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

February 2, 2024



Fight over tipped wage is moving to Springfield

“A bill set to be introduced in the General Assembly next week by state Rep. Elisabeth Hernandez, D-Cicero, and supported by the One Fair Wage group, would eliminate the tipped wage statewide by Jan. 1, 2025, effectively forcing restaurants across Illinois to pay their workers a higher minimum hourly rate than Chicago restaurants by next year,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Democratic leaders poised to revisit Biometric Information Privacy Act after court rulings

“Democratic leaders in the legislature appear ready to revive talks to reform the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act, or BIPA, after business groups poured cold water on the majority party’s ideas last spring,” by Capitol News Illinois.

Copays and coinsurance imposed on undocumented immigrant healthcare 

“New copays and coinsurance for existing enrollees in the Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors (HBIS) and Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA) programs [went] into effect on Feb. 1, as the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) previously announced,” by Capitol Fax.

DCEO and IMEC Launch Made in Illinois Grant Program to Boost Manufacturing

“Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) launched $1 million in funding for the Made in Illinois Grant Program. The Made in Illinois program provides up to $50,000 in matching grant funding to small- and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers to support innovation and strategic advancements in manufacturing,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Commission on Equity and Inclusion Launches New Training Academy

“The Commission on Equity and Inclusion (CEI) is proud to introduce its new online training academy, now available to State personnel with email credentials. This overarching resource will offer an array of courses designed to enhance knowledge and promote equity and inclusion within the State’s procurement landscape,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.



Advisory council created to ensure diversity in businesses participating in next year’s Democratic National Convention

“The host committee for next year’s Democratic National Convention in Chicago announced Wednesday the creation of an advisory council to assist efforts to ensure broad involvement of businesses owned by diverse racial, ethnic and gender entrepreneurs in the convention,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Developers eyeing new White Sox stadium at The 78 meet with state Democratic leaders

“Developers did not ask for state money, but instead said they want the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority to rearrange existing bonds. They were also aware of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s disdain for using taxpayer funds for sports stadiums — which is viewed as politically unpopular despite its prevalence in other cities,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police Board must pause proceedings on serious disciplinary decisions until City Council acts on arbitration, judge orders

“A judge ordered a stay of Chicago Police Board disciplinary proceedings on Wednesday following the City Council declining for the second week in a row to hold a second vote on a provision of the city’s new contract with the Chicago police union that would give officers facing serious discipline the chance to have their cases decided in private proceedings,” by The Daily Line.

Ambitious plan aims to raise $400 million to halve Chicago shootings, homicides in 5 years

“A 50% decline in murders from last year would put the city at fewer than 400 — a total the city last saw in 1965, when there were 395 slayings, according to the Chicago Police Department,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CPS Proposes Delaying First Day of 2024-25 School Year With Democratic National Convention Coming to Chicago

“The first day of classes for Chicago Public Schools could be pushed back a week at the start of the next academic year while the city hosts the Democratic National Convention in August, according to district officials,” by WTTW.


Cozen Currents: Will the Blue Wall Hold?

  • Michigan was a reliably blue state in national elections for much of the last 30 years until former President Trump broke through the “blue wall” in 2016. Although President Biden won the state in 2020, he looks to be having problems reassembling his winning coalition for November.
  • The Farm Bill reauthorization didn’t make much progress in 2023, but Agriculture Committee members and lawmakers with rural districts are looking to gain momentum in 2024.
  • The specter of nuclear plant closures reshaped traditional political alliances and prompted a bipartisan effort to save the industry. The question is whether solar can now gain the same sort of political protection.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing, Biden-Trump Rematch: The Unamused Voters

Following Iowa and New Hampshire, the path to the Republican nomination narrows for Nikki Haley, moving former president Donald Trump one step closer to securing the nomination. As the reality of a Biden-Trump rematch weighs heavy on the minds of voters, the Public Strategies team pulls back the curtain on a hypothetical second Trump term.

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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