Pritzker Appoints Former State Rep. Steven Andersson to Human Rights Commission

From the Pritzker Administration:

Gov. Pritzker Makes Six Appointments to Illinois Human Rights Commission

Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration:

James A. Ferg-Cadima will serve as Chair of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Ferg-Cadima has built a public service career on shaping and enforcing civil rights protections at the federal, state and local levels. He joined the City of Chicago’s Office of Inspector General in 2017, where he serves as an Associate General Counsel to a recently created Public Safety Section that audits Chicago’s police and police accountability functions. He was most recently the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, where he coordinated the Obama Administration’s schools- and college-related regulatory interpretations under federal law prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex and disability. Prior to this, Ferg-Cadima headed a regional office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and worked at the ACLU of Illinois, pressing units of government and covered private entities for more than minimal construction of education, employment, immigration, open records, privacy and voting laws. He has also served as a judicial clerk for the Northern District of Illinois. He currently serves on the board of directors of Free Spirit Media, a nonprofit providing opportunities for emerging digital content creators from Chicago’s West and South sides, and the Chicago Mosaic School, a nonprofit school dedicated to the comprehensive study of mosaic arts. He is a native Washingtonian, child of an undocumented immigrant, openly gay, and a person with a non-apparent disability. Ferg-Cadima is a member of the ADA25 Advancing Leaders Network. He earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Illinois and the District of Columbia.

Steve Andersson

Steven A. Andersson will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Andersson has been a licensed attorney for more almost three decades. He is a partner at the law firms of Mickey, Wilson, Weiler, Renzi and Andersson, P.C. and the Elder Law Center, P.C. He is admitted to practice law at all Illinois courts, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Andersson was also the state representative for Illinois’ 65th legislative district from 2015 to 2019 where he served as Republican floor leader in 2018.

During the 99th General Assembly, Andersson was a leader of the Republican coalition that joined with the Democratic caucus to end the longest state budget impasse in U.S. history.

He has also been a strident defender of the rights of all people, including being the chief co-sponsor for the ERA, a two-time sponsor of the Equal Pay Act and chief co-sponsor of the LGBTQ curriculum bill. Prior to joining the Illinois House of Representatives, Andersson served his community as a trustee and treasurer on the Geneva Library District Board for approximately 5 years, including serving 2 years as treasurer. Andersson is a past president of the Kane County Bar Association. He is also a member of the Kane County Bar Foundation; Illinois Bar Association; American Bar Association; National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; and served on the governing board of the Aurora Family Counseling Service and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
 
Barbara Barreno-Paschall will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Barreno-Paschall is an accomplished, well-respected attorney and policy advocate. She is currently a Senior Staff Attorney with Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights in the Housing Opportunity Project and previously worked as an Employment and Labor Associate at the law firm Sidley Austin LLP, where she received the firm’s highest pro bono honor for her representation of immigrants seeking asylum. Barreno-Paschall serves on the Kenwood Academy High School Local School Council as a Community Representative and is a recipient of the Hispanic National Bar Association’s 2019 Top Lawyers Under 40 Award and Chicago Scholars’ 2018 35 Under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact Award. She earned her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School, her Master in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and her Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies from Harvard College. 
 
Manuel Barbosa will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Barbosa is a retired US Bankruptcy Judge who served for 15 years in the Northern District of Illinois before retiring in 2013. He served as Chairman of the Illinois Human Rights Commission upon its creation under Governor Thompson and also under Governor Edgar. He started his legal career as a Kane County Assistant State’s Attorney and was in private practice in Elgin for twenty Years. Barbosa obtained his bachelor’s degree in Literature from Illinois Benedictine University where he serves on the President’s advisory council, as well as the Liberal Arts advisory council. He received his Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School in 1977 and serves on the Board of Visitors for Northern Illinois University School of law. He served on the Metra board of directors and has been Chairman of the Kane County Zoning Board of Appeals.
 
Robert A. Cantone will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.* Cantone is an attorney who has devoted much of his professional life to representing the rights and interests of Illinois residents. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and history from DePaul University and his Law degree from Lewis University College of Law, Cantone soon began practicing law as an Assistant Public Defender of Cook County. In his more than five years representing individuals charged with traffic, misdemeanor and felony offenses, he gained considerable experience dealing with the issues individuals face in society. Cantone then joined what is now Goldstein, Bender & Romanoff, a Plaintiff Personal Injury law firm in downtown Chicago. There, he obtained extensive litigation experience and spent over 25 years enthusiastically handling cases for hundreds of persons injured due to motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, product defects and medical malpractice. In 2013, Cantone established his own law firm, concentrating in Plaintiff Personal Injury, Workers Compensation and Collections. Drawing on his legal experience, he has also been thrilled to have been engaged as an Arbitrator for the Cook County Mandatory Arbitration program since 1990. He is also a member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. Cantone was first appointed as a part-time Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission in 2011, then reappointed in 2015. 
 
Jeffrey Shuck will serve as a Commissioner of the Illinois Human Rights Commission.*
 Prior to his appointment, Shuck served Attorneys General Kwame Raoul and Lisa Madigan as a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the Springfield General Law Bureau since 2016. In that role, he represented state officials, state agencies and state employees in a variety of civil litigation in state and federal courts. His work included cases alleging discrimination, retaliation and civil rights violations. Shuck also served as an Assistant Attorney General earlier in his career, from 2000 to 2003 under Attorneys General Jim Ryan and Lisa Madigan. Before rejoining the Attorney General’s Office, he twice served the Department of Central Management Services as its Deputy General Counsel for Personnel. In that role, Shuck was responsible for advising the governor’s office, agency directors and general counsels on employment law matters, interpreting applicable statutes, rules and case law and establishing legal policy in personnel matters. While at CMS, Shuck was appointed by Governor Quinn to serve as Chairman of the Task Force on Inventorying Employment Restrictions. The Task Force was created to review the statutes, administrative rules, policies, and practices that restrict employment of individuals with a criminal history and to report to the governor and the General Assembly those employment restrictions and their impact on employment opportunities. Shuck also twice served at the Illinois State Board of Education, first as an Assistant Legal Advisor and later as Chief of Labor Relations. Throughout his career, Shuck has held a particular interest in preventing and addressing disability discrimination, including by being a role model of capability as a paraplegic since an automobile accident in 1982. Shuck received his Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts & Sciences from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Southern Illinois University School of Law.
 
* Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate.

Abortion: When “Most Progressive” Means “Most Extreme”

From Governor JB Pritzker:

Gov. Pritzker Signs Reproductive Health Act, Making Illinois a National Leader Amid Flurry of Attacks on Reproductive Rights

Chicago — Making good on his promise to make Illinois the most progressive state in the nation for women’s reproductive rights, Governor JB Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act on Wednesday, enshrining a woman’s right to choose into law.

“In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health,” said Gov. JB Pritzker. 

“Illinois is demonstrating what it means to affirm the rights of individuals to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives, no matter your income level, race, ethnicity or religion. When it comes to contraception, abortion, and reproductive care, this law puts the decision-making where it belongs: in the hands of women and their doctors.

“The Reproductive Health Act ensures that women’s rights in Illinois do not hinge on the fate of Roe v. Wade, or the whims of an increasingly conservative Supreme Court. In this state, women will always have the right to reproductive health care.”

Treating reproductive health care like any other type of health care, the Reproductive Health Act modernizes Illinois’ outdated law and establishes the fundamental right to make individual decisions about reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion, and maternity care.

The new law ensures regulations reflect current medical standards and requires private health insurance plans in Illinois to cover abortion like they do other pregnancy-related care.

Amid a wave of legislation restricting a woman’s right to choose, Illinois is the only state in the nation to enact legislation that establishes a fundamental right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and maternity care.

“The Reproductive Health Act sends a clear message that we trust women to make their own decisions,” said Senator Melinda Bush, the Senate sponsor of the RHA. 

“Women can now rest assured that regardless of what happens at the federal level, they will have access to comprehensive reproductive health care here in Illinois.

“Thank you to Gov. Pritzker for being a fierce advocate of reproductive rights and for taking this final step in guaranteeing the right to an abortion in the state of Illinois.”

“While all around us opponents are using misinformation and misogyny to justify attacks on bodily autonomy, I’m proud that here in Illinois, we’ve declared unequivocally that we trust patients and doctors to make these decisions safely and privately,” said Representative Kelly Cassidy, the House sponsor of the RHA.

“The law is now clear in Illinois: decisions about reproductive health care are between patients, their family members, doctors and other health care providers,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois. “Thank you Governor Pritzker for making this policy the law of the land. Thank you to all the legislators who worked to move this measure forward, especially sponsors Senator Melinda Bush and Representative Kelly Cassidy.  And, special thanks to the thousands of Illinois residents who spoke up and made their voice heard over the past few months.  Your involvement made this victory possible.”

“We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients’ lives,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “By signing the Reproductive Health Act into law today, Governor Pritzker has solidified his commitment to guaranteeing patients at Planned Parenthood, and other health care providers across the state, have the fundamental right to the full range of reproductive health care. At Planned Parenthood, we’re committing to ensuring that right is accessible, no matter what.”

The law takes effect immediately.

Former Hebron Village President Found Not Guilty of Possessing Gun without FOID Card

News about former Hebron Village President John Jacobson from the Chicago Tribune:

Former village president of small town of Hebron found not guilty of firearm charge, but admits he possessed crack pipe

John Jacobson

The former village president of the small McHenry County town of Hebron, who once faced serious felony charges related to his drug overdose in 2016, admitted this week to possessing a crack pipe, but he was acquitted at trial of a felony firearm-related charge, according to attorneys involved with…

= = = = =

Folks in Hebron did not take kindly to its Village President’s drug-related arrests.

There was standing room only at the 7 PM start of the Hebron Village Board meeting following the arrest of its Village President John Jacobson.

You can read the article that goes with the photo above here.

Another Potential Road Money Lock Box Case

From The Center Square:

Illinois lawmakers could test strength of ‘lockbox amendment’ with proposed cost shift

Illinois lawmakers are looking to free up some money in the state’s budget by using some motor fuel tax revenue to cover the cost of emissions testing, but the state’s Constitution may not allow it.

The last change to Illinois’ Constitution was the Illinois Transportation Taxes and Fees Lockbox Amendment, which voters passed in 2016. It forbids lawmakers from using transportation funds for non-transportation spending.

State Sen. Heather Steans’ bill, which passed both houses and now only needs Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature, would allow for the state’s emission testing done by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to be paid for using revenue generated by the Motor Fuel Tax, the state tax levied on each gallon of gas.

State Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon, questioned if the 2016 Lockbox Amendment that bans road funds to pay for non-road fund spending means they can’t move forward with the proposed cost shift.

“If it’s not a violation of the letter of the Constitution, it is most certainly a violation of the spirit of the amendment that the voters voted for,” he said. “They were tired of the General Assembly and governors siphoning dollars off from the motor fuel taxes that they paid, which politicians told them would be spent on roads and bridges and mass transit.”

Steans, D-Chicago, said a legal team had reviewed the proposal.

“Our attorneys have taken a look at this and feels like it totally falls within the requirement of the lockbox constitutional amendment,” she said.

Illinois conducted emissions tests for more than 2 million cars in 2018 with an appropriation of $30 million

Critique of Prinzker’s Signing the “Most Progressive Abortion Law in the Country”

From the Thomas Moor Society:

Illinois Legalizes “Death Penalty” of Dismemberment Abortions on Viable Unborn Preemies

Thomas More Society Details the Disgraces of America’s New “Abortion Capital”

(June 12, 2019 – Chicago) The Thomas More Society has declared Illinois Governor JB Pritzker’s signing of SB 25, the state’s extreme abortion law, to be tantamount to “legalizing the death penalty, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies.”

The Honorable Peter Breen, former Illinois Representative and Thomas More Society Vice President and Senior Counsel, issued a brief analysis and response to the Democratic supermajority’s legislation, rushed through the Illinois House during the Memorial Day weekend and sent to the governor’s desk by the State Senate on June 4.

“This law is the most radical sweeping pro-abortion measure in America and makes Illinois an abortion destination for the country.

“The deceptively titled ‘Reproductive Health Act’ gives our state some of the most extremely permissive abortion laws of any state in the nation,” explained Breen.

The law brings about the following, which Breen labels, “disgraceful”:

  • All licensing requirements for abortion clinics are abolished, and health and safety inspections ended, despite those inspections shutting down numerous dirty abortion clinics in recent years
  • Dismemberment abortions of “preemie” babies, who feel pain, without anesthesia, are legalized
  • Every private health insurance policy, including those for small churches and religious nonprofits, must pay for elective chemical and surgical abortions
  • Every unborn child, up to and even during birth, will now have NO legal rights in Illinois
  • Abortion is labeled a “fundamental right,” protected to a greater degree than Free Speech and other First Amendment rights

“The governor and the Democratic supermajorities who fast-tracked this legislation have created a new ‘death penalty’ in Illinois, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies,” Breen remarked.

The law, signed by Pritzker on June 12, 2019,

  • removes reporting requirements for all abortions including those done on viable babies
  • repeals penalties for performing illegal abortions
  • allows nurses to perform medical abortions
  • strips away abortion conscience protections for health care workers, and
  • eliminates existing licensing and health and safety inspections of abortion clinics.”

“It expressly strips all rights from unborn children and wipes nearly every abortion regulation off the books in Illinois, subjecting any that remain to a court challenge under a near-impossible-to-meet “strict scrutiny” standard.

“This act is barbarous.

“Its definition of ‘viability’ expressly excludes many babies who today live and thrive when born premature – these babies now have zero legal rights or protections, under this law,” said Breen.

The new law permits dismemberment abortions of living, viable, and unanesthetized premature babies, who feel pain while they are being torn limb from limb.

The new definition of mother’s “health” is so broad that it provides no protection for any post-viability baby.

Breen suggests that this law, purporting to improve health care for women, instead, by removing all regulation and oversight, sends it back to the dark ages.

“This law creates a ‘fundamental right…to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right.’

“The General Assembly majority and governor have placed abortion as the primary and principal right in Illinois, above all others,” the attorney and former legislator explained.

Under this law, every health insurance policy in Illinois is now required to cover elective abortions, even late-term ones. There are no exceptions for churches, religious nonprofits, or pro-life individuals and small business owners.

It even strikes current law that protects parents from having to pay for a child’s abortion, when performed without parental consent.

Illinois’ new abortion mandate also strips the express right in current law for health care workers to choose not to participate in abortions.

Breen is particularly concerned about the stripping of all licensing requirements for abortion clinics.

“This removes the only effective tool the state government has to regulate and shut down unsanitary and unsafe abortion clinics, like Rockford’s ‘House of Horrors.’”

“The legacy of this governor, and any legislator who voted to pass this law, will be that of cruel dehumanization of unborn Illinoisans on a mass scale,” declared Breen.

“They will bear the legacy of thousands of late-term dismemberment abortions inflicted on perfectly healthy, viable children.

“They will bear the legacy of many thousands more children aborted in Illinois instead of being allowed to live, with the resulting psychological trauma to their mothers, including teenagers, who might otherwise have brought their children to term.

“They will bear the legacy of harm done to those women who suffer from abortions performed in filthy unlicensed clinics.”

Breen added, “This law violates the deepest moral and ethical convictions of millions of Illinoisans. While the Democratic supermajorities in the 101st General Assembly and Governor Pritzker have sped these radical measures into law, the citizens of this state can and must make their voices heard.”

About the Thomas More Society

The Thomas More Society is a national not-for-profit law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious liberty. Headquartered in Chicago and Omaha, the Thomas More Society fosters support for these causes by providing high quality pro bono legal services from local trial courts all the way up to the United States Supreme Court. For more information, visitthomasmoresociety.org.

Is a Consensus to Settle a Court Case in Closed Session Good Enough?

From Illinois Leaks, reprinted with permission:

Algonquin Township Board puts cart before the horse – State’s Attorney should act

BY KIRK ALLEN ON JUNE 10, 2019 • ( LEAVE A COMMENT )

McHenry Co. (ECWd) – Last month we exposed the fact the Algonquin Township Attorney negotiated a tax settlement which resulted in a court order for two tax objection lawsuits, even though the Township Board had not taken appropriate action to settle those cases.  (Article here)

A Comment on Facebook by Trustee Lawrence appears to point to the board taking action in closed session.

“We give direction by consensus in closed session for obvious reasons, and plans are already in place to announce the outcomes at the next regular board meeting.”

The Trustees and their attorney at the College of DuPage a few years ago tried a similar stunt by having a show of hands as a consensus on a matter. 

The State’s Attorney prosecuted that case as an Open Meetings Act violation for taking action in closed session and the College pleaded guilty.

Consider the Tax Objection order has been issued by the courts and it was based on the Board providing consensus in closed session, it points to a clear Open Meetings Act violation. 

We urge the McHenry County State’s Attorney to prosecute this case in the same manner as was done in DuPage County.

The agenda for this weeks Algonquin Township meeting has “Approval Settlement of litigation 16TX30 and 17TX11.

Cart before the horse?

Considering the Township Attorney has already agreed in court to an order on those two lawsuits, there does not appear to be anything for the board to act on, other than maybe finding a new attorney that knows how to negotiate down instead of up and then only agrees to a court order that first has board approval.

We find it very odd that an attorney who claims to know local government laws would actually make such an entry in the court when this client has not voted on any such settlement. 

We wonder if the ARDC would have an interest in this matter and suspect they could include it with the current ARDC complaint against James Kelly.

He can turn to his Trustees for his defense and tell the ARDC, the Board gave “direction by consensus in closed session”. 

We contend that any direction given in closed session that results in final action (court order), violates the Open Meetings Act.

You can download an image of the agenda at this link or view below. 

At the time of publication, no agenda was posted on their web site for Wednesdays’ meeting.  Even though taxpayer funds are used to maintain the web site, they are not obligated to post it on the website since it is not being managed by a full-time staff member of the Township.

Our work is funded entirely thru donations and we
ask that you consider donating at the below link. 

Casten Isn’t Interested in Bipartisanship

From 6th District congressional candidate Evelyn Sanguinetti

Sanguinetti Responds to  Sean Casten’s Comment that “Bipartisanship Is Overrated”

Evelan Sanguinetti

WHEATON — Evelyn Sanguinetti, Republican candidate for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, issued the following statement today responding to Congressman Sean Casten’s comment that “bipartisanship is overrated” in Congress:

“How can Sean Casten endorse the hyper-partisan, my-way-or-the-highway style of government that leaves us all disgusted by Washington, DC?   

Sean Casten

“Like it or not, Sean – your job is to work with the other side of the aisle to solve the problems facing our country,” said Evelyn Sanguinetti – Republican candidate for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.  

“You claim bipartisanship is overrated?

“Grow up, Sean.

“Act like a Congressman.”

Background:

Sean Casten: “Uhm, I think bipartisanship is overrated, I’m serious.” (Energy Policy Institute At The University Of Chicago, 6/10/19)

Three State Senators Review Session in Crystal Lake

The three State Senators who represent all of McHenry County reported to constituents at the Crystal Lake City Council Chambers Tuesday night.

State Senators Craig Wilcox, Dan McConchie and Don DeWitte addressed an almost full room.

If opponents were in the room, they made no impact.

There were women wearing what looked like red habits with white hats holding pro-abortion signs across from the parking lot.

Democratic Party State Senate candidate against Craig Wilcox chats with photographer of pro-abortion at any time during pregnancy Hand Maids

The most vocal group represented supporters of the Second Amendment.

One woman on the front row said she was tired of making phone calls and writing letters to defend her gun owner rights.

Another complained, “Where we’re headed is somewhere we haven’t been before.”

Fear was expressed of the “Chicago-city state” in control of state government.

Trained in physics and astronomy, Dawn Mueller from Coral Township, an area she described as “the Texas of McHenry County,” offered up her personal records to demonstrate inefficiencies in Illinois’ social service and Medicaid assistance.

“I can save you millions,” she said.

A female cancer survivor identifying herself as a full-blooded American Indian, asked for legislation to prevent others from ending up in her situation, homeless and without car because of the expenses.

A Veteran pointed out those in the Armed Forces Reserves could delay paying mortgages until their deployments were completed.

A slide show started the evening with State Senator Wilcox talking of the minimum wage increases enacted.

The Democrats would consider no regional modifications.

The head of Pioneer Center later told of his agency’s paying $12,50 per hour.

He pointed out that money to support services his agency provided were not increasing as fast as expenses.

State Senators Don DeWitte, Dan McConchie and Craig Wilcox told of the spring session.

McConchie told of being approached on the issue by spokespersons for nonprofits with similar complaints.

None were willing to go public, however, fearing retribution from the Pritzker Administration.

Wilcox also covered legalization of recreational marijuana.

New information is that people will not be able to smoke weed “out in public.”

Wilcox said he had entered the legislature open on the subject.

“Obviously, prohibition isn’t working.”

But he concluded that the expected revenue ($50 million a year) would not overcome the social costs.

A man in the audience related how his college roommate’ mind had severely deteriorated after a year’s use.

He called it “the dumbing down of everybody.”

McConchie told of taking a group of teens to Lake County Drug Court.

The Judge said most in front of her first used drugs at age 11.

Their first drug?

Marijuana.

McConchie also pointed out that Colorado spends $32 per student on education, while Illinois will be spending fifty cents per student.

McConchie also addressed the abortion legislation.

“It makes abortion a fundamental right,” he said, pointing out that abortion could occur “all nine months [of pregnancy] for essentially any reason.”

DeWitte, Republican Spokesman on the infrastructure committee, explained that the gas tax increase would, when adjusted for inflation, would be about the same as the 19 cent per gallon rate set in 1990 [by State Rep. Bob Churchill’s legislation].

He expressed some confidence that the new Lockbox Constitutional Amendment would prevent Springfield politicians from repeating the $7.8 billion diversion of road money to other uses.

That $7.8 billion take in from 2003-15 represents four years of road construction money.

The second half of the infrastructure legislation was for what was called “vertical” construction.

This was mainly for universities and will financed by increased gambling, a parking tax and a dollar a pack tax hike on cigarettes.

“It’s very easy to sit and vote “No,” DeWitte said…”but you run the risk of walking away with nothing.”

He suggested joining in on the negotiations helped kill ideas for a one cent a bottle of water, plus tax increases on alcohol, streaming and cable TV.

“Is this a great case of tax increases?

“Absolutely not.

“I voted my conscience, my district and my caucus.”

Referring to his district, DeWitte told of money he got to stop an unnamed sewage treatment plant in the southern part of his territory that was leaching sewage into the Fox River.

As to representing his caucus, he pointed out that many Downstate GOP Senators have universities in their districts.

“I view it as bringing your tax dollars back to the district.”

He also revealed that Democratic Party Senators were allocated $6 millioni in “member initiatives” [aka, pork], while Republican Senators got half that much.

McConchie pointed out that by 2024, Illinois would not be able to proide the 20% match needed for Federal grants.

What Is the Law for Temporarily Replacing Algonquin Township Supervisor Chuck Lutzow?

Algonquin Township Supervisor is laid up recovering from a stroke and the Algonquin Township Board rightfully need to find a way to get checks signed.

The Northwest Herald reported Tuesday that the intention is to hand the task off to the new Assessor.

Illinois Leaks questions whether such action will be legal in the following article, reprinted with permission:

Algonquin Township – The Circus continues

BY KIRK ALLEN ON JUNE 11, 2019 • ( LEAVE A COMMENT )

McHenry Co. (ECWd) –

Details in reporting are what matter most“, so says the Northwest Herald Editor Jon Styf.   We agree.

A recent report by the NWH informed the public that the Algonquin Township Board is going to appoint an interim Supervisor – Titled – Algonquin Township set to name interim supervisor

A minor detail missing is the fact there is no such authority for an appointment of an Interim Supervisor but rather a Deputy Supervisor with very limited powers.

An interim supervisor, if allowed, would be holding the actual office of Supervisor where a Deputy Supervisor is subordinate to the office and powers of an actual Supervisor.

An Important Detail that matters is missing:

A very important detail missing is the fact Richard Alexander is an elected official of the Township and the law forbids such an official to have any other employment in the township.

The position of Deputy Supervisor is a position of employment in the Township of which the compensation “shall” be determined by the board.

50 ILCS 105/2a (b) On and after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, a person elected to or appointed to fill a vacancy in an elected township position, including, but not limited to, a trustee, a supervisor, a highway commissioner, a clerk, an assessor, or a collector, shall not be employed by the township, except that a supervisor or trustee may serve as a volunteer firefighter and receive compensation for that service as provided in subsection (a). 

The Officers Prohibited Activities act spells out a very specific prohibition for elected Township officials, and it appears any appointment of the Assessor to the position of Deputy Supervisor would be a violation of that law unless he was to resign his elected position.

The appointment process and limiting powers is spelled out in the Township Code  60 ILCS 1/60-5 and states in part (c):

(c) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, whenever any township or multi-township office becomes vacant or temporarily vacant due to a physical incapacity of a township officer, the township or multi-township board may temporarily appoint a deputy to perform the ministerial functions of the vacant office until the physically incapacitated township officer submits a written statement to the appropriate board that he or she is physically able to perform his or her duty. The statement shall be sworn to before an officer authorized to administer oaths in this State. A temporary deputy shall not be permitted to vote at any meeting of the township board on any matter properly before the board. The compensation of a temporary deputy shall be determined by the appropriate board. The township board shall not appoint a deputy clerk if the township clerk has appointed a deputy clerk under Section 75-45.

Before some try to take the position Deputy Supervisor is not one of employment because he is going to hold this position without pay to help the township out, the law requires compensation to be set, which makes it clear the position is one of employment. 

Another applicable law also defines employee and it’s clear, pay or no pay, Deputy Supervisor position is one of employment.

  • The Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act defines what an employee includes.(745 ILCS 10/1-202) (from Ch. 85, par. 1-202) Sec. 1-202. “Employee” includes a present or former officer, member of a board, commission or committee, agent, volunteer, servant or employee, whether or not compensated, but does not include an independent contractor. (Source: P.A. 84-1431.)

Applying the plain language of the law, a person holding a position of Deputy Supervisor is an employee of the Township. 

That being the case, with or without compensation, that person can not hold that employment if they are also holding an elected office, in this case, the Office of Assessor.

Considering we agree that details in reporting are what matters most, we felt obligated to actually practice what was preached but clearly missed by the NWH in the reporting on Algonquin Township.

As the Circus Tent of Algonquin Township continues to provide circus acts, you can be assured we will continue reporting on it….with details!

.
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Allen Skillicorn Issues End-of-Session Report

From State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

End of Session, Events & More


Mobile Office Hours.

I will be holding mobile office hours this summer every other Wednesday to meet with constituents one-on-one on a first come, first served basis. Details for the two mobile office hours in June are below. Check RepSkillicorn.com for any changes and updates throughout the summer.

  • Wednesday, June 12th 7:00-8:00 PM | Crystal Lake Library | Conference Room | 126 Paddock Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014
  • Wednesday, June 26th 11:30 AM-12:30 PM| Randall Oaks Recreation Center | Conference Room | 500 Randall Rd, West Dundee, IL 60118

Read More Here.


Summer Reading Club.

If you have a child or grandchild in kindergarten through 5th grade, I am offering my 2019 Summer Reading Club as a great way to keep kids intellectually engaged over their summer vacation. To be a member, children are asked to read eight books (books over 150 pages count for two) between the time school ends and the program deadline of August 2. Children who achieve this goal will receive an official Certificate of Recognition and be invited to join me and their fellow students for an ice cream party at the end of summer. The program can be done in conjunction with any program already in existence at a child’s school, or offered through the public library in their community. Participation brochures are available at my District Office in Crystal Lake or can be downloaded from my website.  Read More Here.


End of Session town hall.

Join me on June 20, 2019 from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Algonquin Village Hall for an end of session town hall. The House concluded session on June 1 after passing a huge package of regressive taxes on the back of one of the furthest leftward swings in state history. I will present information about the good, the bad and the ugly of the session and its impact on Illinois residents.  Read More Here.


Responding to tax hike passage.

Over 30 years of domination by the Democrat majority has brought Illinois to the brink of fiscal ruin. We have over $150 billion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities, $6 billion in backlogged bills with $8 billion that was bonded out to pay it down, we are one tick above junk bond level, and I could go on and on. Promises have been made and broken. In 2011, a ‘temporary tax’ hike to solve all of our fiscal woes was passed without any reforms. Then, again in 2017 a permanent tax hike was passed without any reform. Were our pension burdens actually addressed? Was the bill backlog erased? Did we fix the structural deficit in our budget? Did our bond rating improve? The answer to all of these questions is – no, of course not. It will now be up to the people of Illinois to decide if they trust their politicians to keep their promises.  Read More Here.


Calling out regressive taxes.

During debate on the budget and tax legislation that passed in Springfield, I called out the proposals for hammering Illinoisans with regressive taxes.  Watch the Video Here.


Calling out gun bill infringements.

Speaking during floor debate of SB 1966, I called out the legislation for exorbitant fee increases to create a slush fund at the expense of law-abiding gun owners.  Watch the Video Here.


Voting power for foreign students is slippery slope.

During floor debate of SB 172 to allow foreign students at to hold voting positions in student government, which includes university expenditures, I warned that it opens the door to non-citizens voting in Illinois.  Watch the Video Here.



Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of Skillicorn’s Scoop. If you have any questions or concerns about anything you have read, or suggestions on stories you would like to hear about, please feel free to contact me at (815) 893-4884 or [email protected].

Dems Pushing Property Tax Relief

How many times did McHenry County State Rep. Jack Franks pass bills freezing real estate taxes?

As many times as the State Senate let them die.

Now Governor JB Pritzker is touting how he will “think big” about property tax relief.

Front page of the Chicago Tribune yesterday:

Considering the Democrats, many, if not most coming from local governments refused to freeze property taxes, should one get one’s hopes up that Democrats will cut property taxes?

Remember Jack Franks’ promise to cut homeowners real estate taxes by 10% NOW three years ago?

Lying Jack Franks Cut 10 campaign promise was a bait and switch.

Would anyone whose property tax bill has been cut 10% please tell readers about it in the comment section.

And, new commenters, please remember that I must approve the first comment one makes.

McHenry County College Keeps Solar Project in the Dark

At the last McHenry County College Board Committee of the Whole meeting college President Clint Gabbard proposed a deal with a prospective Marengo solar farm.

Wanting details about winners and losers, I filed a Freedom of Information request asking for

“documents concerning the Marengo solar panel project, proposal.

“Please provide the people who have invested in the project and the owners of the land where it is proposed.”

The reply was 28 pages of mainly black redactions.

In the chain of emails, the word “Marengo” appears no where.

Below is a May 15th email that is typical of the lack of transparency:

The State Power Agency says that neither of the two proposed solar farms in Marengo was selected in the agency’s “adjustable Block Program project lottery, held on April 10th; this lottery process determined which community solar projects would be receiving renewable energy credit contracts under the Adjustable Block Program (developed pursuant to 20 ILCS 3855/1-75(c) and the IPA’s Long-Term Renewable Resources Procurement Plan).”

Both were Central Road [Energy] projects.

Project applications for Illinois Solar for All are still being received.

That category is a low-income solar incentive program for which non-profits and public facilities can operate as “anchor tenants” to a primarily low-income community solar project.

Presumably that is what the MCC Board is being asked to approve and keeping top secret.

SWAT Training Monday on Pyott Road in LITH

From the Lake in the Hills Police DepartmentL

Notice of Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT Team Training in LITH on Monday, June 10th

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Multi-Jurisdictional SWAT team will be holding another field exercise training all-day on Monday, June 10th, beginning at 8:00 am at the vacant Village-owned building located at 1111 Pyott Road in Lake in the Hills

This training will involve a large police presence at the site.

If you see police activity and hear noise from this location, it is part of the training exercises.

Training in progress signs will be prominently displayed in the area on Pyott Road. 

Algonquin Township Agenda Hints that Board Violated Open Meetings Act

The Algonquin Township Board has scheduled still another Special Meeting, this time at 5 on Wednesday afternoon.

Take a look at the meeting agenda:

Included in new business is

  • the appointment of a Deputy Supervisor to take Chuck Lutzow’s place while he convalesces
  • the handing off of some court cases, presumably to Rockford attorney John Nelson (who handled Grafton Township Linda Moore’s recapture of duties the Grafton Township Board tried to assign to a Township Administrator its members appointed) and
  • approval of the already filed settlements of tax protest court cases that apparently need to be approved in open session, rather than behind closed doors.

The court papers, as one can see below, were approved by McHenry County Circuit Judge Thomas Meyer last month on May 24th.

Case 16TX30 has a court date for a decision from Judge Meyer on June 18, 2019.

Skillicorn Announces Local Staff Visits

From State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Mobile Office Hours

Crystal Lake, IL – Representative Skillicorn will be holding mobile office hours this summer every other Wednesday to meet with constituents one on one on a first come, first serve basis.

Details are as follows (please check repskillicorn.com for any changes):

Wednesday, June 12th 7:00-8:00 PM | Crystal Lake Library | Conference Room | 126 Paddock Street, Crystal Lake, IL 60014 

Wednesday, June 26th 11:30 AM-12:30 PM| Randall Oaks Recreation Center | Conference Room | 500 Randall Rd, West Dundee, IL 60118

Wednesday, July 10th 7:00-8:00 PM | Algonquin Library | Study Room D | 2600 Harnish Dr., Algonquin, IL 60102

Wednesday, July 24th 12:00 -1:00 PM| Huntley Library | Program Room | 11000 Ruth Road, Huntley, IL 60142

Wednesday, August 14th 7:00-8:00 PM | Fox Valley Library | Room TBD | 555 Barrington Avenue, East Dundee, IL 60118

Wednesday, August 28th 11:30 AM-12:30 PM | Gilberts | Location TBD 

For more information, call 815-893-4884 or email [email protected].

Casten Opponent Branding Him as Extremist

From Republican Congressional candidate Evelyn Sanguinetti:

Sean Casten Out of Touch With 6th District Voters

Casten votes in lockstep with the most extreme members of his party

Sean Casten

It comes as no surprise that Sean Casten shares almost identical voting records with the most extreme members of his party.

Sean Casten votes with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, self-described Socialists, 95% and 97% of the time while trying to pass himself off as a centrist.

Casten also votes 99% of the time with Jan Schakowsky, Illinois’ most liberal member.

“Casten is no centrist. In his short time in Congress, Casten has already cozied up to the extremists in his party by sharing almost identical voting records,” said Clay Godfrey, Sanguinetti campaign spokesman.

“Voters in the 6th congressional district want someone to represent their values, not a lockstep liberal who kowtows to the most extreme wing of their party.”

Background:

Sean Casten And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Have Voted The Same Way 95% Of The Time. (ProPublica, Accessed 6/6/19)

Sean Casten And Rashida Tlaib Have Voted The Same Way 97% Of The Time. (ProPublica, Accessed 6/6/19)

·       Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And Rashida Tlaib Are Members Of The Democratic Socialists Of America. “And so, as the presumptive winner this fall, Tlaib would join Cortez, another presumptive winner from a heavily blue district, in representing DSA among national lawmakers.” (Gideon Resnick, “There Will Now Likely Be Two Democratic Socialists of America Members in Congress,” The Daily Beast, 8/9/18)

Sean Casten And Jan Schakowsky Have Voted The Same Way 99% Of The Time. (ProPublica, Accessed 6/6/19)

·       Jan Schakowsky Is The Most Liberal Member Of The Illinois Congressional Delegation. (GovTrack, Accessed 6/6/19) 

Looks Like Feds Letting Corrupt Chicago Alderman Keep His Pension

Reading the Chicago Tribune article on the plea deal proposed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and former Chicago Alderman Willie Cochran finds that the crime to which he is pleading guilty involves his ward’s charity fund.

That has nothing to do with his official duties as Alderman.

The story includes the following:

In return for the guilty plea, federal prosecutors dropped 14 of the 15 counts against Cochran, including the most serious charges alleging the alderman shook down businessmen in exchange for his support on deals in his 20th Ward.

Only felonies having to do with official corruption lead a former public official to lose his government pension.