Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (7/26)

July 26, 2023


AFSCME Council 31 ratifies four-year contract with the state

On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker and AFSCME Council 31 announced that they have agreed on the ratification of a new contract that will provide an 18 percent pay raise over four years, extend parental leave from 10 to 12 weeks, and address efforts to improve workplace safety.

Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, the state’s largest public employee union, attended local union meetings over the last two weeks to review and vote on the contract, after a tentative agreement was reached by negotiators on July 1.

The four-year contract is projected to cost about $625 million over four years, according to a spokesperson for the governor’s office.


Sen. Tom Bennett won’t run in 2024; Sen. Patricia Van Pelt will finally retire next week: “Illinois State Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) announced his plans to retire from his storied and successful career in the General Assembly at the completion of his current term representing the 53rd District,” by Capitol Fax.

Cook County’s estimated budget gap doubles to about $170 million: “County officials attribute the increase to pay hikes for its 19,000 employees to help keep and recruit more government workers,” by WBEZ Chicago.

Gov. Pritzker Takes Action to Bolster Illinois’ Hydrogen Economy: “Further delivering on his commitment to make Illinois a national leader on climate action, Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 2204, establishing a tax credit for users of clean hydrogen in the state of Illinois,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Invests in Early Childhood with Early Intervention Incentive Payments: “The Pritzker administration is taking another step to advance the Smart Start Illinois program, a multi-year plan to provide every child with access to preschool, increase funding to child care providers to raise wages and quality, invest in new and expanded early childhood facilities, and reach more vulnerable families with early support,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Signs HOME IL Bill Codifying Illinois Action on Homelessness Prevention: “Governor JB Pritzker signed HB2381, codifying the Illinois Interagency Task Force on Homelessness and the Community Advisory Council on Homelessness, initially established by the Governor via executive order in 2021,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Expands Disaster Proclamation to Additional Counties Following Severe Weather: “Governor JB Pritzker has now expanded the original Disaster Proclamation to 13 additional counties based on the severe weather, tornadoes, and derecho that affected communities across the state from June 29th through July 2nd,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Union leaders strike peace deal with Democratic National Convention

Major Chicago unions signed a “labor peace agreement” Tuesday, promising not to strike during the Democratic National Convention next year in Chicago, which is set to take place August 19-22, 2024.

“This is historic,” Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said. “It’s the fastest that we’ve ever done this type of agreement with the DNC.”

In exchange for their agreement not to strike at the United Center or McCormick Place, the DNC will prioritize union employment over other private contractors to help staff and run the event.

The deal is between the DNC’s convention committee, the Chicago Host Committee, the Chicago Federation of Labor and the following unions: the Chicago Federation of Labor; the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; IBEW Local 134; IUOE Local 399; Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council; Riggers, Machinery Movers & Machinery Erectors Local Union 136; SEIU Local 1; Teamsters Local 727; UNITE HERE Local 1; and United Steelworkers Local 17U Decorators Union.


Push to Reopen Public Mental Health Clinics in Chicago, Expand 911 Alternate Response Takes Center Stage at City Hall: “The more than three-hour hearing came nearly three years after Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd Ward) introduced a proposal that has become known as ‘Treatment Not Trauma,’” by WTTW.

Samir Mayekar takes post at Chicago Fed: “In a social media post today, Mayekar, who handled the proposed Chicago casino and a host of other business-related items for the former mayor, announced he has accepted a position as a ‘visiting scholar’ at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Cozen Currents: Why Nobody Wants to Think About the 2024 Elections

  • The 2024 presidential race is taking shape with the first GOP presidential debate next month and primaries just over six months away. But many voters aren’t interested in the race yet, probably due to the majority’s lack of interest in the most likely outcome: a Biden-Trump rematch.
  • Control of the Senate is the Republicans’ to lose in 2024. Of course, the Senate GOP has demonstrated the ability to clutch defeat from the jaws of victory over the last two election cycles due to poor candidate quality. With new tactics though, will the third try be the charm?
  • The winner of next year’s presidential election is expected to (barely) carry a closely-contested House despite weak coattails, with control of the lower chamber hinging on a handful of races, some of which may be based on redrawn congressional maps.

Read the Cozen Currents here.

Beltway Briefing: The federal government needs a facelift

Media coverage of political extremes and fringe politicos skews the American people’s perception of the federal government. With boomers passing the baton to the next generation, the nation has an opportunity to shift this narrative and select more aspirational leaders for the next chapter.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


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