IL-06: Is Sean Casten Being Punished in IL Congressional Remap after Insulting West Virginia, and Senator Joe Manchin?

Sean Casten
Joe Manchin

Or is reason Casten lost seniority tiebreaker & now in potential primary with Congresswoman Marie Newman result of not passing his sponsored bills into law

One of the surprise moves with the late Saturday afternoon release of the latest draft Illinois congressional map was the proposed IL-06 combining 2-term Congressman Sean Casten (D, Downers Grove) with freshman Congresswoman Marie Newman (D, LaGrange).

How did Casten, one of three 2-term Democrats in the Illinois congressional delegation, lose the “tiebreaker” and now might face an incumbent Democrat in next year’s Democratic primary?

The other two sophomore Democrats are Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D, IL-04) and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D, IL-14).

Newman being the only freshman Democratic Member, loses any seniority debate, so she receives no favors. Her complaining vocally, and urging her supporters to do so last week in Springfield to protest the 1st draft, was not met well by the Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) Democrats.

But with three Members with equal seniority, there’s a tie for Casten, Garcia and Underwood.

Garcia is exempt, because he represents the Hispanic voting age population IL-04.

Casten and Underwood were “frontliners” who successfully flipped red districts in 2018, and successfully won reelection last year.

Casten might have shot himself in the foot with this following unwise quote to POLITICO on the “human infrastructure” bill last Monday, as U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D, WV) fights for coal miners from his home state from being negatively impacted by climate change planks.

In case you missed it:

“If you came and said to me, ‘We will pass the CEPP [Clean Energy Performance Program] as written but we will exempt West Virginia from it,’ I would take that deal.

“Do I think that’s possible? I mean, probably not, but that would be acceptable, right? Because West Virginia is an irrelevant part of our economy.”

Congressman Sean Casten, POLITICO, 10/18/21 emphasis added

.

Not the first time Casten has insulted a fellow member of Congress and/or their constituents. Readers here remember little over two years ago, Casten called Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R, TX-02) a “racist”, from the safe distance at an Illinois town hall meeting, as covered by multiple media outlets including McHenry County Blog.

West Virginia’s Manchin, along with Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D, AZ), are the two holdout Senators who can make, or break, President Biden’s agenda, and the President called both Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D, NY) to his home in Delaware to bring the human infrastructure negotiations with Manchin to closure, nearing the $1.5 trillion price tag Manchin told Schumer back in late July.

And while Democratic leaders in ILGA are determining what the congressional remap would look like, Casten’s timing could not be any worse.

But there’s another, potential reason for Casten losing to Underwood and having to face a primary against an incumbent Democrat member of the U.S. House.

Sponsoring legislation and having it pass the House AND Senate and being signed into law:

  • Underwood: 3 sponsored bills
    • One stand-alone (H.R. 2372, 116th Congress) signed into law by President Trump, October of 2020
    • Two Underwood sponsored bills (H.R. 3525 (two components), H.R. 5444 116th Congress) becoming law through FY 2021 appropriations legislation)
  • Casten: 0 sponsored bills

Underwood’s metrics and results shows, through nearly the middle of both Members’ 2nd terms, Underwood has proven she can get things done.

Therefore, in my honest opinion, Underwood won the tiebreaker over Casten with a better record of winning passage of her legislation into law.

Possible Rauner Lt. Governor Choice Running with Bill Brady Instead, Maria Rodriguez, R.I.P.

In 2013, Maria Rodriguez attended Irene Napier’s Pro-Life Pig Roast. Here she talks with Nancy Cole of Crystal Lake.

When GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauer campaigned at the Turnberry Country Club, Marie Rodriguez was in attendance.

She told me she had been approached by Rauner to be his running mate, but was undecided.

Maria Rodriguez chats with U.S. Senator Jim DeMint at the 2010 Family PAC Cruise.

Perhaps the reason was that Rauner was not Pro-Life, although Rauner attended the same Pig Roast, along qith all the other GOP gubernatorial hopefuls.

She obviously decided not to take rauner’s offer, running with Bill Brady instead.

Maria Rodriguez and Bill Brady hold a spirited conversationin 2010 on board while 32nd Ward Republican Committeeman John Curry, now a Cook County Cirtuit Court Judge from the Barrington area, observes.

She now has died at age 62.

In 2010, she ran for the Republican nomination for Congress in thr 8th District, a contest won by Joe Walsh.

Here is her obituary:

Maria Rodriguez

Maria Dolores Rodriguez (nee Rengers), age 62, of Long Grove for 33 years. Beloved wife of Raymond “Ray” Rodriguez for 41 years.

Loving mother of Leah (Ryan) McKeithan, Raymond Rodriguez Jr., and Sophia (Christopher) Dahle.

Dear grandmother of Dean and Dylan.

Cherished daughter of Dolores (nee Geisler) and the late Leo Rengers.

Fond sister of David (Debi) Rengers, Anthony “AJ” (Brenda) Rengers, Alexander (Maria) Rengers, Barbara (Thomas) Labotka, and John Rengers. Aunt, Cousin and Friend of Many.

Maria grew up in Glenview, IL graduated from Marillac High School and University of Illinois, Chicago.

She was the past Village President, Trustee and Clerk of Long Grove.

She served as liturgical coordinator for St. Mary Parish, Buffalo Grove and was active in the Chicago Diocese.

For 23 years, Maria was shepherd to a herd of livestock in Long Grove.

She was proud to be a published author and an esteemed public speaker.

Maria battled cancer and kept her positive spirit until her final breath.

She passed away peacefully surrounded by her adoring family. Maria will be deeply missed by her family, her dog Truman and multitude of friends.

Memorial Visitation Wednesday, 3-8 pm at Kolssak Funeral Home, 189 S. Milwaukee Ave. (2 Blocks South of Dundee Road), Wheeling. Memorial Mass Thursday, 12:30 pm at St. Mary Catholic Church, 10 N. Buffalo Grove Road, Buffalo Grove, IL. In lieu of flowers donations to donor’s favorite charity.

To leave a condolence or for more information, visit www.funerals.pro or call 847-537-6600.

Kennedy Assasination Record Release Delayed by Another President

First President Donal Trump failed to release records from over fifty years go about the Dallas assination of Prsident John F. Kennedy.

Now, on a Friday (the day reporters take off early), President Joe Biden has followed suit.

So, was the CIA involved?

And, how much longe than fifty-eight years could a bureaucracy trying to hide things take?

GOP Gubernatorial Hopeful Christopher Roper Attends Dundee Township GOP Picnic

The same day as the Johnsburg Sofen und Spiel Parade, the Dundee Township Republican Party had a picnic fundraiser at Rnadall Oaks Park.

That was September 11th.

Christopher Roper

As I arrived, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Christopher Roper was leaving.

He lives in Central Illinois, has served in the U.S. Army, has six chijldren.

His literature says, “When ihe is not studying/following politics, like he has been doing since he was a teenager, he enjoys hunting, fishing, singing and gaming..”

He was raised on a dairy and crop farm. Roper started at the bottom with Hardee’s/Doro Inc and worked his way up to a position as a successful turnaround specialist.”

He targets corruption, saying his experience in law enforcement.

He has one line on his issue section that is creative:

“When elected I will stop throwing money around like candy at a parade.”

His background reminds me a lot of Darrren Bailey’s, stressing his Christian and Pro-Live values.

UPDATEDx3: New Congressional Map Version Shreds McHenry County into Five Districts plus Dave Wasserman Interview

Dave Wasserman (L) and Ally Mutnick

UPDATE 10/24/21: Last Wednesday, I attended University of Chicago’s Insitute of Politics forum titled, “Drawing Districts: It’s Not Just for the Hunger Games” with Cook Political Report with Amy Walter Senior U.S. House Editor Dave Wasserman and POLITICO‘s U.S. House reporter Ally Mutnick co-chairing discussion including remote guests Adam Kincaid of the National Republican Redistricting Trust and Kelly Burton of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee.

After the hour and 20 minute program and after the crowd had left the room, Mr. Wasserman kindly gave me 10 minutes of his time to talk about Illinois’ congressional remap.

Wasserman compared Illinois Democrats in the General Assembly (ILGA) with Texas Republicans in the Texas State Legislature whose objective, in spite of flowery words ILGA Democrats use like “diversity” of Illinois, both states’ majority leadership drew maps to maximize their respective party’s advantage in the composition of the state delegation sent to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Texas Republicans got to draw and are about to approve a congressional map dividing 38 districts, as Texas received two new House seats in the 2020 Census. ILGA Democrats are drawing a map with 17 districts, having lost a House seat with the Census.

Given the backdrop, Wasserman sees multiple opportunities for Democrat infighting, which has played out since the issuance of the first draft congressional map on October 15, and playing out in the 2nd release on October 23.

ILGA Democrats have competing interests, including:

  • Census data to justify a 2nd Hispanic U.S. House district
  • Pressure to elect the most Democrats possible in 2022 in order for the U.S. House to remain in Democrat control
    • Give Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (D, Naperville) an easier path to reelection – no more close calls like in 2020
  • Draw a map with a way to make freshman Republican Congresswoman Mary Miller (Oakland) a one termer
  • Governor JB Pritzker: Make sure Republican Congressmen Rodney Davis (Taylorsville) and/or Adam Kinzinger (Channahon) don’t run for governor in 2022

Wasserman agreed with most of the above list, and shared with me an astonishing possibility if some of the above were not achieved — a potential public veto threat, particularly if the 2nd Hispanic district is not part of the new congressional map.

Definitely, one can read into a real, unspoken reason for a veto threat to include the governor’s last bulletpoint objective not being met could also draw a veto threat.

Given the 2nd map draft released late Saturday afternoon, the ILGA Democrats and Governor Pritzker appeared to all have compromised, while the governor appears to have gotten his way.

Why is Republican Congressman Rodney Davis the only one of the 5 Republicans in the U.S. House from Illinois the not drawn into a district against another Republican congressional incumbent? Looks like Governor Pritzker is more concerned about a Davis Republican gubernatorial bid then a possible Kinzinger statewide bid.

So the two Republicans drawn into the new IL-16, Kinzinger and Congressman Darin LaHood (R, Peoria) will decide who will seek reelection to the House, and who will run for something else next year, most likely U.S. Senate or another statewide office other than governor.

According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings through September 30, LaHood had $3.9 million in the bank, while Kinzinger had $3.3 million. Definitely enough federal campaign funds to launch a U.S. Senate bid in 2022.

Yup, JB Pritzker got his way.

Below is the updated tote board for Legacy IL-16 candidates FEC filings, with the version 2 map district of residence for each candidate, if known, applied:

REMINDER: The version 2 ILGA Democrats’ draft map may not be the final version voted on by the ILGA this coming week. While the v2 map is close to the final version, there could be some tweaks before final passage.

=====================

From Senior U.S. House Editor Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report with Amy Walter tweets shortly after 5PM CDT Saturday, 10/23/21:

“Breaking: As predicted, IL Dems have revised their proposal to a safer, more aggressive 14D-3R gerrymander. It’s still about as ugly as before, though.”

On the 2nd official draft, McHenry County is split between 5 congressional districts:

  • IL-08: Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D, Schaumburg)
    • portions of Grafton Township including part of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills and all of Lakewood
  • IL-09: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D, Chicago)
    • southern Algonquin Township including villages of Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Cary and Fox River Grove
  • IL-10: Congressman Brad Schneider (D, Lake Bluff)
    • northern McHenry County including Richmond, Burton and Hebron Townships plus village of Bull Valley
  • IL-11: Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville)
    • All of the cities of Crystal Lake, McHenry and Woodstock
    • All of the village of Huntley (both McHenry and Kane counties)
    • Riley, Coral, Marengo and western half of Grafton townships
    • Home of Catalina Lauf’s parents which is Lauf’s address, continuing her political unicorn year
  • IL-16: Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R, Channahon) and Darin LaHood (R, Peoria)
    • City of Harvard
    • Chemung, Alden, Dunham and Hebron townships
Official Illinois General Assembly Draft Congressional Map, 10/23/21

Wasserman tweets continue:

“As I hinted last Sunday, this version creates a new, much-anticipated Latino seat (IL-03, no incumbent) on the north side of Chicago.

“But, it would do so by merging the homes of Reps. Marie Newman (D) and Sean Casten (D) in a reconfigured (IL-06) [along with former Congressman Dan Lipinski].

“This version also (very blatantly) merges the homes of Reps. Mary Miller (R) and Mike Bost (R) in a new #IL12, and puts Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R)’s house into IL-16 so he’d technically be paired with [current] IL-18 Rep. Darin LaHood (R) in this proposed version of IL-16.

“Here’s why I’d consider this new 14D-3R proposal a “safer,” more brutal partisan play (vs. first draft):

#IL03 Newman (D) – Biden +12 (Biden +6)
#IL14: Underwood (D) – Biden +12 (Biden +8)
#IL17: Bustos (D) – Biden +9 (Biden +6)”

This is the first map version where both Congressman Sean Casten and Congresswoman Lauren Underwood are completely removed from McHenry County, and Casten has been paired with Congresswoman Marie Newman (D, LaGrange) in a very possible Democratic primary.

Illinois Democrats also made sure former Congressman Dan Lipinski would not be a problem, making sure his Chicago home drawn into the proposed IL-06.

Official Illinois General Assembly Draft Congressional Map, 10/23/21

In case you missed it, Chicago Sun-Times‘ D.C. Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet’s notes from a meeting in Washington among 11 of the 13 U.S. House Democrats, led by Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D, IL-02), also Democratic Party of Illinois Chair.

With the draft map released Saturday, and the notes reported here, one can see which points were accurate and reflected in the latest draft congressional map.

Message of the Day – A Parade Entry

In the 2021 McHenry Fiesta Days Parade local Cathoic Churches joined in an entry.

The banner for Sait Mary, Saint Patrick and Holy Apolrles Catholic Churches.

Behind the banner was a float:

Float for Catholic Churces in McHenry’s Fiesta Days Parade in 2021.
On the back of the float was a guitsr player who was singing.

Behind the float were people walking.

An acrostic on the back of a tee shirt read “TEACHER.”

Next came a golf cart.

The sign says, “We have Faith. We have love. We have hope.”

Saint Patrick’s Church has a separate banner.

St. Patrick’s banner.

Treasurer Glenda Miller’s PAC Makes Two Expenditures, One Contribution

Retiring McHenry County Treasurer Glenda Miller had $8,403.10 at the beginning of July

She spent $200 as a sponsorship for H E R S of Harvard and was a $250 hole sponsor for the Marian Central Catholic High School Golf Outing.

There was $225 contributions of under $150.01 which partially offset here expenditures.

Now she has $5,883.69 in the bank.

IL-16: As Catalina Lauf Becomes 2022 Political Unicorn, is Twitter Exchange with Reporter Portend of how a Congresswoman Lauf would be?

Catalina Lauf

From the desk of John Lopez: Before beginning this article of observations of an online exchange on Twitter between Republican congressional candidate Catalina Lauf (R, Woodstock) and Daily Herald reporter Russell Lissau this past week, some readers may not know what a “political unicorn” is, as it’s a relative new term to describe a political candidate.

A “political unicorn” is a candidate who at the outset, didn’t appear to have a chance to win an election, but when the final ballots are counted, everything had fallen into place for them and they win.

Think Lauren Underwood’s (D, IL-14) election in 2018 to the U.S. House, as well as her narrow but successful reelection in 2020, thanks in large part to IL-14 being overrated in Underwood’s favor, keeping out-of-state money from helping nominee Jim Oberweis (R, Sugar Grove).

Think Madison Cawthorn’s (R, NC-11) or Lauren Boebert’s (R, CO-03) successful elections in 2020, or U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D, GA), thanks to a Libertarian candidate last November preventing then U.S. Senator David Perdue (R, GA) from achieving 50% of the vote, forcing a general election runoff Ossoff won on January 5.

Catalina Lauf’s long game she’s played since taking a big risk and launching her congressional campaign February 23 finds the Woodstock native shaping up to be a political unicorn for 2022 for the following reasons:

  • By challenging Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R, IL-16) in late February and with aggressive, though expensive high burn rate fundraising campaign against Kinzinger’s January 13 vote to impeach then President Donald Trump, Lauf’s raised over $791K cash through September 30, and is on track to raise $1 million by the end of 2021, starting 2022 as a “proven fundraiser” attractive for super PAC investments (her likely banking less than $300K by year end inconsequential at this point) plus significant earned media in the past 7 1/2 months
  • Census data delay preventing new congressional districts from being drawn allowing Lauf to run an exclusive fundraising campaign, postponing retail campaigning including multiple parade and other retail campaign appearances over the spring and summer
  • Illinois Democrats appear unable to stretch heavily Democratic congressional districts from Cook County to envelope all of McHenry County, which will result in Lauf’s home with her parents in Woodstock being drawn into a competitive district, either IL-14 and a possible general matchup with Lauren Underwood (D, Naperville per the first official draft map), IL-11 and a possible matchup with Congressman Bill Foster (D, Naperville) or possibly IL-06, for possible matchup against Congressman Sean Casten (D, Downers Grove)
  • Kinzinger being drawn into a different congressional district removing Lauf from facing Kinzinger in the primary, and his $3.3 million and counting in cash-on-hand but being able to fundraise off of Kinzinger for nearly a year
  • Kinzinger making an ass out of himself (in more ways than siding with Democrats) with his crocodile tears performance on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D, CA-12) select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Riots
  • Most other potential Republican candidates for Congress in northern Illinois either don’t have the resources to mount a credible campaign, or simply are not interested in running in 2022

With political unicorn context aside, Lauf did an immature thing and was, in my honest opinion very disrespectful being condescending in answering questions posed through Twitter by Russell Lissau, senior writer for Daily Herald Media Group. Here’s the quote tweet from Lauf this past Tuesday, October 19 of Lissau’s initial tweet when he was seeking an answer to questions:

So Lauf, instead of taking this kind of question private, or having a member of her campaign team respond to Lissau privately, takes a screenshot from an email nearly 3 months old, and shares her brow beating a veteran reporter with her 158K Twitter followers, and made an absurd public warning to Lissau about local reporters “carrying water” for Kinzinger.

Nick Grigoletti

Clearly Lauf missed Lissau’s coverage of the IL-14 general election last year when he publicly on video called out Congresswoman Lauren Underwood for stating an untruth that three of her bills had been signed into law by President Trump.

The “Nick” Lauf’s email screenshot refers to is Nick Grigoletti, Lauf’s campaign manager and according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings, the only member of her campaign team (thus far) based in Illinois. Grigoletti was elected as an alternate delegate for President Trump to the Republican National Convention last year from the 4th Congressional District.

He relocated to Woodstock in the past year, presumably after taking the Lauf gig.

Here are Lissau’s professional responses in Twitter since the Tuesday tweet Lauf sent:

Reasonable response and Lissau continued:

And being thorough, Lissau tweeted the next day (Wednesday):

Russell Lissau was the professional with Lauf. Sad Lauf wasn’t professional with him.

By the time Lissau’s Wednesday tweet reply was sent, Lauf was on her way to south Florida (per a Wednesday night Instagram post with location from Miami).

Through Friday, Lissau’s Daily Herald story on the IL-16 race he was seeking questions from Lauf has not been published.

As I said above, Lauf’s condescending public tweet to Lissau betrayed the 28 year old still has some growing up to do, particularly when treating people with respect.

Lauf clearly has a communication issue on her campaign team, as I know first hand how unreliable Lauf’s campaign manager has been since early to mid August, as I included in notes on McHenry County Blog articles, he doesn’t follow-up, or at very least shows respect to let someone know, as a professional, they cannot respond to questions and provide an estimate when they’ll answer.

Jim Oberweis

Remembering the 7-person Republican primary field in IL-14 in 2020, many write-off Jim Oberweis’ winning as simply the result of the crowded field or Oberweis’ name ID.

Putting all of the jokes commenters say of Oberweis aside, the explanations oversimplify the truth.

A reason Oberweis had name ID, and was backed by nearly all of the local Republican leadership in IL-14, was because over the years, Oberweis showed respect to people, and he knew how to treat people with respect. I know first hand about this, as he has treated me with respect, even when questioning coverage I’ve written he doesn’t agree.

Oberweis’ respectful treatment of people is a good reason why Oberweis hasn’t lost a primary since 2006, winning nominations/elections over the likes of then state Senator Chris Lauzen (IL-14 2008), future Kane County Board Chair Corinne Pierog (state senate 2012, 2016), state Senator Sue Rezin (2020) and Lauf.

Oberweis could probably win a primary for U.S. House next year if he were to run.

Hopefully, Lauf and her campaign team will solve the communications issues with mainstream media, and anyone else asking questions, in the near future. If Lauf and her team continue to show disrespect they’ve done over recent months, one can imagine should Lauf win election to Congress, either next year or further in the future, what a Congresswoman Lauf will be like with constituent services.

Female Republican State Senators Oppose Repeal for Abortion Notification for Parents

Frlm State Senator Sue Rezin:

Capitol press conference.

Protecting the rights of parents…

“As a mother of two daughters, I strongly believe it is a parent’s right to be made aware of their daughter’s health and their healthcare decisions.

If parents are left in the dark, we will not be able to provide them with the support and care during one of their most difficult times in their life.

That is why I intend to stand up for every parent in Illinois and fight against any attempt to erode the Parental Notice of Abortion Act,” said Sen. Rezin.

The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act requires that parents of minors be notified before their child receives an abortion procedure.

Currently, the law simply stipulates that a parent be informed of the procedure. Parents are not required to provide consent.

IL-14: Underwood Makes Remap Fundraising Pitch

From the campaign of Congresswoman Lauren Underwood comes this email:

BREAKING REDISTRICTING UPDATE:

​​“Democrats could have added more protection for Rep. Lauren Underwood, who barely won a second term in 2020.”
–Chicago Sun-Times

Friends,

Lauren Underwood’s voice is one of the most important in Congress today. She’s a pragmatic progressive who knows how to effectively work to advance our shared values. But if the current map becomes law, Lauren would remain one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country!

It’s our responsibility to ensure that our campaign is prepared to organize like never before, WIN another historic election, and send Lauren back to Washington.

Can you add a grassroots donation to our Redistricting Fund so we can be ready to introduce Lauren to voters in our new congressional district?

If you’ve saved your payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately:

The Chicago Sun-Times makes one thing very clear: “Illinois Democrats in Congress have NO power over mapmaking.”

That’s right, team. All we can do at this point is wait for the redistricting process to play out in the Illinois legislature and be ready to put our pedal to the metal and organize in our new communities once the maps become law.In the meantime, we’re continuing to engage our existing voters, building our base of volunteers, and raising the resources we’ll need to communicate with new folks once those maps become law.

That’s where your help comes in!

Click here to make a donation to our Redistricting Fund today to make sure we can properly introduce Lauren to the NEW IL-14!

Thanks,
Team Underwood

Pritzker Goes after Another Licensed Profession on Coronavirus Vaccinations

When I was in the Illinois House of Representatives in thq 1970’s , Illinois had more licensed professionals than any other state.

It seems that Governor JB Pritzker’s people have decided to target one of the largest groups for Covid vaccination: day care workers.

Here is the press release:

Gov. Pritzker Issues Executive Order to Protect Young Children Not Eligible for the COVID-19 Vaccine

Building on Vaccination Progress, Gov Announces Vaccine or Testing Requirements for Licensed Daycare Centers

CHICAGO – To prevent further spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and safety of Illinois’ youngest residents, Governor JB Pritzker joined Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Department of Human Services Secretary Grace Hou, and Department of Childhood and Family Services Director Marc Smith today to announce new vaccination or weekly testing requirements for individuals who work in licensed day care centers.

Over 55,000 daycare center staff statewide will now be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they have not done so already. Employees in these settings who are unable or unwilling to receive the vaccine will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once per week. Increased testing frequency may be required in certain situations.

“Vaccinations offer life-saving protection for the people who receive them and make the community safer for the people who can’t – including the babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine,” said Governor JB Pritzker. 

Covid-19 deaths by age group as of October 21, 2021. Still none under age 20.

“By extending vaccine-or-test requirements to those who work at licensed day care centers, we are adding another level of protection for our youngest residents and preventing outbreaks in daycare centers as more and more parents return to work.”

To ensure Illinois youth who are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are protected, all licensed daycare center staff in Illinois will be required to receive their first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 3, 2021, and the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series by January 3, 2022.  Any daycare center staff members who are not fully vaccinated by December 3, 2021, will have to do, at a minimum, weekly COVID-19 testing until they are fully vaccinated.

Licensed daycare centers are child care facilities licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The centers are operated outside an individual’s home and regularly provide child care for groups of children ages 0-12. There are 2,872 licensed day care centers in Illinois.

“For continued, ongoing protection of our youth not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, this Executive Order is the best way to protect the lives of thousands of Illinoisans,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found the COVID-19 vaccine will avoid serious illness, hospitalization, and even death.”

“Thanks to Governor Pritzker’s leadership, the requirement for vaccination will help our daycare workers who are the woven fabrics of our communities across the state put their health first and best protect children,” said Grace B. Hou, Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services. “Our goals are simple. We want to keep our youth protected from COVID-19 in every way possible.”

“Parents and families across Illinois trust daycare staff with the health and safety of their young children every day. Vaccinated daycare workers offer another level of protections and an increased level of comfort for parents and caregivers whose infants and toddlers are not yet eligible for the vaccine,” said Marc D. Smith, Director, Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

These requirements build on the Pritzker Administration’s existing vaccination or regular testing requirements for all Pre-K-12 teachers and staff; all higher education personnel; all higher education students; and healthcare workers in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, nursing homes, urgent care facilities, and physician offices, which were announced on August 26th, 2021.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted communities across the state, especially communities of color, over the last year and a half. I commend Governor Pritzker for his ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of all Illinois residents,” said Senator Paciones-Zayas (D-Chicago). “This Executive Order will keep our youngest constituents safe while ensuring our critical daycare center staff are protected as well.”

“The COVID- 19 pandemic has disproportionately affected vulnerable populations and communities of color. As such, Illinois Action for Children & many of our partner organizations who provide child care services have already mandated the vaccine for our staff. We welcome this mandate from the Governor as we do all we can to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and prioritize the health and safety of our staff and the families we serve,” said April Janney, President and CEO of Illinois Action for Children.

“As child care providers and staff, we have to do what we can to protect families’ children. Parents want to know their children are safe in our care. We also want to protect the financial security of our staff, and of our center, and the vaccine can help us do that to get to a healthier, more stable future,” said Dr. Jill Andrews, Founder & Administrator, Kiddie Kollege of Fairfield.

“The COVID-19 vaccine helps protect our early childhood workforce,” said Marcy Mendenhall, President & CEO, SAL Family and Community Services. “I applaud Governor Pritzker for his ongoing commitment to protecting the health and safety of all Illinois residents, especially our youngest Illinoisans.”

“Child care teachers and providers aren’t just protecting themselves with the vaccine, they’re protecting others, including the children they care for. Many of us get flu shots every year, and we should do the same for the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Brenda Crisp, Executive Director, Uni Pres Kindercottage. “Let’s get vaccinated, or get tested, so that we can protect ourselves, the children we care for, and our futures.”

“As leaders in the community, we have a responsibility to keep ourselves, the children we care for and our community safe,” said Dara Munson, President & CEO of Family Focus. “We continue to fight COVID-19 – and vaccination is the best step to do just that. I am always inspired by our caregivers and this is a moment to demonstrate that the health and safety of everyone, especially our youth, comes first.”

On August 4th, 2021, Governor Pritzker announced vaccinations would be required for all state employees who work in the state’s congregate facilities, including individuals at the Illinois Departments of Human Services (IDHS), Corrections (IDOC), Veterans Affairs (IDVA) and Juvenile Justice (IDJJ).

A masking requirement for all Pre-K-12 schools and childcare facilities, including indoor P-12 recreation, has been in effect in Illinois since August 4, 2021.

To slow the spread of the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant, all Illinois residents over the age of two have been required to wear a mask in all indoor settings since August 30, 2021 regardless of vaccination status.

Vaccination is the key to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that from June through September 2021, approximately 90,000 COVID-19 deaths among adults may have been prevented if they had received the vaccine. All Illinois residents 12 years old and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost and proof of immigration status is not required to receive the vaccine. To find a vaccination center near you, go to vaccines.gov.

= = = = =

Will insurance agents be next? After all, they interact with people of ages who have actually died.

Republican State Rep. Uses Bully Pulpit to Expose Democrat’s Bill to Allow Inmates to Vote

From The Center Square:

Legislator pushes bill to allow inmates to vote from prison

(The Center Square) – A state Representative says his bill to allow convicted felons behind bars to vote absentee in elections will pass the House. A state Senator doesn’t see it happening.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, said his amendment to House Bill 828 would make Illinois the third state in the nation to allow convicted felons behind bars to vote in elections.

That includes convicted murderers, Ford said.

“It means that anyone that’s incarcerated in one of our prisons in our state will have the ability to cast their ballot,” Ford told WMAY.

If the measure becomes law, the prisoner would cast an absentee ballot for the jurisdiction of their home address.

“Our goal is to not make people worse when they go into our prisons, it is to make them better and return them back as better citizens, and this is one step towards that,” Ford said.

State Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, has a background in corrections

She said giving prison inmates the ability to vote is a terrible idea.

And, not just for giving a right to people whose rights are taken away for criminal convictions.

She said it has the potential for a gang chief to influence other inmates.

“Not influence them in the way where we do commercials or you do mailers, but someone who basically says you’re going to vote this way or I’m going to beat you,” Bryant said.

“Very, very dangerous.”

Ford said he has the votes to get it out of the House.

Bryant doubts that, especially if the public is aware of the bill.

“People ask me all the time, ‘you’re in a super-duper minority, what are you going to do about anything,’ and I tell them ‘we expose,’” Bryant said.

“That’s all I can do right now is expose all of this stuff that individuals are trying to do.

“This should be another one that we should be making sure that our folks at home know how bad an idea this is.”

The measure is in the Rules Committee, but could be pushed out to a substantive committee during the remaining days of the veto session.

Tax Hikers from Years Past

Found this while sorting papers from 1998:

iN 1998, THE mChENRY cOLUNTY bOARD DOUBLED THE LOCAL mOTOR fUL tAS FROM TWO TO FOUR CENTS A GALLON.

Below is the roll call:

The 1998 roll call of how McHenry County Boiard members voted on the two-cent a gallon gas tax hike.

Pritzker Moves on Climate & Jobs

From the JB Pritzker Administration:

Swift Action by the ICC Sets Implementation of Climate and Equitable Jobs Act in Motion

Springfield, IL –The Illinois Commerce Commission has begun the process of implementing key provisions of the newly enacted Climate and Equitable Jobs Act. The Act signed into law by Governor JB Pritzker on September 15, 2021,

  • puts Illinois on the path to 100% clean energy by 2050;
  • supports a responsible transition away from fossil fuels;
  • increases public participation in regulatory matters, and
  • encourages further diversity and inclusion in the renewable energy industry.

The Commission has also approved several measures in furthering the goals of Public Act 102-0662.

“The ICC Staff and Commissioners are working diligently to implement the new law and have taken immediate action to carry out a number of requirements in the law,” said ICC Executive Director Michael Merchant. 

Under the new law, the ICC is directed to hold meetings to solicit public input on the design of beneficial electrification programs offered by ComEd and Ameren Illinois to increase adoption of electric vehicles in the state. Programs may include time-of-use or hourly pricing electric rates; programs that encourage vehicle charging at times that are optimal for grid stability; and support for low-income communities. The process should ensure equitable opportunities for participation. The workshops are expected to conclude no later than February 28, 2022, followed by a Staff Report summarizing the recommendations due no later than March 31, 2022. 

Other provisions call for a management audit into ComEd’s practices and procedures and an investigation in connection with the company’s conduct detailed in the federal Deferred Prosecution Agreement entered with the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The Commission has directed ICC Staff to conduct a competitive solicitation to hire a management auditor to perform the management audit of ComEd.

Other actions taken to date by Commissioners include:

• Initiating a workshop process to facilitate the development of performance and tracking metrics for ComEd and Ameren for a new performance-based ratemaking structure, which will reward the utility for meeting certain objective goals and penalize it for failing to do so. The Commission also directed the Staff to engage a facilitator to conduct the workshops and directed the Staff to file a report on the workshop process; metrics proposed during the process; any material issues that remained unresolved; and any recommendations for workshop process improvements. The next workshop is scheduled for October 21, 2021.

• Initiating Baseline Assessment Audits of Ameren and ComEd. The Commission is required to obtain a baseline audit of each of the major electric utilities’ distribution systems. Docket Nos. 21-0736 and 21-0737 grant the ICC’s Executive Director the authority to contract with the selected vendor and direct the utilities to enter a Memorandum of Understanding to pay the vendor. 

• Initiating Docket No. 21-0738 which will require utilities to accelerate repayment of excess deferred income taxes (EDIT) arising from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Ameren and ComEd are now required to do so by December 31, 2025.

• Initiating the process to select an independent, third-party facilitator for multi-year integrated grid plan workshops; the hiring of a multi-year integrated grid plan auditor to assist with the distribution planning process and docketed proceedings; as well as the hiring of technical and policy experts to support the Commission in the development of a renewable energy access plan.

• Directing the Staff to develop selection criteria and requirements to engage a third-party program administrator to oversee the Intervenor Compensation Fund and based on those criteria and requirements select a third-party administrator for Commission approval. The fund will be used to compensate consumer interest representatives for expert witness fees and certain other costs incurred as a result of participating in ICC cases.

• Established an Interconnection Working Group to consider technical and other matters relating to interconnection of solar and other distributed generation resources. The first workshop is scheduled for October 28, 2021.

Those interested in following the Commission’s progress, or participating in public meetings, workshops or other activities are encouraged to visit the ICC’s webpage dedicated to the implementation of the new law at: https://www.icc.illinois.gov/programs/Public-Act-1020662-Implementation.

A Retired Teacher Opines on Pensions and Grade School Administrators

Illinois Policy published an opinion piece by Huntley’s Deb Roti, a retrired teacher, with wht appears to be a pretty big mistake.

Her piece on pensions tells of how the 3% annual compound interest bump in local and state government pensions doubles one’s pension in 24 years.

Roti tells of the 1988 bill which imposed the 3% requirement [which I did not vote for, being in a twelve-year period of remission from elective politics]:

“Legislators changed it anyway because they wanted the 3% compound interest on their pensions, and now [that is, as a result of the bill Governor Jim Thompson signed] every group has that rate.”

“Most Illinoisans don’t realize that our legislators get their pension after serving only one term. Most other pensioners have to serve years before they are eligible for their pension. In teaching, it is 35 years for a full pension.”

She is wrong in claiming that a legislator gets a pension after serving one term…unle4ss she is referring to a State Senaotr with a four-year term elected before 2010.

I remember when our State Rep. George Lindberg (later the the first State Comptroller, an Illinois Appellate Court Judge and Federal District Judge] was in his second term, the General Assembly passed legislation giving State Rep.s and Senators a pension after four years. (So I guess if Roti were thinking about State Senators, that would be one term.)

However, in 2010, the number of years a legislator must serve to be eligible for a pension was increased to eight years.

Nevertheless, her point on the number of adiminstrators at three southeastern McHenry County elementary schools is valid:

“I continue to write letters trying to legislators advocating district consolidation. One example is over administration between the Prairie Grove, Cary and Fox River Grove School Districts. The Prairie Grove district has about eight administrators overseeing two schools. Then next door is Cary which has about 16 administrators for five schools. The next town over, Fox River Grove, has four administrators for two schools.”

“This equates to over 28 administrators within a small area. And all these feeder schools go to the same high school, which is a separate district with more administrators.”

“Many larger districts in other states operate well with the same amount or less administration. Yet here, we have three districts, all in bedroom communities without industry or many businesses, each paying high salaries to their administrators.”