Pritzker may not have votes to amend ‘conscience’ bill

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Pritzker may not have votes to amend ‘conscience’ bill

Happy Tuesday, Illinois. WNBA champion Chicago Sky team members will be feted by the Illinois House of Representatives today. Watch for legislative selfies.

If the fireworks that erupted in yesterday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting are any indication, Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s amendment to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act is in trouble.

The governor wants to tweak the law that’s been used by vaccine skeptics to avoid getting a Covid-19 shot. The law says a person’s conscience, or “moral convictions,” allow them to refuse certain testing without fear of being penalized by their employer.

This is a decades-old law that originally protected doctors who refused to give abortions because they were morally opposed. Lately, it’s been used to oppose Covid-19 mandates.

Pritzker’s proposal, which is being carried by Rep. Robyn Gabel of Evanston, would create a Covid section within the law to allow employers (or lawmakers) to take any measure they deem necessary to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.

The amendment is opposed by Republicans whose conservative base fuels the anti-vaccine movement. But Playbook hears there are some Democrats who don’t like it, either.

During caucus meeting Monday, Rep. Mary Flowers spoke passionately about how the amendment would target the state’s poorest residents.

Flowers said amending the law would primarily affect working-class residents who have to get up and go out every day to their jobs. Employees working in the corporate world or who have office jobs that allow them to work at home aren’t likely to be affected by Pritzker’s amendment, Flowers told caucus members, according to folks in the room.

Lawmakers are also frustrated that they haven’t heard from Pritzker or his “well-paid deputy governors” to better explain why they should vote for the amendment.

Because the measure would take effect immediately, it needs 71 votes to pass, and the buzz is that those votes just aren’t there.

How we’ll know: The bill will only be called if the numbers add up.

PSST: The parental notification bill is in the same boat on votes right now.

RELATED

A day away from the state employee vaccine deadline, thousands of Illinois workers remain unvaccinated or have not reported their status: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker made a deal Monday with some state employees, but correctional workers and the state’s largest public worker union, AFSCME, aren’t in it,” by WBEZ’s Dave McKinney and Tony Arnold.

Talks deadlocked between Pritzker administration and largest state employee union over vaccine mandate, “The two sides couldn’t come to terms on an order requiring workers at congregate care facilities to either get vaccinated against Covid-19 or be tested regularly…[Though they did reach] an agreement on the vaccine order with about 7,800 workers represented by AFSCME who work in the state’s Department of Human Services and in Veterans’ Affairs,” report Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner and Dan Petrella

NorthShore workers sue hospital system, citing religious objections to COVID-19 vaccine mandate, by Tribune’s Lisa Schencker

AMENDING THE SCHOOL BOARD BILL: “Another measure that could be considered is a change to a legislation that passed this spring and was subsequently signed into law by Pritzker that would put a fully elected school board in place in Chicago in January 2027. Under a proposed amendment to the law, Chicago’s mayor would be able to make 10 appointments to the board and choose its president without having to seek City Council approval. Previously, the bill required her appointments to be approved by aldermen, which Lightfoot opposed,” report Tribune’s Rick Pearson, Jeremy Gorner and Dan Petrella.

Meanwhile in Chicago, Fraternal Order of Police President John Catanzara continues pushing against the city’s mandate that city workers report whether they’ve been vaccinated. The issue came to a head in a City Council meeting Monday.

Catanzara warned Council members who fail to repeal vaccine mandate: ‘We are coming for every one of your damn seats’: The proposed repeal was sent to the Rules Committee, where legislation opposed by the mayor goes to die. So was a proposal to continue health care benefits for dependents of city employees during the vaccine mandate standoff, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

‘It is not a queen on that throne,’ Catanzara said of the mayor: “Aldermen in chambers generally milled around in conversation with one another or sat there passively. Reporters did not see anyone raising their hand during Catanzara’s remarks,” report the Tribune’s John Byrne, Gregory Pratt and Jade Yan.

Also Monday, a judge lifted the gag order on Catanzara: “Judge Cecilia Horan said the conditions under which she issued the order — in which the city faced a severe shortage of manpower — have not played out,” reports Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek

The mayor’s office isn’t budging on the issue, pointing to statistics that show the majority of city workers don’t have a problem reporting whether they’re vaccinated.

Out of 35 city departments:

— 34 are above 80 percent response rate;

— 30 are above 95 percent response rate;

— 19 are at 100 percent response rate;

— And only one is below 80 percent: the Chicago Police Department.

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

In the state Capitol at noon to honor the Chicago Sky organization for winning the national WNBA Championship.

No official public events.

At Tuscan Gardens in Glenwood at noon to keynote the Southland Black Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Luncheon.

Pritzker rolls out plan for vaccinating kids ages 5 to 11, expecting shipment of nearly half a million ‘kid-sized doses’: “Illinois will receive a ‘robust supply right from the start,’ Pritzker said. The state is expected receive an initial allotment around 306,000 doses, with an additional 73,000 doses for the City of Chicago. Another roughly 100,000 doses will head to the federal government’s pharmacy partners in Illinois,” by Sun-Times’ Rachel Hinton.

— GREAT READ: Saving Mercy Hospital: “The 170-year-old Bronzeville institution treated the neediest and was rescued from closure for $1. Here’s why hospitals like it are on life support,” by WBEZ’s Kristen Schorsch.

— STRUT THEIR STUFF: Last year, 69% of works performed by the 50 largest ballet companies — including Joffrey and Hubbard Street — were choreographed by men: Women in dance are trying to change that, by Tribune’s Talia Soglin

Big players place big bets on sports gambling in Illinois: “Casinos, a racetrack, and major sports teams are all trying to cash in on Illinois’s $5 billion a year sports betting habit. ‘People who never made sports bets before are doing it now,’” by Robert Reed for Chicago magazine.

Why is Illinois’ largest electric utility mining Bitcoin near one of its coal-fired power plants? “If successful, the experiment could cut power plants’ carbon emissions and make Ameren millions, both from more efficient operations and from the bitcoins themselves….Critics worry the data center is a ploy to artificially heighten demand for struggling coal plants, allowing them to run more than is justified. They argue that the venture will burn more coal and pollute more, not less, all while missing opportunities to use that same energy to power other technologies, such as battery storage or electric vehicle charging stations,” reports St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryce Gray.

Bears’ head coach Matt Nagy tests positive for Covid-19: “With Nagy out, special teams coordinator Chris Tabor will take over running Nagy’s meetings to allow offensive coordinator Bill Lazor and defensive coordinator Sean Desai to focus on their respective units,” by NBC 5’s Michael Allardyce.

Chairman of City Council’s Black Caucus wants CPD to make clear why sworn officers are in jobs civilians could do: “Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) told the Sun-Times “hundreds of sworn officers” remain in “civilian positions,” even though the last four mayors have seemingly made it a priority to get cops out from behind desks and back on the street,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman.

— A credit rating thumbs-up: Chicago’s credit outlook has been boosted from negative to stable by Fitch Ratings as a result of “ongoing revenue recovery” and the “significant infusion of federal fiscal aid that ease pressure on the city’s investment grade standing.” The credit ratings agency also issued a warning, saying, “Chicago still faces considerable financial challenges and the size of recent years’ budget gaps illustrate its sensitivity to economic setbacks.”

New Chicago schools CEO Pedro Martinez to outearn his predecessor: “Chicago Public Schools will pay its new schools chief Pedro Martinez $340,000, a notable pay bump from the $300,000 salary that his predecessor Janice Jackson received in the last six months of her tenure,” by Chalkbeat’s Cassie Walker Burke.

CPS CEO to hire two San Antonio schools officials as his top deputies, by Sun-Times’ Nader Issa and Lauren FitzPatrick.

Martinez cites progress in expanding Covid-19 testing in schools as teachers union slams ‘ongoing failures,’ by Tribune’s Tracy Swartz.

— BIG MERGER: The 110-year-old Executives’ Club of Chicago has acquired the 105-year-old Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC). “We believe that the joining of these two important organizations will provide an enhanced experience for members of both organizations to engage in robust thought leadership and unique membership experiences,” Margaret Mueller, president & CEO of the Executives’ Club, said in a statement. Executives’ Club will continue to offer a high-profile speakers program, and HRMAC will operate under the club’s umbrella as the HRMAC Institute to guide HR executives on best practices.

WATER WOES: Dixmoor’s water returns, village under boil order: “Right now, you can shower, you can bathe. The commodes are flushing. But they just don’t want you to drink the water right now,” Village President Fitzgerald Roberts said. “Our tanks are filling up. But at the same time, I don’t trust the water, and, of course, I don’t want the people to trust the water right now, until the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) give us a green light on it.” WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky reports

Genealogy data helps ID one of six unidentified victims of John Wayne Gacy: “It is hard, even 45 years later, to know the fate of our beloved Wayne. He was killed at the hands of a vile and evil man. Our hearts are heavy, and our sympathies go out to the other victims’ families. Our only comfort is knowing this killer no longer breathes the same air as we do,” the family said in a statement. Tribune’s William Lee reports

State Police won’t refer Christopher Vaughn case to FBI; clemency bid on hold: “A Will County jury took less than an hour in September 2012 to find Vaughn guilty of the murders of his wife and three children, but he’s now the subject of a high-profile exoneration effort,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel.

Despite GOP attacks, Kinzinger continues to bring in the campaign cash: “Kinzinger, a Channahon resident who’s represented Illinois’ 16th District since 2013, received more than $562,000 in campaign donations during the year’s third quarter and finished the period with nearly $3.4 million in the bank, his campaign’s latest financial report showed,” by Daily Herald’s Russell Lissau.

We asked how fantasy football has changed your sports viewing habits: Overall, fantasy football allows Bears fans to have fun even though their team is in the dumps. Playbooker Kevin Trieu summed it up, saying, “It encourages me to cheer on teams and players that I wouldn’t normally tune into because I have an interest [financial or otherwise] in their success. Especially if the Bears ‘are who we thought they were.’” And Jordan Henderson, district representative for Congresswoman Robin Kelly, wrote: “I’ve become more and more analytical about watching the game… fantasy football has given me a space to finally learn about the more technical intricacies of the sport. … I’ve grown more an more disinterested in my Bears fandom and transitioned into caring about the teams and players that make up my fantasy football roster.

For tomorrow, if you have young children, to what extent do they know what you do for a living? Email to [email protected]

— Sen. Tammy Duckworth was an honoree at the All in Together “Women Leading Change” gala in D.C. last night along with freshman Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), who’s one of the nine Republicans who voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt for ignoring a Jan. 6 subpoena, per national Playbook.

— Rep. Bobby Rush’s bill to provide grant funding to colleges and universities to help diversify health care professions such as physical therapy and occupational therapy is up this morning in the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s health subcommittee.

‘This could be the ballgame’: Biden goes all-in on Virginia, by POLITICO’s Christopher Cadelago and Zach Montellaro

White House builds bridges with one of Black community’s most powerful groups, by POLITICO’s Eugene Daniels

Today’s Election Day, and here are 15 races to watch, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro

Men shot by Rittenhouse can be described as ‘rioters’ and ‘looters’ but not ‘victims,’ judge rules ahead of trial, reports Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair

Less than a quarter of eviction aid disbursed, Treasury says: Illinois is among 119 programs that have spent at least 80 percent of funding available to them under the first round of aid authorized by Congress, reports POLITICO’s Katy O’Donnell

— Marishonta Wilkerson is Midwest regional government relations manager for McDonald’s Corp. She previously was statewide director of the Illinois census office.

— Ashli Nelson is head of Civic Engagement and National Multicultural Community Relations at McDonald’s after previously serving as Midwest regional government relations manager.

— Margaret Battersby Black and Michael Bonamarte are now co-managing partners at Levin & Perconti. The two trial attorneys have spent their entire legal careers with the firm and will continue to handle personal injury and wrongful death matters as they share responsibility for strategic leadership of the firm, according to a statement.

Pat Devaney, secretary-treasurer of the Illinois AFL-CIO and a member of the Climate Jobs Illinois labor coalition, was honored with the 2021 Coalition for Community Solar Access award.

MONDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to policy analyst Mark McCombs for correctly answering that John Sirica (in D.C.) and Abraham Lincoln Marovitz (of the Northern District of Illinois) were the last two federal district court judges to not attend college as undergraduates.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which former Illinois senator was a prodigious collector of presidential autographs that decorated his living room walls? Email to [email protected]

Chicago-area native and former Sen. Hillary Clinton, Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36th), Ald. James Cappleman (46th), Highland Park Council Member Michelle Holleman, former Congressman David Phelps, political consultant Hanah Jubeh, Chicago mayor’s scheduling director Kaitlin Delaney, Rabbi and dean of Ida Crown academy Leonard Matanky, Silver Property Group’s Ron Abrams, and WTTW Chicago Tonight co-anchor Brandis Friedman.

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via Illinois Playbook https://ift.tt/2NknKhq

October 26, 2021 at 07:20AM

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