Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (10/6)

October 6, 2023


Preckwinkle unveils $9.1 billion budget

During a special board meeting on Thursday, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle unveiled a $9.14 billion proposed 2024 budget that includes no new taxes, fees or hikes, and no layoffs of government employees, while also investing millions in funding for equity programs and pandemic relief.

Preckwinkle said the budget reflects the County’s “strong” financial position. The proposed budget consists of a $7.63 billion operating budget, about $342 million more than the 2023 budget.

Preckwinkle said her budget plan closes a nearly $162 million budget gap by, in part, eliminating around 300 vacant positions within Cook County Health. Nurses will not be affected.

Preckwinkle’s speech kicks off a series of public hearings, with county commissioners expected to vote on the budget in November.


Governor Pritzker announces $2.1 million in grants for 13 local bike path projects

“A total of $2,161,000 in grants to help communities develop and improve 13 local bike path projects throughout Illinois was announced today by Governor JB Pritzker,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Announces Small Business Grant Awards for B2B Restaurants, Hotels and Arts

“The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the conclusion of the Back to Business (B2B) Restaurants, Hotels and Arts program with $156 million provided in relief funds. Through these three programs, nearly 4,000 grants went to businesses in over 500 cities, towns and localities in 95 counties across the state,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Awarded $16 Million from the Department of Energy to Improve Grid Resiliency

“Governor JB Pritzker announced a $16,063,450 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Grid Resilience State and Tribal Formula Grant Program to help the state’s small municipal and co-op utilities improve power grid reliability and help mitigate the impacts of extreme weather on Illinois families. Illinois is among the 11 states, two territories, and 20 Tribal nations that were selected for the program’s eighth round of funding last week,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Lawmakers begin revisiting Chicago school board maps

“The Senate Special Committee on the Chicago Elected Representative School Board met for the first time since May on Tuesday to start a renewed effort to gather public feedback about the maps that will set the boundaries of the Chicago School Board districts. Lawmakers initially had to pass the maps by the end of June but pushed the deadline back to April 2024 after their first proposals faced criticism,” by The Daily Line.


City Council approves various measures

During a special meeting of the City Council today, aldermen approved the One Fair Wage ordinance, a proposal to phase out the City’s subminimum wage for tipped workers over a five-year period.

On Wednesday, the City Council approved a measure to establish a working group for the development of recommendations regarding provision of mental health services.

The City Council also approved an ordinance introduced by Ald. Brian Hopkins that bans new late-night bars in the 2nd Ward. The ordinance establishes a liquor moratorium on Wells Street from West Schiller Street to West North Avenue and is an attempt to crack down on drunken, disorderly behavior.

Aldermen reintroduced a proposal that would give the City Council its own legal counsel separate from the city’s top attorney.

The increase in new arrivals continues to be a cause of tension in City Hall, with aldermen again stating in Wednesday’s meeting that they don’t have the capacity to take in any more migrants at their police stations. In protest, Ald. Anthony Beale (9) sent every ordinance introduced by the mayor to the Rules Committee.


Measure to give City Council more control over pot shops gets stonewalled

“An ordinance that would give City Council much more control over where cannabis companies can set up shop was temporarily stonewalled by an opponent of the measure,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Mayor Johnson to visit US-Mexico border, assess migrant situation

“Mayor Brandon Johnson said Wednesday he planned to make his own trip to the Mexican border — as soon as he can arrange it with his wife and kids — to see for himself the unfolding disaster creating havoc and hardship in Chicago,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago allocates $50M for DNC security while hoping for an additional $25M

“Chicago’s City Council approved allocating $50 million toward security for next year’s Democratic National Convention through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, but the Illinois congressional delegation has not given up hope of receiving an additional $25 million before the party kicks off next August,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

NASCAR Chicago Street Race returning in 2024 with briefer road closures

“NASCAR officially released its 2024 schedule Wednesday, confirming the Chicago Street Race will return July 6-7. The city said the race operator has committed to shortening road closures and covering more costs. A report issued Wednesday by Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism agency, said this year’s race brought the city $108.9 million in economic activity from corporate spenders and tourists,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Beltway Briefing: Democracy or dysfunction? The shutdown that wasn’t.

Explore how Speaker McCarthy kept the government open and what to watch for in the coming weeks as the battle with the House Freedom Caucus, debate over Ukraine funding, and the fight over the Speaker’s gavel continue. Featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Hon. Rodney Davis, and Towner French.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Is There No Shame?

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made it through the shutdown showdown but has perpetually been at risk of losing his gavel. The best thing he has going for him though is that any successor might have it worse than he does.
  • Former President Trump’s legal troubles are beginning to come to a head and could create challenges for him during the general election as the myriad trials get underway.
  • In recent years, the position of state attorney general has taken on greater prominence. Amid gridlock in Washington, attorneys general have used litigation, investigation, and enforcement powers to play a bigger role in myriad political issues.

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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