Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (1/31)

January 31, 2024


Board of Elections votes to keep Trump on primary ballot

The Illinois Board of Elections (BOE) voted unanimously Tuesday to keep former President Donald Trump on the March 19 primary ballot.

The bipartisan group, made up of four Democrats and four Republicans, agreed that the board does not have the authority to make constitutional decisions.

Following the ruling, a group of objectors filed a petition for judicial review in Cook County Circuit Court, insisting that Trump should be barred from the ballot “for having engaged in insurrection having previously sworn an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear an appeal from Colorado on Trump’s eligibility on February  8.


Gov. Pritzker Announces $160 Million In Federal Funding for Great Lakes Water Innovation Engine

“Governor JB Pritzker announced that a Chicago-area water innovation hub, Current, has been selected to receive a $160 million innovation grant from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Regional Innovation Engine program for their Great Lakes ReNEW initiative,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker, IDNR announce $54.9 million in grants for 111 local park and recreation projects throughout Illinois

“Nearly $55 million in state grants are being awarded for 111 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities, Gov. JB Pritzker announced,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois election officials are ramping up efforts to recruit election judges for March primary

“Finding enough election judges has become increasingly challenging, and officials have tried to incentivize residents by increasing pay and tapping veterans and high school students,” by WBEZ.


City Council passes Gaza cease-fire resolution, Johnson casts tie-breaker vote

The Chicago City Council narrowly passed a resolution earlier today calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with Mayor Brandon Johnson – who announced his support for a ceasefire last week – casting the deciding vote to break the 23-23 tie.

The vote came after hours of emotional and heated debate that forced the mayor to clear the council chambers after repeated interruptions from members of the public.

Chicago is now the largest city in the country to express support for a cease-fire in Gaza.


Johnson allies delay vote on arbitration for cops accused of misconduct

“Facing threats of a legal battle from the city’s rank-and-file police union, aldermen again deferred a decision Wednesday over the future of serious discipline for officers accused of wrongdoing,” by the Chicago Tribune.

City gives Immigrant and Refugee Rights committee update on shelter conditions, saying funds are limited and outside support is critical

“A day after Mayor Brandon Johnson announced his administration would postpone a policy that limits temporary stays for migrants in city shelters to 60 days, the City Council Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights held a subject matter hearing on the conditions and operations of the shelters,” by The Daily Line.

$25 Million in Business Development Grants Announced by Mayor Brandon Johnson

“An Auburn Gresham florist, a Chatham wine bar and a South Shore jazz-themed pizzeria are among more than 30 small businesses and nonprofits selected as finalists for Community Development Grants (CDG) that will help revitalize neighborhood retail corridors,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Climate Infrastructure Fund Grants Will Support Solar Arrays, Electric Vehicles, and other Sustainable Improvements Citywide

“Twenty-two small businesses and nonprofits were selected for Climate Infrastructure Fund grants that will help Chicago neighborhoods transition to a green economy and combat the effects of climate change, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced. Ranging from $75,000 to $250,000 each, the grants will help pay for renewable energy and fossil-free energy efficiency investments; electric vehicles and charging stations; ‘green’ stormwater management upgrades; and other improvements that promote neighborhood resiliency,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Mayor Johnson Announces $1.3 Million in City Support for Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Projects

“Six Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) projects are being awarded $1.3 million in City grants to promote walkability near public transit locations across Chicago, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced. Ranging from $83,700 to $250,000 each, the grants will help create and improve commercial spaces, cultural destinations, affordable homes, and other projects within walking distance to public transit locations that lack commensurate quality-of-life amenities. Total project costs are estimated at $4 million,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.


Cozen Currents: Will the Blue Wall Hold?

  • Michigan was a reliably blue state in national elections for much of the last 30 years until former President Trump broke through the “blue wall” in 2016. Although President Biden won the state in 2020, he looks to be having problems reassembling his winning coalition for November.
  • The Farm Bill reauthorization didn’t make much progress in 2023, but Agriculture Committee members and lawmakers with rural districts are looking to gain momentum in 2024.
  • The specter of nuclear plant closures reshaped traditional political alliances and prompted a bipartisan effort to save the industry. The question is whether solar can now gain the same sort of political protection.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing, Biden-Trump Rematch: The Unamused Voters

Following Iowa and New Hampshire, the path to the Republican nomination narrows for Nikki Haley, moving former president Donald Trump one step closer to securing the nomination. As the reality of a Biden-Trump rematch weighs heavy on the minds of voters, the Public Strategies team pulls back the curtain on a hypothetical second Trump term.

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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