Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (1/24)

January 24, 2024



Pritzker joins Democratic governors asking Biden, Congress for migrant aid and to fix ‘outdated’ immigration system

“The letter penned by Democratic governors said political machinations are delaying much-needed help for their states and cities — and they urged the passage of President Joe Biden’s $110 billion request for wartime aid and border security,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Legislative leaders, caucus committees post strong end of 2023 fundraising numbers

“Illinois’ four legislative leaders and their caucus’ campaign accounts showed strong fundraising numbers to close the end of 2023 and head into the heat of primary season,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois bill seeks to ban food additives linked to health issues

“Senate Bill 2637, introduced by state Sen. Willie Preston, D-Chicago, and backed by Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias, would ban brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate, propylparaben and red dye No. 3 — four additives that California outlawed in October,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

GOP lawmakers pushing for more service hours for those living in group homes

“Senate Republicans are demanding that Gov. J.B. Pritzker reverse course on a plan to reduce service hours for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who live in group homes, claiming cutting hours will increase problems at the group homes,” by The Center Square.


Proposal would require City Council approval for COVID-19 federal relief spending over $1 million

During today’s City Council meeting, Ald. Bill Conway (34) introduced legislation (O2024-0007059) that would require City Council to approve any allocation of federal COVID-19 relief funds greater than $1 million.

The proposal comes after Mayor Brandon Johnson shifted $95 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars in late December to cover the city’s growing migrant costs, without notifying the council prior or seeking their approval. Instead, aldermen were briefed in small groups to avoid open meeting requirements. The mayor told aldermen that last year’s budget surplus allowed for the shift in dollars.

Ald. Conway is now calling for additional oversight and consent, saying “City Council members were elected to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, and as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee, it’s particularly frustrating when we’re not given the opportunity to fulfill that duty,” Conway said in a statement. “Time and time again, Mayor Johnson has left City Council in the dark. After discussion with many of my colleagues, I’m introducing this ordinance to prevent the Mayor’s Office from using a $400 million piggy bank in the future without oversight.”


Mayor to seek second vote rejecting arbitrator’s ruling on CPD disciplinary hearings

“The Council rejected the ruling, which allows Chicago police officers accused of the most serious misconduct to have their cases decided in closed-door arbitration. The arbitrator reaffirmed his original decision, returning it to the Council for a second vote, which could come Wednesday,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City Of Chicago and DFSS Announce New Local Providers Selected To Fulfill Food Service Contracts At New Arrivals Shelters

“Seventy-Seven Communities and 14 Parish were selected through a rigorous process to provide food services to shelters on the North and South Sides,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Johnson in no hurry to replace Ramirez-Rosa as zoning chair

“Mayor Brandon Johnson has yet to name his pick to chair the City Council’s influential Zoning Committee, frustrating those interested in the position and leading some to believe the Fifth Floor is holding out hope that it doesn’t have to make a change at all,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s ‘better deal’ with NASCAR is a handshake agreement to pay city an extra $2 million

“When Mayor Brandon Johnson announced NASCAR would be returning to the streets of downtown Chicago this summer, he touted that he got a ‘better deal for the people in Chicago’ by reducing setup and takedown time and securing extra money to ‘give us the ability to pay for some of the cost that occurs as a result’ of the race. Such a deal has not been codified between the city and NASCAR, according to an open records request received by the Tribune earlier this month,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Chicagoans raise crime concerns at public hearing with CPD Supt. Larry Snelling

“Chicago Police Supt. Larry Snelling on Tuesday led the first of multiple public hearings at which Chicagoans shared their pressing concerns,” by CBS Chicago.


Cozen Currents: 2024’s Home-Grown Geopolitical Risks

  • A second term for former President Trump would mean the return of his “America First” foreign policy, including its resulting geopolitical uncertainty.
  • President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have successfully lowered the temperature in the US-China relationship and established a floor. But this floor’s strength will be tested in 2024 as American politicians compete to prove their “tough on China” bona fides.
  • The domestic politics of US involvement in geopolitical conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine are testing President Biden’s ability to maintain his fragile political coalition.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: The Economic Psyche of 2024 Voters

As GOP candidates gear up for the New Hampshire Caucus, the shadow of Donald Trump looms large against his GOP challengers, Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, who fail to effectively criticize the former president and appeal to his unwavering MAGA base. Come November, the 2024 presidential outcome will ultimately be shaped by the economic psyche of voters. Featuring Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing 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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