Afternoon Edition: Feb. 20, 2020

Today’s update is a 4-minute read that will brief you on the day’s biggest stories.

SHARE Afternoon Edition: Feb. 20, 2020

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 4-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.

Afternoon Edition signup

Afternoon Edition

Chicago’s most important news of the day, delivered every weekday afternoon. Plus, a bonus issue on Saturdays that dives into the city’s storied history.

Today, we’re enjoying the sunshine from indoors, because it’s cold: the high will be 23 degrees and the low will be around 13 degrees. Tomorrow will be warmer, with a high at 37 degrees and more sun. If you love spending time outside, this weekend’s forecast is full of possibilities; sunny skies and highs in the mid-to-high 40s are expected on both Saturday and Sunday.

Top story

Everything you need to know about the proposed graduated income tax

On Nov. 3, 2020, Illinois voters be asked to weigh in on an amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would allow state lawmakers to impose a graduated income tax. Currently, the state constitution mandates that income tax be levied at a flat rate across all incomes.

The money generated from the tax would help pay off the state’s bill backlog, which stood at $6.29 billion on Jan. 3 and some middle and low-income taxpayers will see some savings.

Last year, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget report concluded there are “few alternatives” if the “Fair Tax” amendment isn’t enacted, including a 15% cut to essential services such as education funding and public safety.

Or “the state would need to raise taxes on all households — not just the wealthiest Illinoisans — by 20 percent under the existing flat tax,” the governor’s office said.

So what exactlyisa graduated income tax? And how will it affect your taxes? Sun-Times politics reportersTina Sfondeles and Rachel Hinton put together a guide of everything you need to know before voting on the issue.

Find out how much your income taxes might change under the proposed legislation.


“Vinny” was found Feb. 17, 2020, in a double-bagged trash bag on Forest Avenue, just north of 87th Street in Willow Springs.

Cook County Bureau of Administration

More news you need

  1. Rep. Jesus “Chuy’ Garcia, who was a leading national surrogate for Bernie Sanders in 2016, endorsed the Vermont senator today and will head to Nevada to campaign for him in a state where Latino voters are a key to victory. What to expect from their partnership.
  2. A dog named Vinny is still “extremely underweight and frightened,” after he was found abandoned in a trash bag on the side of the road in Willow Springs. Here’s an update on Vinny’s recovery.
  3. A homeless 34-year-old man lured a 3-year-old girl into a bathroom stall at a downtown McDonald’s and sexually assaulted her, Cook County prosecutors said during a bond hearing today. Here’s what happened in court.
  4. A factory owner who saysMcCook Mayor Jeff Tobolski pressured him into making a campaign contribution — at the same time his company was seeking Tobolski’s backing for a critical property tax break — has provided the email exchange that backs up his story.Read the report from WBEZ and BGA.
  5. City Hall reporter Fran Spielman sat down with Cook County State’s Attorney candidate Bob Fioretti today. Listen to the full interview.
  6. Customers who stop by Garrett Popcorn on Leap Day (Feb. 29) can get a free upgrade from small to medium. That includes their elusive Buffalo Ranch flavor, which returns April 21 for a limited time. Here are all the flavors that qualify for the upgrade.
Subscription Offer
Support civic-minded, independent journalism by signing up for a Chicago Sun-Times digital subscription.

A bright one

Whether you’re an experienced smoker or you don’t know the difference between a bud and a blunt, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Illinoisand the dispensaries that have opened across the state as a result — are new to everyone. It can be confusing to navigate all the options, from fruit chews to balms to butters and the flower itself.

Mike Malcolm can help: he’s a cannabis consultant, creator of the “Weed Travel Food” blog, and he’s in the running for the next round of dispensary licenses to sell pot in Illinois.

In this Sun-Times video, Malcolm answers all your burning questions, like can you use a topical cream if you need to take a drug test? How fast to edibles hit, and how strong are they? How do you use concentrates, like butters and oils? Watch to find out the answers to these questions, and more.

From the press box

Harry Caray and Bill Murray will be the first voices Cubs fans hear when the Marquee Sports Network premieres at 1 p.m. Saturday. It’s all part of “Marquee Debut,” an hourlong introduction to the network. Marquee will follow that with the Cubs-Athletics game at 2 p.m.

And the Astros’ cheating scandal is even affecting Little League baseball.

Your daily question ☕

Today is Love Your Pet Day, so we want to know, do you have any four-legged friends? Tell us about them, and send your cute photos, too.

Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.

Thanks for reading the Chicago Afternoon Edition.Got a story you think we missed?Let us know.

Want to get the Afternoon Edition delivered to your inbox every day?Click here to sign up.

The Latest
Horace Grant’s NBA championship rings and a signed Ernie Banks jersey are also available.
Rashon Kyle was arrested Sunday in the Brainerd neighborhood and charged in the June 12 shooting that killed Vincent J. Barnes, police said.
Arlington, Virginia, was the nation’s fittest community for the fifth straight year, the American Fitness Index rankings found. Chicago was No. 10.
The Bears’ lack of wide receivers and cornerbacks are particularly concerning, not just so the team can run a competent practice, but for Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chiefs.
Chicago follows behind New York City, several Texas cities and Indianapolis, among others.