CAPITOL NEWS DAILY: Lightfoot lobbies Republicans on gambling law changes

CAPITOL NEWS DAILY: Lightfoot lobbies Republicans on gambling law changes


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The newsletter includes additional reporting notes and insights from our news team of Bureau Chief Jerry Nowicki and reporters Rebecca Anzel, Peter Hancock and Ben Orner. Here is some that reporting that was in this morning's newsletter. Click here to check out all of what was in today's Capitol News Daily!

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CHICAGO’S MAYOR Lori Lightfoot was in the Capitol on Tuesday and she told reporters she was pushing for a change to the state’s gambling expansion law to make a Chicago casino more financially feasible.

A push to do so stalled during the fall veto session, and she focused much of her outreach effort Tuesday on House and Senate Republicans.

She also reacted to news that U.S. President Donald Trump had commuted the remaining years of a 14-year prison sentence of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges.

“Well I think commuting the sentence of former Gov. Blagojevich under any circumstances would be controversial, but coming as it does with this president, and particularly in the aftermath of his efforts to really significantly undermine the rule of law and seemingly play favorites for his colleagues who have been convicted of crimes, I think it sends entirely the wrong message," Lightfoot said.

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QUALIFICATIONS CHALLENGE: Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch will preside over a committee that will evaluate complaints against the appointment process of a sitting state representative, the House announced Tuesday.

Rep. Eva Dina Delgado, D-Chicago, was appointed to fill the seat of Rep. Luis Arroyo, who resigned amid federal bribery charges.

The process by which Delgado was appointed was formally called into question by Democratic Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, of Naperville, and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, of Western Springs.

They each filed qualifications challenges, alleging that Arroyo, who is a Democratic committeeman in the Third House district Delgado currently represents, played a role in naming his successor by giving his votes to another committeeman.

The Chicago Tribune covered the challenge earlier this month.

Welch’s committee will make a recommendation to the House, which would need a three-fifths majority to remove Delgado. 

“Just as in a court of law, our committee will pursue a fair process that reviews the complaints about the appointment process free of politics and outside influence,” he said. “This process and these proceedings will be driven by the House rules, state statutes, the Illinois Constitution, the U.S. Constitution, and precedent – not by partisan politics.”    

The committee will meet on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at which time rules and process will be established, Welch said.

Delgado faces two challengers – Nidia Carranza and Joaquin Vazquez – in the upcoming March 17 primary, which, if she wins, will allow her to keep the seat regardless of the challenge outcome.

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PUBLIC HOUSING PETS: A Democratic state senator has introduced a bill that would allow any tenant living in public low-income housing to keep a pet dog or cat regardless of its size, weight, or breed.

“A lack of truly pet-friendly housing options has put some pet owners in a position of choosing between keeping their pet or keeping a roof over their head,” a news release from Sen. Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) office said.

The bill “Provides that a tenant of housing acquired, constructed, or rehabilitated with any money from the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund that was designated for affordable housing for low and very low-income families shall be allowed to keep one or more common household pets, such as a dog or cat, regardless of breed, size, or weight within the tenant's residence in accordance with any applicable laws.”

Holmes was joined by representatives of the Best Friends Animal Society, the Belleville Humane Society and Gateway Pet Guardians.

Jerry Nowicki

Jerry NowickiJerry Nowicki

Jerry has more than five years of experience in and around state government and nearly 10 years of experience in news. He grew up in south suburban Evergreen Park and received a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree online from Purdue University.

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