IVCA Provides Updates for State Legislative Issues - 08.05.2020

Illinois Venture Capital Association Illinois Legislative Report
David Stricklin / Stricklin & Associates
Wednesday, August 5, 2020

 

COMED FALLOUT INCLUDES MORE CALLS FOR SPEAKER TO RESIGN
 
In a federal court hearing today, ComEd pleaded not guilty, though continued to acknowledge and accept charges in an agreement with prosecutors that the company had engaged in an elaborate scheme to enrich in various ways people close to Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan. The deferred prosecution agreement calls for ComEd to pay a $200 million fine and to cooperate over the next three years with an ongoing federal law enforcement investigation which refers specifically to the Speaker of the House.
 
As a result, several Democratic members of the Illinois House of Representatives have called on Speaker Madigan to resign. Other Democrats have also suggested he resign, resign as Speaker, and/or resign as chairman of the Democratic Party, or have issued “if true” statements which at a minimum express displeasure with what is contained in the ComEd agreement.
 
In recent years voters in suburban Chicago have increasingly elected Democratic women, who have among other things campaigned on good government platforms. Even the harshest critics of the speaker acknowledge his legendary work ethic, attention to detail, and political skills which have helped him consolidate power and remain speaker for decades. But that old-school approach which the speaker has employed so successfully goes against the grain of many suburban voters and the legislators they’re sending to Springfield. Thus, while it’s almost shocking, it’s not surprising that suburban Democrats such as Rep. Terra Costa Howard and Rep. Stephanie Kifowit among others have called on the speaker to resign over the ComEd charges.
 
To date the speaker has categorically denied wrongdoing and has been calling individual members to assess their point of view. His support among the Latino and Black Caucuses appears to still be strong, and many other members of the Democratic Caucus appear to be willing to let things take their course. A lot of attention is being paid to what Governor Pritzker is or isn’t doing:
https://www.chicagobusiness.com/rich-miller-springfield/how-much-longer-can-pritzker-sidestep-madigan-problem 
COVID CLOBBERS STATE BUDGET
 
As negotiations continue in Washington over the next COVID relief package and whether or not it will include direct payments to states, such as Illinois, which have seen tax revenue disappear with no reserves to cover the shortfall. Illinois Comptroller Susanna Mendoza issued a report this week which further details the extent of the challenge which lies ahead:
https://illinoiscomptroller.gov/news/press-releases/comptroller-mendoza-warns-rough-waters-ahead-for-illinois/

COVID HEALTH CONSEQUENCES
 
School district across the state are nearing decision-time on how their students will be educated this upcoming school year. The Chicago Public Schools just confirmed that it will begin the year with remote instruction:
 
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson announced Wednesday that all schools across CPS will begin the year with remote learning. The decision, which they said was based on public health guidelines and feedback from parents, poises the district to aim toward a hybrid model in the second quarter.
 
https://www.chicagotribune.com/coronavirus/ct-cb-remote-learning-cps-20200805-zqkwt7543rdn3giughatsthc6e-story.html 
The Archdiocese of Chicago followed quickly to draw a contrast between what it plans to do compared to CPS:
 
The Archdiocese of Chicago believes strongly that our reopening plan, which provides for full-time in-person learning, is in the best interests of children and our mission. In-person learning is essential for the intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual growth of our students. Our reopening plan maximizes the safety of our students and employees while allowing the resumption of in-person learning. It is therefore our intention to remain committed to our plan to offer five-day, in-person learning in addition to a remote, e-learning, option for those students who are unable or whose parents are unwilling to return to classrooms.
 
Previous to these announcements regarding instructional plans, Governor Pritzker had announced restrictions on high school sports as part of the ongoing effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Guidance for All Youth and Adult Recreational Sports Takes Effect August 15th
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - Governor, Office of the
CHICAGO - Governor JB Pritzker announced today guidance for youth and adult recreational sports, including, but not limited to, school-based sports, travel clubs, private leagues and clubs, recreational leagues and centers, and park district sports programs. Collegiate sports and professional leagues are not impacted by these restrictions. 
https://www2.illinois.gov/Pages/news-item.aspx?ReleaseID=21872 
Governor Pritzker also launched a public relations campaign titled “It Only Works If You Wear It” to drive home the recommendation for wearing a mask or face covering.
As of today, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 7,573 deaths of Illinoisans from COVID-19.
 
TREASURER TOUTS RETURNED PROPERTY
 
One of the state agencies IVCA interacts with frequently is the State Treasurer, which operates the Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund (formerly known as the Technology Development Account). Treasurer Mike Frerichs is in the news today with a different responsibility of his office, which is returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners. The office announced today that $1B in property has been reunited, and much more than that is out there waiting to be claimed:
https://illinoistreasurergovprod.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/twocms/media/doc/august2020_unclaimedpropertyonebillionreturn.pdf