The Health Of Illinois’s Water; What Blagojevich Can Teach Us About Impeachment; IL Senate President Retires; Snow Murals

November 18, 2019
 

Kankakee State Park

Tom Gill/(CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Trump administration has been rolling back environmental rules that were created under President Obama. And since January of 2017, EPA inspections in the Midwest have fallen by 60%. Plus, 10 years ago Illinois impeached and removed Gov. Rod Blagojevich. We learn what that process can teach us about the impeachment proceedings in Washington today. We also talk about the retirement of Senate President John Cullerton, and interview one Chicago who resident has been making snow days a little easier for everyone by making snow murals all over the city.

The Health of Illinois’ Water

Ever since he was sworn in, President Trump has tried to undo the policies of his predecessor, former President Barack Obama. We’ve seen it in many areas whether it’s health care, foreign policy, or taxes.  

We’ve also seen it when it comes to environmental policies, specifically the Environmental Protection Agency. Since President Trump was inaugurated, the EPA has cut back on everything from staffing levels to inspections. 

And that’s made a big difference. In fact, federal inspections in the Midwest have decreased by 60 percent.

Brett Chase is a senior investigative reporter with the Better Government Association.  Aaron Wilson is an Assistant Professor of environmental studies at Illinois Wesleyan University. 

What Blagojevich Can Teach Us about the Process of Impeachment

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives held its first public hearings for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. 

Only two presidents have ever been impeached.  None have ever been convicted by a trial in the Senate.

But presidents aren’t the only ones who can be impeached. Ten years ago, we had our own trial here in Illinois of our then-governor, Rod Blagojevich. The General Assembly was controlled by members of his own party.

And in the end his colleagues didn’t just impeach him, they removed him from office through an overwhelming bipartisan vote.  

So what can that process ten years ago tell us about what’s going on in Washington today? Rick Pearson is a political reporter with the Chicago Tribune and host of “Sunday Spin” on WGN. 

IL Senate President Retires

The most powerful Democratic State Senator in Illinois is retiring in January. John Cullerton has been part of the Illinois General Assembly since 1979. And for a decade, he’s served as President of the Illinois Senate.

His announcement was surprising to both his colleagues and state politics reporters alike. For more on this we were joined by Brian Mackey, statehouse reporter for Illinois Public Radio. 

Making 'Snow Murals' in Chicago 

Even though we know it’s coming, we seem to be surprised every year (like last week!) when the snow starts to fly and the temperature drops into single digits. Perhaps we’re reluctant to welcome in the season when we know how bleak and grey and long it can be.  

But one Chicago resident is delighted when white blankets the city and delights others with his artwork:  murals made out of snow. And he’s been doing it for years in different parts of the city. His name is Eduardo Vea Keating and he joins us.