Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (2/28)

February 28, 2024


Pritzker attends ribbon cutting for advanced manufacturing center, EV lab

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined Heartland Community College in Normal Tuesday to celebrate the grand opening of its new Advanced Manufacturing Center and State Farm Electric Vehicle Lab during a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local officials, state representatives, and community members.

The facility is funded in part by a $7.5 million capital grant from a larger $15 million state investment meant to meet the needs of the state’s expanding EV industry.

“Programs such as Heartland’s represent the best of Illinois’ commitment to investing in and educating the next generation of workers,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “That’s why my administration pledged $15 million to open these centers and why my FY25 budget proposes another $24 million – Illinois must be ready for the jobs of the future.”

The Advanced Manufacturing Center and Electric Vehicle Lab offer state-of-the-art training programs in robotics, HVAC, welding, digital media, and renewable energy technologies.


Bears and Sox told to team up on stadium financing pitches

“Representatives for the teams are hearing the same message from state officials as they jockey for public subsidies to build new stadiums. State Senate President Don Harmon specifically has told both teams there is little appetite in the General Assembly to approve separate stadium legislation,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Following unions’ lead, Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch directs $560K to effort to oust Rep. Mary Flowers

“Unions have already contributed more than $500,000 to support Rep. Mary Flowers’ opponent, Michael Crawford in the 31st District Illinois House Democratic primary March 19,” by Chicago Sun-Times.

Pritzker Announces 10 Cultural Districts in Chicago, Champaign and Springfield

“At the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture on Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and other government officials announced the creation of 10 ‘cultural districts’ in Chicago, Champaign and Springfield. These cultural districts include ethnic enclaves in Chicago and historically Black neighborhoods in Champaign and Springfield,” by WTTW.

Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias backs bill for digital driver’s licenses and IDs in Illinois

“The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kam Buckner and Sen. Michael Hastings, would allow Illinoisans to put electronic versions of their driver‘s licenses and IDs on their phones,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CTU staffer fights to keep Mayor Johnson’s former seat on the Cook County Board

“Incumbent Commissioner Tara Stamps has less campaign money than her Democratic challenger, but has the blessing of County Board President Toni Preckwinkle,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.



Chicago’s elections board plans to appeal ruling that invalidates tax referendum

“The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners decided Tuesday it will appeal a ruling invalidating the referendum asking voters if Chicago should increase the real estate transfer tax on high-end properties to fund homeless prevention,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CTA president tells transportation committee agency aiming for pre-pandemic service levels this year

“Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) President Dorval Carter gave his first quarterly update to the Committee on Transportation and Public Way on Tuesday to address ongoing concerns about service levels, safety and staffing on the city’s train and bus system,” by The Daily Line.

ShotSpotter deal could be invalid, should get City Council vote, ex-watchdog says

“The city’s former top watchdog said Mayor Brandon Johnson’s controversial agreement extending the ShotSpotter contract is potentially invalid and should be subject to a City Council vote — a step some alderpersons said they’re eager to take,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Cozen Currents: The Double Haters

  • Former President Trump’s first criminal trial is scheduled to begin next month, and recent polling suggests a conviction in any of the four prosecutions he is facing could significantly damage his re-election prospects.
  • In an era where presidents are elected by a few thousand votes across a handful of states, third parties more than have the potential to flip the outcome, especially this cycle.
  • Although passing a comprehensive federal data privacy law remains elusive, momentum could be building for a narrowly targeted measure to protect children’s online privacy and safety.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: The Ebb & Flow of Capitol Hill

Despite the influx of dollars into Nikki Haley’s campaign, the South Carolina primary could mark its end of the road. But, until the financial well runs dry, will Haley power through in the off-chance Trump’s court cases take a political toll? Looking to Washington, the Public Strategies team analyzes the ebb and flow of Capitol Hill over the last decade, including a loss of bipartisan socialization, a degradation of party unity, and a consolidation of executive power.

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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