Good Thursday morning, Illinois. If there’s one thing that today’s Reader Digest reveals, it’s that high school wasn’t so bad after all.
Vice President Kamala Harris listens during at a meeting with civil rights and reproductive rights leaders at the White house on Sept. 12, 2022. | AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Chicago Friday for a roundtable discussion about reproductive health care with state legislators and advocates. Students will be in the mix, too, as it will be held at the University of Illinois Chicago.
The visit is part of Harris’ expanded role to address abortion policy, something she was tasked with after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The goal is to elevate Democratic state legislators and governors who are on the front lines of keeping abortion legal. Watch for the VP to call out “Republican extremism” while she’s here.
There’s politics, too: Harris is also scheduled to take part in a get-out-the-vote rally with Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. Watch for all the state’s constitutional officers to take part. They’re all Democrats after all.
Federal 15-week abortion ban proposal puts Illinois Republicans on spot: “It’s a challenge for me being a woman that supports life in a state that has very radical legislation that is late-term abortion and fully taxpayer-funded,” said Regan Deering, the Republican nominee in the 13th Congressional District. “But, that’s why I think elections in November are gonna matter at the state level as well.” Lee Enterprises’ Brenden Moore reports
Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio), left, Sunburn Cannabis CEO Brady Cobb and Cresco Labs EVP John Sullivan offer analysis on the cannabis industry at Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Sept. 13, 2022. | POLITICO’s Shia Kapos
Some 2,100 cannabis entrepreneurs met this week at the Palmer House Hilton to hear about how capital can be infused into the burgeoning weed industry.
It was a perfect location, really. After the Palmer House burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire in 1871, owner Potter Palmer secured a $1.7 million loan that he used to rebuild the hotel known today for its glistening chandeliers and opulent lobby.
It’s the kind of business break that attendees at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference dream about: the ability to secure capital or get a bank loan to build their businesses.
Lawmakers and executives headlining the panel discussions expressed some hope that the Senate might actually pass the SAFE Banking Act that would make it easier for cannabis businesses to access banking services. The measure has already received House support numerous times, but has so far gone nowhere in the Senate. The latest discussions on Capitol Hill have centered on whether the banking bill can be paired with some criminal justice provisions that would placate Democrats without alienating Republicans.
“In a town that moves at a glacial pace, we’ve made tremendous progress,” said Rep. David Joyce, an Ohio Republican who’s long been an advocate for passage. “We’ve seen small victories.”
John Sullivan, the executive vice president of Chicago-based Cresco Labs, one of the country’s largest cannabis companies, echoed Joyce.
Staying positive: “We’ve seen SAFE Banking passed six times in the House. This is the first time I‘m optimistic,” he said during the panel discussion. “Politics can be posturing. A lot of talk, with two sides opposed. But for the first time we’re seeing senators, Republican and Democrat, talking about getting something done on cannabis.”
Cough, cough: There was rustling in the crowd at the comments, and a few folks rolled their eyes. They’ve heard it before.
Legislation that’s garnered less attention is the Capital Lending and Investment for Marijuana Businesses (CLIMB) Act, which would allow for a different means of support to cannabis companies.
Making the climb: Rep. Troy Carter (D-La.) said the bipartisan CLIMB Act “would remove a major barrier” keeping cannabis companies from trading on Wall Street — while Canadian companies already can.
More importantly, he said, the CLIMB Act would open up opportunities for businesses in under-served communities by allowing them to utilize services such as Small Business Administration loans and economic development programs that currently aren’t available to cannabis entrepreneurs.
Like the SAFE Banking Act, Carter said, CLIMB can’t pass without bipartisan support. To show how important it is, he gave a shout-out to Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis who attended the event and backs the legislation.
Davis and Carter also met with social equity cannabis entrepreneurs from Illinois and around the country. Davis said the CLIMB Act “should be easy” legislation to pass “even in a divided government” knowing that it helps so many people.
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No official public events.
At EeroQ Quantum at 4:45 p.m. for a reception and ribbon-cutting.
No official public events.
Rail unions, carriers reach compromise day of strike deadline: “Already, Amtrak had canceled long-distance service and industry groups had pressed pause on some shipments,” by POLITICO’s Eleanor Mueller, Tanya Snyder and Nick Niedzwiadek.
Gov. JB Pritzker, at the podium, and top leaders from around the state, talk about their action plan for handling migrants being sent to Illinois on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2022. | POLITICO’s Shia Kapos
— MIGRATION POLITICS: The governor has signed a disaster proclamation to funnel resources to organizations helping asylum-seekers when they land in Illinois after being bused from Texas, and 75 National Guard members have been called up to help with logistics to make sure housing and other needs are taken care of.
High-profile presser: Pritzker, Stratton, Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and other government leaders also called out Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for not communicating when, who and how many migrants his state is sending to Illinois.
“Now is the time to stop trying to sow the seeds of chaos, to put aside politics and focus on human rights,” Pritzker said. “Communicate with us. Have your state agencies call us back.”
“Crisis by ambush” is what Lightfoot called it: “Gov. Abbott clearly has mandated that no one in Texas government, not the social services agencies, not the Texas Rangers or anyone else can provide us with any information or notice — the normal lines of communication that we have with state leaders, particularly when it comes to issues of emergency management or law enforcement. He’s shut those off for us,” Lightfoot said.
Real-life comparison: Imagine, said Grace Hou-Ovnik, who heads the Illinois Department of Human Services, reminded how difficult it is to book a block of hotel rooms for a wedding party at the last minute. You’d have to give a year’s notice, she said. Illinois is having to do that within days.
More from Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles: “The Republican National Committee on Wednesday pinned the blame on the disarray of the busing program on both Lightfoot and Pritzker.”
— Funding anti-violence efforts across Illinois: “So far, more than $61 million has been committed under the Reimage Public Safety to community areas, municipalities and associated programming. Government grant reviewers screen applications and decide whether or not a group is eligible,” by WGN 9’s Tahman Bradley.
— Setting the record straight: Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza has released a video that she says “smashes the myth” that Illinois’ financial recovery was created by the federal stimulus funds.
— In Illinois, 7 percent of people lack health insurance, new Census data show, reports Tribune’s Lisa Schencker
— Darren Bailey uses scene of mass shooting to press his case against Pritzker on crime, by Tribune’s Jeremy Gorner
— Bailey’s tax returns show years of feast — and famine — on the farm: “Bailey’s campaign released five years of tax returns — reversing an earlier decision to keep them private. A day after winning the GOP primary, the downstate farmer told the Sun-Times he would not be releasing any of his returns,” by Sun-Times’ Tina Sfondeles and WBEZ’s Dave McKinney
— One-on-one interview with Bailey, by NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern
— Endorsement: Pritzker and Stratton have been endorsed by child-care providers Village Leadership Academy, Cuddle Care Child Care/Early Learning Council and Building Blocks Learning Academy.
— Regan Deering launched her first TV ad in her bid for the IL-13 Congressional District seat. The ad is titled “America” and features the Republican candidate talking about her concern for “career politicians.”
— Will Marsha Cascio-Hale make it on the ballot? Williamson County election board splits decision on objections: The Democratic state’s attorney says she’ll appeal, reports The Southern’s Marilyn Halstead
— Chicago faces deep-seated ills in shadow of Citadel-Boeing defections: The corporate departures came “on the heels of a once-in-a-century pandemic that exacerbated inequities, violence and crime, with murders hitting an almost three-decade high last year.” Now business leaders want to chart a new course, report Bloomberg’s Shruti Singh, Isis Almeida and Alexandre Tanzi.
— More on Black migration: Decades of segregation feed South and West Side hardships, write Bloomberg’s Shruti Singh and Isis Almeida
— Park District proposes new permit approval process for events over 10,000 people: “Under fire for how large events such as Lollapalooza, a NASCAR street race and Riot Fest tie up the city’s parks, the Chicago Park District is planning to adopt a new rule,” by Crain’s Justin Laurence.
— Chicago schools see Covid vaccination rates backslide with a wave of new students, by Chalkbeat’s Mauricio Peña and Thomas Wilburn
— CTA president skips City Council hearing focused on transit agency’s service, safety woes, by WTTW’s Heather Cherone
— SPLIT VERDICT FOR R. KELLY: Singer faces possibility of longer prison term after conviction on child pornography charges, by Tribune’s Jason Meisner and Megan Crepeau
— Verdict brings closure to decadeslong legal saga: “It took 11 hours for jurors in the R&B star’s trial to reach their decision, finding Kelly guilty on six of 13 counts,” by Sun-Times’ Jon Seidel and Andy Grimm
— Former R. Kelly business manager Derrel McDavid acquitted on all counts: “McDavid testified that he followed lawyers’ advice as he helped coordinate payoffs ahead of Kelly’s 2008 child porn trial — payments federal prosecutors alleged was hush money,” by Sun-Times’ Andy Grimm.
We asked what high school class you liked best:
Brendan Hogan, D.C. policy analyst: “Physics. The teacher taught without a textbook and showed the applicability of all lessons with experiments. He taught us how to be fascinated by the everyday: airplane flight patterns, concrete expansion, how sound travels. And we went to the Kennedy Space Center/ Cocoa Beach for a week.”
Kent Gray: “Steve Welch’s civics class at Chatham Glenwood HS. He is a Democrat, but did a great job encouraging, without partisanship, all students to find their beliefs and get involved in civic life.”
Kevin Hall: “John Schmitz’s civics class at Charleston High.”
Michael R. Lieber, attorney: “Speech Class, taught by David Fruits at North Central HS in Indianapolis.”
Ed Mazur of City Club: “Latin, two years at Sullivan HS. It gave me the foundation to build my vocabulary, converse at cocktail parties and do crossword puzzles.”
Conny Mueller Moody, policy analyst: “History with Mr. Richard Schwartz, a civil war historian and extremely passionate about teaching us about strategic civil war battles in the South.”
Rich Norman: “World History with Ms. Calisoff. She explained the Marxist dialectic theory, and I became a history major at Loyola University of Chicago.”
Rey Nonato: “American history and geography.”
Mary Ann Pantle: “Art! No matter the medium, making something beautiful opens the door to so many great things in this world.”
Kathy Posner: “Calculus, where I was the girl.”
Steve Smith: “Freshman civics. We read several books, including ‘Native Son’ by Richard Wright and ‘The Public Philosophy’ by Walter Lippmann. We wrote a report on each book, which my dear mother typed for me as I had not learned to type.”
John Straus: “Highland Park HS’s multidisciplinary humanities class that included art, music, theater and social studies team-taught by four teachers.”
Patricia Ann Watson: “English Literature, fabulous teacher, Janet Works, made Beowulf and Canterbury Tales exciting.”
Phil Zeni: “English Literature taught by the incomparable A. Louise Goodson.”
Eugene Daly: “Lunch.”
Do I hear gym class, anyone?
While there’s still time to play, what’s your favorite private golf course? Email [email protected]
— Kagan in Chicago | Justice repeats warning that Supreme Court is damaging its legitimacy: “Justice Kagan’s pointed comments follow Chief Justice John Roberts’ recent lament that unpopular decisions shouldn’t undercut the court,” by POLITICO’s Josh Gerstein.
— How Bill Gates and his partners took over the global Covid response, by POLITICO’s Erin Banco, Ashleigh Furlong and Lennart Pfahler
— Dems dream of drama-free fall, by POLITICO’s Sarah Ferris
— ‘Every day feels like something else is piling on’: Trump world bears down, by POLITICO’s Meridith McGraw and Jonathan Lemire
— Education advocate Jitu Brown learned the fight for equity in Chicago, by the Hill’s Cheyanne M. Daniels
— Cook County Circuit Judge Sanjay T. Tailor has been appointed to the First District Appellate Court. Tailor was assigned by the state Supreme Court to fill the vacancy created by the upcoming retirement of Justice Daniel J. Pierce, effective Sept. 30. The appointment is effective Oct. 3 and will stay in effect until further order of the court. He will become the first Indian American on the Illinois Appellate Court, according to a statement.
— Neil C. James has been named executive director of the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, which brings together mayors from across the Chicago metro region. James has been executive director of the West Cook County Solid Waste Agency since 2015. He also has worked for the West Central Municipal Conference and the Illinois House speaker’s office (in the 1990s). He replaces David Bennett who is retiring after 21 years as mayors caucus executive director.
— Sept. 29 at 6:30 p.m.: The Community Commission for Public Safety & Accountability holds its first public meeting at Malcolm X College. Attendees will hear from interim commissioners and be able to weigh in on public safety issues. The commission hires and fires police superintendent, COPA chief administrator and police board members; and sets goals and evaluates progress for the Chicago Police Department.
WEDNESDAY’s ANSWER: Congrats to Timothy Thomas Jr. for offering the most complete answer: Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center is home to the largest Tiffany dome — a 38-foot diameter work that has 2,848 pieces of faceted iridescent glass.
And apologies if I didn’t get back to you Wednesday on whether your answer was right. It was a busy day on assignment.
TODAY’s QUESTION: Which Illinois cemetery is said to have the largest mass grave in the western hemisphere? Email [email protected]
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District board member Kim Du Buclet, former Sen. Mark Kirk and teacher and event organizer Shayla Rosen.