “Known as the Airport Terminal Project, its blockbuster feature is a $2.2 billion Global Terminal that will accommodate domestic and international airlines with customs and immigration services. The billowy, Y-shaped design, created by a team led by Chicago architect Jeanne Gang, incorporates glass, wood and steel and will be twice the size of Terminal 2, which it’s replacing,” by Daily Herald’s Parni Pyke.

Police say shootings, murders down last month compared to 2020; anti-looting task force ends: “The traditional summer kickoff has historically been a problematic one in Chicago and this one was no exception. At least 32 people were shot, three of them fatally since Friday night,” by ABC/7’s Michelle Gallardo.

Businesses dropped the Boystown nickname, but for others, ‘It’s always going to be Boystown,’ writes Tribune’s Nara Schoenberg

Owner of Maywood barbershop charged with killing customer who refused to pay: “Deshon Mcadory was ordered held in lieu of $250,000 bail Sunday,” by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba

Republicans fear Trump will lead to a ‘lost generation’ of talent, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw, David Siders and Sam Stein

What Joe Biden wants from this week’s critical infrastructure talks, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago

How 3 survivors of the Tulsa race massacre continue to fight for reparations, by The Undefeated

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to former state Rep. Judy Erwin, labor leader Clem Balanoff, and political consultant Bill Velazquez for correctly answering that Lynn Martin was the former congresswoman who served as chair of the board of directors of the Lincoln Park Zoo.

h/t to Thomas Leinenweber, Martin’s grandson, for the question.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Republican beat then GOP House Speaker Bob Blair in a general election under the old three-member state house district configuration, knocking him out of the House? Email to [email protected]

Chicago Council on Global Affairs COO Jenny Cizner, Culloton + Bauer Luce’s Dennis Culloton, RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard, state Sen. Mattie Hunter, attorney and former Congressman John Edward Porter, and International Republican Institute VP of external relations Diane Zeleny (a Chicago native).



via Illinois Playbook

June 1, 2021 at 07:30AM

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