Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (5/3)

May 3, 2024


Rivian gets state boost to expand its factory in Normal

Governor JB Pritzker, Rivian, and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) joined local leaders and partners Thursday to announce a new Reimagining Energy and Vehicles in Illinois (REV Illinois) incentive package for Rivian’s new $1.5 billion investment in Central Illinois.

The investment will create more than 550 full-time jobs over five years and will enable the company to produce its new R2 SUV model at its Normal, Illinois facility.

The plan is backed by $827 million in state incentives, with a majority of funding coming from state tax credits paid out over 30 years, so long as Rivian meets its investment and hiring obligations.

“We are taking a tremendous step forward – for our electric vehicle ecosystem, for our economy, and for our state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “This partnership brings significant investment in the Illinois workforce – including another manufacturing training academy, a dual credit apprenticeship program for high school students, and further support through the Employer Training Investment Program. Not only are we creating the jobs of the future, we are providing Illinoisans the skills they need to fill them.”



Pritzker signs bill banning post-primary slating, adding advisory questions to ballot

“Under the new law, local political party organizations can no longer appoint candidates to fill out legislative ballots where the party did not field a primary candidate. Previous law allowed the appointment process within 75 days of the primary,” by the Chicago Tribune.

House Democrats advance November ballot questions aimed at driving party turnout

“Illinois House Democrats approved legislation Wednesday aimed at boosting turnout by party faithful in the Nov. 5 election by offering voters nonbinding advisory questions on securing in vitro fertilization, protecting election workers and targeting those earning $1 million a year or more with higher taxes to pay for property tax relief,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Kaegi’s closure of ‘apartment loophole’ leads to skyrocketing reassessments for affected properties

“As part of the ongoing reassessment of Chicago, Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi’s office has reclassified numerous mixed-use properties as it works to address a loophole that the county inspector general said was allowing some commercial properties to unfairly get tax breaks,” by The Daily Line.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s office calls Bears’ stadium proposal ‘non-starter’ after meeting

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration continued to call the Chicago Bears’ $4.7 billion proposal to build a domed stadium on a reimagined lakefront a ‘non-starter’ following a Wednesday meeting between team executives and top Pritzker aides, the first since last week’s unveiling of the plan,” by the Chicago Tribune.



Mayor Brandon Johnson Re-Launches Guaranteed Income Advisory Group, Joins Mayors for a Guaranteed Income Coalition

“Mayor Brandon Johnson today announced the launch of an advisory group of City of Chicago officials, Chicago City Council members, and community advocates to advise on his Chicago Empowerment Fund, a guaranteed income pilot using federal dollars through the American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA). The advisory group will be tasked with providing guidance on the eligibility and outreach strategies for the guaranteed income pilot,” from the Office of Mayor Brandon Johnson.

Could Chicago lower its citywide speed limit? Aldermen weigh drop from 30 mph to 25 mph

“The effort got its first look in the City Council Wednesday during a Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee subject matter hearing where experts praised the potential shift. They lauded the impact small decreases in speed could have to reduce crash deaths,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Activists sue Johnson administration over DNC protests, say city isn’t ready

“As protests surge across America just months before the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, activists representing LGBTQ+ and women’s reproductive rights say Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration is violating their First Amendment rights and is unprepared for the onslaught of dissidents headed to the city this August,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Leaders miss City Hall meeting on racial disparities within city’s Fire Department

“Chicago aldermen and residents criticized Fire Department brass and officials from Mayor Brandon Johnson’s administration for not attending a Thursday meeting on a lack of diversity in the ranks of the Chicago Fire Department,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Cozen Currents: Biden’s Second Wind

Democrats would have to run the board in a bunch of vulnerable races to maintain control of the Senate. Although unlikely, it’s not impossible, as Republicans proved in the midterm elections.

Pennsylvania has the most electoral votes of any battleground state up for grabs in this year’s presidential election and is a must-win for President Biden.

With a May 10th deadline looming, Congress is looking to finally pass a five-year reauthorization for the Federal Aviation Administration. Still, unresolved issues remain, and lawmakers looking to use the measure as a vehicle for their pet provisions are further complicating the efforts.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: Hold Your Nose & Vote

In recent years, the Philadelphia suburbs have emerged as a bellwether for presidential elections. With national voter enthusiasm at an all-time low, is the commonwealth’s senate race overshadowing the presidential election? The fate of the nation hangs on the smallest shifts in historical voter demographics, encompassing critical issues such as the border crisis and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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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