Darnell Hopkins, 63, of South Holland shoots a gun during a class at Glenwood Gun & Pistol Range in Glenwood on Jan. 5, 2016. There are currently no commercial gun ranges in Chicago, but a new proposal easing some of the restrictions on gun ranges in the city might change that. (Zbigniew Bzdak / Chicago Tribune)
Welcome to Clout Street: Morning Spin, our weekday feature to catch you up with what’s going on in government and politics from Chicago to Springfield. Subscribe here.
Eased gun range zoning laws, tighter valet parking regulations and limitations on when Chicago cops can board airplanes are all set for a vote Wednesday at the monthly City Council meeting.
The new gun range rules would allow ranges in more parts of the city, where there now are none. A vote was put off last month, but it’s now expected to pass, given that a federal appellate court deemed the current regulations too strict.
Under the other measures also slated for a vote: Valet stations would have to open and close within a half-hour of a business’s hours of operation, and city workers could only board planes to respond to a crime or medical emergency, a move made in response to last month’s infamous dragging incident on a United Airlines plane.
Some aldermen, meanwhile, are trying to resurrect a languishing ordinance to require more oversight of the Chicago Housing Authority.
And Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to introduce appointments to three cabinet posts, openings created by a budget department departure and a water department scandal.
Aldermen are introducing measures to crack down on sham massage parlor owners running places of prostitution and impose big fees on developers who don’t make half of their housing units affordable along the 606 trail. (Hal Dardick)
What’s on tap
*Mayor Emanuel will preside over the Chicago City Council meeting and hold a news conference afterward.
*Gov. Bruce Rauner has no public schedule.
*The Chicago City Council meets at 10 a.m. Watch live here.
*Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle will give remarks at an interfaith memorial service at Chicago Temple. She said recently that she’ll run for another term in 2018.
From the notebook
*Dems keep heat turned up on President Donald Trump: Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., on Tuesday released a letter she sent to the National Security Agency director, Adm. Michael Rogers, asking whether security sweeps were conducted — and whether any listening or recording devices turned up — after Trump’s Oval Office meeting May 8 with two Russian officials.
Duckworth, in a letter Monday, noted the U.S. news media was barred from covering Trump’s meeting with the Russian foreign minister and its ambassador to the U.S., but a photographer from a Russian state-sponsored media outlet was allowed in.
The U.S., she wrote, “must counter the hostile actions of the Russian government and its authoritarian allies, such as Syria and Iran.”
She also said she was “alarmed and frustrated” by reports that Trump during the meeting divulged highly classified intelligence to the visiting Russians.
News accounts say Trump told the Russians about intelligence indicating Islamic State operatives had determined how to plant and mask an explosive inside the battery of a laptop computer, increasing the chances a bomb could be secreted past screeners onto an airplane. The intelligence reportedly was given to the U.S. by Israel.
Rogers, by the way, is no stranger to Chicagoans. He’s a 1977 graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka. (Katherine Skiba)
*Tuition help proposed: Nearly two years into the state’s historic budget stalemate, several House Democrats unveiled a plan Tuesday to provide tuition assistance to Illinois college students that could cost hundreds of millions of dollars in its first year.
The proposal could create a grant capped at $4,000 annually for students who maintain a B average or better, whose family income is less than $125,000. To qualify, students would have to be enrolled continuously at a state university or community college and pledge to remain in Illinois for at least two years after graduating.
The bill also could create a fund for universities to tap into for faculty recruitment and retention and establish a debt relief program for those who have graduated. Under this program, the state would take on eligible students’ private loans, and those students would repay the state at no interest.
“We believe that this program is a rational response to the crisis that we are seeing,” said Rep. Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago. “It is a real investment not just in individual students but in community areas where the institution of higher education really is the economic hub of the entire town and where, without these universities, you will start seeing towns outside of Chicago die.”
Students could use the proposed programs, though, only if lawmakers agreed to pay for them. That might be a big ask given the state’s fiscal woes. The grant program would cost about $300 million in the first year, said state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie.
He said the programs won’t be a budget item for next year and wouldn’t kick in until the 2018-19 school year.
Lang said there are uncertainties, including what the state’s budgetary pressures will look like a year from now. But he said students who work hard and want to go to college should receive help.
“When we get to next year’s budget, when it comes time to talk about funding this, we will have to come to grips with this as a General Assembly as to what to do and how to do and how much to fund it,” he said. (Haley BeMiller)
What we’re writing
*Speaker Madigan back in shadows this spring after millions of dollars of Rauner attacks.
*Illinois Senate Democrats pass tax hikes despite likelihood they won’t become law.
*CTU issues vote of no confidence in CPS CEO Claypool.
*Cubs to pay $1 million for Wrigley Field security cameras.
*Ald. O’Shea targets prostitution at Chicago massage parlors.
*Quigley says Russia probe is "in its infancy."
*Check to Ald. Ervin displayed to jurors at fraud trial.
*Target agrees to $18.5 million settlement with Illinois, 47 other states over 2013 data breach.
*Willowbrook rejects "gun-try club" despite changes to plan.
What we’re reading
*"They scared him to death": School disciplinary incident ends with a Naperville teen’s suicide.
*Apple flagship, Mag Mile offices selling for $370 million.
*Inside the building that Epstein built.
Follow the money
*Track Illinois campaign contributions in real time here and here.
*Manhunt for Manchester concert terrorist bomber accomplices.
*Ex-CIA boss Brennan troubled by Trump team’s Russia contacts.
*Trump trip: Touts Israel-Palestine peace, but same obstacles remain.
*Fox News retracts unfounded story about DNC staffer’s death.