New year, familiar tune: guns

New year, familiar tune: guns

Happy New Year, Illinois. I hope your holidays were relaxing, airline cancellations and all.

Call it deja vu. The Illinois General Assembly returns to Springfield this week to wrap up work started last year on assault-weapons-ban legislation that Gov. JB Pritzker wants on his desk.

The continuing challenge is getting enough lawmakers on board — even in Illinois’ Democratic-controlled House and Senate. Watch for rallies at the capitol as advocates try to rally lawmakers.

In principle, there’s a desire by a majority of lawmakers to ban assault weapons, but the details are yet to be worked out. House sponsors of the legislation are confident they have the votes, but they haven’t taken a roll call on the bill. They’re still talking to lawmakers about tweaks and clarifications. And then they have to confer with senators.

Devil in the details: They’re haggling over defining what capacity magazines to ban, what the timeline for enforcement would be and age limits for owning a gun.

Watch for the vote by Jan. 10, right before the new General Assembly is sworn in — and close to the governor’s Jan. 9 inauguration.

Also this week: The gas tax is going up as of Jan. 1 — remember that hike was put on hold by the governor back in July. But “it’s possible” that legislators will consider bills to change that, according to the State Journal-Register’s Patrick Keck. And lawmakers will also work on nailing down supplemental appropriations to close out the package of unemployment insurance fixes from the veto session. The Senate passed a bill last month, but the House still has to tackle it.

Ongoing work: Conversations are also continuing on what the next state budget will look like and how to further tighten up reproductive rights.

Looming over them all: How the Illinois Supreme Court will decide on eliminating the cash-bail system, which is part of the SAFE-T Act.

Speaking of Pritzker: His term will start next week by focusing on stabilizing the state’s finances. “That’s something that requires tending every year. It’s not easy in Illinois because there have been structural challenges,” he told the Tribune’s Dan Petrella in an interview.

MEMORY LANE: A hallway in the Howlett Building on the capitol campus will commemorate the career of Secretary of State Jesse White, who is retiring next week.

White’s memorabilia will be dispersed and on display at the Pullman Porter Museum library, Jesse White Community Center and Jesse White Tumbling Team headquarters all in Chicago, and at the Jesse White Learning Academy in Hazel Crest.

“There hasn’t been enough room in my office,” White told Playbook in a recent interview in his Chicago office. So he’s stored the many awards and documents in storage units in Springfield and Chicago, and in his home.

By the numbers: White’s archival items document his 24 years as secretary of state, 33 years as a public-school teacher, 16 years in the General Assembly, eight years in county government and seven years with the Cubs franchise, including playing AAA ball in Utah. And, oh yes, he also jumped out of planes while in the Army’s 101st Airborne. There are pictures upon pictures of White meeting great leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., whom he knew while attending college in Alabama.

What will be lost are the stories behind all the photos and treasures. King, for example, used to give White $20 after playing college ball games. And the reason White didn’t play in Wrigley Field is because Cubs management at the time was indignant that he once sat for an interview with a white female reporter in Salt Lake. “I’ve known discrimination,” White told Playbook, adding he learned to “rise above it.”

In his first run for office, White didn’t include his picture on campaign literature or ads. Voters only say his name, White. “We did it for the first election,” he said. “But that was the last time.”

The Daily Herald’s Marni Pyke, details White’s SOS accomplishments: “He digitalized the office and reduced infamous wait times, built up the organ donor program, expanded drunken driving repercussions and tightened driving rules for teens.”

And in an interview with the Tribune, White talked about being first approached to run for secretary of state: “I said, ‘You guys gotta be out of your mind. You gotta be kidding. No African American has ever been successful at running for secretary of state,’” White recalled telling precinct captains who urged him to run, Jeremy Gorner reports.

If you’re Illinois Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis, Playbook would like to know the timeline for deciding on the SAFE-T Act. Email [email protected].

No official public events.

No official public events.

No official public events.

— Jason Huffman, a Menard County sheriff’s deputy, was named a state House representative in the 87th District for the remaining term of Republican Rep. Tim Butler, who resigned to work with the Illinois Railroad Association. The seat is expected to go to Mike Coffey of Springfield when the General Assembly shifts to the next session Jan. 11.

Medical debt is being erased in Ohio and Illinois: Cook County and the community of Toledo, Ohio, are turning to the American Rescue Plan to wipe out residents’ medical debt. Experts caution it is a short-term solution, reports The New York Times.

— Transparency is at the top of the Better Government Association’s 2023 policy agenda list.

— COMMENTARY: 20 years after George Ryan’s clearing of death row, Illinois still has a lot to learn, writes Dennis Culloton, who was Ryan’s press secretary at the time.

— The Chicago mayor’s race is among the top four national election storylines to watch this year, according to our POLITICO story.

Crypto magnate’s political contributions to Jesús ‘Chuy’ Garcia making waves in mayor’s race, by Tribune’s John Byrne

— Kam Buckner, a state rep who’s running for Chicago mayor, has been endorsed by some of his fellow state lawmakers, including Reps. Margaret Croke, Denyse Wang Stoneback, Natalie Manley, Jehan Gordon-Booth and LaToya Greenwood.

Machine politics still front and center in race for 33rd Ward alderman: The name “Mell” won’t be on the ballot for Chicago alderman, but “some of the same tactics that solidified the ward’s reputation for Chicago Democratic machine politics have found their way back to this year’s aldermanic race,” reports Tribune’s A.D. Quig.

In the 50th Ward, Ald. Debra Silverstein has been endorsed by the Chicago Federation of Labor, Operating Engineers Local 150 and 39 and AFSCME.

Kara Casten, wife of U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, joins crowded field in Downers Grove school board race, by Tribune’s John Keilman

Two women run for mayor in Palos Park, while incumbents challenged in University Park, Country Club Hills and Park Forest, by Daily Southtown’s Alexandra Kukulka and Tribune’s Mike Nolan

— MIGRANTS: Lightfoot asks for tens of millions more in state money for migrants, citing arrivals from Texas; state says funding will cease in January, by Tribune’s Gregory Pratt

Many 911 calls deserve an ‘immediate’ police response: “But in thousands of cases, officers didn’t arrive for more than an hour,” by Tribune’s Joe Mahr and Annie Sweeney.

For city’s next growth spurt, follow the money to north-northwest corridor, by Sun-Times’ David Roeder

— ANALYSIS: Big nonprofit hospitals expand in wealthier areas, shun poorer ones, reports The Wall Street Journal

Chicago saw a wave of new unions form in 2022: “Getting to the bargaining table is the next challenge,” reports Tribune’s Talia Soglin.

Neighbors hope the proposed Red Line extension brings development to Roseland, by Tribune’s Sarah Freishtat and Terrence Antonio James

How a mom and dad went about buying a $200K-ish apartment for their college-age son, via The New York Times

With abolition of cash bail halted, Cook County’s pretrial proceedings continue following old rules, report Tribune’s A.D. Quig and Madeline Buckley

After a rough year, Illinois weed industry has higher hopes for 2023: “After two years of delay, cannabis advocates were optimistic when the state issued 342 new craft grower, infuser and transporter licenses and 192 dispensary licenses by mid-2022. The craft grower licenses are for small startups that aim to offer specialty strains and products, similar to craft brewers,” by Tribune’s Robert McCoppin.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, now the U.S. ambassador to Japan, and Amy Rule donated $18,000 to Sunflower of Peace, a nonprofit that provides medical and humanitarian aid to Ukrainians most affected by the war. The donation will go toward providing generators for needed electricity, heat and light to Ukrainians during the winter. “We chose $18,000 because the number 18 has particular significance for those of us in the Jewish faith,” Emanuel said in a statement. The number 18 stands for “chai,” or “life,” and is a symbol of good luck.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger on whether he would run for president in 2024, on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “My intention is not to run in 2024. But it would be fun. It would be fun to stand on a stage with Donald Trump and actually tell the truth, because when he’s on a stage, it’s nothing but lies that come out.”

— Rick Bryant, senior adviser to Congresswoman Robin Kelly, was featured in one of President Joe Biden’s year-end tweets recapping 2022. The photo shows Biden shaking Bryant’s hand during his visit to Kankakee last summer. Another angle.

Former President Barack Obama, or at least a caricature of him, appears in the latest installment of “Chicago Party Aunt” on Netflix.

— Ken Griffin has quietly moved some of his masterpieces from the Art Institute of Chicago to Florida, via ArtNews

We asked for your New Year’s wish for state government:

Ed Mazur: “Keep the needs and concerns of all people of Illinois’ 102 counties at the head of any list.”

Rey Nonato: “Bipartisanship.”

Outside of Illinois, what’s your favorite state? Email [email protected]

Durbin pushing through historic diversity on federal bench: “I’m pretty proud of what we’ve been able to achieve,” said Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who starts a second term as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when the new 118th Congress kicks off today, Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet reports.

Conservatives threaten to withhold critical McCarthy support, hours before speaker vote, by POLITICO’s Olivia Beavers and Jordain Carney

What Dems’ new 2024 calendar would mean for diversity, by POLITICO’s Jessica Piper, Beatrice Jin, Kai Elwood-Dieu and Andrew Milligan

Inside the Jan. 6 committee’s massive new evidence trove, by POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney

VP Kamala Harris comes to Chicago on Wednesday to tout Biden administration accomplishments, by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet

Brian Wallach, a former Obama staffer, fights to raise ALS awareness after devastating diagnosis, via WTTW’s Brandis Friedman on PBS

Emmett Till and his mother honored with congressional medal, via The Associated Press

— Margaret Harmon, the mother of Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, has died. She was 92. Margaret Harmon was a driving force in the lives of her three children after being widowed when they were all 10 and younger. “After Dad died, Mom was committed to raising her kids to adulthood” and seeing that they stayed close as adults, Sen. Harmon said in a statement. “She did that and more. Our families are inseparable. Mom was, and will always be, my hero. A job well done, Mom.” Full obituary and services.

Bill Hood, a lawyer, lobbyist and philanthropist, dead at 78, by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek

— Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, the director of the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, has been appointed by the president to the Route 66 Centennial Commission, by State Journal-Register’s Steven Spearie.

— Charise Williams is now director of government Affairs and policy for the Cook County Board of Review. She’ll work with all three commissioners on local and state policy issues. Williams most recently was a candidate for Congress in the 1st District.

— Erik Wallenius is director of policy at the Cook County Assessor’s Office. He had been chief of staff to the 43rd Ward and the City Council’s Committee on Ethics.

Monday, Jan. 9: Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Julianna Stratton take the oath of office at 11:30 a.m. at the Bank of Springfield Center. The inaugural ball will be at 7 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds.

Dec. 16’s ANSWER: Congrats to John Mark Hansen for correctly answering that Mary Todd Lincoln stayed at the Hyde Park House Hotel after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. She lived there a few months before finding a more permanent spot in Chicago to live with her sons.

TODAY’s QUESTION: What was the inspiration for Palo Alto Place, Monterey Place and Buena Vista Place, the original names of 23rd, 24th and 25th streets on Chicago’s South Side? Email skapos[email protected]

Today: Metropolitan Water District Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, former state Rep. Kent Gaffney, Illinois Democrats’ regional organizer Jessica Genova, Latin teacher Nava Cohen, event planner Michelle Nicole Durpetti and wine guru Chris Mack.

Jan. 2: Former Dolton Mayor Riley Rogers, Rockwell North America director of public affairs Sarah Sinovic and former Tribune Editor Gerould Kern.

Jan. 1: State Rep. Tom Demmer, former state Rep. Adam Brown, political consultant Jeff Orr, PSG Energy Group’s Ashvin Lad and Peoples Gas senior director of government and community relations DeShana L. Forney.



via Illinois Playbook

January 3, 2023 at 07:15AM

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