Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (6/21)

June 21, 2024


Illinois GOP Chairman Don Tracy resigns

Chair of the Illinois Republican Party Don Tracy sent out a resignation letter Wednesday, citing intraparty “power struggles” and concern about the direction of the party.

“In better days, Illinois Republicans came together after tough intra party elections,” Tracy wrote. “Now however, we have Republicans who would rather fight other Republicans than engage in the harder work of defeating incumbent Democrats by convincing swing voters to vote Republican.”

Tracy, who has held the position since February 2021, will resign upon the election of his successor and preferably no later than July 19, right after the National Democratic Convention in Milwaukee.

His resignation comes after GOP vice chair Mark Shaw was voted out of his leadership position Monday following a dispute at the party’s convention in late May.


Pritzker announces $41 billion infrastructure plan

“Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Illinois Department of Transportation leaders and state and local officials announced what the governor’s office said was the largest multi-year program to build and repair infrastructure in state history: $41.42 billion over six years,” by The Pantagraph.

Cook County is expecting a $218 million budget gap, but won’t plug it with layoffs or tax hikes

“County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is also trying to figure out which pandemic-funded programs to keep as the county spends down federal dollars,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Michelle Mbekeani leaving Cook County state’s attorney’s office 6 months after taking new role

“Mbekeani’s resignation has not been formally announced to the office, but news that she was leaving began spreading Tuesday afternoon,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Several new Illinois laws go into effect on July 1

“Several new laws go into effect on July 1 in Illinois, many of which were controversial when adopted,” by The Center Square.

US Rep. Robin Kelly, area mayors stress sustainability in renewed push for south suburban airport

“Following the passage of a bill in the Illinois General Assembly paving the way for public and private funding to develop an airport in Chicago’s south suburbs, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly and other government officials gathered Monday to outline their goals for the potential project,” by the Chicago Tribune.



Mayor announces formation of co-governance steering committee to create policies ‘hand-in-hand’ with community groups

“Mayor Brandon Johnson’s office on Thursday announced the creation of a nine-member co-governance steering committee to help city government make decisions more collaboratively with community members,” by The Daily Line.

Mayor Brandon Johnson launches task force on reparations for Black Chicagoans

“Mayor Brandon Johnson launched a task force Monday to examine implementing a reparations program for Black Chicagoans, casting the move as the latest step in his administration’s agenda focused on racial justice,” by the Chicago Tribune.

City orders audit after pay mix-up for hundreds of laborers

“The city of Chicago has initiated a payroll audit after widespread miscalculations in pay for laborers working on city garbage trucks, trimming trees and fixing sidewalks and roads, an ongoing problem that prompted a union official to rip Mayor Brandon Johnson for not dealing with it,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Taxpayer money should match Chicago campaign donations, alderman proposes

“City Council candidates would get as much as $200,000 in public funds linked to small contributions if a new ordinance proposed by Ald. Matt Martin, 47th, passes. The legislation aims to dampen the oversized influence of wealthy donors, he said at a news conference Tuesday,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Johnson announces $10 million expansion of fund for victims of gun violence and their grieving families

“Former Mayor Lori Lightfoot established the Emergency Supplemental Victims Fund as a pilot in five communities. Her successor, Mayor Brandon Johnson, is using federal stimulus funds to expand the program into 10 additional neighborhoods,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Judge nixes delay in ex-Ald. Edward Burke sentencing, hearing to go forward Monday

“Sentencing for former Chicago Ald. Edward Burke will go forward next week after a federal judge on Friday denied a last-ditch effort to postpone the hearing until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a bribery case that his lawyers say could affect his conviction,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Sterling Bay Lincoln Park, Halsted Landing projects advance through Chicago Plan Commission

“Sterling Bay’s Lincoln Park project has drawn criticism from local Ald. Scott Waguespack for its height and parking but it still cleared the Chicago Plan Commission on Thursday,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City officials debate addition of digital billboards to Chicago Riverwalk

“Members of Chicago City Council are debating if digital billboards could be headed to the tourist-friendly Chicago Riverwalk as officials look to raise much needed revenue,” by NBC Chicago.

Exclusive details about City Hall’s Chicago Democratic convention obligations

“An agreement between City Hall, the Democratic National Convention Committee and the Chicago 2024 Host Committee, obtained by the Sun-Times, reveals for the first time details about the city’s obligations when it comes to security, transportation and more for the August event,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Cozen Currents: To the Victors Goes the Process

If either party sweeps control of the federal government in November, pressure will be high to reform the filibuster.

The embrace of populism among Democrats and Republicans has made antitrust enforcement a new area of bipartisan agreement, with both parties supporting more aggressive approaches.

As both parties develop their priorities for next year’s tax negotiations, former President Trump and top GOP lawmakers are setting their sights on a further reduction in the corporate rate.

The Cozen Currents can be read here.

Beltway Briefing: The Politicization of the Bench 

Returning to Capitol Hill for the first time post-presidency, Trump found support among Republican leaders and members aiming to emulate the party’s 2016 success. Immigration and economic challenges remain top concerns for American voters, mirroring the recent rise of the far-right in Europe. Shifting focus to the Supreme Court, concerns about judicial politicization, ethics, and impartiality underscore the need for reform to preserve the system’s credibility. Featuring Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, and Patrick Martin.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing here.


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