The Rundown Podcast - Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. Angela Cheng / WBEZ Chicago
The Rundown Podcast - Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. Angela Cheng / WBEZ Chicago

It was a big night in Springfield. Illinois lawmakers are closer to passing a statewide assault weapons ban. State representatives voted late Thursday night on new protections for patients who get abortions and their providers. And state senators passed a measure allowing residents to mark X for the sex on birth certificates.

The Rundown Podcast - Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. Angela Cheng / WBEZ Chicago
The Rundown Podcast - Show Tile
Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news. Angela Cheng / WBEZ Chicago

It was a big night in Springfield. Illinois lawmakers are closer to passing a statewide assault weapons ban. State representatives voted late Thursday night on new protections for patients who get abortions and their providers. And state senators passed a measure allowing residents to mark X for the sex on birth certificates.

Erin Allen: Good morning, y'all. It's Friday. I'm Erin Allen and this is The Rundown. 

It's really nice to be on the other side of those sub zero temperatures from last month, but unfortunately some folks in Chicago are still dealing with the fallout. A lot of them lost heat. During that time. My colleague Araceli Gomez-Aldana is reporting that 200 or so residents of the Algonquin apartment complex in Kenwood are displaced right now, after losing heat and electricity two weeks ago. Their buildings are still closed. And in Logan Square, some residents at a building owned by M Fishman and Company are now withholding their rent in protest, after they lost their heat temporarily. 

Miles Bennett Hogerty: They chose not to listen. The only thing that we ultimately know is that we didn't get our heating fix until it totally broke down.

Erin Allen: That was one of the tenants Miles Bennett Hogerty. The property owners didn't respond to a request for comment. 

So earlier this week, I mentioned that Illinois lawmakers are looking to pass a bunch of laws before the end of the lame duck session next Wednesday. And a lot has happened in the last 24 hours with them. Here's some updates. Early this morning the house approved a statewide ban on the sale and manufacture of assault weapons in Illinois. The proposal specifically bans dozens of weapons along with magazines that can hold more than 12 rounds and rapid fire devices. It also allows a court to confiscate someone's weapons for up to a year under a firearms restraining order. And for people who already own assault weapons, they'll need to register them with the Illinois State Police. Jim Durkin is the outgoing House GOP leader and he was the only Republican to support the bill. He said AR-15s were created for war and civilians shouldn't have them.

Jim Durkin: I'm not gonna move on, from Highland Park, for that matter Chicago or any other communities torn apart by these guns.

Erin Allen: The measure now moved on to the Senate. Another move by Illinois State Representatives was advanced last night. A proposal that protects patients who get abortions as well as their providers who are usually targeted by states that have banned abortions. Democratic State Representative Kelly Cassidy is sponsoring that measure. She says those doctors who lose their medical licenses and other states would not be penalized here since abortion is legal in Illinois.

Kelly Cassidy: If you have been targeted by your state, and have been made enable to perform your craft because of unjust laws in your state and you want to bring your practice here. We're gonna help facilitate that. 

Erin Allen: The measure says the state can't punish doctors even if they're under investigation by another state for providing the procedure. It also expands insurance coverage for medically induced abortions, gender affirming medications like hormones, and HIV preventatives. Republicans are arguing that the proposal would allow abortions by non physicians. As for next steps, the Senate also needs to give this one approval. So on most birth certificates, there's a section that indicates the sex of the baby either male or female. But what about babies who don't fall into either category? Or parents wouldn't want to assign a sex to their babies at birth? Well, Illinois State Senators passed a measure last night that would allow people to mark the letter x in that section. State senator Laura Fine says it may seem like a small change, but it's important for trans and non binary folks.

Laura Fine: We have witnessed extreme attacks against this community throughout our country legislatively, emotionally and physically. In Illinois, with this legislation, we are stating that everyone is welcome here.

Erin Allen: The measure received applause from Democrats. It passed with 36 yes votes. Republicans on the other hand, oppose the bills and people could change their sex to their advantage. For instance, getting lower insurance rates for females. For now is going to the House for a final vote and it'll need approval from Governor JB Pritzker. 

And before we get to weather, a few quick hits. First an update on the SAFE-T Act: the Illinois Supreme Court won't hear arguments about it until March, which means judges can continue to set cash bail amounts for at least the next couple months. And if you're one of those folks who is allergic to latex, I got some good news. A new Illinois law bans the use of latex gloves and food services. Restaurants can only use them if they're short on alternatives like vinyl or nitrile. And an update on Damar Hamlin, he's the Buffalo Bills player who collapsed on the field on Monday Night Football. Doctors said yesterday he's awake his condition has improved substantially. His neurological function is intact, he's able to write, and the first question he asked with a pen and paper when he woke up was - Did we win? Best of luck to him. 

As for weather today, it's a cloudy one but we're probably done with the snow for now. High temperatures in the mid 30s. Tonight is getting pretty cold, low in the low 20s. And that's it for this morning on The Rundown. Coming up this afternoon, most Christians already celebrated Christmas last year. But for others the season is just beginning.

Cianna Greaves: According to the Julian calendar, Orthodox Christmas falls on January 7.

Erin Allen: My colleagues Cianna Greaves is an audio producer now, but she used to be a chef and she could not resist reporting on the delicious food traditions Orthodox Christians are getting ready to prepare in the next couple of days. And lucky for you and me, she's going to tell us exactly where to go to get some of that food this weekend. And yes, there are options for omnivores, carnivores and vegans alike. That's coming up today at two on The Rundown. I'll talk to you then.


WBEZ transcripts are generated by an automatic speech recognition service. We do our best to edit for misspellings and typos, but mistakes do come through.