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

July 7, 2023



Gov. Pritzker Announces Largest-Ever Construction Program in State History: “Governor JB Pritzker joined state and local officials at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) headquarters today to announce the largest multi-year program to fix and repair infrastructure in state history: $40.99 billion over six years, showcasing the reach and impact of the governor’s historic, bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital program,” from the Office of Governor JB Pritzker.

County to consider proposal for mental health leave, changes to discrimination provisions: “The Cook County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal that would allow county government employees to take sick leave for mental health and wellness reasons. The board will also consider changes to the county’s code regarding discrimination and human rights,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois’ largest state employee union reaches tentative contract agreement: “Representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31, which represents thousands of state workers ranging from corrections officers to public health employees, declined to provide details on the tentative pact, which has to go before membership for a vote,” by the Chicago Tribune.

With little fanfare, Shakman era ends as Cook County clerk’s office is released from court oversight of hiring: “Lawyer Michael Shakman filed suit 54 years ago to end the practice of political patronage in hiring by state, county and local governments throughout Illinois,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Partnership with Metra to Restore Chicago-Rockford Passenger Rail Service: “Governor JB Pritzker was joined today by state and local officials to announce a partnership between the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Metra to once again provide safe and reliable passenger rail between Chicago and Rockford, restoring service that was discontinued in 1981,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Mayor Johnson’s team unveils transition report

On Thursday, Mayor Brandon Johnson’s transition team of nearly 400 members serving on 11 subcommittees released its report on how the administration can adopt Johnson’s campaign promises but also allow breathing room for negotiations on key policies.

The 223-page report will serve as a roadmap for the next four years and to help the administration achieve its goals, which include phasing in publicly-run mental health clinics, creating a public bank, holistically addressing public safety, promoting detectives within the Chicago Police Department, creating a guaranteed college fund for babies born in Chicago, and bringing back the Department of Environment.

The report does not include any recommendations to support tax proposals Johnson ran on during his campaign; the administration said “the mayor should work to grow the tax base and reduce reliance on property taxes.”

Noting the delay in releasing the report, Johnson said “the people of Chicago are worth the time, the effort, and the deliberation to finally get it right.”

The full report, titled “Building Bridges and Growing the Soul of Chicago: A Blueprint for Creating a more Just and Vibrant City for All,” can be read here.


New Board of Education Members Share Their Thoughts on Chicago’s Education Landscape: “Members of Chicago’s last fully-appointed Board of Education recognize they have a lot to do in a limited about of time — from solving special education and accessibility issues to handling a projected budget shortfall and school safety concerns,” by WTTW.

Chicago streets begin to reopen following NASCAR takeover — but it won’t be complete until July 15: “Fully reopening the Loop to vehicle traffic following a several-mile NASCAR takeover could take another 10 days, despite some key downtown streets being reopened and some road barriers being removed since early Monday,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Downtown’s office vacancy surge hits new record high: “The office vacancy rate in the central business district midway through the year inched up to 22.6%, an all-time high, from 22.4% three months earlier, according to data from real estate services firm CBRE. The new share of available space is up from 21.2% a year ago and 13.8% when the public health crisis began. The vacancy rate has hit a new record high in nine of the past 11 quarters, according to CBRE,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Chicago’s pension crisis worsens with investment losses: “Losses from the market downturn were offset somewhat by taxes on sales, transactions, restaurants and amusements, the 2022 financial report from Deloitte & Touche says,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Explore Articles and News

See All News