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    Ald. David Moore (17) speaks to acting Buildings Comm. Marlene Hopkins during her confirmation hearing at the City Council zoning committee meeting April 16, 2024. [Livestream]

    The City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards approved the appointment of a new buildings department commissioner Tuesday without asking any questions about her role overseeing a demolition that went wrong.

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    The City Council meets on March 20, 2024. [Michael McDevitt/The Daily Line]

    The City Council will consider giving final approval to the mayor’s request for $70 million in additional funds to shelter, feed and care for migrants, multiple cabinet appointments, a Democratic National Convention (DNC) security measure, new regulations for scooter share businesses, a measure to track migrant evictions and an ordinance that could keep ShotSpotter in some wards on an individual basis.

    The council could also hold a vote on the mayor’s housing and economic development bond proposal depending on the outcome of a potential finance committee vote.

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    City Hall is pictured in this file photo. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council’s budget committee voted 20-8 Monday to allocate $70 million in city funds for additional migrant care costs on Monday, sending the final decision to the City Council this Wednesday. 

    Alds. Emma Mitts (37), Marty Quinn (13), Raymond Lopez (15), Bill Conway (34), Chris Taliaferro (29), David Moore (17), Felix Cardona (31) and Nick Sposato (38) voted no.

    The allocation would come from the city’s assigned and unassigned fund balance reserves from 2022. The funding would be added to the previously allocated $150 million for migrant care costs passed in the 2024 budget.

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    34th Ward Ald. Bill Conway is pictured during a City Council meeting in October 2023. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council Committee on Finance postponed a vote on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s $1.25 billion Housing and Economic Development Bond proposal after more than a dozen alderpeople expressed interest in significantly reducing the bond authorization amount and lowering the threshold to require aldermanic approval for bond-financed projects.

    The finance committee was recessed until 9:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, and Ald. Pat Dowell (3), the finance chair, said a vote on the bond ordinance could happen if committee members come to an agreement.

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    On April 13, 2024, U.S. Palestinian Community Network national chair Hatem Abudayyeh speaks to reporters about his March on the DNC coalition's protest plans this August. [Michael McDevitt/The Daily Line]

    Officials are planning to designate some space within the security footprint of the Democratic National Convention for planned protests, and though permits from several groups seeking to protest near the convention have not been approved, law enforcement told a City Council panel that peaceful protests will be allowed regardless.

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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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    Illinois voters cast ballots in the March 19 primary.

    The 2024 primary season was marked by expensive races to unseat incumbents along with several big-spending candidates who fell short of their bids to be their party’s nominees.  

    How much did candidates in top races for the General Assembly spend per vote in the first three months of 2024 and was it enough to win over voters on the March 19 primary?

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    The Illinois Capitol 

    The House continued moving toward their Friday deadline to pass House bills to the Senate, moving 63 bills on Tuesday with more than 400 bills that could possibly be passed by the end of the week.  

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    Gov. JB Pritzker speaks at a news conference in Chicago on Monday. [Gov. JB Pritzker/Facebook]

    The Illinois Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to pass a bill that would prevent credit reporting agencies from using medical debt in credit reports. The bill’s passage comes as Gov. JB Pritzker prioritizes a plan in his Fiscal Year 2025 budget proposal to eliminate medical debt for thousands of Illinoisians.  

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    The Senate conducts business on April 12. [Blue Room Stream] 

    The Senate voted to advance a pair of key measures on Friday ahead of the chamber’s deadline to pass Senate bills on to the House, including bills requiring insurance to cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) and establishing a new state department for childhood issues.  

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    Officials told a House committee that it’s challenging to calculate the cost of a bill that would raise the threshold for the estate tax. And the Senate passed a bill giving the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) new rule-making powers. 

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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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