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    The City Council Committee on Finance meets in chambers on Thursday, April 11, 2024. [Michael McDevitt/The Daily Line]

    The City Council Committee on Finance on Thursday held its second subject matter hearing in several weeks on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s $1.25 billion proposed bond issuance to bolster existing housing, cultural and economic development programs citywide.

    In response to questions and concerns raised during and after a March 22 finance committee hearing, a substitute bond ordinance (SO2024-0007838) was put forth that incorporates a number of new provisions related to transparency, fiscal responsibility and council authority over spending of the proposed bond proceeds.

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    The Committee on License and Consumer Protection votes on an ordinance adding new scooter share regulations on Wednesday. [Livestream]

    The City Council's license committee on Wednesday approved new regulations for scooter share businesses, including a new fee structure, allowance for overnight rides and new character-, equity- and conduct-based requirements for business license renewal.

    But alderpeople on the committee were particularly concerned with cutting down on unsafe behavior from scooter riders — most notably riding on sidewalks.

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    Ald. Bill Conway (34) asks acting DCASE Comm. Clinée Hedspeth (third from left) about the proposed Chicago River charity race during a confirmation hearing Wednesday. [Livestream]

    The City Council Committee on Special Events, Cultural Affairs and Recreation voted to approve Mayor Brandon Johnson’s pick to lead the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Wednesday, sending final confirmation to the City Council next week.

    While some alderpeople gave acting DCASE Comm. Clinée Hedspeth a glowing recommendation, others said they wanted more information from the mayor’s office about why her predecessor, former Comm. Erin Harkey, was fired in February.

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    Ald. Daniel La Spata (1), chair of the pedestrian and traffic safety committee, is pictured. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Alderpeople on Thursday will hold a subject matter hearing to explore the possibility of lowering the city’s default speed limit from 30 miles per hour to 25 mph to encourage slower driving.  

    While Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) said the hearing will be a preliminary discussion and there isn’t an ordinance ready to be introduced yet, he told The Daily Line similar actions have significantly reduced traffic fatalities in neighboring Evanston. 

    The City Council Committee on Pedestrian and Traffic Safety will hold the hearing in council chambers at noon on Thursday, during which no votes on the issue will be taken.

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    Nick Lucius (left) appears before the Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development on Tuesday for a confirmation vote on his appointment at chief information officer. [Livestream]

    The City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development on Tuesday approved the appointment of Nick Lucius as the city’s chief information officer. Lucius has served as the city’s chief technology officer since 2022 and before that served as the chief data officer.

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    On Wednesday, City Council committees will consider new regulations for scooter rental operators, affordable housing preferences for veterans and the confirmation of a new Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events commissioner.

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    Mayor Brandon Johnson attends a news conference in January. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Following a 90-day timeline that kicked off with the issuance of an executive order, Mayor Brandon Johnson last week unveiled a sweeping list of recommendations to speed up and reduce the cost of developing real estate across the city while aiming to allow development to occur in more places.

    The “Cut the Tape” report includes dozens of legislative and administrative policy recommendations that are aimed at shortening approval processes for developments, eliminating bureaucratic redundancies and reducing the number of requirements associated with developments to expand where developers can build.

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    City Hall is pictured in this file photo.

    The City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development will meet Tuesday to vote on several appointments, including the appointment of a chief technology officer, and the renewal of a property tax incentive. 

    The economic development committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. in City Council chambers.

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    Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) speaks at a news conference in Springfield in March. [Blue Room Stream] 

    The Senate advanced long-awaited reform to the state’s biometric privacy law that has cost many businesses hundreds of millions, or even billions, of dollars in massive lawsuits. But despite having some concerns addressed, business groups are still opposed. 

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    Supporters of a plan to create hemp regulation hold a news conference in Springfield on Thursday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    A bipartisan group of lawmakers and top cannabis business groups are pushing to create new regulations for hemp while also banning Delta-8 products until more research is conducted and regulations are implemented.  

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    House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) speaks to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce annual meeting in Springfield on Wednesday. [Blue Room Stream] 

    House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) has a new message for his caucus this year: play the infinite game.  

    Welch gives his caucus a new book each session that is designed to impart a theme for members to follow for the spring. The books are often on leadership topics and this year it’s “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek. 

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    Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) told a business leader gathering what his message was to Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf. And Senate Minority Leader John Curran (R-Downers Grove) told business leaders they need to be more active to counter pushes by organized labor. 

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    Gov. JB Pritzker said at a news conference Tuesday he hasn’t decided if he’ll seek a third term as governor. And the Senate approved a bill establishing regulations for funeral homes following problems at a Carlinville funeral home. 

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    Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) speaks at a news conference in Springfield on Tuesday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line]

    The Senate is set to take up a bill this week that would make genetic tests for cancer screenings more affordable and accessible by capping the cost of the preventative measure.  

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    Rep. Diane Blair-Sherlock (D-Villa Park) presents a bill in the House Energy and Environment Committee last week. [Blue Room Stream] 

    Illinois lawmakers are considering putting a temporary pause on construction of carbon dioxide transport and storage pipelines as they consider regulations for the technology.  

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