Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (8/4)

August 4, 2023

ILLINOIS

AROUND THE STATE 

ICC Initiates Notice of Inquiry into Ameren Illinois Study on the Cost/Benefit of Shifting to PJM from MISO: “The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) opened a notice of inquiry (NOI) into a

recent Ameren Illinois study examining the costs and benefits of remaining a Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) member compared to joining PJM Interconnection (PJM), the grid operator that serves the northern part of the state,” from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

Residents decry ‘audacity’ of proposed $402 million Peoples Gas rate hike: “Speakers at a public meeting at UIC tell Peoples Gas executives that the cost of living is already high and a rate hike would add to households’ financial pressure,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Pritzker expected to veto bill giving Ameren rights to build transmission lines: “Unless there are changes, a bill giving Ameren Illinois the right of first refusal to build high-voltage power lines will most likely be vetoed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker,” by the Center Square.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Bill Establishing Full Day Kindergarten: “Governor JB Pritzker signed HB2396, requiring each school board to establish a kindergarten program with full day attendance, beginning with the 2027-2028 school year. Under this bill, every district must also establish a half-day program that is developmentally appropriate and provides opportunities for play-based learning,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Bill Establishing Farm to Foodbank Program in Illinois: “Governor JB Pritzker signed HB2879 into law today, establishing the Illinois Farm to Food Bank Program to expand resources for food bank systems across the state while supporting local farmers,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

CHICAGO

Democratic leaders call for over $1.1 billion in federal funding for Union Station, Amtrak projects in Chicago

Officials led by Gov. JB Pritzker, U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, Mayor Brandon Johnson, and other state and city leaders held a joint press conference Thursday to call attention to a proposed $1.1 billion project to modernize rail infrastructure in the Chicago area.

The Chicago Hub Improvement Program seeks to secure a $872.8 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Federal/State Partnership Program through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, with an additional $218.2 million in matching funds coming from local governments and agencies, including Cook Country, Metra, and the states of Illinois and Michigan.

The funding would improve performance, increase capacity, and reduce delays to and from Union Station, while also strengthening the city’s position as the third busiest transit hub in the country.

MORE FROM CITY HALL 

Johnson Denies Migrants Were Moved From Police Station Due to Lollapalooza: “After migrants were moved from the 1st District police station, Mayor Brandon Johnson said the relocation was not due the station’s proximity to Grant Park, where Lollapalooza will be held this weekend, but rather because another shelter site became available,” by WTTW.

Chicago Suing Property Management Company Over What it Calls ‘Deceptive’ Rent-to-Own Practices: “The city of Chicago is suing a property management company it claims is responsible for ‘deceptive and unfair practices’  over what it calls exploitative ‘rent-to-own’ agreements with low-income residents,” by WTTW.

IG finds Chicago Police rules for reporting misconduct leave employees vulnerable to retaliation: “The Chicago Police Department (CPD) has failed to allow officers to properly report allegations of misconduct without potentially facing retaliation, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found in a report published Thursday,” by The Daily Line.

City Unveils Preliminary Plan For 606’s Bloomingdale Trail Extension — But Construction Is Still Years Away: “The city plans to extend the popular walking and cycling trail under the Kennedy Expressway to Elston Avenue. It could then connect to Lincoln Yards and the Chicago River,” by Block Club Chicago.

FEDERAL

Beltway Briefing: Age: Wisdom or Uncertainty? 

Explore the pros and cons of an aging federal government, the criminal entanglements of former President Donald Trump and Hunter Biden, and the glimmer of hope on the 2028 presidential horizon.

Featuring: Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Patrick Martin, and Rodney Davis.

Listen to the Beltway Briefing here.

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