Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (2/16)

February 16, 2024

Editor’s note: There will be no Illinois Insights on Monday, February 19th in observance of President’s Day. Updates will resume on Wednesday, February 21st


State and County announce $250 million commitment for migrant crisis, but pledge from City unclear

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Thursday pledged to seek an additional $252 million from the state and county to provide shelter, health care, and other services for the migrant crisis. Notably, the announcement did not mention funding from the City of Chicago.

According to the joint statement, state, county, and city officials agreed that an additional $321 million is needed to sustain current operations through the remainder of 2024.

The state is pledging $182 million and Cook County will contribute up to $70 million. The city, however, says it never committed to provide its own share of $71 million.

At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Johnson repeatedly declined to say whether the city will commit to new funding. “There are a number of matters that need to be worked through,” Johnson said. “It’s not just about financial resources.”


Democratic Party politics loom large over the fight for Cook County Circuit Court clerk

“With just one term under her belt, Democratic Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez is facing a tough reelection fight as she faces a challenger from her own party in the March 19 primary,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Cunningham, Reyes match up experience in fight over Supreme Court seat

“Cunningham was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2022 to fill the vacancy left by retiring Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke. Cunningham is being challenged by Reyes, a longtime attorney and Cook County judge who is often visible in the community, especially among Latinos,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois transportation workers rally for new contract amid negotiations with state

“Groups of Illinois Department of Transportation workers represented by local Teamsters unions rallied at facilities in Collinsville and Springfield Wednesday after recently passing a strike authorization and filing complaints against the state,” by The State Journal-Register.



City Council Votes 18-32 to Reaffirm Decision to Reject Push to Upend CPD Discipline System

“The Chicago City Council voted 18-32 Thursday to reaffirm its decision to reject an effort backed by the city’s largest police union to upend the system used for 60 years to punish officers, triggering what is likely to be a fierce legal fight that will determine whether, and how, city officials can hold officers accountable for serious misconduct,” by WTTW.

Will ShotSpotter end in Chicago on Friday? Mayor dodges questions as firm indicates there’s no deal

“The current $49 million contract with ShotSpotter expires Friday, meaning the gunshot detection system that covers 12 of the city’s 22 police districts could be shut down as early as the end of the day,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

DNC Host Committee Releases Chicago-Area Vendor, Venue Guides Showcasing Scores of Local Businesses

“A just-published guide from organizers of the Democratic National Convention is intended to help party loyalists plan events in Chicago for the 50,000 delegates due to descend on the city this August,” by WTTW.

Housing committee to hold confirmation vote for new city housing commissioner

“The City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate will vote on the appointment of a new housing commissioner on Friday, the purchase of land for a new streets and sanitation facility and multiple sales of city-owned lots. Lissette Castañeda was appointed by Mayor Brandon Johnson to the housing commissioner position in December. Former Comm. Marisa Novara exited the role last summer,” 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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