House Republican Leader Jim Durkin Calls for Madigan’s Immediate Resignation, New Vote for Speaker of the House. Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin released the following statement regarding the call for Speaker Madigan’s immediate resignation and has filed House Resolution 885 to remove Madigan from the position of Speaker of the House:

“The federal charges outlined in the ComEd prosecution highlight a scheme solely for the benefit of Speaker Madigan. These facts are a disgrace of the highest level to the citizens of Illinois and to the institution of which we serve, the Illinois House of Representatives.
Photo by Eric Douglas/Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 
As these hot summer months drag on, many Illinoisans might be thinking of cooler locales. Eighty-five years ago, an Illinoisan named Lincoln Ellsworth took this idea to the extreme when he and his co-pilot Herbert Hollick-Kenyon of Canada became the first men to complete a flight across Antarctica.

Lincoln Ellsworth was born into a wealthy Chicago family in 1880. His father was among the city’s leading businessmen and even built one of Chicago’s first skyscrapers. He grew up in the opulent surroundings common to the well-to-do of the Victorian era, including a Michigan Avenue home with a large library full of stories of explorers and adventurers. The young man soon discovered a hunger for adventure that extended beyond studying the exploits of others. Instead, he sought to explore those spots on the globe which had not yet been written about in his books.
No Room for Error in our Right to Free and Fair Elections
by State Representative Amy Grant, 42nd District

State government bureaucracy doesn’t have a great reputation for efficiency, but in recent months we’ve seen lapses in the administration of state government that are unacceptable. When it comes to our most basic rights, like the right to free and fair elections, there is no room for error.
The Governor announced new guidance restricting youth and adult recreational organized sports in Illinois. That includes school-based sports such as those governed by the IHSA and IES, travel clubs, private leagues, recreational leagues and sports centers and Park District sports programs. Restrictions issued today do not include professional sports leagues, or collegiate level sports. The new restrictions go into effect in mid-August.

The guidance was developed in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
House Republicans demand action on ethics reform. The past twelve months have seen several bombshell revelations about key leaders and former members of the Illinois General Assembly. In October 2019, longtime Chicago Representative Luis Arroyo was charged with conduct that involved political bribery. In January, former Senate Transportation Committee chairperson Martin Sandoval pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery and tax fraud. Now in July, a federal grand jury subpoena is enforcing a look by law enforcement at the office papers of the Speaker of the House, Michael J. Madigan. 
Photo from Forest Citys Baseball. 
This weekend Major League Baseball will finally begin its coronavirus-delayed 2020 season. After cancelling more than half the season and the All-Star Game, baseball also lost its 2020 Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which would have occurred this weekend in Cooperstown, New York. Instead, the ceremony will be postponed until the same weekend next year, when Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker will be inducted into the Hall.

They will join Illinois stars like Ernie Banks and Frank Thomas in the baseball shrine in the rolling hills of upstate New York. The Hall is located in this small, out-of-the-way community thanks to the efforts of two men who died long before its creation: Abner Doubleday, who is credited with inventing the game of baseball on a field near Cooperstown, and the Illinoisan Albert Goodwill Spalding who credited him with doing so.
Illinois State Representatives Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), and Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) held a video press conference on Tuesday to demand Governor JB Pritzker call the General Assembly into special session to pass badly needed ethics reforms. The calls for reform came on the heels of news that House Speaker Michael Madigan is implicated in a deferred prosecution agreement unveiled Friday.
Michael J. Madigan is the longest-serving leader of any state legislative body in the history of the United States. He has served as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives for 35 of the last 37 years and has amassed enormous power in Illinois politics. As chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party and Speaker of the House of Representatives he unilaterally controls the agenda in Springfield. His influence has kept many people silent when they should have spoken out. That needs to change.
Total Reopening Nowhere in Sight
by State Representative Dan Brady, 105th District

We have now entered Phase 4 of Gov. Pritzker’s gradual reopening plan for our state, and the restored freedoms for our families and businesses are certainly needed now to get our communities well on the road to recovery.
James Cornish probably did not know he was about to play a role in the making of history when he arrived at Chicago’s Provident Hospital on July 10, 1893. Chances are he wasn’t much interested in what history books would say, suffering as he was from a severe stab wound to his chest. His life would be saved that day by a trailblazing physician performing a first-of-its-kind surgery.
It’s Time for Hearings, Audits, and Answers
by State Representative Avery Bourne, 95th District

It has been nearly 100 days and 40 Executive Orders since Governor Pritzker issued the first stay home order. The initial intention of the order – to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep hospitals from being overwhelmed – was a goal we all shared. Many sacrifices were made. All of this was done with the assurance that once we did our part to flatten the curve, we could slowly and safely reopen.
“Phase 4” in Illinois. With coronavirus case counts going up in many states, worries are spreading in Illinois. An upsurge in COVID-19 could force the State to retreat from its current “Phase 4” status, which has allowed the resumption of many Illinois activities such as nonessential retail store activity, socially distanced indoor dining, and swimming pool use.
Photo from the National Road Association of Illinois. 
A visitor to Illinois from the east coast has many easy and convenient ways of reaching the Land of Lincoln. Daily flights from points up and down the coast deliver passengers to Illinois airports around the clock. Direct Amtrak service connects Illinois with New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, and seven east-west interstate highways and countless smaller roads bring travelers across Illinois’ eastern border somewhere between Lake Michigan and the state’s southern tip.

Two hundred years ago it was not so easy. Before construction began on one of the nation’s first large-scale public works projects in 1806, the frontier on the far bank of the Wabash was about as hard to reach as the cities on the far shore of the Atlantic.
The deadline to apply for the first round of Business Interruption Grants (BIG) is 5 p.m. today, July 7.

The state is providing $60 million in the first round to businesses experiencing extreme hardship as a result of COVID-19 related closures in the form of $10k and $20k grants. An Additional $210 million is allocated for future rounds.

The first round is open to Bars and Restaurants, Fitness Centers, Barbershops and Salons, and nearly all small businesses in zip codes that experienced property damage from civil unrest. 

The Votes We Didn’t Take in May
by State Representative Grant Wehrli, 41st District

Lawmakers considered a mixed bag of legislation during our four-day session in May. Some measures, like legislation that provides for the automatic rollover of certain property taxpayer exemptions (senior, senior assessment freeze,
William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln
at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. 
Standing outside the Temple of Music concert hall at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo in September 1901, the former U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain must have noticed the sudden commotion coming from inside. Soon the news passed through the crowd: President William McKinley had been shot and seriously wounded by a would-be assassin. He died a few days later.

The moment must have brought back a torrent of terrible memories for the retired diplomat. Twenty years earlier, while serving as Secretary of War, he had been at the Baltimore & Potomac Railroad station in Washington with President James A. Garfield when another assassin had struck. Sixteen years before that, he had been hastily summoned from the White House to his dying father’s bedside in the Petersen House across the street from Washington DC’s Ford’s Theater in the wake of America’s first Presidential assassination.

That day in Buffalo was just another tragic turn in the life of Robert Todd Lincoln.