Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (10/25)

October 25, 2023


Veto session updates

State legislators traveled down to Springfield this week for the first week of veto session. A quick recap of a few bills discussed is below.

Yesterday, Ameren Chairman and CEO sent a letter urging lawmakers to override a bill (HB 3445) vetoed by Gov. JB Pritzker that would give Ameren a “right of first refusal” to build power lines in Illinois. Proponents have since abandoned an attempt to override the bill. Rep. Walsh, who chairs the House Public Utilities Committee, said they are looking at introducing a bill in the spring “that puts the state of Illinois as a right of first refusal state for the whole state with no sunset.”

Democrats have filed legislation (HB 4194) that would extend the Invest in Kids private school tax credit through 2028. The measure would prioritize private school scholarships for underserved areas, cut the maximum annual contributions awarded by the state to $50 million from $75 million, and reduce the income tax credit from 75 percent to 50 percent, and give 100 income tax credit to those who donate no more than $5,000.

Today, the House passed an amended version of the staff unionization bill (HB 4148) by a vote of 73-35-4. The bill now heads to the Senate.

The House has canceled Thursday’s session day; the Senate plans to be in session tomorrow. Some other bills and issues will likely be punted to the second week of veto session, Nov. 7-9.


Lawmakers Push for Compensation for Chicago’s Elected School Board

“Chicago legislators who successfully changed state law to allow for an elected school board want to use the General Assembly’s brief return to Springfield this week to move a measure (SB2610) that would allow for Chicago Board of Education members to receive compensation,” by WTTW.

Gov. Pritzker, Sen. Duckworth, and Sen. Durbin Announce Two Illinois Programs Selected as U.S. EDA Tech Hubs

“The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced that two Illinois programs have been designated as part of 31 Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs): the Central Illinois Fermentation and Agriculture Biomanufacturing (iFAB) Hub and the Chicago Area Quantum Tech Hub,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker, IDPH Announce $9.5M to Strengthen Mental Health Services for Youth Across Illinois

“Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced yesterday that the State of Illinois has awarded $9.5 million in funding to 40 different applicants across the state to support post-pandemic child and adolescent health. The size of the grants ranges from $83,000 to just over $400,000. Sixty percent of the grants are going to schools, 20% to hospital or clinic-based programs, 17.5% to local health departments and 2.5% to colleges,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Proposal to Create Unified Early Childhood State Agency

“Governor Pritzker was joined by Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, Deputy Governor Grace Hou, Deputy Governor Martin Torres, elected officials, and state agency directors at the Carole Robertson Center for Learning to announce a proposal to create a new state agency to house all early childhood programs and funding,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

County commissioners hear about vacancies within Cook County Health during budget hearing

“Cook County commissioners asked representatives from the county’s health and hospitals system about ongoing employment vacancies and Medicaid redetermination trends during a budget hearing Tuesday. The budget proposes a 1.7 percent reduction in the number of full-time equivalent positions, or 414 — from 23,760 down to 23,346 — but there are no layoffs expected. County budget officials’ most recent tally of job vacancies was 4,650, and they are most prevalent within Cook County Health (CCH). Most of the vacant positions set to be eliminated are within CCH,” by The Daily Line.



Mayor Johnson taps Chicago real estate executive to head city’s Department of Planning and Development

“Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of Ciere Boatright as the new commissioner for Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development Wednesday,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Mayor Brandon Johnson to split Chicago police union contract into two votes, citing issue with disciplinary provisions

“In a move that could lead to his first labor dispute since taking office, Mayor Brandon Johnson will seek to split up a proposed new contract with the Chicago police union into two City Council votes, an unusual bid to quash a ruling allowing private disciplinary hearings for officers,” by the Chicago Tribune.

CPD gives deeper look at 398 new civilian positions as alderpeople continue yearslong crusade for more helicopters

“Alderpeople on Tuesday prodded at Mayor Brandon Johnson’s nearly $2 billion budget for the Chicago Police Department, quizzing Supt. Larry Snelling about the creation of 398 new civilian positions within the department, where he stands on a plan to send clinicians to mental health calls instead of police, and why a helicopter included in the 2023 budget still hasn’t landed in the city.  Snelling took the hot seat for more than eight hours during a budget hearing less than one month after the City Council confirmed his appointment to lead the police department,” by The Daily Line.

As City’s Emergency Management Department Embarks On Hiring Push, Alderpeople Say Bilingual Staff Badly Needed

“Of 311’s 43 call takers, only six speak Spanish. That alarmed some alderpeople at Monday’s hearing,” by Block Club Chicago.


Beltway Briefing: A House GOP Exorcism

As President Biden manages instability abroad, the House GOP Conference continues its search for a speaker. Featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Hon. Rodney Davis, and Towner French.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Can House GOP Put Humpty Dumpty Back Together Again?

  • The fight over the House speakership reveals how the combination of House Republicans’ narrow majority and fractious conference prevents them from accomplishing much for the remainder of 2023.
  • The threat of the Israel-Gaza hostilities expanding into a broader regional conflict poses risks not just for the US from both a national security and economic perspective but also for President Biden politically.
  • Besides high sticker prices and a lack of charging stations, electric vehicles are beginning to face a new risk entirely — becoming the latest battle in the culture wars.

The Cozen Currents article can be read 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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