Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/12)

July 12, 2023


Preckwinkle receives preliminary feedback on 2024 budget

Residents and local organizations were awarded an opportunity Tuesday evening to ask questions and provide feedback during a virtual public hearing on the FY 24 Cook County budget forecast, which was released last month.

Members of the public and speakers on behalf of various organizations expressed their priorities for next year’s budget at the hearing, highlighting issues related to tackling community violence, providing care for veterans, and ensuring food availability.

While the forecast projects an $85.6 million budget gap, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has said there will be no new taxes, fees, or hikes.

Preckwinkle is expected to introduce her budget proposal in October, with Cook County commissioners typically voting on the budget in November.


Gov. Pritzker To Lead Trade Mission to the United Kingdom: “Governor Pritzker along with leaders in business and education from around the state will embark on a trade mission to the United Kingdom on July 16. The Governor will kick off the international trip by attending the Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 13-16 to discuss Illinois’ commitment to electric vehicle manufacturing with automobile, energy, and supply chain industry leaders,” from the Office of JB Pritzker.

CNBC’s Annual Top States for Business Rankings Show Continued Improvement for Illinois Four Years Running: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today highlighted Illinois’ top rankings in CNBC’s 2023 Top States for Business publication – an annual report that ranks states based on 10 broad categories of competitiveness,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois Housing Development Authority Announces Funding Opportunity for Permanent Supportive Housing: “The Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced it is seeking applications for up to $75 million in state and federal financing to create housing for persons with disabilities, those struggling with homelessness and other vulnerable populations,” from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Illinois to spend $30 million for ‘peacekeepers’ this fiscal year: “The Illinois Department of Human Services is looking to spend $30 million in fiscal year 2024 that started July 1 on the Peacekeepers Program. The money comes from COVID-19 relief federal tax funds. The program summary is looking for community groups with a ‘comprehensive approach to reducing firearm violence through targeted, integrated behavioral health services and economic opportunities,’” the Center Square.

Gov. Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation for Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington Counties due to Severe Weather, Flooding, Tornadoes, and Derecho, from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Toro appointed to vacant Illinois Senate seat

On Monday night, local Democratic leaders selected Natalie Toro, a Chicago Public Schools teacher, to fill the Illinois Senate seat vacated by Cristina Pacione-Zayas, who left the General Assembly to join the Johnson administration.

The appointment process was tension-filled, but ultimately, Toro received more weighted votes than runner-up Graciela Guzmán, a progressive and former aide to Pacione-Zayas. The two were the only candidates to receive votes from the 11-person committee.

As Toro takes over the 20th District seat, progressives who backed Guzmán are already promising a primary challenge next year. Guzmán is supported by many of the same labor unions, campaign volunteers, and get-out-the-vote efforts that aided Mayor Johnson during his campaign run.

Following her appointment, Toro said, “I plan to be a senator for everyone in the 20th District. I will work to gain the trust of constituents within the district.”


Chicago’s housing commissioner looks back on her tenure as she prepares to step down: “Chicago Housing Commissioner Marisa Novara, who re-established the city’s revived Department of Housing as a key policy driver over the last four years, is stepping down. Novara told her staff today that she was leaving city government on July 28,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Alderpersons to hear update on study assessing environmental, health and social stressors across Chicago: “Officials from Chicago’s Department of Public Health on Wednesday will update alderpersons on an ongoing study assessing the effects of exposure to environmental, health and social stressors across Chicago’s various communities. Alderpersons will hear the presentation on the Cumulative Impacts Assessment during the 10 a.m. meeting of the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection and Energy,” by The Daily Line.

Interim Top Cop Says Migrants Housed at Chicago Police Stations Need More Permanent Accommodations: “Days after sexual misconduct accusations were made against Chicago police officers in the 10th District involving migrants, interim Police Superintendent Fred Waller said migrants who remain housed at various police stations need more permanent accommodations,” by WTTW.

Chicago police union vows court fight after mayor rejects demand for 12 weeks of paid parental leave: “The Fraternal Order of Police is vowing to go to court to force Mayor Brandon Johnson’s hand after the mayor rejected the union’s demand for the same 12 weeks of paid parental leave that Johnson granted to Chicago teachers and other CPS employees,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Proposal urging state lawmakers to allow hybrid committee meetings fails to pass out of committee: “A proposal introduced last month calling on state lawmakers to allow alderpersons to hold hybrid meetings failed a critical committee vote Monday after alderpersons said they were concerned the resolution didn’t have strict enough parameters for attending meetings virtually,” by The Daily Line.


Cozen Currents: Congress’ Remaining Summer Agenda

  • There remains high bipartisan interest in creating a regulatory framework for digital assets in the US as both the House Financial Services Committee and House Agriculture Committee intend to mark up a stablecoin bill and broader crypto market structure proposal next week.
  • It’s “ESG month” in Washington as the House GOP demonstrates how it would regulate companies’ actions on environmental, social, and governance issues given the chance in 2025.
  • The US has historically not regulated emerging technology as aggressively as Europe, instead taking a more cautious approach focused on supporting innovation and getting it right rather than being first.

Read the full Cozen Currents here.


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