Four days after Chicago’s rising COVID-19 case counts slipped the city into the “medium risk” category under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention metrics, hospitalizations and deaths “remain at or near all-time pandemic lows,” according to a weekly pandemic update the Chicago Department of Public Health released on Tuesday. “This means Chicago will move into the High Level anytime soon — which requires both higher case rates and [emphasis original] significant impact on the health system,” officials said. Even as it clocks an average of 231 new COVID-19 cases per day, the city is recording just 3.5 daily new hospitalizations from the virus on average and fewer than 3 percent of the city’s inpatient hospital beds are occuped by COVID patients.
Sen. Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Thank you to Niles North High School in Skokie for hosting me today at Mr. Sharma's AP Politics & History class. I was happy to speak with students about my job as a state senator, their future careers in public service and policy taken up in Springfield this year.”
Rep. Denyse Stoneback (D-Skokie) tweeted, “14 counties in Illinois have been upgraded to MEDIUM Level. This reminds us that COVID is still with us. We must remain vigilant. IDPH & other agencies are urging to wear masks indoor places.”
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Thank you @ACLUofIL for protecting our digital privacy. With the looming Supreme Court decisions, now more than ever it is important to stop private entities from buying and selling our identities.”
Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) tweeted, “@GovPritzker came to Lake County today as we broke ground to begin the first of 14 Stormwater Capital Infrastructure Projects. This project comes from a historic $120 million grant secured by the Lake County House Delegation.”
House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) tweeted, “Illinois Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman has announced her retirement from the court effective July 7 of this year. This trailblazing jurist is not only the longest serving woman judge in Illinois, but also the longest serving judge in the state. She will be missed dearly.”
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) tweeted, “The tragedy at the LaSalle Veterans Home was preventable. It’s disgraceful that Pritzker is trying to shift the blame to anyone other than himself.”
Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights) tweeted, “Protest when and where it will be most effective to win our objective.”
Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Our number one job is to protect our state’s most vulnerable populations. That's why I led a law to create a hotline to receive reports from the public regarding potential self-harm or criminal acts directed at schools, students or school employees.”
Gov. JB Pritzker announced $30 million will be made available for 14 stormwater projects to reduce funding in Lake County. The funds were made available by the American Rescue Plan and appropriated by the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
Ald. Brian Hopkins (2) in his latest newsletter included a statement on the Chicago casino and wrote “I, along with a number of my colleagues, are extremely disappointed that what was supposed to a democratic process, established by the mayor herself, has been completely disregarded. We do need a casino in Chicago due to the chronic underfunding of our police and fire pension funds. However, I do NOT believe this is the best site for a casino. Over 80% of the local residents are opposed to its placement at Halsted and Chicago due to very legitimate concerns around traffic, density, and safety. I will do everything in my power to continue to loudly oppose this proposal.”
Ald. Susan Sadlowski Garza (10) tweeted “I'm proud to support Anna Valencia for Secretary of State because she supports women's reproductive rights!”
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted “Do people ever talk to each other in this administration? They remind me of the @twix commercials, with Left Twix always fighting Right Twix.”
Ald. Debra Silverstein (50) tweeted “The Chicago Police Department notified me that an individual was shot on the 6000 block of N. Francisco this morning around 9:23 AM. The victim was taken to the hospital in stable condition.”
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) and other supporters of his “Water for All” ordinance will host a news conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday outside City Hall on LaSalle Street to promote the ordinance before a City Council committee meeting scheduled for 2 p.m.
House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) tweeted, “This Teacher Appreciation Week, we honor educators in Illinois with deep and profound admiration for all they've done over the past two years. May your daily efforts and sacrifices always be recognized and appreciated, and may God bless you all. #ThankYouTeacher"
Rep. Jen Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview) tweeted, “Happy to report yesterday’s tweet is now outdated. With S&P’s credit upgrade today, we’re up to not five — but SIX credit upgrades in less than a year.”
Sen. Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) tweeted, “The leaked draft decision would put the safety of women seeking reproductive care in jeopardy, and condemns women, particularly poor women and women of color, to few and dangerous options.”
Sen. Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) tweeted, “A kiosk has opened in the @ISPDistrict11 headquarters located in Collinsville to help Metro East residents apply and update their Firearm Owners Identification card and Concealed Carry License.”
Sen. Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) tweeted, “Today marks the beginning of Nurses Appreciation Week. I can't think of another group within our workforce that is more deserving of our gratitude. THANK YOU, NURSES!”
Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) tweeted, “Thoughts and prayers for those rooting against Illinois.”
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) tweeted, “JB Pritzker failed all of Illinois when he ignored the unfolding tragedy at the LaSalle Veterans Home. We demand accountability and answers for this deeply troubling negligence.”
Sen. Robert Martwick (D-Chicago) tweeted, “6 years ago, @mbatinick and I worked on a plan to save taxpayers money. Boy did it work. $1.4 billion and counting without cutting pension benefits, programs or raising taxes. Gov signed the bill and I brought Mark a pen. Bipartisanship isn’t dead. Just have to keep working at it”
Sen. Michael Hastings (D-Frankfort) tweeted, “Extremely proud to welcome State Senator Eric Mattson to the Illinois State Senate. Senator Mattson filled the vacancy of former State Senator John Connor, and will represent the central to western parts of Will County and southern part of DuPage County.”
Eric Mattson, a Joliet firefighter running in the Democratic primary in the 43rd Senate District, was selected to replace former Sen. John Connor, who resigned from the Senate on April 30. Mattson was sworn in Friday.
Democratic Party of Illinois Chair Robin Kelly sent a letter Friday to Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison asking the committee to consider Illinois be able to host one of the first five Democratic primaries for president in 2024 and in future presidential election years. The letter says Illinois should be one of the first primaries because of its diversity among people and communities as well progressive policies.
S&P Global Ratings’ upgraded Illinois general bonds credit rating for the second time in a year Friday to the BBB+ level, moving the state further away from junk status. It’s the third credit rating upgraded for the state in two weeks after Fitch upgraded Illinois by two notches on Thursday and Moody’s upgraded the state at the end of April.
Gov. JB Pritzker signed 35 bills on Friday. The bills include SB1234 requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to plan to restart emissions testing in Chicago, HB1568 changing the retirement age for the Illinois State Police to age 55 from 60, HB2910 requiring grocery stores to display the regular and discounted price of an item, and HB5439 to ban unauthorized “street sideshows.”
Ald. Pat Dowell (3) tweeted, “At the reopening of Sip and Savor at 78 East 47th Street in Bronzeville. Come have an expresso or a twisted cap and some vittles! Congrats to the extraordinary Trez Pugh, owner.”
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted, “Thank you to everyone that joined me for the 131st Annual Polish Constitution Day Parade. Great to stand alongside our Polish brethren as they continue to show the world what compassion & strength looks.”
Ald. David Moore (17) tweeted, “When I talk to residents in the rural counties, and collar counties of our state they consistently say that they feel forgotten. Don't continue to elect people who were groomed by the establishment, elect grass root servants who mirror you.”
Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) wrote in his latest newsletter, “The Mayor announced that the City has selected Bally’s Corporation to be the recipient of its sole casino license and the developer to create a world-class casino-resort and entertainment experience in Chicago on the site of the Tribune Publishing Center at Chicago and Halsted. You may read the full press release here. Many other factors were considered that led to the selection of Bally’s as the Mayor’s recommended partner on this historic development. The recommendation report will be available at chicago.gov/chicagocasino.”
Ald. Brendan Reilly (42), wrote in his latest newsletter, “The vast majority of residents, 80%, are adamantly opposed to a casino opening in River North. I agree - the Tribune Publishing site is in an area of River North that is quiet and residential. It has a lot of traffic challenges that currently make it difficult to commute and traverse the area. It is not the appropriate place for a large entertainment venue.”
Ald. James Cappleman (46) tweeted, “CTU is having an election on May 20. I won't tell teachers how to vote, but 3 years ago, some CTU teachers recruited students to assist them with stealing school desks and placing them in my front yard. Be an informed voter.”
Ald. Matt Martin (47) wrote in his latest newsletter that he hosted “a visioning of the Ravenswood Industrial Corridor between Irving Park and Lawrence. We reviewed survey results in which respondents said they would like to see more taverns, restaurants, and coffee shops come to the corridor, and would like to see pedestrian improvements where Ravenswood intersects with Irving Park, Montrose, and Lawrence. You can watch a recording of the video here.”
Ald. Harry Osterman (48) wrote in his latest newsletter, “Myself and other members of City Council will be reviewing and voting on this [casino] proposal. A casino in Chicago will bring in revenues for the City and will help stabilize the City’s pension funds. I welcome your feedback on this proposal.”
Cook County Public Defender Sharone Mitchell will host a news conference at 10 a.m. at the Cook County building alongside Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview) and other county and nonprofit officials to promote the launch of the new Immigration Representation Unit in the Public Defender’s Office.
The National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 11, the Chicago Federation of Labor, United Way of Metro Chicago and Visitation Pantry Englewood will host an event at 10 a.m. Monday to promote the Annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive on Saturday, when “USPS Customers are asked to leave donations of non-perishable food items next to their mailboxes before the delivery of the mail,” according to an announcement. “Letter carriers collect the donations and distribute them to local food banks.”
House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) tweeted, “Illinois received a double credit rating upgrade today. It is the first upgrade the state has seen from Fitch since June 2000. Democrats got it done.”
Sen. Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Today we honored the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. As a former Chicago police officer, the memorial serves as a reminder of the oath police officers take. They protect and keep our communities safe with their bravery, strength and courage.”
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Peoria) tweeted, “Fitch's financial rating agency gave Illinois a double credit upgrade today. Budgeting responsibly while focusing resources on key community priorities pays off once again. Democrats did this. Not one GOP vote for fiscal responsibility.”
Rep. Jen Gong-Gershowitz (D-Glenview) tweeted, “Not one 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 — but 5 credit upgrades in less than a year. We are making fiscal progress in Illinois.”
Rep. Bob Morgan (D-Deerfield) tweeted, “Today I joined @GovPritzker sign into law HB4292, the Pension COLA Buyout Program. This will save $300 million for FY23 and has already erased $1.4 billion in pension debt, which will help cover the costs of increased funding for schools, healthcare, and human services.”
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) tweeted, “Shocking new report shows how bad the DCFS situation really is. Kids are literally getting stuck in the DCFS system, while the department eats hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. The Governor should be doing something about this.”
Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) tweeted, “It’s almost as if the endless cycle of offering tax breaks and incentives for companies to relocate encourages companies to keep seeking the next highest bidder…”
Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) tweeted, “The audit tells the story of a governor who fatally mismanaged the state’s response, abdicated his responsibilities to protect the veterans of this state, & tried to hide it w/ an investigation he arranged w/ a predetermined outcome, ensuring his office escaped accountability.”
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) will host former Vice President Mike Pence at the Peoria and Tazewell County Lincoln Day dinner on June 20, according to LaHood’s campaign. In a statement, Pence said he would be at the fundraiser to support both LaHood and Esther Joy King, who is running for the Republican nomination in the 17th Congressional District.
SEIU Local 73 filed a federal lawsuit against the University of Illinois Board of Trustees alleging three employees at the Urbana-Champaign campus were prohibited from speaking during a public meeting.
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) tweeted “Pursuant to Rule 39, my colleagues and I have scheduled a Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy meeting for Tuesday, May 10, at 2pm. Chicagoans deserve equitable water reform, and Water For All is the way to achieve that.”
Ald. George Cardenas (12) tweeted “I applaud the Mayor’s selection of Bally’s as the casino operator for the Chicago casino. This is about well-paying jobs for Chicago’s residents, shoring up much-needed funding for our police and fire pensions, and also providing opportunities for Chicago-based businesses, including those owned by minorities, women, veterans and those with disabilities; and delivering a world-class entertainment destination that will support Chicago’s economic and financially prosperous recovery.”
Ald. Raymond Lopez (15) tweeted “How long before Lightfoot blames @Boeing leaving Chicago on @RahmEmanuel as part of another ‘failed experiment’”
Ald. Matt O’Shea (19) tweeted “Chicago Police Department (Area Two - Bureau of Detectives) issued a community alert regarding three robberies this week in Morgan Park & Mt Greenwood.”
Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25) tweeted “Happy Cinco de Mayo to all who celebrate! Today is a day to commemorate the Mexican victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 and to remind future generations of the importance of fighting against colonialism and for freedom and justice for all people.”
Ald. Matt Martin (47) tweeted “Looking forward to test riding electric @DivvyBikes and scooters at Eco Fest! Ride + learn about the @Divvy4Everyone program on 6/18 from 10am-2pm in Welles Park”
Groups including Moms United Against Violence & Incarceration, Chicago Community Bond Fund and the Chicago Torture Justice Center will host a “Free Our Moms Day” vigil and mutual support drive at 11 a.m. Saturday outside Cook County Jail to “demonstrate solidarity with the approximately 195 moms” who are detained there. “Advocates will call upon State’s Attorney Foxx and Governor Pritzker to release prisoners, as they have the power to do, through dismissed charges, re-sentencing and clemency,” according to an event description.
Rep. Angelica Guerrero-Cuellar (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Thank you to all firefighters for their dedication and commitment to ensure the safety of those they protect. #InternationalFirefightersDay #BuildingCommunityin22 #IL22ndDistrict"
Rep. Suzanne Ness (D-Crystal Lake) tweeted, “Thank you to all the teachers across the state and nation! You have the important task of educating and guiding our students, and in this way, you shape our society's future. We are so grateful for all that you, especially over the last several years in the face of the pandemic.”
Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) tweeted, “I am pleased to announce that the Four Rivers Sanitation Authority in Winnebago County will be receiving more than $20 million in water infrastructure funding.”
Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) tweeted, “This year more than ever, we’re keenly aware of the hard work small business owners put in to enrich and enliven our neighborhoods. Thank them for their contributions to our community by shopping and dining locally when possible! #NationalSmallBusinessWeek"
Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) tweeted, “This week I hosted my annual Starved Rock update for local stakeholders. Thank you to IDNR Director Callahan and her staff for joining the meeting to provide updates on current and future projects. I would also like to thank @StateRepYednock for participating in our meeting.”
Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Chicago) tweeted, “Everyone should have access to the reproductive healthcare they need. I strongly condemn efforts by extremist Supreme Court judges to undermine Roe v. Wade, and encourage lawmakers in Washington to take immediate action to protect reproductive health rights.”
Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) tweeted, “At an important House Public Utilities Committee hearing this morning on energy issues in Illinois, especially given the potential of a huge energy cost spike this summer in Downstate Illinois. And as @IllinoisMfgAssc said: good to be in Springfield during May 😊"
Former Department of Public Health chief of policy Jesse Lava has taken a position as special assistant to the director at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking him to cancel all federal student debt. The letter was signed by seven other attorney generals. Raoul also announced Illinois residents would be eligible for $4 million from a class action lawsuit against TurboTax for falsely advertising services for free that users had to pay for.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced it had awarded all $250 million of federal relief pandemic funds through the Back 2 Business program. Over 6,500 businesses received grants.
Ald. Daniel La Spata (1) tweeted “We're expecting a beautiful sunny day on Saturday! Stop by the Wicker Park plant sale”
Ald. Sophia King (4) tweeted information about a community alert about “Motor Vehicle Theft in the 002nd District Wentworth.”
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40) tweeted “My staff and I drove the whole ward, catalogued, organized and mapped out all the street and alley potholes in 40 for a more efficient and effective process! Many thanks to @ChicagoDOT for partnering with us, check it out!”
Ald. Harry Osterman (48) tweeted “I, like many Americans, am outraged at the pending Supreme Court decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade. This is an attack on women's rights and reproductive healthcare, and we must stand together to protect reproductive rights across our country.”