Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (6/2)

June 2, 2023



Gov. Pritzker Announces Appointment of Sanjay Gupta as Secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology: “Governor JB Pritzker announced that he has named Sanjay Gupta, a national IT leader with private and public sector experience, to serve as the new Secretary of the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), pending Senate confirmation. Gupta has served in major roles across the public and private sectors, including running the federal government’s pandemic aid portals for small businesses and serving as a board member of the federal Technology Modernization Fund,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Cook County minimum wage to rise in July at rate lower than rise in prices: “The county issued a notice Tuesday that the minimum wage for non-tipped employees working in the county would rise from $13.35 to $13.70 an hour July 1. Tipped employees’ minimum wage will rise from $7.40 to $8 an hour,” by The Daily Line.

Tax reforms passed in response to studies from Cook County treasurer’s office that showed disparities: “The most notable reforms in Senate Bill 1675, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly May 24 and is expected to be signed by Gov. JB Pritzker, follow two studies released by the treasurer’s office in the last year. The first, released last July, found that redlined areas were more likely to contain properties with late tax payments and recommended cutting the interest rate for late payments as a way to assist communities of color,” by The Daily Line.

State chamber chief Todd Maisch has died: “The longtime head of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce has died. Todd Maisch, 57, died early Thursday morning, the chamber confirmed,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Gov. Pritzker Announces New Manufacturing Facility in Southern Illinois: “Governor JB Pritzker, Manner Polymers, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined local leaders and partners to announce Manner Polymers’ new manufacturing facility in Mount Vernon,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


City Council approves $51M in migrant funding, ordinance making expanded outdoor dining permanent

The Chicago City Council held a meeting on Wednesday to address proposals relating to increased migrant funding and the implementation of a permanent outdoor dining ordinance, amongst other agenda items.

After heated discussion, a divided City Council ultimately voted 34-13 to approve the ordinance (SO2023-1605) that allows the city to use $51 million from the 2021 surplus to finance services relating to the housing and healthcare of migrants being sent to Chicago from Texas, through the end of June.

Voting no on measure were Alds. Greg Mitchell (7), Michelle Harris (8), Anthony Beale (9), Marty Quinn (13), Raymond Lopez (15), David Moore (17), Derrick Curtis (18), Monique Scott (24), Nick Sposato (38), Emma Mitts (37), Anthony Napolitano (41), Brendan Reilly (42), and Jim Gardiner (45).

The Council also approved Mayor Brandon Johnson’s measure to make expanded outdoor dining permanent, allowing restaurants and bars to set up tables in the curb or parking lanes outside their establishments and, at times,  authorizing entire street closures.

Johnson appoints Mary Richardson-Lowry as Corporation Counsel, Ald. Stephanie Coleman elected as Black Caucus Chair

Mayor Brandon Johnson on Thursday appointed Mary Richardson-Lowry as his corporation counsel, Chicago’s top attorney that heads the city’s Law Department and provides legal counsel for the city’s departments, boards, and the City Council.

Richardson-Lowry previously served as Chicago building commissioner, a partner at Mayer Brown LLC, General Counsel at Ililewa, chair of the Chicago Community Trust, and various other legal and leadership roles within the city.

Also on Thursday, Ald. Stephanie Coleman (16) was elected as the new Chairman of the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus. She was voted to a 4-year term by a majority of her African American peers within the City Council.

Coleman was also unanimously elected as the Assistant President Pro-Tempore by the full City Council last week.


Chicago Police Department’s reform chief resigns, claims ‘retaliation’: “Tina Skahill’s exit comes just months after the ouster of her predecessor Robert Boik, who was fired after criticizing former police Supt. David Brown’s decision to reassign nearly 50 officers under his command,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

 Ald. Walter Burnett says nothing nefarious about how he spent unaccounted for $165K — otherwise, ‘I’d be in jail’: “Ald. Walter Burnett (27th) said Thursday he’s working to explain to the Illinois State Board of Elections what happened to $165,000 in campaign contributions he has received over the years,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Civic Committee announces initiative to tackle public safety as ‘the No. 1 issue’ in Chicago: “For the first time in its 146-year history, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago is tackling crime, looking to bring business leaders to the table in a bid to make the city safer,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Johnson to Fight Ruling That Could Force City Officials to Allow Metal Scrapper to Operate on Southeast Side: “Mayor Brandon Johnson said Thursday he will appeal a ruling by an administrative law judge that could force city health officials to issue the final permit sought by the parent company of General Iron to operate a metal shredding and recycling operation on Chicago’s Southeast Side,” by WTTW.


Cozen Currents: A Critical Review of DC’s Debt Ceiling Drama

After a dramatic few months, the latest debt ceiling saga underscores how leadership on both sides of the aisle can navigate the partisan divide notwithstanding the high level of polarization that has become endemic in the nation’s capital.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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