Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/1)

July 1, 2024



Changes to driver’s license eligibility for immigrants, gas tax hike on tap July 1

“Beginning Monday, motorists who are not U.S. citizens will be able to acquire a standard Illinois driver’s license as the result of a law meant to alleviate a stigma for immigrants in their interactions with law enforcement and expand their abilities to seek consumer services,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Pritzker Calls Supreme Court’s Emergency Abortion Ruling ‘Small Respite’ as State Protections Await His Signature

“Abortion remains legal as an emergency medical procedure in Idaho, for now, after a Thursday U.S. Supreme Court ruling, while a bill that would cement those protections in Illinois law awaits Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s signature,” by WTTW.

Advocates hope Karina’s bill can pass in the fall

“Anti-domestic violence advocates hope they will be able to move forward a bill this fall that takes guns out of the hands of domestic abusers following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling,” by The Daily Line.

New census estimates reflect declining white and Black populations in Cook County

“New population estimates show Cook County lost more than 117,000 white residents and nearly 65,000 Black residents in recent years — larger declines for both groups than nearly every county in the nation,” by WBEZ.


Chicago labor laws take effect

Chicago’s paid time off ordinance, minimum wage increase, and Fair Workweek enhancements take effect today, July 1.

The citywide hourly minimum wage will jump to $16.20, up from $15.80, for employees with four or more workers. The minimum wage increases annually according to the Consumer Price Index or 2.5%, whichever is lower.

July 1 also marks the first step in the city’s plan to gradually phase out the tipped minimum wage by 2028. In October, the Chicago City Council passed the “One Fair Wage” to increase the tipped minimum wage by 8% each year for five years until it reaches parity with the city’s standard minimum wage. This year, the tipped minimum wage is increasing from $9.48 per hour to $11.02.

Additionally, the Paid Leave and Paid Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, passed in November, will provide improved benefits for workers. The ordinance guarantees up to five days of paid leave and five days of paid sick leave for all of Chicago’s workers for employees who work at least 80 hours within any 120-day period.


Office tenants seek out top-tier spaces, showing downtown market isn’t quite dead

“The downtown Chicago office market remained stuck in the doldrums during the first half of 2024, with a historically high vacancy rate and sinking office employment. But the news isn’t all bad. The best skyscrapers, either recently built or renovated, are thriving as companies entice employees back downtown by renting top-tier offices,” by the Chicago Tribune.

In Chicago’s tent cities, ‘a multitude of challenges’ to address the city’s rising homelessness

“Months after voters rejected the Bring Chicago Home referendum, which sought to raise millions for homelessness services by raising the city’s real estate transfer tax for property sales above $1 million, Chicago is at a critical juncture on how to address its rapidly growing homeless population,” by the Chicago Tribune.

DNC host committee has vast majority of $85M fundraising commitment in hand, and aiming for millions more

“Less than two months before national Democrats gather in Chicago for their convention, the local host committee has secured the financial commitments necessary to meet its nearly $85 million fundraising obligation,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Beltway Briefing: Presidential Debate or Debacle?

As Americans watched the first televised presidential debate, it became clear that American politics had hit a new low in its political discourse. Between President Biden’s inability to set a narrative and pace, and former President Trump’s rapid-fire barrage of false statements, it resembled more of a debacle than anything remotely presidential.

Featuring Public Strategies’ Mark Alderman, Towner French, and Kyle Anderson.

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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