Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/18)

July 18, 2022

PUBLIC HEALTH 

50 Illinois counties at high COVID-19 community level. Here’s the latest CDC data, by KPVI. 

Will Your College Still Require COVID Vaccinations Now That The State Dropped Its Mandate?, by Block Club Chicago

ILLINOIS

$12 million in Rebuild Illinois funds awarded for Affordable Housing Preservation 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) announced Friday nearly $12 million in conditional awards will be granted to 27 affordable housing developments throughout Illinois under the Limited Rehabilitation Preservation Program

The funds will provide critical improvements to more than 1,400 affordable rental housing units to “enhance the long-term stability of the affordable rental housing for the benefit of very low and low-income households throughout the state.” 

Created in January 2022 and funded through a portion of the $200 million appropriation to IHDA in the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, the Preservation Program provides up to $475,000 in grant money to affordable housing developments for property stabilization, vital repairs, and improvements. 

To receive funding, property owners must extend their current use and income restrictions for an additional 10 years beyond their current expiration date to ensure rehabilitated units remain affordable.

AROUND THE STATE

Who is GOP Nominee for Governor, DARREN BAILEY?: “His semi-insurgent campaign for governor was wildly successful, earning him an easy majority victory that almost doubled the number of votes of his two closest challengers combined,” by The Center for Illinois Politics. 

How far do Illinois’ strict gun laws really go?: “Many are calling for even stricter gun laws statewide in the wake of the Highland Park mass shooting during the city’s Fourth of July parade that left seven dead and more than two dozen wounded,” by The Daily Herald. 

Illinois State Police File Emergency Rule Change to Broaden the Use of Clear and Present Danger Reports in FOID Card Applications: “The Illinois State Police (ISP), under the direction of Governor Pritzker, submitted an emergency rule change to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office implementing broader use of clear and present danger reports that can bar applicants from receiving a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card or revoke a current FOID card.” From The Office of J.B. Pritzker. 

CHICAGO

Committee passes ethics reform package, final vote by full City Council set for Wednesday

On Friday, the Ethics and Government Oversight Committee unanimously passed a revised version of the ethics reform proposal (O2022-2064), first introduced by Committee Chair Michele Smith (43) in April 2022. 

After a series of procedural roadblocks and weeks of negotiations, most of the original proposal remains intact, including a measure which expands the city’s rules against nepotism to prevent city officials and employees from using their public powers to help relatives or significant others. 

Some revisions to the original proposal include removing a provision that would require aldermen to physically leave City Council chambers or the virtual meeting room during discussion of any legislative item on which they had to recuse themselves due to a conflict of interest. 

Also notable, some revisions added at Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s request appear to benefit some of her aldermanic allies who have previously faced disciplinary action from the Board of Ethics. Among these provisions is a requirement that the Board notify elected officials of possible ethics violations in writing, 10 business days before making a probable cause finding – thereby providing officials a chance to dispute  allegations and potentially avoid public scandals. 

The ordinance is set for a final vote by the full City Council on Wednesday and, if passed, will go into effect July 30.

MORE FROM CITY HALL

Mayor Lori Lightfoot gets more help from supporters but trails Willie Wilson after he loans his campaign $5 million: “Seven months before she must face voters for reelection as Chicago’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot has nearly $2.6 million in her campaign funds — more than any of her opponents except one but still not enough to secure an overwhelming advantage or scare off new candidates from joining the field, campaign finance records show,” by The Chicago Tribune. 

Millions in affordable apartment loans, police misconduct settlements, school construction payouts lined up for approval: “The City Council Committee on Finance is scheduled during its 10 a.m. meeting on Monday to pave the way for $82 million in new bonding authority for a handful of affordable housing developments around the city, including new apartment complexes in Invest South/West corridors in Englewood and Austin,” by The Daily Line. 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to tie property taxes to inflation may result in mammoth bills next year: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot told Chicagoans nearly two years ago that her decision to tie how much the city of Chicago collects in property taxes to the rate of inflation made practical sense for both the city and taxpayers,” by The Chicago Tribune. 

Lightfoot appoints ex-Ald. Michael Scott to Chicago Board of Education weeks after he resigned from City Council: “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that she has appointed former Ald. Michael Scott Jr. to the board that oversees Chicago Public Schools,” by The Chicago Tribune. 

City Panel Calls for Lightfoot to Release Full Probe of Botched Smokestack Implosion: “A Chicago City Council committee unanimously demanded that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration release the full investigation completed by Chicago’s inspector general into the botched implosion of a smokestack in Little Village,” by WTTW. 

Budget committee to revisit Lightfoot’s water shutoff ban, proposal for City Council parliamentarian: “Portions a proposal by Mayor Lori Lightfoot that would water shutoffs will get a second chance on Monday after a vote on the proposal was delayed earlier this year,” by The Daily Line. 

Chicago at the ‘vanguard of government ethics’? New City Council rules would quadruple top fines for violators, but some measures watered down: “A City Council committee unanimously advanced a bundle of ethics amendments Friday that would overhaul the rules enforcing good government practices,” The Chicago Tribune. 

Aldermen grill CPD official on mental health support for officers after doubling number of budgeted clinician positions: “Aldermen on Friday shifted a general conversation about police oversight to focus on how the city is responding to officers’ mental health needs, giving a glimpse into possible hot-button issues in the upcoming budget season,” by The Daily Line. 

Health nonprofits torch Arwady, Lightfoot over lack of HIV funding for Black-led groups: “A group of Black nonprofit health group leaders and some aldermen put Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady on the defensive on Friday,” The Daily Line. 

FEDERAL

Beltway Briefing: Who will be on the Ballot in 2024?

Midway through the 2022 primary season, as the challenges facing the nation mount, there is growing speculation among both Democrats and Republicans that neither Biden nor Trump will be on the ballot in 2024. Meanwhile, the House Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, during its prime-time televised hearings, continues to present evidence of a conspiracy to overturn a free and fair democratic election.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin ponder whether Biden and Trump will run in 2024, discuss the impact, if any, the January 6 Committee hearings are having on the presidential race, and break down the most recent attempts to get the reconciliation bill across the finish line.

You can listen here.  

 

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