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    The Illinois Capitol 

    The General Assembly is in their final weeks of the spring session with the budget the main focus for legislators ahead of their self-imposed May 24 deadline. 

    This spring’s session has been on the quiet side, though several important discussions loom for the fall or next spring — after the November elections. But legislators are still looking to send several important bills to Gov. JB Pritzker’s desk before the end of the month.

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    Alderpeople on Wednesday will consider a new transit board appointment that has drawn some questions, and the license committee will consider a measure to align a longstanding ban on peddlers within the 23rd Ward with the new ward boundaries.

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    The vote board in the Senate reflects votes on a plan to end the party appointment process for open spots on the ballot. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    In just 24 hours, General Assembly Democrats rammed through an elections package to change the rules around filling vacancies for political parties on the ballot as local Republicans in two areas in the state attempt to name new candidates to open seats on November’s ballot. 

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    Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi is pictured at an event with Board President Toni Preckwinkle in 2022. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    As part of the ongoing reassessment of Chicago, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office has reclassified numerous mixed-use properties as it works to address a loophole that the county inspector general said was allowing some commercial properties to unfairly get tax breaks. 

    While the affected properties were previously assessed as Class 3-18 multifamily properties, their commercial components are being assessed separately after a definition in the property tax classification code was revised — causing their total assessed values to skyrocket in many cases.

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    Comptroller Susana Mendoza speaks at the annual Illinois Police Officers Memorial at the Illinois Capitol on Thursday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza earned a standing ovation from Illinois police officers and their families on Thursday following a passionate speech at the annual Illinois Police Officers Memorial gathering at the State Capitol.  

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    The Illinois Capitol 

    The House voted Wednesday to put three advisory referendum questions on the ballot for voters to consider on a range of subjects from insurance coverage to property taxes.  

    The bill also would prevent political parties from appointing candidates to fill open spots on the ballot in legislative races in a sudden political maneuver by House Democrats.

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    A CTA logo and train are pictured.

    State lawmakers are proposing to consolidate the region’s four mass transit agencies into a single entity. 

    The push comes after the Civic Federation released a report last week that calls on the state to tie future financial support for the northeastern Illinois transit agencies — the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace — to reforms of the agencies’ structure and governance, specifically their centralization into one agency. 

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    The Democratic Party of Illinois 

    In a little more than 100 days, all eyes of American politics will be on Chicago as the city hosts the 2024 Democratic National Convention (DNC) to nominate President Joe Biden for a second term.  

    It’s not new for Illinois Democrats to be in the host seat given Chicago’s rich history of political conventions, but it comes at a time when support for Biden struggles to rise, and many Americans protest the president’s decisions in the Middle East.  

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    “Public funding of healthcare coverage for the uninsured pays for itself in a panoply of benefits that reach well beyond the individuals who receive such assistance.” 

    So says the “The Benefits of Health Coverage for Immigrants in Illinois” report conducted by the Great Cities Institute (CGI) at the University of Illinois Chicago, commissioned by the Healthy Illinois Campaign and released Friday at a symposium at the North Lawndale Employment Network offices. 

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    Chicago Bears CEO Kevin Warren speaks at a news conference at Soldier Field on Wednesday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    The Chicago Bears want $2.4 billion from the state of Illinois to build a new stadium and reimagine the current Chicago museum campus and Soldier Field property. But the plan was immediately met with little interest from Springfield’s top policy makers.