Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (1/3)

January 3, 2024


State provides updates on new landing zone, shelter site for asylum seekers 

A press release today from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) highlighted the state’s continued efforts to strategically invest in infrastructure and process improvement for asylum seekers.

This month, the state will launch a new intake center and shelter site, as well as extend its food services contract at City of Chicago shelter sites through January 15 to allow the City additional time to complete its procurement.

The new intake site will be co-located with the city’s bus landing zone, with six heated tents where new arrivals can utilize wraparound services and receive help reaching their final destination.

The state will also continue work on a 220-person shelter located in Little Village at the site of a former CVS Pharmacy location.

Nearly 2,500 new arrivals were sent to Illinois from Texas between December 20-27. Additional information regarding the state’s work to support asylum seekers can be found here.


Gov. Pritzker Announces Increased Illinois Census Numbers Following State Request for Review

“Governor JB Pritzker announced today that the United States Census Bureau has approved the state’s request to have nearly 47,000 Illinoisans included in future population estimates. The review, which was requested following findings of inaccurately low counts in certain areas, ensures the state will receive a proportionate share of the $675 billion in annual funds distributed to states each year,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Heidi Mueller as Next Director of Illinois Department of Children and Family Services

“Governor JB Pritzker announced today that, following a national search, he is appointing youth justice and child welfare expert Heidi Mueller as the next Director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) pending Senate approval,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Celebrates 2023 Executive and Legislative Achievements

“Accomplishments include historic investments in education from cradle to career, economic development, and efforts to fight poverty,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

4 suburbs approve ordinances to fine bus companies that drop off migrants without notice

“Four Chicago suburbs – Hinsdale, Woodstock, Buffalo Grove and Joliet – took official action in response to the growing migrant crisis on Tuesday night,” by ABC 7 Chicago.

About 1% of Illinois gun owners registered banned weapons before deadline

“Monday, January 1st, 2024, was the deadline for Illinois residents who own any of 170 “assault-style weapons” banned under law to register them with the state police. According to the Illinois State Police, as of this week, about 29,357 of Illinois’ 2.4 million Firearm Owner’s Identification card holders (about 1.22%) had registered the banned weapons,” by My Stateline.



City taps $95M in federal COVID-19 relief funds for migrant housing costs

“With the city anticipating a budget surplus to close out the year, Mayor Brandon Johnson will shift $95 million in COVID-19 relief funds to cover some of the ever-mounting costs of sheltering thousands of asylum-seekers coming to Chicago by the day,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson names picks to run housing, emergency management departments

“Mayor Brandon Johnson today named Lissette Castañeda to be commissioner of the Department of Housing and Jose Tirado to be executive director of the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Mayor Brandon Johnson And Department Of Business Affairs And Consumer Protection Launch $2.7 Million Small Business Storefront Activation Program

“The program allows small business owners to test their business ventures in vacant storefronts while enhancing local options for residents and visitors,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Will the DNC give the West Side an economic jolt?

“With roughly eight months until thousands of media members and delegates descend on Chicago for the city’s first DNC-hosting turn in nearly three decades, local officials say they are in early planning stages on ways to spruce up the area near the arena that convention visitors will see,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

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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