Good Monday morning, Illinois. “Point of Information” is a new Playbook feature (and an old parliamentary term) that asks how you go about your day, work or play. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Senate President Don Harmon will be voting yes on the clean-energy legislation that’s headed to his chamber today for a vote in Springfield after the House passed a version last week with bipartisan support and a nod from the governor.
Senate passage is critical as Exelon has set today as the deadline to decide on closing its Byron nuclear plant. Without funding for the facility, which is included in the bill, Byron won’t be able operate, according to Exelon.
House passage wasn’t a given when representatives arrived in Springfield on Thursday, according to numerous lawmakers and others involved in the process. “It was a nail-biter,” said one representative.
Thursday’s negotiations started at 10:30 a.m. when House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch met with Gov. J.B. Pritzker to talk about how they wanted to move forward. They liked Rep. Ann Williams’ proposal that would require Prairie State Energy Campus, one of the newer coal plants in the country, to reduce its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2035. That idea became part of Rep. Marcus Evans’ amendment that also called for Prairie State to close its facility in 2045.
While other coal plants are closing down on their own, Prairie State’s challenge is that it supplies power to numerous municipalities. Shutting down puts the power grid into question if alternative energy sources aren’t meeting demand. That was a sensitive point among Metro East lawmakers, including Assistant House Majority Leader Jay Hoffman, who pushed for keeping the plant open as long as possible.
In that morning meeting, Pritzker assigned Deputy Gov. Christian Mitchell, who has been the governor’s point person on all discussions related to the clean-energy bill, to represent him in the talks. Mitchell knew that decarbonization was a priority for Pritzker, who campaigned on the issue in 2018, and he was prepared to draw the line on anything that didn’t include that.
By 11 a.m. Mitchell was in Welch’s third floor conference room along with the speaker’s three chosen negotiators: Hoffman, Evans, and Assistant House Majority Leader Robyn Gabel, who is aligned with environmentalists and, like Mitchell, wanted assurances that decarbonization was a priority.
The discussions were serious and to the point as lawmakers knew the clock was ticking. They had one day to pull a bill together. A few times during the day, they separated, and Mitchell and a few others ran downstairs to the governor’s conference room on the second floor. Then they returned to the third floor. Someone ordered pizza and they ate lunch while they talked.
The final agreement wasn’t one they all loved, but it’s one they could all feel good about. Pritzker and environmentalists got the decarbonization they wanted, and labor got assurances that jobs would be safe and that Prairie State could stay open for a time while it figures out how to adjust to the growing urgency around climate change.
“I think Speaker Welch and leaders Evans, Gabel and Hoffman deserve tremendous credit for working in good faith with all parties to bring this home,” Mitchell shared with Playbook. It goes to a phrase Welch’s team has used repeatedly since he became speaker: “decentralized leadership.”
Now the ball is back in Harmon’s court. Two weeks ago, the Senate sent a version of the energy bill to the House knowing that Welch may have better luck working with the governor than Harmon.
Harmon “will be voting ‘yes,’” on the now tweaked measure, according to a statement from his office last night. “The shared goal among the Senate, House and Gov. Pritzker has been to position Illinois as a national leader on reliable, renewable, and affordable energy policies. This proposal accomplishes that.”
Lawmakers are marveling at how the bill has shaped up. “There was a time this kind of bill would have been put together in Exelon’s conference room” and certainly not the Capitol, said one legislator not wanting to be named since the bill is still moving through the Senate. It would have been a bill focused on giving money to nuclear plants and, possibly, ignoring the bigger picture — decarbonization — which now gives Illinois more credibility on tackling climate change.
What else is in the energy bill: It includes “subsidies for wind and solar projects would roughly double, to about $500 million per year. The plan also would allow the state’s large electric utilities to spend about $317 million in previously collected funds on renewable energy projects rather than refunding it to customers. Under existing law, the money was supposed to pay for projects that came online by May 31 of this year, but many were delayed by the coronavirus pandemic,” by Tribunes’ Dan Petrella.
On the heels of a powerful speech Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, former President George W. Bush will be in Chicago on Tuesday to headline the 10th Annual Navy SEAL Foundation fundraiser. The event is sold out, but tickets are available to Zoom in virtually. The organization helps military veterans transition into the private sector and help families when SEAL members don’t come home. This year’s event chairs are Motorola CEO Greg Brown and Anna Brown, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, insurance mogul Patrick Ryan Sr. and Shirley Ryan, Max Digital founder Patrick Ryan Jr. and Lydia Ryan, and auto entrepreneur Bob Loquercio and Veronica Loquercio. Recipient of this year’s Patriot Award is David Herro, chief investment officer of International Equities at Harris Associates. On Saturday, Bush was in Shanksville, Pa., where 37 passengers and 7 crew members died after the United Airlines flight was hijacked.
The 43rd president condemned the actions of the terrorists two decades ago, and warned of the threat of domestic terrorism in the U.S. today. "We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home, but their disdain for pluralism in their regard for human life," he said. "It is our continuing duty to confront them." POLITICO’s Brianna Crummy has more
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At Christopher House in Chicago at 2 p.m. to announce a new child care initiative to help Illinois families get back on their feet due to unemployment during the pandemic.
No official public events.
At the Cook County Building at 1 p.m. for a press conference kicking off Racial Equity Week and introducing a new Racial Equity Policy and Action Plan.
How do you pass the time making your way to Springfield? Email your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share tomorrow.
— With school year underway, Covid cases and hospitalizations rising for Illinois kids: “Since July, in all regions of the state, the number of confirmed infections for school-age children has climbed at least through early September, the most recent data available. Downstate regions have seen the biggest spikes. And childhood COVID-19 hospitalizations in Illinois — although still relatively rare — are nearing the levels seen at the peak of past surges,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr and Karen Ann Cullota.
… But, but, but… Overall, Weekly Covid-19 cases dip for first time since start of summer, reports Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout.
— Tensions mount between CDC and Biden health team over boosters: “Senior officials from the White House and the FDA say the CDC is withholding critical data needed to develop the booster plan,” by POLITICO’s Erin Banco, Sarah Owermohle and Adam Cancryn.
— Chicago firefighters, cops who went to NYC after 9/11 and now suffer: “They rushed from Chicago to help and bonded with their New York counterparts amid the grief and horror. Today, some face illnesses they blame on exposure to the toxic rubble,” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main.
— ‘I haven’t slept well since’: Kane County safety expert toiled at ground zero for more than 100 day, by Daily Herald’s Katlyn Smith
— Climbing the steps of Soldier field to remember emergency workers lost on 9/11, by The New York Times’ Robert Chiarito.
— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Illinois Attorney Gen. Kwame Raoul is joining state and local law enforcement officials and members of the national and local retail industry this morning to announce “a first-of-its-kind collaboration dedicated to investigating and disrupting organized retail crimes,” according to a statement.
— Lightfoot says city will sue gang members to ‘take their assets’: “Similar strategies have been used in suburban counties with mixed results. The ACLU says it won’t work. Police Supt. David Brown calls it ‘a very strategic move that the city is taking to take their stuff,’” by Sun-Times’ Frank Main and Fran Spielman.
— ‘We’re going after gangs’ — Superintendent David Brown redistributes community safety team officers: “The officers will be moving to areas including the Area One homicide unit, the carjacking task force, gang investigations, the narcotics division, an intelligence work group focused on data-driven deployment and others,” by Tribune’s Paige Fry and Jeremy Gorner.
— NBC 5 journalists team up for weeklong series on ‘Violence in Chicago,’ by media reporter Robert Feder
— Watchdog asked to probe how Ald. Gardiner got court records on political foe: “Text messages show that Gardiner urged a former staffer to leak those documents after noting that [resident] James Suh had accused him of overstepping his boundaries. The messages were sent the morning after Suh helped organize a protest of Gardiner for blocking the approval of a proposed development near Six Corners in Portage Park. Gardiner also encouraged his former aide to locate a mug shot of Suh,” by WTTW’s Heather Cherone and Paris Schutz.
— With end of another violent summer, Lightfoot vows to fight crime while critics see the city in crisis: “City statistics show the number of shooting victims is up year-to-date through Sept. 6, from 2,781 in 2020 to 3,043 in 2021. Homicides are up, from 526 in 2020 to 540,” by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt.
— Soho House enters club of its own: The stock market: “The chain of exclusive clubs has lost money for its entire existence, but it pitched investors on plans for rapid growth and a pandemic-proof business,” via the New York Times.
— BIG SALE: Transportation management company Echo Global Logistics acquired for $1.3B: The company was founded by Chicago entrepreneurs (and intermittent political donors) Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, via Business Journal.
— DA BEARS: Week 1 recap: Bears lose to Rams 34-14, by Tribune’s Colleen Kane
— Cook County elected 22 new judges to its bench. The only voters were other judges, via Injustice Watch
— After 18 days, more than 2,000 Cook County workers remain on strike, WBEZ’s Linda Lutton reports.
— Orland Park votes to oppose Pritzker’s mask, vaccine mandates: “One trustee called it an act of tyranny, and many others said they don’t understand why vaccinated people should have to mask up,” via Fox/32 digital staff.
— Cook County unveils racial equity action plan: The plan includes “ensuring all county services are made accessible in diverse languages for the now 20% of Cook County residents who are non-native English speakers. And all employees under the board president’s purview will be required to undergo mandatory racial equity and cultural competency training by next year,” by Sun-Times’ Maudlyne Ihejirika.
— Judge: Dennis Hastert accuser to be named in court as lawsuit goes to trial: “The man who has sued former U.S. House speaker Dennis Hastert, seeking the unpaid balance of an alleged $3.5 million hush-money pact over decades-old sexual abuse, will be named publicly during an upcoming civil trial,” a judge has ruled. Tribune’s Christy Gutowski reports.
— Four Corner Hustlers ‘chief’ faces months-long trial at Chicago’s federal courthouse: “Labar Spann has allegedly declared himself to be the head of a gang tied to at least nine murders since 2000, including the 2003 slaying of Latin Kings boss Rudy ‘Kato’ Rangel,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.
— City worker displayed ‘paranoid behavior’ before fatally shooting 12-year-old son, prosecutors say, by Sun-Times’ Tom Schuba and Emmanuel Camarillo.
— Waiting to restify at R. Kelly’s trial: “Lizzette Martinez was allegedly abused by the R&B star when she was a minor. Now she may be asked to testify against him,” by Chicago journalist Jim DeRogatis in The New Yorker.
— Illinois Republican Party’s future comes down to two men: Trump and Griffin: “Political problems also loom: there simply are more Democratic base voters in Illinois, and Democratic control of state government meant the party once again got to draw a favorable map for state House and Senate races for the next 10 years,” writes Eric Krol for Center for Illinois Politics.
— Thurgood Brooks considering run for Illinois state representative: Brooks, who was narrowly defeated in the Rock Island Mayoral election earlier this year, is looking at the seat being vacated by Rep. Mike Halpin, who has announced he would be running for state Senate instead, reports QuadCities.com’s Sean Leary. Former AFSCME Local 46 President Gregg Johnson is also making a run for Halpin’s seat.
— Congressman Bill Foster talks about “The Future of AI” on the Radically Pragmatic Podcast.
— GOP 2024 hopefuls tread carefully around Trump, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo
… DeSantis milks out-of-state travel to lay possible 2024 foundation, by POLITICO’s Marc Caputo and Gary Fineout
— Kanye West and the new politics of shock, by POLITICO’s Derek Robertson
— Opinion | It’s time to dismantle America’s residential caste system, by Sheryll Cashin for POLITICO magazine
— Tim Thomas is retiring after more than 33 years of government service, including the past 10 with Cook County. He’s most recently been deputy director of administration with the county’s Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security. Thomas, who’s a regular Playbook reader and fan of Trivia, says, “It’s not a farewell, but more like a transition…. stay tuned.”
— Emily Elisar is joining Croke Fairchild Morgan & Beres after serving as special assistant to the Deputy Governor of Budget and Economy for the State of Illinois. Elisar will serve as a project manager, supporting clients and attorneys across the firm’s areas of practice.
— Trine Tsouderos is now a management consultant at PwC, where she focuses on the pharmaceutical industry and Covid-19-related issues, including vaccines. She’s a former journalist, who covered health care for the Chicago Tribune.
— Mark McCombs is the new public policy analyst at Safer Foundation.
— Former Oak Brook Village President Kevin M. Quinlan, “known as a devoted civil servant and was very proud of his tenure” in government, has died, according to a release from the village.
— Former WGN anchor Allison Payne dies at 57: “A nine-time Chicago Emmy Award winner, Payne served as a mentor to students and established a foundation for those looking to enter journalism,” by media reporter Robert Feder.
— Muralist Timm Etters, who overcame many challenges — including colorblindness — has died: His work adorned many schools, writes Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.
— Tuesday at 9 a.m.: The Women’s Business Development Center (virtually) hosts its Midwest Annual Business Event: “Navigating the Next Normal.” Registration for the event is required through EventBrite, where tickets can be reserved for $50.
— Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.: Senate President Don Harmon headlines a fundraising reception at Donny G’s Ristorante & Bar in Elmwood Park. RSVP 217-494-1905
— Tuesday at 6 p.m.: Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin headlines a fundraising reception at The Ivy Room in Chicago (5:30 p.m. VIP). RSVP to Julie@ilhro.com or 630-561-5814.
— Tuesday at 6 p.m.: Kellyoke, a popular fundraiser for Rep. Kelly Cassidy, will be held at Jarvis Square.
FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to comms consultant Jim Bray for correctly answering that David Fields was the former statehouse reporter who went on to win nearly $7 million in the Illinois Lottery while working as press secretary for Gov. Jim Thompson (Bray worked in the governor’s office at the same time).
TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the hot mic moment that President Ronald Reagan had while campaigning for incumbent Sen. Charles Percy? Email to email@example.com
Former Congressman Peter Roskam, now a partner at Sidley Austin law firm (he’s celebrating the big 6-0!), former state Rep. David Olsen, and Holland & Knight partner Elias Matsakis.
via POLITICO https://ift.tt/2i74uEb
September 13, 2021 at 08:28AM