Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (8/16)

August 16, 2023


Cook County Democrats back Clayton Harris for state’s attorney, Mariyana Spyropoulos for circuit court clerk

On Tuesday, the Cook County Democratic Party slated former prosecutor and lobbyist Clayton Harris III to replace Kim Foxx in the County’s state’s attorney’s race next year. Harris, who had already received support from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, was endorsed over former Appellate Court Justice Eileen O’Neill Burke.

In the vote to endorse Cook County Clerk of the Court, Democratic Party leaders picked longtime water board commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos.

Spyropoulos beat out incumbent Iris Martinez and Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle’s pick Eira Corral Sepúlveda, who also serves on the water board commission. Spyropoulos received strong backing from labor unions across the county and suburban Democratic leaders.

Also on Tuesday, the party endorsed Supreme Court candidate incumbent Justice Joy Cunningham over Appellate Court Justice Jesse Reyes.

Lakesia Collins named 5th District senator

Lakesha Collins has been selected and sworn in by Chicago Democratic committeepersons to replace retired Sen. Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago), who resigned on Aug. 1 after missing all of spring session.

Collins beat out fellow state Rep. Jawaharial “Omar” Williams. Williams had support from his stepfather, Ald. and Vice Mayor Walter Burnett Jr., who sat on the committee making the appointment and had the largest number of weighted votes on the panel, but it wasn’t enough.

Some of the same committeepersons will meet again within a month to name Collins’ House replacement.


Gov. Pritzker Vetoes Legislation

“Today, Governor JB Pritzker vetoed House Bill 3445, an omnibus energy bill that makes changes to the Adjustable Block Grant program to make it more available to public schools, requires IPA to conduct a study evaluating several policy proposals, amends existing law regarding siting for renewable energy projects, requires the Illinois Commerce Commission to conduct a thermal energy network workshop, and gives incumbent utility providers the right of first refusal over new transmission projects in the MISO region,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

President Biden approves Gov. Pritzker’s Illinois Disaster Declaration for July 2023 Severe Weather, Unlocking Federal Individual Assistance

“President Joseph Biden signed a Disaster Declaration, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) to offer Individual Assistance for residents in Cook County, Illinois who were impacted by severe weather in July,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Bill Expanding Excused Absences for Work-Based Learning Events

“Governor JB Pritzker signed HB3814 into law, allowing students attending work-based learning events like 4-H and FFA programs to count program participation towards school attendance. The bill advances the administration’s work to encourage Illinois students to pursue workforce and career development learning while in school,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.



Chicago City Council looks at regulating rideshares

“Members of Johnson’s administration have been involved in the discussions, but [Ald. Mike Rodriguez] is taking the lead on the effort. The measure adds to the growing list of legislation being considered heading into fall that affect relatively lower-wage workers,” by Capitol Fax.

Snelling plans to prioritize officer wellness and training, curbing violence if approved as CPD superintendent

“Among other people, Snelling on Monday thanked CPD’s interim Supt. Fred Waller, whom he said he considers a mentor. Snelling highlighted the three priorities he hopes to focus on as superintendent, including officer wellness and training, reducing violence and working with the community,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago’s ex-top doctor reveals how she was fired in new wide-reaching interview

“Chicago’s former top doctor sat down with NBC Chicago for an exclusive television interview Monday, just days after her controversial firing that she revealed left even her surprised, but not for the reason many might think,” by NBC 5 Chicago.

Chicago mayor floats idea of sending migrants to suburbs

“Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson says the city of Chicago has had conversations with suburban leaders in Cook and other counties about the possibility of moving migrants into their communities,” by the Center Square.

If you have any questions regarding this update or if you’re interested in ways to engage on these issues, please contact one of our team members here.


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