Illinois Insights An Update from Cozen O’Connor (6/13)
June 13, 2022
June 13, 2022
Late last week, Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a suite of bills which would remove barriers to those wishing to re-enter the mental health care field; create tax breaks for businesses which hire people recovering substance abuse; and expand access to HIV and AIDS care.
Pritzker also signed two bills to expand access to HIV and AIDS care.
Late last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot ’s administration announced the expansion of eligibility for the Narcotics Arrest Diversion Program. The initiative – which diverts individuals who are arrested for the possession of controlled substances into substance use treatment in lieu of felony charge – will now expand to individuals who have not been arrested in Chicago for a violent crime within the past ten years and were in possession of two grams or less of any controlled substance.
Additional narcotics also now qualify for this diversion initiative, including fentanyl, morphine, ketamine, and methamphetamine.
The original program criteria for participants were limited to those arrested in possession of one gram or less of only heroin or cocaine and who had no prior violent arrest history. The full program policy can be found on the Chicago Police Department ’s website.
On Wednesday, the Democratic-controlled House passed a broad set of gun-control measures, largely along party lines. The bill, called the Protecting Our Kids Act and intended to reduce gun violence, would raise the age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to 21 from 18. On Thursday, after nearly a year of investigation and more than 1,000 interviews, the House Jan. 6, 2021 committee held its first prime-time public hearing on the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and the events leading up to it. Meanwhile, U.S. consumer inflation hit 8.6% in May – its highest level in more than four decades, as surging energy and food costs pushed prices higher, with little indication of when the upward trend could ease.
Public Strategies ’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, and Towner French discuss the proposed legislation and key takeaways from the hearing, and ponder how the burden of inflation on the Biden Administration, along with the President ’s falling approval ratings and Americans ’ pessimism about the economy and the nation ’s political system, may spell trouble for Democrats in the midterm elections later this fall.
Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, an affiliate of the international law firm Cozen O’Connor, is a bipartisan government relations practice representing clients before the federal government and in cities and states throughout the country. With offices in Washington D.C., Richmond, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Chicago, and Santa Monica, the firm’s public strategies professionals offer a full complement of government affairs services, including legislative and executive branch advocacy, policy analysis, assistance with government procurement and funding programs, and crisis management. Its client base spans multiple industries, including healthcare, transportation, hospitality, education, construction, energy, real estate, entertainment, financial services, and insurance.
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