House passes ‘historic’ clean-energy bill

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House passes ‘historic’ clean-energy bill

TGIF, Illinois. We’ll be pausing this weekend to remember the 3,000 of us who perished 20 years ago in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. May their memories be eternal.

They did it. House lawmakers passed sweeping legislation to eliminate Illinois carbon emissions by 2050, with a compromise allowing two coal-fired plants to stay open until 2045 with the caveat that they cut emissions by nearly half by 2035.

The legislation, three years in the works, passed 83 to 33, easily surpassing the 71 votes it needed to get over the finish line. Even some Republicans supported the measure. It now heads to the Senate, which is expected to vote on it Monday when the chamber convenes in Springfield (it’s a version of the Senate bill, tweaked, that was passed by the House last night).

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has already vowed to sign the “historic” bill “as soon as possible, because our planet and the people of Illinois ought not wait any longer.”

Presuming the legislation reaches Pritzker’s desk as anticipated, “it arguably would represent the single biggest legislative accomplishment for the first-term governor who in 2018 campaigned on a green-energy platform and is ramping up his 2022 re-election bid,” report WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.

House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch called the legislation “monumental and life-changing for the future generations of Illinois.” He had charged Reps. Marcus Evans, Robyn Gabel, and Jay Hoffman with getting the measure over the finish line, but the victory was as much the new speaker’s given how long the clean-energy bill has eluded the chamber.

Evans, a Chicago Democrat and member of the Black Caucus, said during floor debate that the measure sends a message “to the entire country that we’re serious about climate change, we’re serious about just transition, we’re serious about solar development.”

Rep. Ann Williams, who stood by environmentalists throughout the process, praised the “months of negotiations” that led to last night’s vote.

Climate Jobs Illinois, which represents labor groups, offered praise, too. Executive director Joe Duffy credited “all parties” for putting aside “considerable differences to pass an ambitious bill that takes on climate change, puts union men and women to work, and opens up new opportunities for historically underserved communities most impacted by the climate crisis.”

The Tribune’s Dan Petrella unravels the power dynamics: “The plan has crucial backing from two of the majority party’s key bases of support: labor unions and environmentalists. Those groups have been at odds throughout the summer over how to phase out municipally owned coal-fired power plants in Springfield and near St. Louis,” Petrella writes.

Capitol News Jerry Nowicki explains where the rubber meets the road: “Negotiators believe the new bill is expected to raise residential electric bills by about 3-4 percent, commercial bills by about 5-6 percent, and industrial bills by about 7-8 percent, although the rollout for the various programs would be staggered over time and increases would vary by year.”

And Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton reveals a motion was filed that could slow down the bill’s journey to the governor’s desk. Because some Republicans voted yes on the bill, “the motion will make sure they don’t try to block the measure.”

RELATED

How much is this energy bill really going to cost you? “The governor says $4 to $5 a month. AARP Illinois says $15 a month,” by Crain’s Steve Daniels.

On second try, House Dems approve much criticized ethics plan that prompted resignation of legislature’s watchdog: “Rep. Kelly Burke of Evergreen Park, the bill’s sponsor, said the House Ethics and Elections Committee would continue reviewing additional proposals next spring. Republicans in opposition questioned why those changes should be put off,” by Tribune’s Dan Petrella.

Playbook Q&A on 9/11 and the value of life: Chicago personal injury attorney Robert Clifford is lead counsel representing families of the 157 passengers who were killed in the 2019 crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302’s Boeing 737. It’s a painstaking effort that has taken him and his team all over the world trying to document the value of lives lost. Also working on the case is Ken Feinberg, who’s representing Boeing’s distribution of funds in the Department of Justices’ Deferred Prosecution Agreement of the crash victims.

Clifford and Feinberg have known each other for years, well before they were brought together by the 9/11 attacks.

Feinberg famously represented the U.S. government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which determined how much money would be given to families that lost loved ones. Clifford, who’s also a noted political donor, was the American Bar Association’s representative at that time and chaired its Task Force on Terrorism and Law. So he helped advise Feinberg and his team on the structure of the fund.

Clifford talked to Playbook about his role with Feinberg and his thoughts on the new film, “Worth,” which has actor Michael Keaton portraying Feinberg.

How did you advise Feinberg and his team on the VCF?

“We talked about the factors that he should consider. Some parts are mechanical, and some parts are very intuitive. The mechanical part is trying to analyze what someone’s economic losses are. So you’re dealing with a fellow making X dollars a year or a woman earning Y dollars a year and that income stream is lost to the family, then you calculate how much that is in regard to their work-life expectancy. … The hard part is the grief and sorrow and loss to society and companionship. How do you value love? How do you value the warmth that comes from the moment you see your spouse every day and puts a smile on your face? Under our American system of jurisprudence, those are defensible elements for damage. … Everyone is different. You walk down a neighborhood and pull the roof off a house and look inside and some families are loving and caring and respectful of one another, and others there’s abuse and they don’t get along and all those kinds of bad things.”

Feinberg evolved in that position. Did you see that?

“Initially, Feinberg tried to be very mechanical in how he went about this. He wasn’t listening to the people and wasn’t listening to their stories of the guy whose wife kissed him on the cheek and said goodbye and that there’s chicken piccata in the fridge and then when he went to clean it out he placed the tape marked ‘chicken picatta’ and put it on the wall because it was his last written note from her [referring to an anecdote in the film, as an example]. Those are compelling stories that speak to the loss and the grief that someone has sustained. When he started to listen to those stories — and the Justice Department gave him enough slack — he was able to invoke a lot of discretion so that he could deal with people on an individualized basis and that’s what helped him carry the day.”

You saw the movie, “Worth.” Was it accurate in its portrayal of Feinberg?

“I’m a bit biased because I’m very pro-Feinberg. I thought the movie was terrific. I’m sure there are portions where a lot of editorial largess was taken. I wish they had shown a little more of the family meetings. I went to some of those meetings with him. I tell the story that they clearly were contentious and by the end, he really had bonded with those people."

RELATED

How 9/11 changed members of Congress: "9/11 was so impactful for me that I think it really comes into how I act today,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger. "I have to be willing to put everything on the line to defend this country, and if I lose an election because I’m telling people the truth, well, that needed to be done.” via the Washington Post.

They created our post-9/11 world. Here’s what they think they got wrong, by POLITICO’s Bryan Bender and Daniel Lippman

Interviews with first responders told the story of what they saw on 9/11, writes Tribune’s Ron Grossman

‘A day that deserves celebration:’ 20 years after 9/11, survivor reclaims date with wedding, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie

Carol Marin on the legacy of 9/11: “I don’t want us to forget,” she tells Daily Herald’s Robert Feder

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

At Fallen Firefighter Memorial in Springfield at 10 a.m. “to honor some of the state’s most heroic public servants” at the Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony. At the Abraham Lincoln Statue Plaza in Hillsboro at noon to announce a revitalization program.

On the riverpath by the McFetridge Sports Center at 9:30 a.m. to celebrate the completion of the bridge replacement project at Irving Park Road and cut the ribbon on the new under bridge river path.

In Maywood at 10 a.m., where she’ll speak at the opening celebration of the Fifth Avenue Apartments.

Federal judge dismisses watchdog’s RICO suit over ComEd bribery scheme, says no evidence Madigan muscled votes: “In a 24-page decision filed Thursday, U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso wrote that despite the fact ComEd has admitted to orchestrating the bribery scheme, the plaintiffs failed to allege what specific pressure was put on any legislators by Madigan, or that the pressure was unlawful.” by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Ray Long.

Meanwhile… Feds want fact-finding stopped in suit tied to ComEd bribery — but say things could change in 60 days, reports Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Crestwood mayor scheduled to plead guilty next month in red-light camera bribery scheme, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner.

Sullivan launches bid for GOP governor nomination: “Positioning himself an aspirational outsider, central Illinois venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan launched a bid for the Republican nomination for governor Thursday, saying he’s a ‘moral leader’ who stands in contrast to a political system that has produced high taxes and corruption. In making his first foray into elective politics, Sullivan, 37, described himself as a ‘nonideological’ candidate, even as he faces a primary race in a Republican Party increasingly focused on ideological issues ranging from abortion restrictions to opposition to COVID-19 mitigations,” writes Tribune’s Rick Pearson.

Sullivan’s GOP primary opponents, meanwhile, poked at Sullivan’s campaign for being backed by “Silicon Valley,” as GOP candidate Gary Rabine said in a statement, a reference to Sullivan’s California friends who gave multimillion-dollar donations. State Sen. Darren Bailey, another GOP gubernatorial candidate, said “Our so-called ‘elites’ and their big checkbooks have had their run of things for too long. … We think it’s time the regular folks in this state have their say.”

Some GOP campaign operatives, meanwhile, say Sullivan’s campaign structure appears shaky. They point to campaign literature first published that shows his staff has seen upheaval before he made his official announcement. There are still, however, nine months in the primary to iron out the kinks.

Playbook regrets the error: Chris Larsen, a multimillion-dollar donor to Sullivan’s campaign, gave $250,000 to the Democrats’ national House Majority PAC, not to the Republicans’ similarly named PAC, as your host mentioned yesterday.

— ENDORSEMENT: A group called the End Citizens United and Let America Vote Action Fund (ECU/LAV) is endorsing Sen. Tammy Duckworth in her re-election campaign. The Democratic-focused group praised Duckworth for fighting against “dark money special interests trying to influence our elections and policy-making.” The group said the For the People Act, which she co-signed, is “a critical piece of legislation that will protect the freedom to vote, fight back against the corrupting influence of dark money in our elections and eliminate partisan gerrymandering. ECU/LAV says it raised and spent $65.5 million in the 2020 election cycle.

— Ald. Pat Dowell, candidate for Illinois secretary of state, says she’ll ramp up cybersecurity efforts if she’s elected, including adding two-factor authentication for logging in. She also wants to allow residents to make address changes and renew parking stickers through a secure phone login. And Dowell is proposing interactions via online video meetings to accomplish some services.

— SUN-TIMES WATCHDOGS: Donald Trump gets a $300,000 tax break on Trump Tower after Fritz Kaegi slashes assessment: “The former president got the property taxes on Trump International Hotel & Tower this year after Kaegi agreed the skyscraper’s vacant retail space makes it less valuable,” by Sun-Times’ Tim Novak.

Aldermen seek proof-of-vaccine rule for entry to Chicago restaurants, bars, gyms and entertainment venues, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.

Lightfoot, Durbin celebrate completion of $6 billion O’Hare runway project, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

Art Institute employees rally in support of forming Chicago’s first major museum union: “The employees are seeking higher wages and better working conditions, which were exacerbated by more than 200 layoffs and furloughs during the pandemic,” by Tribune’s Robert Channick.

Historic treasures offer journey back in time at Claude Barnett, Etta Moten Barnett estate sale, by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.

Chicago was just voted the 2nd most beautiful city in the world. “Yup, we beat out Paris,” writes TimeOut’s Emma Crupp.

— Political plots: Data scientist Armin Thomas has pulled together two charts that quantify the relative ideologies of Illinois state legislators in both the state House and state Senate based on voting records from this year’s legislative session. He built a program that compared each chamber’s members’ roll call voting record and produced numerical ideology estimates for each member, viewable as points on each plot. The horizontal axis shows how they stand on economic issues, and the vertical axis differentiates the legislators on social and other general non-economic issues, says Thomas.

Illinois Math and Science Academy halts student visits home to prevent Covid spread: “Because we’re a residential high school, we’re different from other schools, because our kids are living together and can transmit the virus much more easily, making us vulnerable to shutting down,” IMSA President Evan Glazer said. The high school has heard concerns from some parents who are displeased with the new policy, but he remains hopeful “that everyone can be a little flexible.” Tribune’s Karen Ann Cullotta reports.

Man awaiting murder trial in 2017 stabbing death now held without bail for allegedly stabbing a friend: “Nestor Soto, 42, who once owned and was chef at a former Bucktown restaurant, appeared before Cook County Judge Arthur Willis on an attempted murder charge,” by Tribune’s Stephanie Casanova.

— Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), a member of the House Agriculture Committee, has introduced the Urban Agriculture and Community Food Security Act (H.R. 5173). The bill would create a conservation easement program to protect urban lands for food production and conservation (authorized at $20 million annually), and a grant program for urban ag entrepreneurs (authorized at $3 million annually). The bill also provides $15 million each year to the Community Food Project Grant Program, which helps fight food insecurity in low-income communities. The bill is supported by groups including Urban Growers Collective and Advocates for Urban Agriculture (both in Chicago), the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

— Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.) and Chris Stewart (R-Utah) have introduced the Student Mental Health Helpline Act of 2021, which ensures state-run hotlines are placed in all 50 states. The bill also establishes a grant program to create or expand existing student-focused mental health helplines that are free, confidential, and provide 24/7 support. These state-based lines are connected to local schools, which offer resources to students. The legislation would support coordination of student helplines with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Biden expands vaccine requirements in bid to rein in Covid, by POLITICO’s Adam Cancryn and David Lim

Hundreds of law enforcement officials were prepped early for potential Jan. 6 violence, by POLITICO’s Betsy Woodruff Swan

Congress wakes up to its staff retention problems after Covid, bomb threats and riots, by POLITICO’s Katherine Tully-McManus

Racist monuments reimagined, by Shalise Manza Young in The Undefeated

Patrick Kelly, a former speechwriter for Chicago Mayors Lori Lightfoot and Rahm Emanuel now head of speech-writing for NASA, recently got engaged to Tarah Patz, a rising second-year MBA student at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Before that, she was a life sciences consultant at Deloitte. He proposed at Park No. 567, which is next to Ipsento 606 — the coffee shop where they first met. Pic

Dan Seals has been named CEO of Intersect Illinois, the statewide economic development group that woos businesses to Illinois. He most recently handled marketing at the American Medical Association. Seals, who Playbookers will remember has previously run for Congress, also had stints at GE Capital and T-Mobile and was assistant director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). His appointment at Intersect Illinois by Gov. J.B. Pritzker is pending board approval (it meets Sept. 23). Seals will succeed Alya Adamany Woods, who has led the organization as the acting CEO and COO for two years and is shifting to the private sector, according to a release.

— Sunday at 1 p.m.: Author and political analyst Jonathan Alter headlines a Printers Row Lit Fest discussion about his latest book, “His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, A Life.” Alter is senior editor of Newsweek and a contributing correspondent and political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. Previous books: “The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies” (2013) and “The Promise: President Obama, Year One” (2010).

— Tuesday: Stacey Abrams will (virtually) headline the Chicago Foundation for Women’s 36th annual luncheon, “Rise Up, Disrupt.” The in-person event is sold out, but tickets for the virtual event are still available.

THURSDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to former statehouse reporter Bernie Schoenburg for correctly answering that Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was the father-in-law of Illinois Gov. Otto Kerner.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What former statehouse reporter went on to win nearly $7 million in the Illinois Lottery while working as press secretary for a governor? Email to [email protected]

Today: former Democratic state Rep. Brandon Phelps, senior adviser to Rep. Robin Kelly Rick Bryant, 1833 Group’s Nick Daggers, attorney Gerald Fishman, defense attorney Joseph "The Shark" Lopez, On Point Consultants’ Tim Mapes, and Durbin legislative correspondent Charles Rotering

Saturday: former state Rep. Yehiel Mark Kalish, Chicago comic Tom Dreesen, Paramount Events founder Jodi Fyfe, and POLITICO executive editor Joe Schatz

Sunday: former Cook County Judge Gloria Chevere, singer Jennifer Hudson, Forbes senior contributor on health care Bruce Japsen, and University of Chicago economist Richard Thaler

-30-

via POLITICO

September 10, 2021 at 08:47AM

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