Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (3/22)

March 22, 2024


Primary election updates

New election results since Tuesday night show State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R) has defeated challenger Jim Acklin in the double write-in 102nd Illinois House District Republican primary, with Niemerg getting 85 percent of the vote.


Eileen O’Neill Burke’s lead slips slightly in race for state’s attorney as mail-in ballots begin to be tallied

“Retired Appellate Judge Eileen O’Neill Burke’s tight lead in the Democratic primary for Cook County state’s attorney shrank ever-so-slightly Thursday evening as the last-remaining votes on Election Day from city precincts were tabulated along with a batch of mail-in ballots from the suburbs,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Pritzker heads to California to promote Illinois film industry, fundraise for convention and abortion rights

“In between meetings with film and business leaders in California, Gov. J.B. Pritzker will fundraise for the Democratic National Convention Host Committee, including a reception in Los Angeles, and for abortion rights ballot initiatives in Arizona and Nevada,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bill would require tech companies allow parents more monitoring of children’s social media  

“The House Consumer Protection Committee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon to pass HB5380, known as the Let Parents Choose Protection Act. The bill would require major social media companies with at least $1 billion of annual revenue or 100 million monthly users to allow third-party software access to the site’s data to allow parents to monitor their children’s social media,” by The Daily Line.

State lawmakers consider measures aimed at blocking e-cigarettes from young people

“Illinois lawmakers are considering two bills aimed at blocking children and teenagers from obtaining and concealing electronic cigarettes. One bill would ban e-cigarettes that are designed to look like objects commonly carried by schoolchildren, such as highlighters and markers, and therefore not spotted for what they actually are by adults,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Welch announces creation of Teacher Shortage Working Group

“House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch announced Thursday the Teacher Shortage Working Group, designed to address the issue of vacancies in Illinois schools and exploring ways to recruit and retain qualified educators,” by Capitol Fax.

Commission on Equity and Inclusion Launches Inaugural Business Enterprise Program and Veterans Business Program Certification Educational Webinar Series

“The Illinois Commission on Equity and Inclusion (CEI) announces its new Business Enterprise Program (BEP) and Veterans Business Program (VBP) Certification Educational Webinar series, in collaboration with Chief Procurement Offices (CPOs),” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Mayor’s Chief of Staff Rich Guidice retires, Council approves cabinet appointments 

On Wednesday, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced the appointment of Marlene Hopkins as the next commissioner of the Chicago Department of Buildings (DOB).

Also on Wednesday, the Chicago City Council approved the appointment of Tom Carney as commissioner of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) after the Committee on Transportation and Public Way approved his appointment last week.

Other appointments approved Wednesday include the appointment of Julie Hernandez-Tomlin as commissioner of the Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Jose Tirado as the executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, and Sandra Blakemore as commissioner of the Department of Human Resources.

On Thursday, Johnson announced his chief of staff, Rich Guidice, will be leaving the role by the end of the month. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, the first deputy chief of staff, will become chief of staff starting April.


Finance committee to hold hearing on $1.25B housing and economic development bond proposal

“The City Council Committee on Finance will hold a hearing Friday afternoon on Mayor Brandon Johnson’s $1.25 billion bond proposal, giving alderpeople the first chance to ask the administration questions about the mayor’s plan to broadly invest in housing and economic development,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago cops facing serious discipline can take cases to arbitrator, but judge says hearings should be public

“A Cook County judge ruled Thursday that rank-and-file Chicago cops facing the most serious disciplinary charges can bypass the Chicago Police Board and have their cases heard by an outside arbitrator, but he found the proceedings should be held in public,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago Announces First-of-Its-Kind Lawsuit Seeking to Hold Glock Accountable for Manufacturing and Selling Pistols That Can Easily Be Turned into Machine Guns Using ‘Glock Switches’

“The City of Chicago announced a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against Glock, the manufacturer of the most popular handguns in the United States, alleging that Glock is facilitating the proliferation of illegal machine guns on the streets of Chicago,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Chicago Department of Aviation to Develop Agreement with National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Explore Sustainable and Efficient Energy Options at O’Hare International Airport

“An ordinance approved by City Council will allow the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to advise the CDA on environmentally sustainable initiatives as the airport authority continues to embark on its O’Hare 21 capital improvement project, Mayor Brandon Johnson announced,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Ald. Brian Hopkins renews call to regulate hemp products

“An ordinance introduced in the City Council would ban the sale of alternative cannabinoids, the compound found in cannabis and hemp, outside of licensed weed dispensaries and impose tighter zoning restrictions on unregulated sellers,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bring Chicago Home Advocates, Mayor Vow To Keep Fighting For Homelessness Prevention

“While mail-in ballots still need to be counted, some alderpeople who supported the proposal said they are discussing other taxes that could be used as revenue streams to fund homeless programs,” by Block Club Chicago.

Mayor Brandon Johnson, Department of Family and Support Services and Community Organizations Announce My CHI. My Future. Spring Forward Campaign

“Mayor Brandon Johnson, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS), and community-based organizations have announced the 2024 Spring Forward campaign to connect Chicago’s youth to programs and youth-created events during Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Spring Break, March 23 through March 31,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.


Cozen Currents: Use the Force

As bipartisanship wanes, forced compromise remains an essential component of governance in Washington, DC.

Dealmaking activity is up, but antitrust enforcement is also expected to increase as growing political cover from President Biden will give the antitrust regulators more room to take risks, even if the lawsuits end in defeat.

The growth of populism within both parties is creating an unlikely bipartisan coalition of lawmakers interested in breaking up the dominance of major credit card payment networks.

Read the full Cozen Currents here.

2024 Turnout Tactics: Messaging Matters, Beltway Briefing

As 2024 shapes up to be a turnout election, both Democrats and Republicans are working to fine-tune their messaging to mobilize voters. Can President Biden reshape the economic narrative effectively? Will the “uncommitted” movement, fueled by progressive concerns over the Israel-Gaza conflict, influence the outcome? How are Republicans reframing their discourse on abortion? Featuring Public Strategies’ Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, 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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