WBEZs Chicago And Illinois News Roundup: May 1, 2020
Hi I'm Jen. White and this is reset Illinois governor. Jay pritzker stay at home order to fight. Cova nineteen begins today. New Mandate will require all of us to wear masks in public. When social distancing is not an option testing trae shing and P P are key to our ability to reopen our economy and keep people safe a second lawsuit is now challenging Governor Jay Pritzker Authority to issue consecutive. Stay at home orders. The Chicago Housing Solidarity Pledge Brings All of us together to dress. Unprecedented Challenge and to provide clear guidance on this critical issue. We're going to talk about those stories you just heard and more on our Friday news roundup with us today. Wtt W political correspondent Amanda Finicky. Hi Amanda also with the Chicago Tribune City Hall reporter. John Byrne Hi John. Welcome back to the program. Hey how are you too okay? So I mean I'll start with you. What are the latest Kobe? Nine hundred numbers in Illinois fifty two thousand nine hundred eighteen positive cases. Total with two thousand three hundred fifty. Five is the death total and so those those are numbers again. Those are updated every day but we have been seeing. These increased steadily. You've been to the point where we kind of looking like we were slowing down. That has certainly not been the case of late. Changes TO THE STATE. Stay at home order. Go into effect today and that includes a new mask requirement. Here's a clip of governor pritzker explaining how that will work adults and children over the age of two and everyone medically able to tolerate face covering will be required to wear one in any public place where they can't maintain a six social distance. John Talk about some of the other changes. We're going to see Illinois starting today so in addition to the the face covered stuff. We've got all the expansion of what we consider. Essential businesses garden centers can open now greenhouses like. I know everyone's going to try to get tomatoes this weekend. But don't because it's still too cold animal grooming places can open now and then and then there's a rule about religious gatherings if you have a religious gathering of no more than ten people That's going to be allowed to but in Chicago on the Lake Front stays closed the mayor lightfoot said and also while I think golf courses and other places may be opening like mayor lightfoot says Chicago Wall scores will remain close to. What kind of Pritzker is facing pushback from Republicans over his day at home order and a handful of GOP led states are starting to reopen their economies? We saw tensions flare up yesterday during a protest at the Michigan State Capitol. Amanda How's this playing out in Illinois? I am not at the Capitol Right now but one of my former colleagues from the State House just tweeted out a video where he estimated there about a thousand people at the in front of the Illinois capital right now protesting many of whom are close together and face masks are a rarity there have also been some protests that particularly considering the population. Chicago are pretty small but increasing in size and they think increasing and vitriol pre are becoming tired of staying at home and I also think that this is becoming increasingly political. As you know degen it's not all Republicans but there have been particularly to members of the Illinois House that have brought legal action and as to John's point earlier in terms of that the new guidance on religious services. That's new we had gotten some copies of what the new may executive order was going to be in previously. There hasn't been anything singled out for religious services that was included yesterday after a lawsuit from a church in the Rockford area had sued governor Pritzker for basically separate separation of church and state and saying that they believe that it is unconstitutional that they weren't allowed to hold a worshiping services. Due to the corona virus executive mandate that had been placed prior. So this is certainly ramping. Up and expectations are that we will continue. I think to see that occur and there is also a regional divide. Yes there is this is happening in Chicago but we are seeing of course more of those cases in Chicago where more of the people in the state live and downstate. There are those who are incredibly frustrated that they aren't being given more opportunities to make decisions locally about what they can open up but the only real local decisions that can be made more stringent as. We're seeing mayor lightfoot do in the city they want to be able to go in the opposite direction. I just remind everyone there are actually three lawsuits right now. The first lawsuits from State Representative Darren Bailey. And he seeking an exemption from the state's stay at home order for himself. There's a second suit from state representative John Cabello seeking to lift the order for everyone in the state and then that third lawsuit. You mentioned Amanda. From the church arguing that Pritzker is executive order demonstrates quote illegal and discriminatory hostility to religious practice churches and people of Faith Governor Pritzker was livid he. He called the litigation both irresponsible and also reckless that specifically in reference to Representative Bailey's lawsuit. Let's take a listen. There would have been thousands more deaths in the state and there will be thousands of deaths if this executive order is not allowed to proceed so it is reckless in the extreme for state representative. Who should know better to bring a lawsuit like that That he knows might have a terrible effect on the health and safety of people all across the state. That's what's reckless. Just got an update here. That people are also protesting at Thompson Center today. John How did this public health crisis? Become a partisan issue you've got a democratic governor and Democratic Mayor. Both of whom have have been pretty strong in their condemnations of the federal response to this and have taken a harder. Line kind of let the way undoing. A lot of these closings so in our current climate. They pretty quickly become told. You consider the face of this this whole stay home movement in in the state so you've got Republican groups there. I think you know there are several dozen people at the Thompson Center Right now it's not a huge group by the latest numbers I saw were like a maybe fifty or sixty seventy people outside the Thompson Center giving speeches. There are people in cars driving around the Thompson Center. Beeping their horns calling for the state to be open as well. And when you've got all got such a heavily democratic state then. Republican groups are going to going to see this in in. The president has been supportive of movements around the country to to call fleet reopening so that that has driven some of the partisanship as well. I think that there's really puts on display divide that has frankly long been present in Illinois and it is we think of it as partisan but we can also think of it as philosophical and. I think that there are people if you look in the Chicago area. President trump is very unpopular but in southern Illinois. He has backers who very much believe that he is doing. The right thing voted for him for president and continue to back him so it's impart political but it is again just a true philosophical way of seeing things and how viruses playing out. You'll get unemployment rates. I think that is different in something to point out also wanted to be clear that Darren daily suit. Interestingly this morning at about ten. Am He took action asking for the decision to be vacated so after he got all of this attention? And made waves. He's asking the court to release that and his statement says he talks about new documentation recently uncovered without citing. What that is he says. The governor's office and Department of Public Health failed to provide by public law. We feel it is in the best interest of voluntarily asked the appellate court to vacate the temporary restraining order. He says he plans to file an amended complaint so bringing this back to circuit court there in clay county where his original case was held and he says that he plans to continue to pursue this but he is now apparently asking for the order which releases him from governor prescribers stay at home executive order to be basically tossed but he's still pursuing an exemption from the stay at home order. He's apparently going to file a new case and take new legal action. He's asking that the current case that he put forward basically be nullified again. This is new and somewhat confusing. I in the other lawsuits that you have filed by representative. Cabello is not on that fast track so it this point it seems in place where we should really look for the courts as for this religious rolling which despite the changes to the May executive order that do give some freedoms specifically to religious institutions. That is a case that is going to be going forward In Short Order Illinois is one of seven Midwest states that pledged to work together to safely reopen their economies. But we're starting to see a disconnect here. Indiana for example is expected to end restrictions. Any Day now John. Talk about the impact that could have on the region as a whole well. Obviously you know unless you're going to put up walls the at the state line you've got people who are crossing into Illinois particularly from from Indiana which is in parts of northwest Indiana basically so suburbs of Chicago. So there's a lot of back and forth across state lines A if you believe the concerns about the way this could be spread than if people are out in about Indiana and then crossing over into Chicago than that could obviously will exacerbate the spread in Chicago. And and I'm sure that the The governor would rather governor pritzker would rather his neighbors in other states Total wine and and have some consistency. But I think you'll see the governor possibly facing additional pressure from people in Illinois say. Look Indiana's open up. Their economy is reopening now. So let's get with the program or otherwise Illinois could fall behind other states in the recovery part of this now maybe reported that the last time Illinois lawmakers were in Springfield was on March fifth. And there's an interesting piece of law that that says they have to meet in person is basically. They have to meet in person before they could actually meet. Virtually they'd have to change the rules. Is there any plan at this? Point for them. To return to the capital. No actually the Democratic leaders of the legislature has been remarkably silent on. What their plan is and when they do believe that the General Assembly should be back in in session. They are citing safety concerns there increasingly getting pushback there from Republicans who say hey other. Essential workers retailers are going to work every day using social distancing guidelines and maths and other legislative bodies have met as well including Congress. We can do this then again. It is not clear what exactly they will do. Once they get there there are. Legislators meeting virtually described them as basically committees except for unlike a traditional Legislative Committee. Journalists and members of the public can't be part of them. They're these working groups where they are discussing plans for post pandemic and the budget and what they are going to do but at this point. I haven't heard of anything really to come of that nor any calendar for when legislators will begin to make those public or go to Springfield to discuss them at this point again. Republicans say that. It's past time. They they want to get back there and they want more input. They say this has been too much by executive Fiat The reaction to the current virus. But nothing really from either Speaker Madigan or President Harmon on that front. You're listening to the Friday news. Roundup here on reset when we break down the week's top stories are penalty includes Amanda Finicky of. Wtt W. N. John Byrne of the Chicago Tribune some other stories. We're watching today. A federal appeals court in Chicago says the trump administration policy of threatening to withhold grant money from sanctuary. Cities violates separation of powers provision yesterday's ruling. Also says a freeze of that policy should extend nationwide the Chicago. Police Department says robberies breweries and thefts declined by double digits last month. Cd says they saw a thirty percent decline in overall crime for April compared to the same month last year and Ravenna. The oldest music festival on the nation has cancelled. Its twenty twenty season. Due to concerns over cove at nineteen anyone who bought tickets can receive refunds or vouchers for future performances or convert those funds into a tax deductible donation well as we mentioned earlier. Illinois residents are now required to wear face coverings in places where it's difficult to maintain a safe distance. Amanda how is the city making sure enough masks to go around? We are seeing Alderman. Get involved in that members of the state legislature community organizations and the mayor's office they are all seeking to purchase distributes receive donations. I know last week I covered a story with Joann fabrics donating to really try and get them particularly in the the west side and to seniors. But this is something that our elected officials have recognized as an issue that not everybody may be able to ease. We get a hold of a mask. There are of course plenty of instructions on Youtube. You can use a handkerchief. You can use a t shirt but perhaps that's not an option for everyone so there are a whole lot of drives but that is something that I know I will be watching going forward hearing from individuals that say that they're still having a hard time to have something that is considered proper protection. Will Tuesday former mayoral candidate? Willie Wilson Pledge To give away twenty thousand disposable masks to each Alderman who came downtown to get them John. How did this go over with me or light flood? The mayor sort of brushed it off. Obviously she's had serve a prickly relationship with Wilson since her election so when she was asked about his particular drive to to give away. These Massey's well. We've got a lot of people giving away masks I. I don't have the bandwidth to be paying attention to every single drive. We'd like to thank. Everybody was giving away mass but then she after that said but I will say I did see some people at that giveaway. And they weren't standing far enough away from each other. So that's not social distancing. So that's a problem so he was paying some attention to it. It's got a wrinkle to a little bit because Wilson's out here saying he came out a few weeks ago and said Hey. I'll sell the city. So masks in the mayor said all he he wants a bunch of cash upfront. I'm not doing that with taxpayer. Money and Wilson came back and said I didn't ask for cash upfront. I don't know what she's talking about. Nobody got back to me okay. I'm just GONNA go right to the Alderman in a bunch of ultimate did show up. Not all of them. But you know a twenty Alderman something like that showed up at the Thompson Center to take away their boss their boxes of masks. Meanwhile the mayor saying we're going to put out an R. F. P. and we're going to get some cloth masks and do this and in in in Wilson saying I'm just going to go direct people so my impression is it hasn't gone over great with the mayor. She doesn't really love the fact that Willy Wilson is going direct to Alderman without Bringing City Hall into this today is the first of the month. Mayor lightfoot is calling on landlords to help ease the burden on renters during this time. Let's listen Chicago. Housing Solidarity Pledge. All of us together to address this unprecedented challenge and to provide clear guidance on this critical issue this pledge and the diverse group of stakeholders assembled reflects the interconnectedness but also a commitment to moving forward together John. This is a voluntary pledge. But what are the details behind it and who signed on so far the Mayor Beard. Whoops some lenders banks of landlords associations in several them decide on to say that they're going to work with renters and work with homeowners and try to come up with ways to not be evicting people who can't make their rent Several tenants groups came out and just totally ripped the idea of right afterward. Some aldermen to have been very critical of this saying mayor needs to do more to actually mandate rent. Relief Mandate An end to Vic Shins and the mayor has consistently said that these are not things she can do that she can. She can explore people and she can. She can ask people to sign open that Chicago. She's she's calling on Chicago into the virtues of collaboration sympathy in this time of difficulty for everybody to work together. But you can't do more than that in in rent. Renters groups say that that's just not true and she should be using our power to to help people stay in their apartments rather than relying on lenders to do the right thing. Well Amanda over the weekend. We saw this video of a House party on the northwest side. And it's raise some questions about. Why are people gathering in large numbers but it also raises questions about a possible disconnect between politicians media and young people in the city particularly black and Brown young people. What are your thoughts about that? The video certainly showed people who appeared to be young and having fun and gathering in close quarters again somewhere. Marry wearing masks but many were not and there has been you know. Follow up of their. Certainly I think a lot of people including elected officials who are angry. That people have been flippant and taken. They stay at home. Orders and the spread of the corona virus lightly and then individuals is has been quoted particularly reporting by the tribe that has said we dissect get. I don't feel like politicians understand. My life is so is it certainly is. I think another sign of just as we talked about a downstate divide. There are certainly divides within. The city demographic divides where people are living through this very strange unusual in different cult time in very disparate ways and so Perhaps that video and the attention that it got maybe did bring a new voice to the table here and educating people about the stay at home order although I I know just even having somewhat covered at myself and reading social media commentary there still since to be quite a bit of skepticism as to hey I I haven't been personally affected. I'm feeling okay. Why why do I need to stay? Home is certainly is i. I think another difficulty here as we fight again. What has been described as an invisible war? Well John Before you wrap. I want to quickly touch on a couple of issues out of CPT. We know that more than four hundred Chicago. Police officers have tested positive for the virus at the same time. Chicago's top COP. David Brown is working to cut down on police overtime. Spending and it's one of his first major moves since being sworn in last week. What are some of the big challenges? He's facing as he takes over. That job was interesting that he went right to that given that you're dealing with police officers. Who are all over the city or king in really dangerous conditions right now and and cracking down on on the overtime costs which far exceed the budget is something that the new superintendent said Obviously is a top priority. And he's making sure that Officers have to go higher the command latter two cleans overturn so that in theory. It doesn't get out of control The the new superintendent is also Undertaking this new surge where he wants to have more cops dangerous. Neighborhoods angered a lot of Alderman in safer wards when he did this unilaterally all without checking with them ahead of time so he's dealing with the politics of that also trying to get rid of overtime. He's tough situation going into the summer. Obviously we'll have before we wrap up we know we're going to hear another briefing from the Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor Pritzker today at two thirty Amanda. What will you be listening for? We're going to be looking to see we part of the reason that we have seen an increase in cases maybe because they've also seen an increase in the number of tests and looking to expand that there have been calls for example in Auburn Gresham. Again getting back to areas where a lot of black and Brown people live there saying. Hey we need more testing here because those are also communities that have been more severely impacted by the number of cases that something we'll be watching out for and also the governor's reaction to the latest legal filings. He has been very condemned president. Trump's handling of the corona virus outbreak. For quite some time. But in recent days they sort of seen him changes tune citing the trump administration's plans for reopening. The economy is justification for his past. And we're looking for more answers in terms of what he wants to happen in Illinois in order for there to be more reopening as this continues and really quickly John from you as you listen to the update in an update from Your Life. But today what will you be listening for warm weekend so? I'm going to be listening for both of them Whether they have any special plans in terms of ramping up police patrols. Doing other things to try to make sure that people really Adhere to these social distancing rules. 'cause IT'S GONNA be summer like this weekend. After after a week of pretty miserable weather people are GonNa want to get outside. That's it for the Friday news. Roundup thanks to our panel today. Amanda Finicky of W. T. W. and John Byrne of the Chicago Tribune Manda John. Thanks and take care. Thank and that's it for reset you can find us on twitter at wbz reset and you can find me at J. White Pob Brady out. I'm Jen White. Thanks for listening. Stay SAFE. Let's talk again soon.