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Crowded race for Illinois’ 7th Congressional District

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Crowded race for Illinois’ 7th Congressional District


CHICAGO (CBS) — Tuesday is Election Day in Illinois. One of the big races to watch is Illinois’ 7th Congressional District. Congressman Danny Davis, who holds the seat, is being challenged by several candidates saying the South and West sides need a fresh face and a fresh start to bring fresh dollars and ideas to struggling neighborhoods.

CBS 2 started by asking Davis about Americans’ abysmal approval ratings of Congress today.

“I think it’s a tough time to be a public official,” he said. 

Davis has been one for 45 years. If he wins re-election, he will have secured 30 years in the House of Representatives.

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His 7th Congressional District is almost in the shape of a seven, with Westchester to the west, the Loop to the east, and Englewood to the south.

And from all directions, he has challengers. Chief among them is activist Kina Collins, who came within six points of unseating Davis in the last election.

She said she does not believe the race is about age.   

“This is about the inaction in the district,” she said. 

City of Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin is another challenger. 

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“We are not feeling the resources on the West and South sides of Chicago,” she said. “That’s what I want to change.” 

They say change is overdue as the South and West sides suffer. 

Davis believes his record is a winning one, and his seniority is an asset.

“I am a very effective leader and politician,” he said. “It has nothing to do with how fast I can run.”

“Ask the residents on the South and West sides of Chicago what have we received from that seniority,” Conyears-Ervin said. 

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“Issues like public safety, for example,” said Collins. Illinois 7 holds 26% of all gun violence in the State of Illinois. Not only am I a survivor and a public policy expert in that field, I was tapped by the Biden/Harris administration to serve on their transition team and advise their senior policy members on common sense gun safety law.”

“The people know me. They trust me,” said Davis. “They know that I have led well. They know that I’ve never experienced a scandal.” 

Conyears-Ervin can’t make that claim. Last year, the city’s board of ethics voted that she violated ethics rules regarding her fiduciary duty and unauthorized use of city property. It stems from a $100,000 settlement the city came to with two former employees of Conyears-Ervin in the treasurer’s office, claiming she made employees plan her daughter’s birthday party and run errands.

“The complaints from four years ago, not only do they misrepresent the office of the city treasurer, they certainly misrepresent me,” she said. 

When we pressed her recently on whether she would challenge the findings, she would not answer after repeated efforts.

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Conyears-Ervin: As I mentioned to you, if you need some more information, we will provide it because I’ve answered this. 

Chris Tye: Well, but you’re the candidate. You’re sitting right in front of me. Can’t you give me that answer? 

Conyears-Ervin: I’ve already answered it. 

“I’m stunned that she’s in this race,” said Collins. “She should step down as our city treasurer. 

“Your interests should be that of the public, not of the self,” said Davis. 

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The treasurer’s campaign later said she is challenging the findings. She said the investigation does not change who she is and what she would bring to the job.

“Change cannot wait,” she said. “So I truly believe that it’s the timing, the urgency, that we cannot wait for change. Washington is not working. And it certainly is not working for working families.”

Collins has never held elected office but said that should not mean she does not have sufficient background and experience. 

“I will push back on that,” she said. “I have written statewide policy reaching across the aisle in the Illinois General Assembly when I co-authored Illinois Council on Women and Girls Act, which talked about protecting reproductive healthcare, closing the pay wage equity gap.” 

“I don’t think many are listening to those I call the great pretenders,” Davis said, referring to Collins and Conyears-Ervin. “Those who pretend that they have done things that you can’t find any record of them having done them.”

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With just days left, the candidates shared their final messages to voters. 

“As the only working mother and financial expert in this race, I’ve lived here my entire life,” said Conyears-Ervin. “I know what our young people are experiencing, and I relate to them. This is why I say change cannot wait.” 

“Public safety is the No. 1 issue, whether we’re talking about Westchester, Illinois, or West Englewood, which all lie within our district. People want the ability to walk their communities.”

“I operate with my mind,” said Davis. “And that’s what I think it takes to help shape the world: people with wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.”

Two other candidates are running on the Democratic side–Nikhil Bhatia, a teacher and principal, and Kouri Marshall, who worked for Gov. JB Pritzker. Republican Chad Koppie is running unopposed.

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Bill aiming to protect nursing home residents passes Illinois Senate

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Bill aiming to protect nursing home residents passes Illinois Senate







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SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois Senate passed a bill requiring nursing homes to provide residents with proper care plans during ownership changes.

According to Illinois State Senator Julie Morrison, Senate Bill 3115 requires nursing facility owners to submit transition plans detailing how resident care and appropriate staffing levels will be maintained throughout the ownership change.

“Quality of care for nursing home residents should not be disrupted because of an unclear transition process,” said Morrison (D-Lake Forest). “By providing a clear transfer plan when nursing homes change ownership, we can increase protection for residents.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health says previous ownership changes resulted in unclear transition of ownership.

“In the past, medical staff have been at dangerously low levels during facility transitions,” said Morrison. “Nursing home management has a duty to provide comprehensive care.”

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Senate Bill 3115 passed the Illinois Senate on Friday, April 12, and is moving to the Illinois House for further consideration.



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Ms. Basketball of Illinois Kloe Froebe now in a league of her own for central Illinois’ best players

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Ms. Basketball of Illinois Kloe Froebe now in a league of her own for central Illinois’ best players


Since the Central State Eight Conference began play in 1993, it’s been the home of some of the best girls basketball players in Springfield-area history.  

But Lincoln’s Kloe Froebe can boast something none of her predecessors could: A state championship.  

Froebe, the Ms. Basketball of Illinois winner, according to the Chicago Tribune on Friday, and The State Journal-Register’s Large School Girls Basketball Player of the Year recipient for a second year in a row, led the Railsplitters to an undefeated record and a Class 3A state title with a win over Chatham Glenwood at Illinois State University’s CEFCU Arena last month.  

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Her efforts culminated in the awards mentioned above — as well as the Gatorade Illinois Girls Basketball Player of the Year award. To many of us, it seemed like destiny after Froebe and Lincoln suffered their only loss of the 2022-23 season in the season finale, a 63-52 setback to LaGrange Park Nazareth in the 3A title game. Froebe finished second in Ms. Basketball voting her junior year.  

Perfection: Lincoln girls basketball romps to first state title over Chatham Glenwood

Along the way, her feats surpassed even the best of the area’s best, including Taylorville’s Allison Curtin, Southeast’s Alex Harden and Springfield High’s Zahna Medley. Just being among those CS8 legends is quite an accomplishment, but her state championship and an undefeated season put her on a pedestal all by herself.  

Arguably, the best player in CS8 history is Taylorville’s Allison Curtin, who guided the Tornadoes to a second-place finish in the 1997 Class AA state tournament, losing to Wilmette Loyola back in the two-class system. Curtin was a junior and that loss — like Lincoln’s last year — was Taylorville’s only blemish on an otherwise dominant season. Curtin became the first Ms. Basketball of Illinois winner from the area in 1998. She played collegiately at Illinois and Tulsa before being drafted by the WNBA’s Detroit Shock, but she retired after sitting out her only season with an injury.  

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Zahna Medley led Springfield High to four consecutive Class 3A Final Fours from 2009-12. Though the Senators never broke through for a title game, Medley, a three-time winner of our Central State Eight Girls Basketball Player of the Year award, was the catalyst for an unprecedented four-year run. She went on to star at TCU, which named the women’s locker room in her honor.  

Southeast’s Alex Harden had an amazing career, played at Wichita State and was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, where she played for two seasons.  

Angela Perry twice helped Rochester finish second in Class 3A, with losses to Morton in the state title game in 2015 and 2017. Perry was The State Journal-Register’s Large School Girls Player of the Year in 2017, then had a distinguished career at Bowling Green.  

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There are so many more stars that have emerged from the CS8 — including Lanphier’s Marke Freeman, Shatonia Levy of Springfield High and Lincoln’s Steph Reichle — but Froebe stands out from them all.  

If it wasn’t impossible to stop her, no coach in Lincoln’s path found a way. She set scoring records at Lincoln and in the state tournament. She rebounded, defended and dished to her numerous capable teammates. She seemed effortless on the court and quickly displayed her dimpled smile in every postgame interview.  

Even when she had to have her nostrils plugged after a bloody nose in February’s sectional semifinal, she was able to laugh it off while chatting with reporters after another win.  

Her next stop is Colorado State University. The Rams are getting a winner and will undoubtedly provide Froebe with more curveballs and obstacles as the quality of competition and coaching grows.

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But one thing in her favor is her relentlessness. She does it all and, despite being undersized at 5-foot-8, she wormed her way into the paint, tussled for every loose ball and defended bigger players to force turnovers or missed shots.  

Women’s basketball has never been more popular. With Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark, the women’s collegiate game has more eyes on it than ever before. More and more talented players are getting the attention of first-time fans of the game. Viewership is through the roof.  

We’ve had four years to catch just how special Kloe Froebe is. Now, the rest of the country might get a chance to learn what we already know.

Contact Ryan Mahan: 788-1546, ryan.mahan@sj-r.com, Twitter.com/RyanMahanSJR. 

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Illinois Building Code Update Sparks Debate with All-Electric Rejection

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Illinois Building Code Update Sparks Debate with All-Electric Rejection


In a move with significant developments, Illinois’ governing board overseeing building standards has declined to adopt the all-electric code. The “all-voluntary electrical code” in Illinois refers to a code or set of regulations governing electrical systems and installations in buildings that is optional or voluntary for compliance.

This decision comes amidst a growing trend in northern Illinois, mainly the Chicago communities to curb natural gas use in new construction projects.

The Legal Tussle Between Illinois International Code Council (ICC) and Federal Court

Illinois International Code Council (ICC) discarded an optional all-electric construction code in its 2024 International Energy Conservation Code. It is the standard model for building codes nationwide. The decision to reverse the code echoed a landmark ruling by the US Court.

  • However, it has received significant repercussions from the ICC board of directors.

Painting a clearer picture, the advisory council of experts, tasked with updating the state’s building codes over time, initially incorporated the all-electric option into the Illinois stretch energy code.

However, on March 20, the Illinois Capital Development Board (CDB), appointed by the governor, countered this decision by removing the all-electric appendix from the stretch code. This action stemmed from apprehensions regarding potential legal liabilities for communities.

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Consequently, Illinois communities will find themselves without a standardized, readily available method for enforcing all-electric new construction.

The insights of this ruling, fetched from S&P Global Market Intelligence are noted below:

  1. The ICC cautioned cities and states that embracing the 2024 international code’s draft all-electric provision could lead to a “significant risk” of federal law conflicts.
  2. This decision was influenced by the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which held that the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) preempted Berkeley, Calif.’s pioneering building gas ban.
  3. The conflict between ICC and CDB highlights the larger impact of obstructing building decarbonization efforts.
  4. This ruling can affect Western US states and territories. It can also go beyond the regions of the 9th Circuit’s jurisdiction, where courts have not yet addressed EPCA’s compatibility with local electrification codes.

Although the new rule marks a fallout from a nationwide decision, it has established a precedent that challenges local electrification mandates across the country.

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Illinois Seeking Sustainable Solutions through CEJA 

Illinois located in the heart of the United States, is the nation’s third-largest consumer of gas in both residential and commercial sectors.

While Illinois aims for emission reductions through its Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA), the clash between state aspirations and federal preemption poses a formidable challenge. The recent decisions highlight the complexity of balancing environmental objectives with legal compliance.

Amidst all the conundrum, Illinois seeks to navigate through the legal and environmental challenges with some sustainable solutions.

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Stretch Code Development by CDB

CDB’s Energy Conservation Advisory Council has developed a stretch code in Illinois aimed to align with CEJA’s goals. The climate bill required the CDB to create an optional code exceeding Illinois Energy Conservation Code standards. It would also adhere to international code standards.

It is expected to offer additional measures to enhance building efficiency and reduce emissions. The removal of the all-electric appendix raises doubts about the state’s ability to offer a unified sustainable construction approach.

The stretch code further gives a boost to the rising movement in Chicago and neighboring regions to curb gas and fossil fuel usage in new construction projects.

During the March 20 meeting, numerous local government representatives emphasized to the CDB the importance of efficiency and decarbonization measures in the stretch code. They highlighted that local governments frequently lack the resources to independently develop such policies.

Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss said,

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We rely on the expertise of the state to give us these model ordinances that will be feasible to allow us to achieve our objectives. We are willing to take that risk and prove out the concepts so that other communities can follow.”

Striking a Balance on the Electrification Debate

Differences in opinion and demand among individuals and groups have given rise to the need to balance out the situation. While some from the industry group support 100% electrification others argue for flexibility and affordability. They argue against provisions like the electric-ready requirement, citing potential high costs for homes and threats to energy affordability.

On the contrary, proponents of electrification, like RMI’s Chiu, dispute these claims. He stresses the importance of efficiency measures, such as incentivizing the installation of heat pumps.

However, whatever the outcome is, it must be economically and environmentally viable.

Climate experts emphasize the importance of prioritizing energy efficiency and sustainability. They favor promoting heat pumps and other innovative approaches to achieve climate objectives.

Noteworthy, this strategy aims to mitigate GHG emissions within the community by 60% before 2030. And finally, become net zero by 2050. This aligns closely with recommendations from leading climate scientists worldwide, intending to combat climate change.

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The graph shows the total natural gas consumed in Illinois through 2022.

IllinoisIllinois

source: US Energy Information Administration

Despite these debates, the Illinois stretch code maintains the all-electric provision, pointing to a continued focus on promoting energy-efficient solutions. Stakeholders will be responsible for reconciling divergent interests while advancing towards a common goal of sustainable development.

Robert Coslow, administrator of professional services at the CDB and chair of the Illinois Energy Conservation Advisory Council has noted,

“The Illinois stretch code pushes builders to install heat pumps through incentives because they are proven to be the most efficient heating source on the market.”

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Illinois has set an ambitious goal of achieving 100% clean energy by 2050. To address this, the state utility regulator is examining the future of the gas industry in light of CEJA. However, amidst this transition, there are divergent views on the best path forward.

The next update in 2025 mandated by CEJA will offer an opportunity to reassess contentious issues regarding the all-electric move. Let’s hope the decision paves the way toward a greener future for Illinois and the entire nation.

Disclaimer: The data is fetched from primary source S&P Global Market Intelligence.



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