Happy Thursday, Illinois. The mood in Springfield is energetic.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — With a May 19 deadline looming to wrap up state legislative work, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle drove to the state Capitol on Wednesday to make a direct ask of lawmakers to pick up the slack on paying for the health care costs of asylum seekers coming to Illinois.
What she wants: Preckwinkle says the county needs an additional $1.8 million a month to run the Cook County Health system that has been caring for the thousands of migrants who have landed in Chicago — either by bus or plane — since last year. That funding would be in addition to the $1.8 million that the county already kicks in.
Up until February, the state had been paying an estimated $1.6 million for medical care. Then it stopped, and the county took on paying it all. Preckwinkle now worries the task will be more difficult with the expected influx of migrants when Title 42 expires May 11. That’s the Covid-era rule that has allows U.S. officials to turn back thousands of asylum seekers.
Preckwinkle’s request is separate from Mayor Lori Lightfoot urging the state to help Chicago care for asylum seekers. The city handles transportation and housing issues for migrants to the tune of $20 million a month, while the county oversees healthcare needs.
In the room: Preckwinkle and Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha met with Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, state Sens. Elgie Sims and Rob Martwick, state Rep. Kelly Burke and a few Republican lawmakers, too, during meetings around the Capitol. The lawmakers didn’t give a thumbs up, but they didn’t say no, either.
Dollars and sense: “We were reminded by a couple of folks that there was some disheartening news this week about the initial revenue projections from the state and that there seems to be a $700 million shortfall in relation to the initial revenue estimates,” Preckwinkle told reporters. “And that was going to make things difficult in the year ahead.” More on that below.
Putting it in perspective: Tensions about paying for migrant care are building up in other states taking in migrants, too. New York Mayor Eric Adams went so far as to criticize the White House about the federal government not helping cities.
Asked if she agrees with Adams’ view on the feds, Preckwinkle, a loyal Biden Democrat, said “Eric Adams speaks for himself.”
— Chicago to discuss plans to house migrants in respite center at former South Shore High School, by Tribune’s Nell Salzman
ALSO IN SPRINGFIELD:
— SPOTTED: John Catanzara Jr., the outspoken president of Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7, heading into a meeting with the Senate president at the state Capitol. Catanzara is in Springfield to attend the Illinois Police Officers Memorial Committee’s annual tribute to fallen officers and their families. The event will be held this morning. Details here.
— Hundreds visit Springfield to push for funding for new Little Village hospital, by CBS 2’s Jackie Kostek
Culture war confrontation: Illinois is poised to become the first state to punish public institutions that ban books.
The final version of House Bill 2789 passed the state Senate, 39 to 19, Wednesday after fierce debate along party lines. The bill had already sailed through the House. And Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker has said he supports the legislation.
How it works: The bill says that in order for public libraries, including in public schools and universities, to remain eligible for state grants, they must adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights or adopt their own written statement prohibiting the banning of books.
What’s at risk: A library that doesn’t certify either of the statements, or takes the next step of banning a book, will not be eligible for grant funding from the secretary of state.
The impetus: Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, whose office oversees library systems and their funding, was stunned at the number of books being banned across the country.
“It is so blatant, and so dangerous. I was blown away,” he told Playbook.
He teamed up with state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, whose district had been the center of a book banning debate. State Sen. Laura Murphy then carried the bill in the Senate, where Republican colleagues Wednesday questioned the age appropriateness of books and whether the law would allow Hustler magazine or bomb-making books to be easily accessible.
Murphy pushed back that “educated librarians” will make decisions on what stays on the shelves. The point of the legislation is to keep the decision-making in their hands, not outside groups.
Giannoulias hailed the victory, even though it was on party lines. “This landmark legislation is a triumph for our democracy, a win for First Amendment rights, and most importantly, a great victory for future generations to come,” he said at a news conference after the vote.
FULL STORY: Closing the book on book bans, on POLITICO’s home page
More on the debate, by Capitol News’ Peter Hancock.
If you are John Catanzara Jr., Playbook would like to know what you asked the Senate president. Email [email protected].
At the Illinois Police Officers Memorial Statue in Springfield at 11 a.m. for the Illinois Police Officers Memorial Ceremony.
On Green Street at 9:30 a.m. for the Venture Summit Future of Food.
On Green Street at noon for the Venture Summit Future of Food.
Thank you for reading Playbook! Drop me a line sometime: [email protected]
— NOT SO ROSY BUDGET | Latest state budget forecast puts brakes on previously predicted surplus: “The state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has decreased its current-year budget forecast by $728 million, erasing much of a once-predicted surplus that had led Gov. JB Pritzker to float the idea of tax cuts earlier this spring. … The impact on Pritzker’s budget proposal is relatively small because his plan relied on a more conservative estimate,” reports Capitol News’ Jerry Nowicki. Here’s the commission’s report.
— Illinois moves to build its own Obamacare marketplace: “Gov. J.B. Pritzker is supporting new state legislation that would establish an Illinois health care insurance exchange, an effort to protect an important Affordable Care Act provision in Illinois in the event future federal leaders ever look to roll back parts of the landmark law,” by Crain’s Katherine Davis.
— Downstate Danville approves ban on mailing abortion pills. But attorney general, civil liberties experts say ordinance is illegal, by Tribune’s Angie Leventis Lourgos
— Federal appeals court in Chicago asked to intervene after judge blocks assault weapons ban, by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel
— Amtrak gets go-ahead for 110 mph speed between Chicago and St. Louis: It would cut down the time to Springfield by 10 to 15 minutes, reports Crain’s Greg Hinz
— Kaitlin Fahey named host committee interim executive director: “Fahey said her duties as interim executive director means putting the initial team in place and being the liaison between the DNC and local leaders,” by Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet.
— Illinois delegation asks Congress for $75M to pay for security: “In a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House appropriations subcommittees on commerce, the Illinoisans are asking that a total of $150 million be appropriated, half to Chicago and half to Milwaukee, where the Republicans are due to meet,” by Crain’s Greg Hinz.
— Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson names Fred Waller as interim police superintendent: “It could be seen as a summer audition — though Waller said Wednesday he doesn’t “plan on applying for the permanent position,” by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman and David Struett.
— Back-channel search for Chicago’s top cop? Not this time, says president of civilian oversight panel, by Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman
— Former CPD Chief Charlie Beck offers suggestions for Chicago’s next top cop, by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm
— COPA releases body camera footage in fatal Chicago police shooting of Reginald Clay Jr., by Tribune’s Jake Sheridan
— A Chicago group aims to better track anti-Asian hate crimes in the Midwest, by WBEZ’s Esther Yoon-Ji Kang
— Chicago is about to have the gayest city council in the country, by Block Club’s Jake Wittich.
— Bears file paperwork to begin demolition of Arlington Park grandstand and other structures, by Christopher Placek
— Lake County considering $1,200 bonus for employees who worked through early days of Covid, by Daily Herald’s Mick Zawislak
— More Ryan Field details expected soon, by Evanston Now’s Bill Smith
We asked what name you’d give the investigation of the four defendants in the ComEd case (since the feds didn’t give it a name)? H/t Kristen McQueary.
Lisa Brasch: The Electric Slide.
Bona Heinsohn: Operation Electric Slide.
Nick Kalm: Operation No Thank You For Being Our Friend.
Ashvin Lad: Operation Abuse of Power Plant.
Ed Mazur: Operation Four Watts.
Mark Michaels: Operation Electric Chair.
Bobby Martinez Olson: Operation Elvis.
Joan Pederson: Operation Hot Pockets.
Kathy Posner: Operation Dimwits
Patricia Ann Watson: Operation Roomba.
Steven Zaris: Operation Uncommon Wealth.
What issue should be protested at the state Capitol? Email [email protected]
— Clarence Thomas had a child in private school. Harlan Crow paid the tuition, via ProPublica
— Top Senate GOP recruit privately casts doubt on power of Trump endorsement, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw
— Inside Congress’ scramble to build an AI agenda, by POLITICO’s Brendan Bordelon and Mohar Chatterjee
— Black Caucus presses Senate Dems to blow up tradition on judges, by POLITICO’s Burgess Everett and Nicholas Wu
— Joe Bushong has joined Invariant. He’s a former chief adviser for appropriations and infrastructure to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
— Christopher “Thor” Martin is now chief deputy state’s attorney in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. He had been deputy bureau chief of the Special Prosecutions Bureau.
— Eric Tower is now a partner in Blank Rome’s Chicago office in the Corporate, M&A, and Securities practice. For nearly two decades, Tower served as vice president and associate general counsel for Advocate Health Care in Illinois.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Bridget Hatch and Andy Shaw for correctly answering that author Sandra Cisneros’ real-life home on Campbell Avenue in Chicago was the inspiration for her “House on Mango Street.”
TODAY’s QUESTION: Who was the Chicago executive who the Chicago Board of Trade honored by shutting down for a day in 1906? Email [email protected]
Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stephanie Saltouros, former Lt. Gov. Neil F. Hartigan, PR consultant and lobbyist David Ormsby, attorney and former Cook County exec G.A. Finch, Mesirow Financial corporate responsibility senior VP Ellie Forman, fashion consultant and designer Crystal McAuliffe, TSA speechwriter Chris Peleo-Lazar, political pundit George Will and Illinois Chamber government affairs senior VP Clark Kaericher and his wife, Katie Kaericher, who share the same birthday.
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May 4, 2023 at 08:44AM