Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (10/20)

October 20, 2023



Gov. J.B. Pritzker says he’ll agree to extend a tax credit program for private school scholarships if legislators send him a proposal

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that if lawmakers send him a bill, he’ll agree to extend a program that provides tax incentives for scholarships to children from low-to-moderate income families who want to attend private school,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Governor Pritzker Launches $15.4 Million Tourism Grant Programs

“Today, Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $15.4 million in tourism funding through two grant programs, the Tourism Attractions Grant Program ($10.8 million) and the Tourism Private Sector Grant Program ($4.6 million),” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois Housing Development Authority, LISC Launch New Program to Support Emerging Housing Developers

“The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) launched the Next Generation Capacity Building Initiative (Next Gen), a new program designed to expand the talent pipeline and increase diversity within the housing development field and related industries,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

County Board of Commissioners approves Guidehouse contract increase, property tax incentive for community solar energy, measure protecting election access for non-English speakers

“The Cook County Board of Commissioners gave final approval Thursday to a measure that strengthens access to translated election materials for limited-English proficient populations, a measure to mitigate tax increases for some property owners that have installed solar energy infrastructure and a contract increase for a firm providing consulting to the county on federal pandemic relief funds,” by The Daily Line.


City of Chicago secures two more rating upgrades

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced yesterday that Fitch Ratings has upgraded the City’s general obligation (GO) bond rating by one notch to BBB+ from BBB, with a stable outlook.

Fitch also upgraded Chicago’s Sales Tax Securitization Corporation’s sales tax securitization bonds to AA+ from AA.

The latest upgrades mark Chicago’s 15th and 16th rating upgrades over the last year, and every City credit has received an upgrade in the past year.

According to Fitch, the City’s overall financial health and stability contributed to the upgrades. More specifically, the rationale for the upgrades include:

  • Decline in the City’s long-term liability burden,
  • Full funding of the advance and statutory pension contributions,
  • Steady growth in the economic resource base,
  • Improved debt management practices.

The full press release from the Office of Mayor Johnosn can be read here.


Chicago might soon require 15 days off for all workers

“In July, Ald. Mike Rodriguez, 22nd, introduced an ordinance that would mandate employers in the city provide their full-time employees with 15 days off without differentiating between sick days and vacation time. The ordinance also allowed unlimited days to be carried over each year and did not require workers to provide documentation for medical issues to be excused from work,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

La Salle Street revamp threatened by Johnson’s plan to declare record $434M TIF surplus, City Council members say

“Mayor Brandon Johnson’s plan to use a record tax increment financing surplus threatens to deprive developers of the subsidies they need to transform LaSalle Street office buildings into residential use, downtown City Council members warned Wednesday. Alderpersons Bill Conway (34th) and Brendan Reilly (42nd) sounded the alarm about the future of the city’s ‘LaSalle Street Reimagined’ plan during Wednesday’s budget hearing,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

More than 40% vacancy rate in CDPH raises concern among alderpeople

“Chicago’s Department of Public Health is currently seeing a vacancy rate of 42 percent across the department, acting Comm. Fikirte Wagaw told alderpeople during a budget hearing Thursday. Several alderpeople raised concern about what they deemed a high vacancy rate in the Department of Public Health (CDPH),” by The Daily Line.

DFSS answers questions from alderpeople about Office of New Arrivals, rapid rehousing program

“Alderpeople during a budget hearing on Thursday prodded leaders of the Department of Family and Support Services on their proposed new Office of New Arrivals and multiple other initiatives, including a program that offers rapid rehousing for Chicagoans living in encampments,” by The Daily Line.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, Department of Streets and Sanitation Announce First-Ever Citywide Composting Initiative for Chicago Residents

“Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Department of Street and Sanitation (DSS) announced its first-ever citywide composting initiative, a Food Scrap Drop-Off program, which allows all Chicago residents to bring their household food scraps to one of 15 locations throughout Chicago,” from the Office of Mayor Johnson.

Johnson, CPD union reach contract deal doubling pay raises for most police officers

“Mayor Brandon Johnson and the city’s largest police union have reached an agreement that will significantly increase the annual salary raises for rank-and-file officers and end outstanding disputes between the two parties until 2027,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Cozen Currents: Democracy in Disarray?

  • What role the United States should play in today’s unstable world is a legitimate debate to have, but to be able to provide any form of leadership abroad, the US needs to be able to demonstrate a certain level of governance and stability at home.
  • Since House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from his post two weeks ago, House Republicans have been chasing their tails in search of a new speaker that can sufficiently unite the caucus. But with the Senate returning from recess today and looking to pass at least ostensibly time-sensitive “must pass” legislation, the various House GOP factions’ pain thresholds will be tested in a way that they haven’t been yet.
  • While October ends with Halloween, it began with the start of the Supreme Court’s new term. With the Court’s 6-3 conservative majority looking to wield its power to further re-shape judicial precedents in its own image, progressives generally, and the Biden administration’s regulators in particular, are already spooked.

Read the 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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