Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (6/5)

June 5, 2023


Chicago Bears discuss potential move to Naperville 

On Friday, the Chicago Bears met with new Naperville Mayor Scott Wehrli to discuss the possibility of relocating the new stadium to the western suburb.

The new competing proposal comes as talks with Arlington Heights officials have stalled amid disagreements between the team and surrounding suburbs about property taxes.

Bears spokesman Scott Hagel on Friday said the Arlington Heights stadium is “at risk,” expressing frustration with the property’s tax assessment and indicating the Bears’ openness to entertaining proposals outside of the former Arlington International Racecourse property.

“We will continue the ongoing demolition activity and work toward a path forward in Arlington Heights, but it is no longer our singular focus,” Hagel said in a statement. “It is our responsibility to listen to other municipalities in Chicagoland about potential locations that can deliver on this transformational opportunity for our fans, our club and the State of Illinois.”


Illinois EPA Announces $12.6 Million in Grants for Public Light-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: “Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim today announced $12.6 million is being awarded to 10 applicants for electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Latinos eye opening on state Supreme Court in 2024: “With the retirement of former Chief Justice Anne Burke at the end of 2022, voters will have the opportunity to select a permanent replacement for Burke in the 2024 election. Burke represented the First Judicial District, which has three Supreme Court justices from Cook County,” by The Daily Line.

Former high-ranking Cook County official faces federal criminal case: “Patrick Hanlon — who worked for Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez — resigned recently and was later charged in federal court,” by WBEZ.

Cook County Bike Plan aims to improve connectivity, safety for cyclists of all skill levels: “Cook County recently released its first-ever plan to address the needs of cyclists and beef up its bike infrastructure in response to findings that the area’s bike path connectivity and accessibility could be improved. The Cook County Bike Plan, released May 24, lays out the principles and methods for improving cycling infrastructure countywide as well as best practices for bike-friendly facilities,” by The Daily Line.

Bill could spring more Cook County properties from tax sale maze: “A measure sent to the governor would let public agencies take action on vacant homes before they get lost in Cook County’s tax sale process,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.



 Chicago Housing Authority sued over deal to lease public land to Lightfoot’s billionaire donor: “The city of Chicago and the Biden administration were accused in a lawsuit of illegally planning to lease public land earmarked for affordable homes to one of outgoing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s billionaire donors to build a training complex for his professional soccer team,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Aldermen use expense accounts to pay ex-Park District official who resigned amid lifeguard scandal: “Four aldermen have paid more than $48,000 out of their taxpayer-funded expense accounts to a consulting firm run by a former top Chicago Park District official who was asked to resign for his involvement in the Park District’s sexual abuse lifeguard scandal and placed on a do-not-rehire list,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Beltway Briefing: Congress Passes Debt-Ceiling Bill, Averting Default

After weeks of political impasse and tense negotiations, the Senate voted 63-36 to approve bipartisan legislation to raise the nation’s debt limit, sending the compromise bill to the White House ahead of a projected Monday default deadline. The result, at least until January 2025, will allow the Treasury to immediately resume paying bills with borrowed funds and it will impose spending caps on portions of the budget for two years.

Public Strategies’ Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, and Towner French discuss this truly bipartisan success and break down the final tallies in both chambers. Also, as former VP Pence is set to launch his presidential campaign on June 7, they also ponder what impact it will have on the growing 2024 Republican primary.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


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