State Week: Congressional Campaigns, Sterigenics, Abortion Funding, Chicago Casino
Republicans are lining up to try to reclaim the seats won by freshmen U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood, there are fights over a suburban business emitting a cancer-causing chemical, the feds are inching up on the speaker, and more.
The Casten race features a Republican primary that so far included former state Rep. Jeanne Ives and former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti — a rematch of sorts of last year's gubernatorial primary, when Ives came within three points of defeating incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner for the Republican nomination. And will U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin get another pass?
Meanwhile, politicians are on the defensive over an agreement to allow Sterigenics to reopen in the western suburbs despite concerns about cancer-causing emissions from the medical device sterilization plant.
The Chicago Tribune reported federal investigators raided the Quincy home of Mike McClain, a longtime friend and confidant of House Speaker Michael Madigan. It prompted another round of speculation about why the feds are circling the longest-serving member of the Illinois General Assembly.
Illinois health clinics that provide or refer women for abortions reacted to President Trump's decision to suspend federal funding to such groups, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Illinois would step in.
And Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled five potential sites for a Chicago casino. They're all in parts of the city in need of economic development — far from rumored sites downtown, on Navy Pier and near McCormick Place.
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