* Capitol News Illinois… A Kane County restaurant’s legal challenge to Gov. JB Pritzker’s ban on indoor dining can continue, a Sangamon County judge ruled this week. Attorneys for Pritzker tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow on Wednesday declined to do so. While Grischow decided not to dismiss the
A Kane County restaurant’s legal challenge to Gov. JB Pritzker’s ban on indoor dining can continue, a Sangamon County judge ruled this week.
Attorneys for Pritzker tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but Sangamon County Judge Raylene Grischow on Wednesday declined to do so. While Grischow decided not to dismiss the case, she did not reach a decision on the merits of their argument.
The order is here.
* Cook County Record…
A federal judge has not only refused to grant Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker’s wish to end federal oversight of state employment and hiring practices, but has also granted a modest expansion of that watchdog duty.
“The message is not getting across to employment decision-makers” that overseers “will root out the problems and that there is a price to pay,” said Judge Edmond Chang.
On March 31, Chang, of U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, denied motions by Pritzker to kill off the so-called Shakman Decrees, court orders requiring federal court oversight of hiring practices in a host of government agencies in Chicago and Springfield. […]
Chang acknowledged the state has made “significant” progress in its employment practices, and he might be receptive to another request late this year to terminate oversight. Chang noted that if the Cook County sheriff, the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the city of Chicago and Cook County have been able to satisfy Shakman, then “so can the State.” These governmental bodies are no longer under federal monitoring. […]
Adding that implementation is “complex,” Chang noted there is “evidence of ongoing noncompliance.” He particularly noted problems with Pritzker’s attempt to persuade the court to place trust in the Inspector General’s office. The judge pointed to an “apparent lack of sanctions for disregarding recommendations” made by the OEIG.
The opinion is here.
…Adding… The governor’s office points to this passage from page 30…
“t bears repeating and emphasis that this is not to cast pejorative criticisms on any particular institution or person. It just is not easy to durably protect State employees from partisan decision-making in employment, because those in power will do much to keep unlawful employment decisions out of the light and employees who lose out naturally fear retribution if they speak up. Nor does the Court downplay the significant progress made by the State, especially in the past two years, toward implementing a durable remedy. Indeed, as the implementation of the CEP continues, and as HEM continues its efforts and—it is hoped—increases its impact on State agencies, then the Court would be receptive to consider another motion to terminate in the last quarter of this year.
* Cook County Record…
A coalition of road construction contractors have asked the Illinois Supreme Court to step into the first court fight over whether an Illinois state constitutional amendment can be used to force Cook County and other local governments to spend money from local transportation-related taxes on actual transportation projects, and not county operations.
This week, attorneys for the group, headlined by trade lobby group, the Illinois Road and Transportation Builders Association, filed a petition with the Illinois Supreme Court, seeking permission to appeal to the state high court of a state appellate court’s decision.
In that decision, a panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court declared their belief that Cook County is free to spend transportation-related tax dollars as the county government deems fit, despite a state constitutional amendment intended to lock away transportation funding from being spent elsewhere.
In their petition to the state Supreme Court, the road builders said the high court needed step in to set the precedent that local governments – not just the state government – must abide by the language of the so-called Safe Roads Amendment, and dedicate transportation money to transportation projects.
“This is not only a matter of first impression, but one of great public importance,” the road builders wrote. “At stake are hundreds of millions of dollars in transportation tax revenue that, under a constitutional amendment that the people of Illinois overwhelmingly approved, must be invested in our transportation infrastructure.”
The petition is here.