Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (1/10)

January 10, 2024

ILLINOIS

AROUND THE STATE

Gov. Pritzker Announces Nine Appointments to Boards and Commissions

“Building on a strong team of diverse experts in their fields, Governor JB Pritzker announced the following appointments in his administration. Appointments pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

More good news for the state’s fiscal, economic outlook

“FY 2024 revenues through December continue to be well ahead of last fiscal year’s pace. Overall, revenues deposited into the State’s General Funds are $753 million higher than last year’s levels through the first half of the fiscal year,” by Capitol Fax.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to review Illinois high court ruling upholding gun ban

“The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a Republican state lawmaker’s request for review of a ruling from Illinois’ high court that upheld the state’s sweeping gun ban, essentially closing the door on one of numerous legal challenges to the law,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Illinois Supreme Court weighs admissibility of ‘reenactment’ in murder case

“Logan is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to step in and grant her a new trial. She claims the use of that reenactment video violated her constitutional rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments,” by Capitol News Illinois.

CHICAGO

Committee confirms Ciere Boatright as new Planning and Development commissioner

On Tuesday, the City Council Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development unanimously confirmed Mayor Brandon Johnson’s appointment of Ciere Boatright as the new Planning and Development commissioner.

Testifying at her confirmation hearing, Boatright said she plans to use tax increment financing, the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund, and an “entire financial toolbox” to remove roadblocks she has experienced throughout her career in real estate and community development.

She also said she plans to get “more shovels in the ground and more ribbons cut,” even though “interest rates are high, capital is constrained and development is hard.”

The mayor appointed Boatright to the post in October, and she has served as acting commissioner since mid-November. Boatright now awaits confirmation by the full City Council.

MORE FROM CITY HALL

Mayor Brandon Johnson And The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus Convene Regional Mayors For New Arrivals Strategy Session

“Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus have invited regional municipal leaders to Chicago to discuss the current state of the region’s new arrival mission, Chicago and Cook County operations, the implementation of bus ordinances, and regional coordination and advocacy opportunities. This meeting of regional mayors will take place Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the United Center at 9:30 a.m.,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Downtown office vacancy ended 2023 at another record high

“The share of available office space in the central business district at the end of the year inched up to an all-time high of 23.8%, from 23.7% at the end of the third quarter, according to data from real estate services firm CBRE,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Bally’s Chicago sees continued growth, but not enough to meet city budget projections

“Mayor Brandon Johnson’s 2024 budget plan anticipates $35 million in local tax revenue from Bally’s temporary casino in the former Medinah Temple, which would mean nearly $3 million per month. The Chicago casino brought in only $864,646 in local tax revenue last month, totaling $3.1 million since its opening in September, according to the Illinois Gaming Board,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

News in brief: Beale to run for ward committeeperson as write-in; La Spata drops out of committeeperson race; Education committee to hold hearing on City Colleges programs

“[Ald. La Spata] dropped out of his race to keep his position as the Democratic Party’s local ward boss, and [Ald. Beale] made the decision to try to retain his longtime ward committeeperson role with a write-in campaign. Meanwhile, the City Council education committee is set to hold a hearing on City Colleges of Chicago programming,” by The Daily Line.

City Of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools Awarded $20 Million Grant From U.S. Environmental Protection Agency For 50 Green Buses

“Transition to low- and zero-emission vehicles part of City’s commitment to the health and well-being of children, families and improving air quality in Chicago,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

FEDERAL

The Defining Threat (to Define the Threat) to Democracy

  • On the third anniversary of the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, both Democrats and Republicans argue that democracy is under threat, but from distinctly different perspectives.
  • Both parties have drifted toward their more extreme ideologies in recent years, making it increasingly difficult for coalition building, an essential part of both governing and campaigning.
  • The first electoral test of 2024, the race to replace expelled Rep. George Santos (R-NY), provides an early opportunity to road test respective GOP and Democratic campaign strategies and to gauge their prospects.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


If you have any questions regarding this update or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues, please contact one of our team members here.

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