The Week in Review: Lawmakers Discuss Energy, Ethics Bills, District Maps

State lawmakers held the second special session of the summer, discussing the clean energy bill, ethics legislation and the latest district maps. Democrats passed new district maps, which were adjusted after Census data was released. However, the Democratic legislators faced strong objections from Republicans and community groups.

The ethics bill failed in the House. It previously passed in both chambers with overwhelming support in June, but Governor J.B. Pritzker sent it back to lawmakers over a “technical drafting error.” House Republicans pulled their support for the bill this week.

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As the deadline for Exelon to begin deactivating the nuclear generators in its Byron plant draws near, the latest clean energy bill still hangs in balance. The Illinois Senate passed the energy deal early Wednesday morning, after the House had adjourned. This comes despite objections from Governor J.B. Pritzker and advocacy groups.

City Business

Ald. Jim Gardiner is apologizing for profane text messages he sent about Ald. Scott Waguespack’s chief of staff and Ald. Tom Tunney. Gardiner referred to Waguespack’s Chief of Staff as the alderman’s “b----” and Tunney as a “b----.”

City Council’s budget season is underway — the Budget committee held a meeting Monday discussing COVID’s impact on the city’s financial recovery. Mayor Lori Lightfoot is expected to present her budget later this month.

Violence in Chicago is outpacing incidents in 2020. Homicides and shootings are up by 3% and 9% respectively, according to data from the Chicago Police Department. There have been 524 homicides and 2,344 shootings so far in 2021.

Back to School

Chicago Public Schools students returned to the classroom this week. But the Chicago Teachers Union says the district is falling short of its COVID-19 safety protocol, including problems managing crowds of students, testing and replacing air filters.

The district said Thursday it needs two more weeks to ramp up its COVID-19 testing, Block Club Chicago and Chalkbeat Chicago report. The district is also asking parents to keep unvaccinated students home for at least seven days if they travel for Labor Day weekend.


Perri Small, WVON | @PerriSmall, @WVON

Rick Pearson, The Chicago Tribune | @rap30, @chicagotribune

Dana Kozlov, CBS Chicago | @DanaCBS2, @cbschicago

Hannah Meisel, NPR Illinois | @hannahmeisel, @nprillinois

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