Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (4/26)

April 26, 2024


Pritzker, IRRPP release report on racial disparities in homelessness

On Wednesday, the University of Illinois Chicago’s Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy and the Illinois Office to Prevent and End Homelessness released a report analyzing systemic factors behind racial inequities in homelessness.

Most notable, the report shows that Black Illinoisans are eight times as likely to experience homelessness than their white counterparts.

On Thursday, Governor J.B. Pritzker unveiled a new action plan to reduce homelessness in Illinois in the coming fiscal year, which calls for investments in affordable and permanent supportive housing, enhancing support services, and implementing policies to close the financial stability and mortality gaps affecting Black communities.

His proposed budget for FY25 includes an additional $50 million for the state’s broader “Home Illinois” initiative, bringing the total to $250 million.



Cook County Democrats to choose Karen Yarbrough’s replacement 

“Members of the Cook County Democratic Party meet Friday to choose an interim replacement for the late county Clerk Karen Yarbrough, who died earlier this month. Seventeen interested applicants sent their credentials to the party by the Wednesday deadline, including several County Board members, a sitting state senator and the current clerk of Evanston,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Millions more proposed for the Illinois Secretary of State to ‘modernize’

“The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office has proposed an $825 million fiscal 2025 budget, $35 million of which will be allocated for modernization,” by The Center Square.

Governor Pritzker Launches $30 Million Grant Opportunity for Community Revitalization

“Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $30 million in funding for the Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital (RDMS, $20 million) and Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE, $10 million) programs to revitalize commercial corridors and downtown areas throughout the state and accelerate local economic recovery initiatives,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Police co-responders could be eligible for line of duty benefits under bill

“Legislators want to make mental health professionals that respond with police officers to calls eligible for line of duty benefits in recognition of their work and dangers they too face on calls. The House voted 80-27, with one voting present, on April 16 to pass HB5083,” by The Daily Line.

Teachers, students could get more education on climate change under bill

“The State Board of Education is pushing for Illinois legislators to pass legislation to boost training materials for Illinois teachers to learn more about climate change to teach the subject to their students,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois bill aims to remove barriers for minorities to access clinical trials

“The measure in House Bill 5405 requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to team with other research organizations to conduct a study to determine which demographic groups are underrepresented in clinical trials in Illinois,” by The Center Square.



Villegas introduces measure calling on chief information officer to test AI tools within city government, promulgate guidelines for its use

“Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36), chair of the City Council’s Committee on Economic, Capital and Technology Development, introduced a measure at last Wednesday’s council meeting (O2024-0008864) that asks the Chicago Department of Technology and Innovation ‘to guide and monitor the use of artificial intelligence (AI) programs and solutions in city operations and service delivery,’” by The Daily Line.

Downtown commercial property fallout not as bad as people think, Kaegi says

“Downtown commercial property owners fearing Fritz Kaegi’s latest estimates of what their buildings are worth might have good reason to worry, based on new comments from the Cook County assessor,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


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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