Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (10/13)

October 13, 2023



Gov. Pritzker Announces $21 Million for CEJA Contractor Incubator Hubs

“The program establishes a network of 13 community-based hubs across the state offering incubator services designed to assist clean energy contractors – especially those from underserved areas – grow their businesses. The organizations that will run CEJA Contractor Incubator Hubs will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process,” by the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois leaders tepid about more quick funding for Chicago’s migrant crisis

“During an appearance with Gov. J.B. Pritzker, House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch said Chicago will not see a state grant for asylum-seekers in the fall veto session, when Springfield will have the option of designating additional funding for the fiscal year that ends June 30. That means the state might not provide more substantial financial help on migrants until legislators reconvene in the spring,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Cook County residents get $200 million in federal flood relief for summer rainstorms  

“More than $200 million in federal flood relief has been awarded to thousands of Cook County residents whose homes flooded earlier this summer. The Federal Emergency Management Agency relief grants for homeowners and renters in Cook County were approved after President Joe Biden signed a federal disaster declaration in response to the damage wrought by record-setting rainstorms from June 29 through July 2,” by WBEZ.

New legislative caucus to focus on growth of sustainable fuel sources  

“Illinois is more than two years into its journey outlined in the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) of reducing fossil fuel emissions and as technology grows, a group of lawmakers is setting out to explore alternative and reliable fuel sources for the state. Rep. Eva-Dina Delgado (D-Chicago) and Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Reddick) formed the Sustainable Fuels Caucus earlier this year along with a handful of other lawmakers,” by The Daily Line.

Report: Illinois’ educator workforce weathered pandemic, but persistent issues remain

“That’s the conclusion of a new report by the education advocacy group Advance Illinois, which was instrumental in the 2017 passage of the state’s Evidence-Based Funding formula that overhauled the way state funds public education,” by Capitol News Illinois.



Mayor Brandon Johnson and nearly every alderman will see pay hikes next year

“Stuck inside Mayor Brandon Johnson’s budget proposal for 2024 is the disclosure that he, the city clerk, the treasurer and a vast majority of the Chicago City Council’s 50 members have accepted a pay raise for next year. At 2.24%, the across-the-board hike is a more modest bump than the 9.6% raise aldermen were able to accept at this time last year just before facing voters at the ballot box. Still, it also comes as the mayor and the council dig into a budget that attempts to close an estimated $538 million gap,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Johnson’s 2024 budget plan recommends bringing back Department of Environment, uncoupling of Department of Assets, Information and Services

“Mayor Brandon Johnson used his 2024 budget address Wednesday to announce the creation of several new city departments, some of which have existed in the past but had been dissolved or consolidated. One of the most notable pieces of Johnson’s budget is the reestablishment of the Department of Environment, a long-awaited announcement for advocates who have pointed to a lack of enforcement actions since the city’s environment department was eliminated a decade ago by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel,” by The Daily Line.

Johnson Sets Aside $150M to Care for Migrants in 2024, Less Than Half of 2023 Costs

“Mayor Brandon Johnson set aside $150 million to cover the cost of housing, feeding and caring for the men, women and children sent to Chicago from the southern border in 2024, even though that is less than half of what the city will have spent to care for Chicago’s newest arrivals through the end of 2023.” by WTTW.

CTA receives $100 million federal grant for Red Line extension project

“According to the agency, the grant was designed to encourage cities to mitigate congestion and to improve air quality while reducing carbon emissions. A similar $30 million grant had been awarded to the Red Line extension project in 2021,” by NBC Chicago.

Maligned CPS budgeting model has boosted funding equity in Chicago, research finds

“(Researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago) found, contrary to a view held by many, that CPS’ per-pupil budgeting model, called student-based budgeting, has actually led to greater equity across the school system, with more dollars flowing to elementary schools with mostly low-income students and fewer dollars going to the most affluent schools,” by WBEZ.


Help Wanted: Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Beltway Briefing

With government funding running out in less than 40 days, the House Republican Conference is scrambling to find a Speaker that can reach the 218-vote threshold. At the same time, the crisis at the southern border is intensifying, forcing the Biden Administration to continue fmr. President Trump’s border wall. Featuring CPS’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Hon. Rodney Davis, 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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