Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (12/4)

December 4, 2023



Amid city delays, state pitching in additional $2M to feed migrants

“Another $2 million will be matched by the Chicago Food Depository, which has already been providing meals to migrants since June, in partnership with 15 minority-owned restaurants in Chicago,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pritzker says state has settled labor dispute at migrant tent city

“Governor Pritzker announced the state has come to an agreement with Iron Workers Local 1 to ensure skilled iron workers will be present at the build site for new shelter space for asylum seekers. The 38th and California site is being constructed to house approximately 2,000 recent arrivals to the city ahead of worsening winter weather conditions,” by Capitol Fax.

Illinois has until Wednesday to respond to gun ban challenge in U.S. Supreme Court

“The state of Illinois and the city of Naperville have until Wednesday to respond to the U.S. Supreme Court as to why a preliminary injunction against the state’s gun and magazine ban shouldn’t be issued,” by The Center Square.

Illinoisans can now report government corruption, online

“The Illinois State Police are adding a tool to their anti-corruption arsenal: an online complaint form. This week, the agency announced a new online form it says will let the public anonymously report public officials they suspect of corruption,” by NPR Illinois.


State pauses construction at migrant base camp site in Brighton Park

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has paused construction at the migrant base camp site in Brighton Park following the release of an environmental report from the City of Chicago late Friday night.

After weeks of pressure, the city’s Department of Assets, Information, and Services contracted with Terracon Consultants Inc. to conduct an environmental assessment at the 3710 S. California Ave site.

According to the report, soil at the proposed migrant tent site in Brighton Park contained mercury, arsenic, and other toxic chemicals — but city officials said the most problematic levels of contamination were removed and declared the site “safe for temporary residential use.”

The city confirmed Monday that all construction and remediation efforts at the site have been paused until the state of Illinois does further environmental assessments. “The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will have to review it,” said Jordan Abudayyeh, a spokeswoman for Gov. J.B. Pritzker. “We will not utilize that site if IEPA does not sign off.”

The nearly 800-page Environmental and Investigation and Correction Action Summary Report can be found in the general City of Chicago FAQ on the new arrival mission.


Proposal would raise maximum age for sworn police, uniformed fire employees to 65

“A key City Council committee on Monday will consider a proposal to raise the maximum age for sworn members of the Chicago Police Department and uniformed members of the Chicago Fire Department from 63 years old to 65,” by The Daily Line.

Council committees to vote on leasing space for police oversight commission, environment department; Veteran hiring preferences ordinance to be re-referred

“The City Council Committee on Contracting Oversight and Equity will meet Tuesday to consider the re-referral of an ordinance concerning veteran hiring initiatives and requirements and to hold a subject matter hearing on Chicago casino compliance reporting,” by The Daily Line.

City Hall and civic groups need to plot a downtown rescue

“With vacancy rates rising and valuations falling hard, civic and business leaders are starting to talk about what can be done with office space few companies want anymore,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s mental health plan in Chicago starts small but carries big political implications

“By including $5.2 million to expand mental health services and $15.9 million to double staffing for the city’s team of behavioral health professionals who respond to mental health and substance abuse crises, Johnson is trying to show he isn’t dropping the ball on the issue while preaching patience and signaling a more robust response is yet to come,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Beltway Briefing, George Santos: You’re Fired

The US House of Representatives expels New York Congressman George Santos. Meanwhile on the campaign trail, support continues to coalesce around Nikki Haley. To be seen as a strong alternative to the former president, Haley must master a balancing act between the party’s conservatives and moderates. Featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Towner French and Kaitlyn Martin.

Listen to the full 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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