The bill, known as the BIMP, also includes $400 million for Pritzker’s sought-after deal-closing incentives fund for luring Stellantis and other EV makers and parts producers. Pritzker had been eyeing up to $1 billion but $400M is a nice down payment.
However, the enabling bill creating the fund and laying out how it works is still caught in legislative sausage-making. It hit a bump in the House over the weekend with complaints from minority lawmakers that their communities were being slighted. I’m told that problem was resolved with new wording to be introduced shortly—but the House won’t consider it until it reconvenes on Tuesday.
It will need Senate approval that same day or Pritzker will have to start over with the new General Assembly. A clause banning incentives for any firm that’s just moving within the state (like, say, the Bears), may also be included.
A measure extending mandatory paid sick leave seems to be bogged down. And I’m getting mixed readings on that proposed wind farm bill, pushed by the Legislature’s Black Caucus and IUOE Local 150, a potent political combination. It’s opposed by one key green group: the Environmental Law & Policy Center. But the equally green Sierra Club says though the plan needs rigorous review, it’s worth approval because the wind blows stronger and more consistently over the lake than on land.
On top of that, both chambers have different, competing bills on assault weapons and expanded abortion protections. Not much time.
Elsewhere, Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Sylvia Garcia quietly stepped down over the weekend. Administration sources say the move was a routine end-of-term departure and that someone new will be named soon.
At City Hall, the mayor’s race is taking a turn toward the negative. The Fraternal Order of Police’s endorsement of Paul Vallas drew blowback from rival candidates. “With friends like these, it’s clear that Republican Paul Vallas does not represent Chicago’s values,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “Instead of condemning his FOP bosses’ history of bigotry, racism and hate-filled rhetoric, Paul Vallas instead is standing alongside him,” she added, referring to FOP local President John Catanzara.
U.S. Rep Jesus “Chuy” Garcia joined in, quipping, “The last three big endorsements by Jan. 6th cheerleader John Catanzara and the FOP: Donald Trump, Darren Bailey, and now Paul Vallas. Three peas in a pod.”
The attacks come as Vallas, a former Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor, runs ads mentioning consulting he did for the Obama Administration.
Meanwhile, Lightfoot came under attack from another candidate, state Rep. Kam Buckner, for, he says, failing to consult area residents before floating a plan to convert an empty school in Woodlawn into a temporary shelter for the droves of bused-in Latino immigrants. Lightfoot has since put the plan on hold.
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January 9, 2023 at 07:04AM