Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (6/21)

June 21, 2023


Pritzker faces backlash over new rules, cuts to healthcare for undocumented people

On Friday morning, Gov. Pritzker signed SB 1298, a Medicaid omnibus bill to accompany a $550 million budget allocation meant to help cover the healthcare costs of undocumented immigrants aged 42 and above in FY 2024. The agreed-upon budget also gave Gov. Pritzker “tools” to manage the programs’ costs.

Later on Friday, under the authority granted to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) by SB 1298, the Department announced it had filed emergency and regular rules for the Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) and Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors (HBIS) programs.

According to a press release from HFS, the Department said it is temporarily pausing new enrollments in the HBIA program beginning July 1 and is capping HBIS enrollment at 16,500. HFS is also implementing co-pay costs for hospital stays, emergency room visits, and outpatient surgery for enrollees not eligible for federal matches.

The new rules are generating backlash from advocates and Latino lawmakers who fear many Illinois residents will be left without healthcare. Additionally, the Healthy Illinois Campaign is calling on the American Immigration Lawyers Association to rescind an award from the Immigrants’ List Gov. Pritzker is set to receive this week.


Tara Stamps, ‘mentor’ to Mayor Brandon Johnson, chosen to replace him on the Cook County Board: “Local Democrats met Tuesday night in Oak Park to serve as the commissioner of the county’s 1st District, unanimously selecting Johnson ally and Chicago Teachers Union leader Tara Stamps for the role,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Gov. Pritzker on crime, the city’s new mayor and the future of downtown Chicago, by Capitol Fax.

Bally’s passes first major state test in its quest to open a temporary Chicago casino: “The city of Chicago is well on its way to getting a temporary casino after a ruling Thursday by a state regulatory body that oversees gambling, but it’s unclear if it’ll happen by a projected summertime target date,” by WBEZ.

Record bid letting for IDOT in June: “The Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that bids on 236 contracts for highway and bridge projects were accepted at its June letting, representing a potential investment of more than $910.4 million in infrastructure in communities throughout Illinois,” from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Governor Pritzker Awards $26 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits for Affordable Housing: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Board announced conditional awards totaling nearly $26 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) that will fund 18 affordable housing developments in 12 counties throughout Illinois,” from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.


Various Measures Introduced to and Approved by the Chicago City Council

Per a press release from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson, the following measures were introduced to and approved by the Chicago City Council today:

  • City Council Passes Urban Agriculture Business License Enhancement Ordinance
  • Landmark Status Approved for “The Warehouse” Building, Known as Birthplace of House Music and LGBTQ+ Community Space
  • City Council Approves Annette C.M. Guzman as Budget Director
  • Chicago Department of Public Health and Department of Housing Partner to Pilot New Stabilization Housing Center Aimed at Addressing Chicagoans Experiencing Homelessness
  • Various Community and Land Development Measures Introduced to and Approved by City Council
  • Various Housing Measures Introduced to City Council


City of Chicago Launches Cash Assistance Program for Gender-Based Violence Survivors: “The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) announced the official launch of the Emergency Financial Assistance (EFA) for Gender-based Violence and Human Trafficking (GBV/HT) Survivors, a new $5M fund to provide cash assistance to survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, with an additional $1M in funding from the 2023 budget,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

City officials say migrants could move into new respite center in Gage Park as early as Friday: “After announcing last week plans to open a new respite center for the city’s arriving migrants at the Gage Park field house, Ald. Raymond López, 15th, met with community members Tuesday evening to share details of his proposal and next steps,” by the Chicago Tribune.

New Chicago monuments will honor police torture victims, labor leader Mother Jones and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, among others: “The city of Chicago will spend $6.8 million in grant money on eight new monuments, including a memorial for police torture victims, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Monday,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago parents, advocates call for transparency in Mayor Brandon Johnson’s school board picks: “A group of Chicago parents and advocacy organizations are urging the mayor’s office to keep the public better informed about upcoming appointments to the city’s Board of Education,” by Chalkbeat Chicago.

The Warehouse, Birthplace Of House Music, Is Now A Chicago Landmark: “The West Loop club was home to dance parties hosted by DJ Frankie Knuckles, who helped create house music and popularize it around the world. Alderpeople approved the landmark designation Wednesday,” by Block Club Chicago.


Cozen Currents: The Limits of Trump’s Domination

  • The second indictment against former President Trump this year may be the talk of the town, but has done little to change the political or governing dynamics in DC.
  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) successfully kept House Republicans unified on debt limit negotiations, but he’s had more difficulty keeping his fractious conference on the same page since.
  • With the debt ceiling out of the way, the GOP is returning to its favorite topic — tax policy — ahead of FY24 appropriations negotiations and many tax breaks that will end in 2025.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: Is the Trump Indictment a Tree Falling in a Forest?

As Democrats look ahead to what will be a challenging midterm election, the party is publicly and privately gauging how to handle the violent insurrection. Many describe discussing the events of that day as a moral obligation. Others, without dismissing the gravity of the attacks, argue that the party needs to prioritize economic issues immediately impacting voters’ daily lives. Yet while Democrats may disagree over how to talk about the insurrection, many Republicans continue to embrace Trump’s version of the events of January 6. And the former president, even as his actual voice has been diminished, continues to be a factor in the media’s news cycle and political coverage.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Patrick Martin, Towner French, Kaitlyn Martin, and Tristan Breaux discuss Trump’s continued importance in Republican politics and the electorate’s increased polarization along partisan lines, and engage in a thought-provoking discussion about whether, despite their differences, Americans actually agree on many important issues.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


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