Appointments to the Senate’s sexual harassment task force are followed by federal endorsements for state House candidates this weekend. Meanwhile, Illinois economic health is listed second-worst by a well-known organization.

  • The State Board of Elections will convene at 9:00 a.m. in Springfield today to take up a vote on the controversial interstate Crosscheck program and to hold a mandatory public hearing on automatic voter registration.

 

  • Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) on Saturday endorsed progressive Democrat and community advocate Delia Ramirez to be the next representative of the 4th House District. In a Friday release, Ramirez wrote that she “was drafted this spring by residents of the 4th House District to run for the open seat being vacated by path-breaking state Rep. Cynthia Soto, who is retiring.”

 

  • Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) announced additional appointments to the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention. The two advocate appointments are Ahlam Jbara of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Dr. Kathleen Robbins of Equality Illinois. Brady also appointed five members of the public. They are: Maria Rodriguez, Former Mayor of Long Grove; Maureen Maffei, Attorney; Julie Proscia, Attorney; Anita Rodriguez, assistant state’s attorney of Adams County. In a Friday release, Brady said: “In making these appointments, it is important to bring both diversity and an outside perspective to how best address this important issue in the public and private sectors.”

  • Yikes. In his weekly newsletter, Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Vandalia) mentions a study from Pew Charitable Trusts on states’ economic health. Illinois is ranked second worst. It reads: “New Jersey had the largest deficit, with aggregate revenue able to cover only 92.2 percent of aggregate expenses, followed by Illinois (94.2 percent). They were the only two states with aggregate shortfalls exceeding 5 percent of total expenses, and the only ones with annual deficits in each of the 15 years.”

  • McCarter links the poor Pew score to another study on the loss of skilled labor across the states. From Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, the study is worth a glance: “Illinois was among five states that suffered the most significant blue-collar job losses during the period from 1991 through 2015. The Georgetown University study was actually about the number and availability of good paying jobs for those people with less than a bachelor’s degree. While nearly half of the 50 states added jobs in this sector, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, California, and Ohio suffered the most blue-collar job losses.”

  • From the press release box we learn: “Attorney General Lisa Madigan, along with 15 other attorneys general, filed a new amicus brief opposing the administration’s third travel ban. The amicus brief, filed in support of the plaintiffs in IRAP v. Trump, urges the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to affirm the nationwide preliminary injunction against the third travel ban issued by a Maryland district court. The district court’s injunction prevents the administration from implementing the third ban against individuals from six predominantly Muslim countries who have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”