Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (10/27)

October 27, 2023



First week of veto session wraps up with little legislative movement

“Lawmakers are heading back to their districts after three days of legislative session in Springfield this week that saw little movement on several major initiatives. They will have a week off before returning to Springfield on Nov. 7 for the second of their annual two-week veto session during which they consider bills the governor vetoed since they last met in the spring,” by Capitol News Illinois.

Ameren, unions to regroup after conceding defeat on ‘right-of-first-refusal’ bill

“Downstate electric utilities, trade unions and their allies in the legislature waived the white flag Wednesday on their attempt to override Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s amendatory veto of a measure that would have given the utilities first dibs on building out billions of dollars in new transmission lines,” by the Pantagraph.

Senate approves bill providing faith based food options in public schools, correctional facilities

“The Illinois Senate approved a plan Wednesday to provide faith based food options in schools and state run facilities,” by WAND TV.

Illinois Awarded Additional $11.25 Million Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor

“The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has been awarded an $11.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to support continued modernization, fraud defense, and equitable access to unemployment insurance (UI) systems nationwide,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

County Treasurer says her 2024 budget includes ‘artificial intelligence unit’ aimed at making online services more efficient

“Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas presented her budget to county commissioners Thursday and was largely lauded by commissioners, who had few questions and more praise. The treasurer spoke about her office’s technological advancements and said in the upcoming year it will pursue the integration of artificial intelligence into its systems,” by The Daily Line.

Assessor says appeals have declined during budget hearing, attributes some rise in costs to 2024 Chicago reassessment

“Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi said property tax appeals have declined thanks to the assessor’s office’s transparency efforts and previewed the upcoming reassessment of Chicago in the upcoming year during a budget hearing Wednesday,” by The Daily Line.


City announces launch of Chicago Taskforce on Innovation and Technology (CTIT)

On Thursday, Mayor Johnson’s administration announced the launch of the Chicago Taskforce on Innovation and Technology (CTIT).

The initiative – championed by Mayor Brandon Johnson and supported by Chairman of the Committee of Economic, Capital, and Technology Development Alderman Gilbert Villegas and Chief Operating Officer for the City of Chicago John Roberson – is dedicated to advancing new solutions in public safety, smart government, and connected infrastructure.

The CTIT will focus on five crucial areas for transformation: (1) enhancing resident safety, (2) fostering community trust, (3) advancing critical infrastructure, (4) optimizing efficiency cost modeling, and (5) streamlining city operations.

The taskforce also calls on external subject matter experts from both the public and private sector to improve technology and help resolve the city’s most critical issues.


Chicago Public Schools officials project $391 million deficit next year when COVID-19 relief funds run out

“District leaders and Board of Education officials have warned of a financial cliff approaching next school year. Federal COVID-19 relief funds had papered over a structural deficit that officials estimate will reach $691 million. Only $300 million in federal funding is left to offset that,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago renews migrant shelter contract with Favorite Staffing for another year despite criticism

“Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration has renewed a controversial contract with the out-of-state company that staffs the city’s migrant shelters despite its significant overtime billing, a move his team said was its only option as efforts to replace the costly firm with cheaper, local alternatives have hit snags,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Law Department, Board of Elections and others to detail budgets on final day of hearings

“The final scheduled day of budget hearings is set to be a marathon day as the Department of Law, Chicago Board of Elections, Department of Human Resources, City Treasurer and the Department of Administrative Hearings will detail and defend their 2024 spending plans,” by The Daily Line.


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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