Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor (9/13)

September 13, 2023



Union organizer selected as new 9th District state representative

“Cook County Democratic committeepeople in the 9th House District met Tuesday to select Yolonda Morris, a union organizer from Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood, to be the district’s new state representative. Morris will replace Sen. Lakesia Collins (D-Chicago), who was appointed last month to fill a vacancy in the 5th Senate District,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias testifies in Senate on state’s anti-book ban law

“Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias testified before a U.S. Senate committee on Tuesday, promoting a new Illinois law meant to protect freedom of speech by preventing book bans,” by CBS News Chicago.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Retirement of Outstanding Debt

“Governor JB Pritzker announced $449 million in tobacco bonds have been retired through a defeasance, benefiting taxpayers through debt service savings and interest earnings in an aggregate of $50 million,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois’ election board is fielding questions about knocking Donald Trump off the ballot

“A top board official says the courts, not the election board, would determine if Trump’s ties to the insurrection disqualify him from being on the ballot,” by WBEZ Chicago.

Measure to exclude solar energy from property tax assessments delayed in county economic development committee

“A measure that would exclude solar energy systems from property tax assessments was held in the Cook County Business and Economic Development Committee during a Tuesday meeting, with action not expected on the measure until next month,” by The Daily Line.

Bicameral committee continues review of controversial proposals from DCFS, Human Services

“Lawmakers on the Joint Committee on Administrative Review (JCAR) continued their legislative oversight powers on Tuesday over separate rules established by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) that have irritated lawmakers in both parties,” by The Daily Line.


Mayor Johnson releases 2024 budget forecast, City estimates $538 million shortfall

According to a budget forecast released Wednesday, the city is facing a $538 million budget gap for fiscal year 2024.

“The gap is driven by several factors, including rising personnel, pension, and contractual costs, as well as the cost to care for new migrants arriving to the city,” the forecast states.

About $200 million of the budget shortfall is related to the migrant crisis. Another $90 million is tied to Mayor Johnson’s campaign promise to not raise the base property tax levy. Additionally, the mayor’s decision to end a policy that shifts pension payments to Chicago Public Schools will cost the city $45 million.

While the number is much larger than the $85 million shortfall former mayor Lori Lightfoot announced in a “mid-year budget forecast” before leaving office, Johnson said: “The projected budget gap paints a realistic picture of our city’s financial condition, which will require careful consideration and strategic action.”

“In the coming weeks, we will be taking a much closer look at the challenges we face and how we will address those challenges reasonably and responsibly and not on the backs of workers and working families,” Johnson said in a press release.


Democrats from across the country visit Chicago and United Center less than a year before DNC

“Democratic Party officials from across the U.S. were in Chicago Tuesday to get a taste of what’s in store for them and their state delegations when they descend on the city for the Democratic National Convention next August,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Committee sends ordinance allocating $33M in federal funding for migrants to full City Council

“The City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations on Tuesday sent an ordinance (O2023-0002925) that would allocate $33 million in federal grant funds for migrant services to the full City Council for approval later this week,” by The Daily Line.

Zoning committee approves more than 2,200 new residential units across multiple proposed developments

“Members of the City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards gave an initial OK to more than 2,200 new residential units spread among various developments across the city during their meeting Tuesday, Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35), who chairs the committee, said at the close of the meeting,” by The Daily Line.


Cozen Currents: The Inseparable Line Between Governing and Campaigning 

Members of Congress have returned to Washington with a lengthy to-do list. Most pressing is appropriations given the potential for a government shutdown at the end of this month. Lawmakers will address this issue and others in the shadow of the upcoming 2024 elections.

President Biden’s regulatory agenda is picking up speed — and so are the legal challenges. However, court defeats and political victories are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Now that the Biden administration has released its list of 10 drugs that it plans to target for Medicare negotiations, the pharmaceutical industry is ramping up its counterattack.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.

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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