Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (11/17)

November 17, 2023


Gov. Pritzker announces new $160 million plan for migrant crisis 

On Thursday, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that the state will invest an additional $160 million via the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to provide intake, shelter, and wraparound services to the over 24,000 migrants and asylum seekers in the Chicago area as winter weather approaches.

The funding is broken down into a three-phase approach:

  1. Welcome: $30 million to create a centralized intake center to coordinate where migrants will go after arriving in Chicago. The state hopes this will reduce the number of people going to shelters by 10 percent.
  2. Shelter: $65 million to help Chicago establish a “winterized soft shelter site” that could provide temporary housing for up to 2,000 people for up to six months. The facility would be heated during winter months and prioritized for asylum seekers living outside or at police stations and O’Hare Airport.
  3. Independence: $65 million to expand wraparound services, including case management, legal services, housing and rental assistance, and work permit processing, among other services.

“We’re stepping in here to try to help and accelerate this process,” Pritzker said at a news conference Thursday. “It isn’t moving fast enough. That’s why you’re seeing people still on the street and we just can’t have people on the street.”

An informational slide deck with more information can be found here.


Preckwinkle budget passes as Cook County sets migrant health care fund

“Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s $9.26 billion budget for 2024 unanimously cleared its final hurdle Thursday, free of new taxes, fines and fees,” by the Chicago Tribune.

County Board confirms appointment of interim Cook County Health CEO; approves ‘Food is Medicine’ resolution

“The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Thursday confirmed the appointment of an interim Cook County Health (CCH) executive, two information technology contracts, acquisition of land to construct a new hazardous waste facility and changes to the county’s vacation and personal leave policy. The board also approved a resolution to create an ad campaign and programs aimed at increasing healthy eating and reducing food insecurity,” by The Daily Line.

ICC Issues Decision on Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas’ General Rate Increase Requests

“The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) disallowed $101.12 million and $5.57 million to Peoples and North Shore Gas’ respective rate requests for their natural gas delivery services in Illinois,” by the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $25 Million Available in B2B Grants for New Businesses

“Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $25 million in available grant funding through the Back to Business (B2B) NewBiz program,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Mayor Brandon Johnson appoints Sydney Holman to serve as Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs

On Thursday, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of Sydney Holman to serve as the Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this role, Holman will lead Mayor Johnson’s legislative priorities at the city, state, and federal levels.

Holman most recently worked here at Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, where she assisted clients with legislative strategy and policy advocacy across a diverse range of topics.

Holman brings to the role a strong background in government, including previously serving as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs and as House Liaison of Legislative Affairs with the Office of Governor JB Pritzker and as the Legislative Coordinator for State Legislative Affairs for the Office of the President of the Cook County Board. She also has experience as a research and appropriations analyst for the Office of the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.

A press release from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson can be found here.


Mayor Johnson begins process of kicking migrants out of city shelters; first ejections coming in January

“Effective Friday, all migrants entering shelters have 60 days before they must leave. The rule worries those who await work permits, which can take months,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

South Side affordable housing development, part of INVEST South/West program, greenlighted by Chicago Plan Commission

“The Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday approved a proposed affordable housing development in a South Side area that hasn’t seen new family housing in about 75 years,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Many migrants in Chicago are ineligible for federal protection status allowing them to get work permits

“There are more than 20,000 migrants in Chicago right now – with 12,281 in 25 shelters across the city, and more than 1,800 still awaiting placement,” by CBS 2 News.

Democrats seal first contract for next summer’s convention in Chicago

“The Democratic National Convention Committee and the Chicago 2024 Host Committee announced Thursday they have awarded their first contract for the presidential nominating event, choosing a firm led by two former state and city officials to be the in-house expert on design, construction and event contracting,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Cozen Cities: All the President’s Men and Women

  • More focus has been on former President Trump’s chances of winning in 2024 than on what a second Trump term would look like.
  • While Democrats did very well in last week’s elections, it remains to be seen how President Biden’s lack of popularity will factor into 2024.
  • House Speaker Mike Johnson’s (R-LA) first few weeks suggest that even the goodwill he enjoys from his caucus’ various factions cannot bridge the deep cracks in the conference.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: Is the Blue Wave Leaving Biden Behind?

On Tuesday, Democrats had major wins in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey, centered on abortion access. Yet the blue wave appears to be leaving President Joe Biden behind – his low approval rating coupled with concerning polls has some Democrats questioning whether he is the party’s most viable candidate in 2024.

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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