Without fanfare last week, Governor JB Pritzker issued a sweeping executive order (2020-19) granting many health-care providers immunity from civil liability during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is a story about two very different state legislators, representing very different districts with the same strong belief in hope during a time of anguish.

"We know now, just the fact of community spread says that at least one percent, at the very least one percent of our population, is carrying this virus in Ohio today."

That was Ohio Department of Health Director Doctor Amy Acton speaking on March 12, when Ohio had only five confirmed COVID-19 cases. One percent of Ohio's population would be about 117,000 cases. "Community spread" means that the virus was transmitted by someone from inside the community, not someone who brought it in from outside.

The Senate Democrats caucused by phone last week. Among other things, members heard updates about what is happening in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Senate President Don Harmon told members that he, the other legislative leaders, and the governor are working on a list of must-pass bills.

The Democratic primary opponent of State Representative Thaddeus Jones (D-Calumet City) recently ripped into the incumbent for his position on a bill last year to create a new state board that would have the power to cap some prescription drug prices.

Chicago's public radio station WBEZ recently published a story about e-mails between House Speaker Michael Madigan's former consigliere Mike McClain and top staffers in Madigan's office. Federal investigators raided the former ComEd lobbyist's home last year.

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich emerged from prison just like he went in: Defiantly proclaiming his innocence and ostentatiously displaying his carefully-coiffed victimhood.

If you were too young to know about Blagojevich or your memory is hazy, you're now getting a lesson in Rod 101. He knows what reporters want and he's more than happy to give it to them if it serves his purposes. He will say anything, literally anything, to stay in the public eye, no matter how far from the truth it may be. And reporters are eagerly obliging him.

All six Democratic candidates vying to replace former State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) gathered for a candidates' forum last week moderated by Laura Washington of the Sun-Times. Feigenholtz was recently appointed to the Illinois Senate.

I've read and heard a lot of commentary about what Governor JB Pritzker didn't say in his State of the State address last month. Some folks are still quite angry that he didn't address their pet causes.

"It's hard for me to swallow how [people] make so much off of you. Right? And I gotta do the work."

That's from the July 31, 2018 federal surveillance of now-former state Senator Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago) complaining, according to media reports, to one of the founders of the red-light camera company SafeSpeed. Sandoval was bemoaning how he was killing and passing bills on the company's behalf while watching other people make bank off the red-light-cam industry.

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