Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/21)

July 21, 2023



Gov. Pritzker Announces $38 Million for CEJA Workforce Hubs: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) launched $37.9 million in funding for the Illinois Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program or “CEJA Workforce Hubs,’” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Giannoulias Announces Illinois to Receive Part of $12.4 Million Settlement from Raymond James Financial Entities: “Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced Thursday that Illinois is part of a $12.4 million settlement with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. and Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Illinois is among five other states that discovered Raymond James entities had charged unreasonable commissions on trades that have harmed main street investors, including Illinoisans,” from the Illinois Secretary of State Office.

Gov. Pritzker Concludes United Kingdom Trade Mission in London with MOU between UK and Illinois-Based Energy companies: “Over the past several days, the Governor participated in discussions on bilateral collaborations in technology and higher education, meetings with business organizations to strengthen ties to Illinois, and announced the intent to pursue a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK to advance trade and economic development goals in Illinois,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Measures protecting multilingual election access, providing tax credits to property owners suffering storm damage introduced at County Board: “A proposal for a property tax relief program for properties affected by storm damage and a measure to protect access to translated voting materials for non-English speakers were introduced during the Cook County Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday. The board also gave final approval to legislation allowing employee mental health leave, changes to the human rights code and changes to the selection process for inspectors general,” by The Daily Line.

House committee takes first look at possible fall pension reform: “Members of the House Personnel and Pensions Committee held their first public hearing on a proposal to make significant changes to Illinois’ pension laws. The committee gathered in Chicago to take feedback for stakeholders and pension experts on HB4098, a bill by committee chair Rep. Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) that makes multiple changes to pension laws in hopes of improving funding for the systems. The bill or some other reform legislation could be voted on during the fall veto session,” by The Daily Line. 


City Council introduces various legislation before summer recess

A variety of measures were introduced during Wednesday’s Chicago City Council meeting prior to their summer recess. A few noteworthy measures are highlighted below.

Freshman Ald. Jesse Fuentes (26) and Mayor Johnson’s City Council floor leader Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) introduced an ordinance (O2023-0002995) that would give restaurants two years to phase out the subminimum wage for tipped workers, however, Ald. Anthony Beale (9) used a parliamentary maneuver to temporarily block it from moving forward to a committee hearing and vote.

Ald. Mike Rodriguez (22) introduced an ordinance seeking to make significant changes to the City of Chicago Paid Leave Ordinance. The ordinance (O2023-0002980) would require Chicago employers to offer their workers one hour of paid leave for every 15 hours worked, which can be used for any reason.

Ald. Matt Martin (47) introduced an ordinance (O2023-0002937)  that would clarify and redefine the City’s lobbyist registration requirements. Per the ordinance, lobbyists would be required to register with the City only if they spend over 20 hours lobbying in any quarter.

Finally, the City Council unanimously approved the appointment of Mary Richardson-Lowry as Corporation Council, the first ever Black woman to hold the position. Richardson-Lowry, the former Chicago building commissioner and school board president under Mayor Richard M. Daley, will offer legal guidance and representation to the City Council, Boards and Departments.

The City Council stands adjourned until their next meeting date, September 13th.


City Council approves ‘Plow the Sidewalks’ working group, denies $2M police-related settlement: “Despite concerns from some alderpersons about the cost and the availability of resources, the City Council approved a proposal (O2023-2104) to establish a working group of city officials and advocates that is tasked with researching and making recommendations on how the city could launch a pilot program for municipal sidewalk snow plowing,” by The Daily Line.

Choose Chicago commissions economic impact study on NASCAR: “The Chicago Sports Commission at Choose Chicago has commissioned an economic impact study by the Sports Industry Research Center at Temple University, a spokesperson for the mayor’s office said this week,” 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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