Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (2/14)

February 14, 2024


Gov. Pritzker announces Mary Killough as new director of Illinois Department on Aging

Gov. J.B. Pritzker Tuesday announced Mary Killough, a lifelong advocate for seniors, as the next director of the Illinois Department on Aging (IDoA), pending Senate confirmation.

Killough currently serves as Vice President of Operations and Government Relations for AccentCare, a national home health and hospice services business. She previously served as Deputy Director at IDoA from 2011 to 2015.


Rules for Illinois’ Paid Leave for All Workers Act on hold amid concerns

“Additional time is being given for rules to come together in implementing Illinois’ Paid Leave for All Workers Act. The measure passed in January 2023 and took effect last month. It mandates that every employee in the state gets up to 40 hours of paid leave a year, or one hour of leave for every 40 hours worked,” by The Center Square.

Local governments asking lawmakers for cost savings, tools to raise revenue  

“The Illinois Municipal League (IML) unveiled their legislative agenda for the spring, asking lawmakers to approve some familiar requests the group has made over the years while also adding on new requests they say will make governments more efficient and save taxpayers money,” by The Daily Line.

Gov. Pritzker Announces the 2024 Order of Lincoln Recipients

“Governor JB Pritzker today announced the 2024 recipients of the Order of Lincoln, the state’s highest civilian honor for professional achievement and public service. This year’s Lincoln Laureates will be honored at the upcoming 60th annual Convocation and Investiture at 5:30 p.m. on April 13, 2024, at the Chicago History Museum,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Ex-Madigan aide sentenced to 30 months in prison for obstruction of justice attempt, perjury

“And on Monday, U.S. District Judge John Kness agreed, telling Mapes he didn’t understand the longtime political operative’s actions before sentencing him to 30 months in prison for his August conviction on one count each of perjury and attempted obstruction of justice,” by the Capitol News Illinois.

Illinois Finalizes Rules for Assault Weapon Registration, as New Lawsuit Seeks to Strike Law Completely

“Illinois’ rules requiring residents to register guns the state classifies as ‘assault weapons’ are final, putting an end to months of ambiguity and acrimony over the specifics of a 2023 law — even as lawsuits seek to strike down the law completely,” by WTTW.


Mayor Brandon Johnson to end ShotSpotter contract

Mayor Brandon Johnson announced Tuesday that the City will not renew its contract with SoundThinking, formerly known as ShotSpotter, that expires February 16, 2024 and will decommission the use of its technology on September 22, 2024 – one month after the Democratic National Convention and after the historically violent summer months.

“During the interim period, law enforcement and other community safety stakeholders will assess tools and programs that effectively increase both safety and trust, and issue recommendations to that effect,” the mayor’s office said.

The decision makes good on Johnson’s key campaign promise to end the use of the controversial gunshot detection system, which has come under heavy fire for allegedly being overly costly and ineffective.


Mayor Brandon Johnson Appoints Julie Hernandez-Tomlin as Commissioner of the Department of Fleet and Facility Management

“Mayor Brandon Johnson appointed Julie Hernandez-Tomlin as Commissioner of the Department of Fleet and Facility Management (2FM). Hernandez-Tomlin brings to her new role nearly two decades of experience working with the City of Chicago. She has held leadership roles at both the Chicago Department of Water Management and the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Just 29% of Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds Meant to Transform Chicago Have Been Spent: Data

“Chicago spent just 29% of the federal relief funds officials promised to use to strengthen the city’s tattered social safety net and provide direct aid to Chicagoans struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of 2023, according to a WTTW News analysis,” by WTTW.

Number of migrants in Chicago shelters at lowest point in months

“The number of migrants in shelters has fallen below 13,000 from a peak of nearly 15,000 in January,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Alderpeople ask new public health commissioner about Treatment Not Trauma, staffing vacancies

“The Committee on Health and Human Relations held an introductory hearing with Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Olusimbo Ige, giving alderpeople the chance to ask questions of the new health commissioner in a public forum for the first time since she was appointed,” by The Daily Line.

Economic Development committee approves tax incentive for redevelopment of historic Hoyt building in Chinatown

“A City Council panel gave the OK to a tax incentive for a project to rehabilitate and reuse a vacant historic building in the Cermak Road Bridge District. The Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an ordinance (O2024-0007330) for a Class L tax incentive for the project to renovate the former W. M. Hoyt building at 465 W. Cermak Rd. and to turn it into a mixed-use commercial building,” by The Daily Line.


Cozen Cities: Biden Gets No Respect

  • The economy continues to show positive signs, and consumer sentiment has reached its highest level since July 2021. However, any boost for President Biden in the polls remains elusive.
  • The fight over immigration enforcement at the southern border is shifting from a legislative battle to a messaging battle and both former President Trump and President Biden are leaning in.
  • It will be difficult for Democrats to hold onto the Senate this year. A likely GOP flip of the chamber would potentially empower Republicans to pass budget reconciliation bills under a unified Republican government or at least hold a veto over President Biden’s nominees and legislation.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: The 2024 VP Choice Matters

The special counsel report on President Joe Biden’s handling of classified documents reignites doubts about his age and mental fitness as he seeks reelection. With no clear Democratic alternative questions are swirling about Biden’s ability to finish out a second term. Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, political greed derails the bipartisan border deal, cementing immigration as the new third rail. Featuring Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, and the Hon. Rodney Davis.

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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