It’s inauguration day, and there’s drama

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It’s inauguration day, and there’s drama

With help from Olivia Olander

Good Monday morning, Illinois. The state Capitol is gleaming.

SPRINGFIELD — While Gov. JB Pritzker and the statewide elected office holders celebrate taking their oaths today, a fierce battle is brewing among Democrats over the proposed assault weapons ban.

What’s the beef: A few Democratic senators aren’t sold on the House version of the bill that passed in the wee hours Friday. They don’t like the language that calls for disclosing serial numbers of assault weapons that are grandfathered in. They say it amounts to “registration” of guns, which Illinois doesn’t do.

Teaming up: The governor and Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch say omitting such language would take the teeth out of the bill.

“Enough is enough,” Pritzker tweeted in an unusually forceful public message. He wants to see the lame duck session pass a bill “that has a real accounting of weapons currently in circulation and a real chance at ceasing the flow of more weapons of war immediately.”

Welch’s statement was also assertive: “I will not accept a watered-down version of legislation.”

Even Chicago MayorLori Lightfoot weighed in, urging senators to support the House bill.

Taking it seriously: That Senate President Don Harmon is sponsoring the Senate’s bill is an indication he also wants to see legislation passed. This is a familiar scenario with Pritzker and Welch battling Harmon. It happened on the massive clean energy bill.

Advocates from both sides, meanwhile, are taking a stand.

Three national anti-gun groups support the House bill: “Requiring current owners of assault weapons who wish to keep those firearms after the law goes into effect to register their weapons with the state protects public safety and the rights of law abiding gun owners,” according to Everytown for Gun Safety, Giffords and Brady.

Illinois State Rifle Association executive director Richard Pearson countered: “While the ISRA will not negotiate away the importance of the Second Amendment, we appreciate the fact that the Senate is taking a longer look at important legislation that negatively affects the nearly 2.5 million legal firearm owners in our state.”

Senators went into caucus meetings last night without taking up the House bill or, even, their Senate version. They’re working to resolve the bill during the lame duck session that ends at noon Wednesday when the new Illinois General Assembly is sworn in.

What they did vote on: Senators passed a bill to raise their salaries after the House passed it Friday. The governor is expected to sign it early today so it can go into effect before they’re all sworn into office. Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki has details, and a chart

RELATED

Illinois Democrats push to further expand abortion, gender care access,by Hannah Meisel for Capitol News

— COLUMN: In Springfield, biz agenda largely sidelined by assault weapon and abortion action,by Crain’s Greg Hinz

SPEAKING OF SWEARING IN: Gov. JB Pritzker and all the statewide elected officials will attend an interfaith service this morning before each taking the oath at the Band of Springfield Center. They’ll hold office receptions this afternoon and an inauguration gala tonight at the State Fairgrounds.

The big question: Who will be the headline performer? The buzz is it’s a boss performer.

SYMBOLIC GESTURES: Pritzker will place his hand on the family Bible of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln as well as the family Bible of Illinois Gov. Henry Horner, who, like Pritzker, was Jewish. Horner served two terms in the 1930s.

Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton will take the oath with her grandmother’s Bible that includes her family history, along with “From Slavery to Freedom” by John Hope Franklin.

Attorney General Kwame Yves Raoul will put his hand on the Bible along with a prayer card honoring his late mother.

Newly elected Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias will put his hand on the Bible and a picture of his late father.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza will put her hand on two Bibles being held by her son, David. One is a family Bible, and the other is her son’s children’s Bible “to approach my new term with an eye for the endless possibilities for our state,” she told Playbook.

Treasurer Mike Frerichs will put his hand on a family Bible written in German, since all of his grandparents were born in Germany.

If you’re Gov. JB Pritzker’s party planner, Playbook would like to know the price tag for tonight’s inaugural bash. Email [email protected].

In Springfield for the inauguration.

At First Presbyterian Church in Springfield for the morning Inauguration Interfaith Service.

At the Bank of Springfield Center for the noon inauguration.

Have a news tip, suggestion, birthday, anniversary, new job, or any other nugget for Playbook? I’d like to hear from you: [email protected]

DURKIN OVER AND OUT: Just before he’s supposed to take his oath of office Wednesday, Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin is going to retire from the General Assembly. He already stepped away from his leadership post.

Durkin’s exit isn’t a surprise. His party saw dismal returns in the November election. There are now 40 Republicans in the House. There were 47 when he took office 13 years ago.

“The politics have changed. The party over the last at least six years has shifted,” he told Tribune’s Rick Pearson, who was first to report on Durkin’s exit. “The only way you can win in Illinois is that you’re going to have to just find the candidates that reflect the district. And we should not hold anyone to the 100 percent (party) purity test that some people in this party expect throughout the state.”

The conservative Illinois Freedom Caucus accused Durkin of rewriting history, saying, “Leader Durkin squandered money in the 2022 primary to secure legislative candidates in open seats who were loyal to him and who were not necessarily the best fit for the districts in which they ran, and this proved to be a disastrous decision. We are in this mess not because of our principles but because of our leadership’ lack of commitment to our principles.” Here’s the group’s full statement.

A new representative will be appointed by Republican Party leaders, while Rep. Tony McCombie takes over leadership.

— A SENATE EXIT, TOO: State Sen Patricia Van Pelt, a Democrat from Chicago’s West Side, is going to step down from the state Senate. It’s been something she’s been wanting to do for a few years, she told Playbook. “I kept putting it off, and I just got to the point now that I just feel like I can’t come back in here again. I’d prefer to be in a more peaceful, serene place.”

Paul Faraci selected as new state senator in 52nd District:The City of Champaign Township assessor will serve as the next state senator in the 52nd District held by the late Sen. Scott Bennett. “Vermilion County Democratic Party chair Sandra Lawlyes said the selection committee took into account the wishes of Stacy Bennett, Scott’s widow, who is serving the final days of his current term,” by Illinois Newsroom’s Brian Moline.

— Tom Bennett, an Illinois House Republican, has been chosen for the Senate seat vacated by Jason Barickman. In a bittersweet irony, Bennett is the uncle of the late Sen. Scott Bennett who died last month. The two had served at the same time in the General Assembly but not in the same chamber.

First lady MK Pritzker on husband Gov. JB Pritzker, interviewing incarcerated women and family: “JB and I came from two very different worlds, wound up working on the same floor of the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., and met on a blind lunch date. The lunch cost J.B a total of $4.80,” she tells Sun-Times’ Michael Sneed.

The Rev. James Meeks conducts final service at Salem Baptist Church:Meeks, a former state senator, says his next mission is “building 1,000 homes in Roseland,” reports Sun-Times’ David Struett.

— From The New York Times: Once told to move to the back of the bus, Jesse White became an Illinois institution: “Mr. White said his approach to politics — focus on people, form relationships across party lines, do not expect to get everything you want — could prove useful in today’s hyper-partisan climate.”

Colorado will stop bussing migrants to Chicago and NYC, governor Says,via NBC 5. The move comes after Chicago and New York’s mayors called on him to stop the practice, via POLITICO.

Migration issues cast long shadow over Biden’s visit to ‘3 Amigos’ summit,by POLITICO’s Myah Ward and Jonathan Lemire

Illinois state reps, Chicago aldermen oppose planned migrant shelter at old Woodlawn school,via CBS 2

The Wiener’s Circle owner coordinates effort to feed migrants bused from Texas, by Sun-Times’ Mitch Dudek

Lightfoot bears brunt of criticism at mayoral candidate forum on issues affecting disabled Chicagoans:For the first time since the ballot was set, seven of the city’s nine mayoral candidates gathered to discuss their strategies for the city at a forum hosted by Access Living,” by Sun-Times’ Zack Miller.

Paul Vallas is endorsed by the Chicago police union,by Tribune’s Greg Pratt

— Brandon Johnson has been endorsed by the Independent Voters of Illinois — Independent Precinct Organization, better known as IVI-IPO.

Ald. Roberto Maldonado withdraws from race for Chicago City Council, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman

— OPINION: Chicago GOP chair Stephen Boulton says Republicans could affect the outcome of the mayor’s race,via Tribune

Developer unveils video tour of ‘reimagined’ domed Soldier Field in ‘Hail Mary’ bid to keep Bears in Chicago: It shows “expanded seating, premium club lounges, food halls and an adjacent concert venue, topped by a dome to attract fair-weather football fans and year-round visitors,” reports Tribune’s Robert Channick.

— It’s official, Peoples Gas seeks record $402M rate hike next year,by Sun-Times’ Mitchell Armentrout

Hundreds of Englewood homes were razed for a railroad expansion, by Tribune’s John Lippert with compelling lead photo by Jason Wambsgans

Covid relief fraud probe includes over 50 employees in Cook County Clerk of Court Iris Martinez’s office,by Sun-Times’ Frank Main

— MWRD Officers: Commissioner Kari Steele was re-elected president of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago board of commissioners last week. Commissioner Kimberly Neely du Buclet was elected VP. And Marcelino Garcia III was re-elected finance chairman.

It’s been 30 years since the Brown’s Chicken murders,by Daily Herald’s Barbara Vitello. She also talked to the daughters of the restaurant’s ownersand the woman who came forward to break open the case.

Illinois hits marijuana milestone with record $1.5B in adult-use sales in 2022, data shows,via Marijuana Moment. With chart.

Outgoing state Rep. Mike Zalewski was the man of the hour at a going-away party last week with colleagues and friends at the Gin Mill in Springfield. Fellow state Reps. Margaret Croke, Eva-Dina Delgado and Robert Rita hosted the event, which served up 200 hot dogs from Portillos. Also in the room were Zalewski’s dad, former Chicago Ald. Michael R.  Zalewski, and his wife, Carrie Zalewski, who chairs the Illinois Commerce Commission. Other big names: Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton, outgoing House leader Greg Harris, State Reps. Lisa Hernandez and Robyn Gabel, and state Senate President Pro Tem Bill Cunningham. Zalewski told Playbook he plans to take some time in January “to reflect, transition the last part of my district office and make plans for the future.”

We asked what might emerge from the GOP chaos in Congress:

Joe Moore, a former Chicago alderman: “Kevin McCarthy finally secured his speakership, but at what cost? With the far right effectively calling all the shots, Congress could fail to lift the debt ceiling, causing the U.S. to default on its loans and leading to catastrophic consequences not only to the U.S. economy but the world economy as well.“

Phil Gonet: “Republicans are unlikely to advance any substantive policies with the Democrats in charge of the White House and Senate. But the GOP could block any Democrat initiatives. This isn’t governing.”

Kent Gray: “McCarthy’s near death experience will make him a better servant leader. The rule changes that the Freedom Caucus extracted will greatly benefit the rank and file members — and American citizens.”

Myk Snider: “More chaos.”

What’s something new you’d like to try this year? Email [email protected]

— FINALLY: CongresswomanLauren Underwood (IL-14) tweeted she was sworn in at 2:08 a.m. Saturday. Newly elected Congressman Jonathan Jackson (IL-01) sent a picture of his parents, who didn’t see the actual swearing in because of the House speaker delay.

More tweet reax:Robin Kelly (IL-02), Delia Ramirez (IL-03) photographed with “the quad,” Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04), Mike Quigley (IL-05), Sean Casten (IL-06), Danny Davis (IL-07) on the new speaker, Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) with some humor, Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Brad Schneider (IL-10), Bill Foster (IL-11), Mike Bost (IL-12), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Mary Miller (IL-15), Darin LaHood (IL-16) and Eric Sorensen (IL-17).

Biden administration condemns storming of government buildings in Brazil’s capital,by POLITICO’s Olivia Olander and Nahal Toosi

How McCarthy got here: From Young Gun to Trump ally,by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu, Kyle Cheney and Marianne LeVine

Two lawmakers nearly come to blows — and other crazy moments from McCarthy’s final speaker votes,by POLITICO’s Nicholas Wu and Meredith Lee Hill

FRIDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Eddie Guillen, a Chicago aldermanic candidate, for correctly answering that Maid-Rite Sandwich Shop, which serves loose meat sandwiches, claims to have started the first drive-thru window in the country.

TODAY’s QUESTION: Which two serial killers lived in Springfield at one point or another? Email [email protected]

Former University Park Mayor Vivian Covington, Jasculca Terman public affairs’ Jim Terman and Chicago Area Public Affairs Group board president Matthew Serafin.

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Ino Saves New

via rk2’s favorite articles on Inoreader https://ift.tt/OeMigvR

January 9, 2023 at 08:52AM

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