Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (4/24)

April 24, 2024


Moody’s revises Illinois outlook from stable to positive 

On Monday, Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Illinois’ outlook for bonds from “stable” to “positive.” The rating agency cited improved deficits and budget reserves.

Moody’s also affirmed the state’s A3 issuer rating and the A3 rating on Illinois’ general obligation debt and Build Illinois sales tax bonds.

“Revision of the outlook to positive is driven by continued improvement in fund balance and budget reserves, which has been supported by stability in revenue and state decisions to shore up financial health,” Moody’s said in a statement. “Affirmation of the ratings recognizes lingering downside risks to the state’s credit profile, including outsize liabilities stemming from unfunded pensions.”

“Bond rating agencies notice when Illinois puts more money toward the Rainy Day Fund and the Pension Stabilization Fund, as we have been and must continue to keep doing,” Comptroller Susana Mendoza said.



Illinois signs on to America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge

“The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) commends the Biden Administration for launching the America the Beautiful Freshwater Challenge to conserve and restore America’s vital freshwater systems for future generations,” by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Selective enrollment bill heads to the Illinois Senate after contentious House vote

“A bill placing a moratorium on significant changes to Chicago Public Schools’ selective enrollment schools is heading to the state Senate, where the legislation would already have political cover from Gov. J.B. Pritzker,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Illinois lawmakers considering new regulations for pharmacy benefits managers

“The conversation in the House Healthcare Availability & Accessibility Committee on Monday was sparked by HB4548 by Rep. Jones, which was passed by the committee at the beginning of April, but has since been sent back to the House Rules Committee and doesn’t appear to be moving any further this spring,” by The Daily Line.

House approves plan to ban ‘junk fees’

“The House voted 71-35, with one voting present, on Thursday to pass HB4629 by Morgan, which bans those extra and sometimes hidden fees, often called ‘junk fees,’ by requiring businesses to disclose those in the final price ton consumers. The bill prohibits goods and services from being advertised at a price that does not clearly display the total price or fails to disclose the total cost of the good or service with most fees included,” by The Daily Line.



Bears putting all cards on the table for $3.2 billion lakefront stadium

“Chicago Bears President Kevin Warren presented plans today to build a $3.2 billion domed stadium on the lakefront with roughly $2.3 billion coming from a mix of private financing,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Loop’s weekend foot traffic exceeds level before pandemic, but retail vacancies still at record high

“The Chicago Loop Alliance released its latest report on the Loop, finding that it offered some signs of a revival,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Lawson re-introduces ordinance in zoning committee to repeal ADU prohibitions citywide

“The interim chair of the City Council zoning committee re-introduced legislation last week to allow attic and basement conversions and coach houses citywide. While property owners in five pilot areas in the West, South, North, Northwest and Southeast sides of the city have been allowed to build additional dwelling units (ADUs) since 2021, when the pilot program ended a more than 60-year ban on the permitting of such structures, Ald. Bennett Lawson’s (44) ordinance (SO2024-0008918) would allow ADUs to be set up citywide in any residential building that has been standing for at least 20 years, plus in some commercial areas,” by The Daily Line.


Cozen Currents: MAGA After Trump

Former President Trump has no clear heir apparent after his political career is over, either in 2024 or 2028, but Trumpism is here to stay as a dominant force in the Republican Party.

Congress is facing a multi-trillion dollar tax cliff next year when the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s individual provisions expire, but lawmakers’ failure to advance a smaller tax package this year is raising concerns over their ability to navigate much larger negotiations next year.

In the only state where President Biden is plausibly playing offense in 2024, his campaign claims North Carolina is going to be the next Georgia. The Trump campaign counters that it will be the next Florida instead.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

Trump’s Criminal Trial: A “Stormy” Day in NYC, Beltway Briefing

As norms and institutions encounter scrutiny, the political pendulum remains in motion, illustrated by the foreign aid discussion on Capitol Hill, the contentious discourse surrounding the Middle East conflict on college campuses and in major urban centers, and the unfolding of Trump’s first criminal trial in New York City.

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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