Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/19)

July 19, 2023


Illinois Supreme Court protects elimination of cash bail

In a 5-2 decision, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the Pretrial Fairness Act of the SAFE-T Act Tuesday, becoming the first state to eliminate cash bail.

In the case of Rowe v. Raoul, the state’s constitution “does not mandate that monetary bail is the only means to ensure criminal defendants appear for trials or the only means to protect the public,” Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis wrote in the majority opinion.

The Pretrial Fairness Act was one of the most controversial provisions of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s SAFE-T Act, a major bill that includes a number of wide-ranging reforms on policing, court proceedings, and victims’ rights in the state. The law will go into effect on Sept. 18, 2023.

Read the full opinion here, and review the soon to be implemented Pretrial Release and Conditions process here.


Gov. Pritzker Announces Intent to Sign MoU with UK to Advance Trade and Economic Development: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois delegation continued their mission to the United Kingdom and announced the intent to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK to advance trade and economic development goals,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

County committees to consider mental health leave for employees, updates to Human Rights Ordinance, ARPA-funded water utility bill assistance program: “During committee meetings Wednesday, Cook County commissioners will consider measures to amend the county’s human rights code to include updated language, allow county employees to use their sick days to address burnout and other mental health issues and consider changes to the process for selecting a county inspector general,” by The Daily Line.

HFS officials take heat from review committee over plans to limit healthcare program for undocumented residents: “Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) Director Theresa Eagleson and other department officials received over an hour of feedback and questions from lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Administrative Review (JCAR) during a hearing Tuesday. Though the committee is often tasked with approving or denying administrative rules created by executive agencies, no votes were taken Tuesday,” by The Daily Line.

Forest Preserve Board approves contracts to enhance habitat land, repair unpaved trails and appoints Conservation and Policy Council member: “The Board of Commissioners for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County appointed a new member of the Conservation and Policy Council and approved contracts for habitat enhancement and unpaved trail repairs during a meeting at the Brookfield Zoo Tuesday,” by The Daily Line.



City Council members to propose 2-year timeline for eliminating sub-minimum wage: “Despite the proposal, however, Ald. Ramirez-Rosa acknowledged negotiations with the restaurant industry are continuing and may result in an even longer phase-in period,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City Council to vote on working group to study ‘Plow the Sidewalks’ proposal, term limits for IG: “The City Council on Wednesday will vote on a wide range of measures that have worked their way through committees over the past month, from a proposal for a working group to study municipal sidewalk snow plowing to setting term limits for the city’s appointed position of inspector general,” by The Daily Line.

As Johnson prepares his first city budget, he wants ideas from city youth: “The former middle school teacher and union organizer is holding a budget roundtable discussion exclusively for Chicagoans ages 13 to 24. The July 25 event on the ninth floor of Harold Washington Library is an addition to the usual round of July budget engagement meetings,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Cozen Currents: The Method to Congress’ Madness

  • After feeling like they lost out in House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) debt limit deal with President Biden, the House GOP’s right flank aims for major cuts in FY24 government funding. This stance raises the risk of a government shutdown but also empowers the more bipartisan Senate in the appropriations process.
  • As one of only a handful of “must-pass” bills this year, the National Defense Authorization Act is a magnet for riders that address both partisan culture war issues and substantive bipartisan policies.
  • US and China’s recent re-engagement is capturing headlines, but a closer examination reveals a more fragile relationship than the latest platitudes convey.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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