Illinois Insights: An update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/29)

July 29, 2022


IDPH Announces Prioritization of 1st Dose of Monkeypox Virus Vaccines for Those at High Risk. From the Illinois Department of Public Health.

COVID Update: IL reports 7,151 new cases, 17 deaths; Cook County in ‘high’ transmission, CDC says. From ABC 7 Chicago. 

IDPH Offering Free Supplies of COVID-19 Antigen Tests to Illinois Long Term Care Facilities. From the Illinois Department of Public Health. 


Gov. Pritzker approves SBA Disaster Declaration for Highland Park shooting

Governor JB Pritzker announced today that the State’s request for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster declaration has been granted for several counties in Northeast Illinois that were affected by the shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park.

“Thank you to Administrator Guzman and the SBA for making low-interest disaster loans available to our Highland Park community during this time of tragedy and grieving,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With the SBA’s assistance, Highland Park residents can focus on healing—knowing that the state and nation has their back.

The declaration will make low-interest working capital loans from the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) program available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and private nonprofit organizations whose ordinary and necessary financial obligations cannot be met as a direct result of the incident. 


Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program application period to open, more options for disadvantaged communities: “IDOT announced Tuesday that the application period for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program begins August 1. The funding cycle is the largest ever due to the passage of Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program and again dedicates resources to communities with the greatest needs.” From The Illinois Department of Transportation. 

Illinois governor candidates stake positions on law enforcement, pensions: “The candidates for Illinois governor are staking out their priorities when it comes to law and order and first responder pensions,” by The Center Square. 

Gov. Pritzker Announces $15 Million in Additional Funding to Support Local Festivals and Tourism Across the State: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Friday announced $15 million in funding to support tourism sector across Illinois, through the second round of the Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant program offered by the State.”

I-74 Mississippi River bridge awarded top honors: “Construction of the Interstate 74 bridge over the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities won top honors Wednesday among Midwest states in the America’s Transportation Awards.” From The Illinois Department of Transportation. 


New proposal would put speed camera revenue toward pension payments 

Ald. Brendan Reilly (42) last week introduced a resolution (R2022-826) calling for the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker “to amend [state code] to allow the City of Chicago to apply revenue from automated speed enforcement cameras toward municipal pension obligations.” 

“The current extraordinary underfunding of these municipal pension funds creates fiscal uncertainty and anxiety for [plan beneficiaries and] residents of Chicago,” Reilly stated in his resolution. 

Current state law (625 ILCS 5/11-208.8) limits the use of revenue from speed cameras to “public safety initiatives to ensure safe passage around schools, and to provide police protection and surveillance around schools and parks” and other initiatives to improve safety and infrastructure. 

Chicago transportation officials estimate roughly $80 million in annual revenues from speed cameras while the city’s four pension funds in 2020 totaled more than $30 billion in unfunded liabilities.

City of Chicago to receive $4 million in funding to replace lead service lines

Illinois EPA Director John Kim announced Wednesday $4 million in funding to the City of

Chicago to replace lead service lines. The project is funded through the Illinois EPA’s State Revolving Fund, which provides funding for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater projects. 

The City will receive 100 percent principal forgiveness on the loan, courtesy of the Illinois EPA’s Lead Service Line Replacement (LSLR) Principal Forgiveness. 

The City has shared that it will utilize this funding to replace both public and private lead service lines at daycares throughout the City as part of its Lead-Safe Chicago program. 


Mayor Lightfoot Signs Executive Order Prohibiting City Agencies from Participating in Any Investigation or Proceeding Related to Reproductive Healthcare Initiated by An Anti-Abortion State: “In the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the City of Chicago is taking these steps to further safeguard those providing critical healthcare, namely reproductive, obstetric, and gynecological services.” From The Office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 

Alderman calls for repeal of Mayor Lightfoot’s inflation-tied property tax increases: “Days after the Tribune reported that Lightfoot’s 2023 property tax increase, linked to the consumer price index, will total $85.5 million if she opts to take it all, Ald. Brendan Reilly, 42nd, introduced an ordinance at a City Council meeting calling for the mayor’s tax formula to be rolled back,” by The Chicago Tribune. 

Can Campaign Finance Be Reformed In Chicago? Ald Wants $250 Cap On Donations From Insiders With ‘Outsized Influence’: “Ald. Matt Martin (47th) is proposing an ordinance that would encourage city elections for aldermen and the mayor to be publicly financed,” by Block Club Chicago. 


Cozen Currents: One Nation, Deeply Divided, But Evenly Split 

  • In a divided America, few issues seem to cut through the partisan chasm between Democrats and Republicans. But that chasm is on a razor’s edge in close races that can determine control of Congress.
  • The history of partisan legislative agendas is strewn with failure and the party in power suffering the electoral consequences for that. This year is expected to be no different, even if Democrats are on track to achieve some partial success before Congress leaves town for the rest of the summer.
  • The lame duck session is generally thought to be unproductive. That perception doesn’t always match reality, however, and this year, there’s a chance that lawmakers could get a lot done between Election Day and year end. This could include both perennial legislation like a tax extenders package, appropriations, and other bills delayed until after the midterms. 

Read the full update here


Senate deal on climate, inflation bill would make it easier to buy electric vehicles: “The surprise deal by Senate Democrats on a slimmed-down bill to support families, boost infrastructure and fight climate change also is likely to jump-start sales of electric vehicles,” by Fox 32 Chicago. 


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