Daily Political Highlights
March 17, 2023
March 17, 2023
* Capitol News Illinois | Nuclear option: Illinois grapples with the future of nuclear power: While proponents are hopeful, the technology behind nuclear power’s potential resurgence hasn’t yet been deployed for power generation anywhere in the United States. A few examples of small next generation reactors exist across the world, but in the U.S. only one of these smaller nuclear reactor designs has been approved by regulators.
* WGN | Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois fined $600K, lawmakers say it’s not enough: That report laid out all of the problems the state found with their network, but Senator Steve McClure said that the fine on its own is not enough. He is calling for public hearings so patients have the chance to voice their issues with the company.
* Daily Southtown | Homer Township Library Board candidates debate guidelines, safeguards for what material is checked out: “I want to make this as clear and as blunt as possible: I do not believe in banning any books nor do I believe there will be anything like book burnings,” said Stephen J. Balich III, an employee of the Homer Township assessor’s office. “I think the parents should have ultimate control over what their children read. I believe our community has a set of values and standards that is important to maintain.”
* Crain’s | Rivian Automotive’s chief engineer returns to McLaren: Sanderson, who joined Rivian nearly five years ago to develop its R1 vehicle platform, returns to supercar maker McLaren in the role of chief technical officer, McLaren said earlier this week.
* Sun-Times | Allison Arwady, City Hall’s calming voice on COVID, hopes to stay on under next mayor: Chicago’s public health commissioner and coronavirus point person says she doesn’t get recognized as much as she used to. But that’s OK with her, especially given the “scary mail at my house” she’d get.
* Sun-Times | 3 years, 4 million cases, more than 36,000 deaths: Numbers shape Illinois’ dismal COVID-19 story: Statewide death toll now is nearing 37,000 — roughly the equivalent of wiping out the population of Calumet City. Chicago area accounts for nearly half the deaths — about 8,000 in the city, over 7,500 in suburban Cook County.
* Crain’s | U of I clean energy research gets $120 million boost from feds: The announcement extends funding for the Center for Advanced Bioenergy & Bioproducts Innovation, or CABBI, where U of I helps lead research, for five more years until 2027 and will now total more than $230 million across a decade of research. The first five-year commitment was announced in 2017.
* Crain’s | Chicago competing for another big biomedical hub: The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, a new federal agency armed with $2.5 billion to work on biomedical innovation, announced this week that it is starting its search for two cities to plant offices, and local lawmakers and economic development leaders say they’re throwing Chicago’s hat in the ring.
* WGN | Record betting expected in Illinois for ‘March Madness’: Sportsbooks are expecting record numbers of bets in Illinois during the tournament. While residents cannot bet on Illinois or Northwestern, them being in the tournament should boost betting numbers.
* WGEM | Illinois Trout season to begin for some this weekend: Catch and release season begins Saturday, March 18, at Siloam Springs State Park in Adams County and Horton Lake at Nauvoo State Park.
* Crain’s | University of Chicago grad students win union vote: The National Labor Relations Board on Thursday certified the tally of votes cast Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, and by mail up to March 14, confirming a landslide victory for the Graduate Students United, or GSU, union. Some 1,696 students voted for union representation while 155 voted against organizing, a 92% margin of victory.
* WTTW | Lincoln Park Zoo Reveals Names of Lion Cubs, and They’re Unexpectedly Sweet: Lincoln Park Zoo has revealed the names of its new lion cubs: Meet Pesho, Sidai and Lomelok. The names were chosen by Maasai “lion guardians” (Ilchokuti) in Tanzania, who work with Lincoln Park Zoo’s conservation partner, KopeLion. Each name has a special meaning in the Maa language:
* SJ-R | Richmond ‘convinced’ Springfield artist had hand in creating Pillsbury Doughboy: Richmond said Wednesday he has talked to family members of Wilkins, who was reputed to have originated the “Bicep Doughboy” image, the one Richmond found on a control panel in the bakery mix building.