Archive for the ‘Commodius Maximus’ Category


Lawmakers continue crafting a measure to allow public restrooms in Illinois to be converted to gender neutral multi-occupancy facilities.

The House narrowly passed House Bill 1286 in March. The measure allows for public restrooms to be converted to gender neutral as long as there are stall dividers with a locking mechanism, vending devices for menstruation supplies and a small trash receptacle in each toilet stall.

The Senate is poised to amend the bill to require stalls be fully enclosed in such facilities and that urinals are removed.

State Sen. Neil Anderson, R-Andalusia, asked bill sponsor state Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, about one particular part of the bill.

“Can you explain why there’s no urinals,” Anderson asked during a committee hearing.

“So we took into consideration the concerns of several members who voiced that concern in terms of again, people who walk into a restroom and might be offended by a urinal so what we are trying to do is to make sure that we are addressing those concerns,” Villanueva said. “Urinals are just as good as a toilet.”

“Are they going to be offended if I leave the toilet seat up,” Anderson asked.

“I mean, I might be offended,” Villanueva said.

More here.

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J.B. Pritzker

April 2023 Illinois state income tax collections came in $1.8 billion lower than April 2022, leading state forecasters to make massive cuts in expected 2023 revenue.

State revenue projections were cut by more than $800 million in new fiscal year 2023 estimates from the state legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability.

Illinois saw a massive $1.76 billion drop in actual personal income tax collections during April 2023 compared to April 2022. Lower year-over-year revenues were expected as the effects of federal stimulus activity dissipated. State forecasters built that drop into their projections, but they were still way off – by $986 million.

Revenue from corporate income, corporate franchise taxes and fees, sales, liquor, inheritance, and cannabis taxes were also down in April 2023 compared to April 2022.

While the most recent tax collection data has substantially altered projections for FY 2023 revenues, the state projections for fiscal year 2024 remain virtually unchanged because of tax disbursement changes made by the Illinois Department of Revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. Should revenues continue to falter, FY 2024 revenues could come in lower than expected even with these changes.

Just as the projections were off, so is rhetoric from Gov. J.B. Pritzker about the state’s improved financial condition: the state’s fiscal future remains in jeopardy. In March 2023, Pritzker suggested the state’s strong revenue growth was stable, saying “…as we feel comfortable with these new revenues coming in and their stability; and I think we’re seeing a few years in a row now of the stability of that revenue – that we should be talking about whether there are tax cuts that we can implement.”

Just a month later, year over year revenues posted a massive decline. The April 2023 revenues offer a clear warning about the state’s fiscal future. Experts had been warning Illinois could potentially be among the states facing a fiscal cliff once federal pandemic relief funding ran out. Now, it should be clear the state should not simply expect revenues to keep climbing while avoiding any reforms to the budgeting process, pension costs, or the general financial management of the state.

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The city kept 126 beds but isn’t using them. The state has 1,125 more beds from the makeshift hospital but says the city hasn’t asked for them. And the city is missing out on $30 million from Springfield to support immigrants.

Covid 1

Construction workers put the finishing touches on a 500-bed temporary COVID-19 hospital at McCormick Place on April 3, 2020. It ended up going unused. | Chris Sweda / Chicago Tribune pool photo

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker stood together in April 2020 at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to showcase the rapid transformation of an empty convention hall at McCormick Place East into a medical facility with 500 beds — and 2,500 more to be installed later.

It turned out the makeshift COVID-19 hospital wasn’t needed because existing hospitals were able, after all, to meet the demand of treating coronavirus patients. So the beds were moved to warehouses, and the facility was dismantled as quickly as it was set up.

Now, with at least 8,500 refugees from Latin America having been transported to Chicago from Texas since last August in a political tug-of-war over national immigration policy, those beds are available for use in temporary shelters.

The city kept 126 full-size beds from the McCormick Place temporary hospital. City officials say it would be difficult to set them up quickly because the beds include a mattress, headboard, footboard, bed frame and no linens.

Covid 2

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., tour the COVID-19 care facility in Hall C at McCormick Place on April 17, 2020. Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere / Sun-Times

Instead, the Lightfoot administration chose to send cots for immigrants to sleep on at temporary shelters because they’re “easy to deploy and set up during an emergency,” according to Mary May, a spokeswoman for the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications.

“At this time, it is simply not as practical to use the limited number of beds we have in storage.”

Read more here.

Related: “McCormick Place hospital’s cost to taxpayers?” “Now-closed McCormick Place COVID-19 hospital cost taxpayers $15M to staff, run

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JB Shrug

“Sorry, Mr. Pritzker. The data is clear that Illinois and other states dominated by progressives are losing human talent in droves to better-governed states.”

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker shrugged last year after several high-profile corporations left his state. “Countless companies are choosing Illinois as their home,” Mr. Pritzker said. Then why does a new Internal Revenue Service report show an accelerating taxpayer exodus from Illinois and other high-tax states?

The IRS each spring publishes data on the movement of adjusted gross income (AGI) and taxpayers across state lines from year to year. Some Democratic Governors such as Mr. Pritzker claimed that the 2020 Census undercounted their state populations, but the IRS data shows blue states are losing taxpayers and income at an increasing clip. (See the nearby charts.)


The IRS data shows a net 105,000 people left Illinois in 2021, taking with them some $10.9 billion in AGI. That’s up from $8.5 billion in 2020 and $6 billion in 2019. New York’s income loss increased to $24.5 billion in 2021 from $19.5 billion in 2020 and $9 billion in 2019. California lost $29.1 billion in 2021, more than triple what it did in 2019.

By contrast, the lowest tax states added some $100 billion of income during the pandemic. Zero-income-tax Florida gained $39.2 billion—up from $23.7 billion in 2020 and $17.7 billion in 2019. About $9.8 billion of the total arrived from New York, $3.9 billion from Illinois, $3.7 billion from New Jersey and $3.5 billion from California.

Texas was another winner, attracting a net $10.9 billion in 2021, which follows a gain of $6.3 billion in 2020 and $4 billion in 2019. Californians represented more than half of Texas’s income gain in 2021. The Golden State also sent $4.4 billion to Nevada, $2.7 billion to Arizona and $2 billion to Washington. Nevada and Washington don’t tax wages, and Arizona is phasing out its income tax.

Illinois lost income to all of its neighboring states, but the biggest beneficiaries of its taxpayer flight were Florida, Texas, Indiana and Wisconsin. Mr. Pritzker can’t blame lousy weather since it’s not exactly balmy in Kenosha. Billionaire Ken Griffin cited Chicago’s out-of-control crime last year as the reason he moved his hedge fund to Miami.

Read more of the Wall Street Journal article here.

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The Illinois Supreme Court has denied a motion to disqualify two justices from hearing a challenge to the state’s “assault weapons” ban over alleged conflicts of interest.

Before Elizabeth Rochford and Mary O’Brien were elected to the Illinois Supreme Court in November 2022, Gov. J.B. Pritzker gave each of their campaign funds half a million dollars from both his campaign account and a revocable trust, totaling $1 million to each.

The two justices also received six-figure donations out of a campaign fund controlled by Illinois House Speaker Emanual “Chris” Welch,” D-Hillside.

Both Pritzker and Welch are top defendants in a Macon County challenge of Illinois’ gun and magazine ban brought by state Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur.

The county judge there issued a final judgment that the law is unconstitutional.

The state appealed the case directly to the Illinois Supreme Court after a separate case was found by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to have a likelihood of success on the basis the law violates equal protections.

Late last month, Caulkins’ attorney filed a motion for the two justices to recuse themselves, or for the Illinois Supreme Court to disqualify them from hearing the challenge.

Attorney Jerry Stocks argued “unreasonably large campaign contributions” from Pritzker and Welch “undermine public confidence” in the judiciary.

Asked in early March if the justices should recuse themselves because of the donations, Pritzker said that’s “ridiculous.”

Read more here.

Related:Billionaire Gov. J.B. Pritzker uses trust to skirt contribution limits in Illinois Supreme Court races,” “Pritzker says it’s ‘ridiculous’ to expect justices to recuse themselves after $2M donations

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker says that he is still seeking to implement a graduated income tax on Illinoisans after a previous attempt was rejected by voters.

Pritzker discussed a multitude of issues at a forum at Harvard University in Boston this week and took questions from students in attendance.

Pritzker was asked about redistribution policies being implemented in Illinois and said he still believes in a tax proposal that failed in 2020.

“I still believe in a graduated income tax. I still believe in making sure that we have a tax system that’s fair and that, you use the word redistributive, but importantly, that every child, no matter what ZIP code they live in, gets a good education, a good public education,” Pritzker said. “We’re working at that every day, but it’s not going to be as easy as it would have been had we had a graduated income tax.”

The 2020 proposal would have implemented a higher income tax rate on higher earners, allowing lawmakers to set the various rates. Voters soundly rejected that plan to the polls, however.

Pritzker said he fought to get the measure implemented.

“I fought like heck and put my own money behind it and ran a campaign to pass a graduated income tax in the state of Illinois that I believe would help us fund schools properly, it would reduce property taxes, and properly fund schools that are underfunded,” Pritzker said.

More here.

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Harvord JB

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker at a forum Monday, hosted by Harvard Kennedy School

According to one Republican leader, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s comments on winning in politics show his lack of willingness to work with the other side.

Pritzker attended a forum at the Harvard Institute of Politics Monday, and discussed the state of politics in Illinois and beyond.

Pritzker was asked by an audience member what could be done to improve government in the United States.

“When I think of the federal government, it is like it is stymied. It is not getting the things done that really protect people,” Pritzker said. “In the end, how do we break through all of that? We need to win, we meaning Democrats have to win.”

Pritzker went on to say that there is no other way to fix government than by electing Democrats.

“I mean, we have to go win in the Congress, in the House and the Senate. I don’t know how to say it in any other way,” Pritzker said. “There is no other way to break through. What would I change about the federal government? We have to win in order to get the policies we believe in.”

Illinois House Assistant Republican Leader Mike Marron, R-Fithian, said the governor’s comments have reaffirmed what some have felt when trying to work with Pritzker on specific issues.

“His words just confirm what I have felt all along that I guess Republican voices in this state are just not important. I guess he just doesn’t care,” Marron told The Center Square. “He is just going to write off all of the people we represent. It’s very sad.”

More here.

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Chi ConvThe Democratic National Committee has chosen Chicago as the host for the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

The Democratic National Committee said the convention will be held at the United Center from Aug. 19 to Aug. 22.

Other cities considered for the 2024 convention included Atlanta, Houston, and New York.

“Illinois along with Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota – part of the “blue wall” – were crucial to the 2020 victory of President Biden and Vice President Harris and to Democrats’ success in the 2022 midterm elections,” DNC officials said in a press release.

Democratic officials also said the Midwest will help showcase President Joe Biden’s economic agenda, noting Chicago has benefitted from $144 million in federal funding to rehab four Illinois International Port Calumet River Bridges, with billions more in investments to expand economic opportunity around the region.

“Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention,” Biden said in a statement. “Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down. From repairing our roads and bridges, to unleashing a manufacturing boom, and creating over 12.5 million new good-paying jobs, we’ve already delivered so much for hard working Americans – now it’s time to finish the job.”

Local state and political leaders had been pushing hard for the DNC to bring the convention to Chicago.

“I am deeply honored that President Biden and the DNC have chosen Chicago,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. “I want to commend all the City government leaders who demonstrated with a proven track record of excellence that by choosing Chicago, the DNC, convention delegates, volunteers and others would be treated to a first class experience in our world class city. The DNC will create once-in-a-generation opportunities for job creation and business growth here in our city, and I’m proud that we got it done for the people of Chicago.”

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Contact: press@ildems.com

Chicago, IL – After a resounding number of local election wins, the Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) is celebrating its success in preventing extremists from being elected to numerous school and library board seats across the state.

While results are yet to be certified, 73 of the 101 extremists that DPI identified and opposed lost their races, and of the 117 candidates recommended by DPI, 84 were elected.

In several districts including Oswego CUSD 308, Lyons Township High School District 204, Hononegah High School District 207, and McLean County School District 5 each of the extreme candidates that DPI exposed were unsuccessful.

Additionally, DPI targeted 42 Awake IL endorsed candidates, and 37 of them lost, a clear indication that Illinoisans disavowed their hateful rhetoric and dangerous platform.

“Last night, Illinoisans rejected the regressive vision of extremist candidates across the state, and once again showed that they believe in continuing to move our state forward. With so much on the line, DPI was proud to step in to push back against political agendas that posed a threat to our fundamental values,” DPI Chair Lisa Hernandez said. “I look forward to the ways in which these newly elected board members will work to make Illinois a safe and just place for all our children to grow up.”

“Illinoisans continue to reaffirm their commitment to a forward-looking state, and DPI is  proud to have played a part in making that vision a reality. While we’re pleased by the outcomes of yesterday’s elections, our work isn’t done. This is just the beginning for DPI as we build a state party that functions as a resource and a support system for Democrats every year, in every corner of Illinois,” said DPI Executive Director Ben Hardin. “We knew this work wouldn’t be easy, especially given the organized movement from the far-right to disguise their true agenda, but we’re grateful that voters saw through the falsehoods and turned out to support credible community advocates. Our values were on the line in these races, and I’m proud that Illinoisans once again voted for fairness, equity, and inclusion in our state.”

The Democratic Party of Illinois launched an innovative program to prevent extremists from taking over school and library boards in response to dark money and candidate support from far-right organizations. DPI opposed candidates backed by known far-right organizations as well as those who have embraced values and policies that contradict those of the Party including censoring or banning books, blocking full spectrum sex education, teaching revisionist history and ignoring public health. Throughout this unprecedented program, DPI reached hundreds of thousands of individuals and households in Illinois via digital and mail communications as well as on the ground organizing support, keeping over 70 extremists out of school and library board seats. The positive impacts of this support were made clear by the results of yesterday’s elections.

This initiative was brought forth as part of the new party building directive under the leadership of Chair Hernandez to provide year round support to Democrats through grassroots organizing and continuous voter engagement.


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220 Admin

A group of conservative challengers lost in the Barrington 220 school board race, which saw only a 17% voter turnout.

Katey Baldassano, one of the challengers, said the race decided the majority on the school board. Baldassano ran on a slate with Leonard Munson and Matt Sheriff, and they were hoping to tip the scales toward a conservative majority on the board.

“It was pretty consistently a 4-3 split on pretty much every issue,” Baldassano told Lake County Gazette. “But now it will be 5-2. So much more one way. If two of the people in my slate or a different challenger that was not on my seat had won, then there could have been a shift in the majority the other way.”

Baldassano said she thinks they “had a super strong core team and a super strong group of supporters.”

“It’s hard to imagine a group of candidates that did more to meet people and get our message out there than we did,” Baldassano said. “It would be really hard to imagine that. I guess at the end of the day, just the voter turnout was pretty abysmal across the state. And I guess based on the voters, the people who voted sent a message for what they want for our community and it wasn’t what we were pitching, even though we do think that more represent the community as a whole. But if the people don’t vote, then they can’t expect change. They are going to expect more of the same. Or things to get worse and that they’re going to get what they asked for.”

Baldassano’s slate is grateful to their supporters, and they hope “that people will keep speaking out for what they especially want for their own kids.”

“Because at the end of the day, the parents are the most important thing in raising their kids,” Baldassano said. “And if we aren’t happy, then we need to advocate for what’s best for our kids because they’re the ones that are the end user of the system and they deserve a really great education. I hope that people keep fighting for that.”

Read more here.

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