Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (1/18)

January 18, 2023


 5 Illinois Counties Now at ‘High’ Community COVID Level as IDPH Reports Undercount, by NBC 5 Chicago.


Lawsuits filed challenging state’s assault weapons ban

Illinois’ new assault weapon law, the Protect Illinois Communities Act (HB 5471), is facing its first legal challenges, with three lawsuits already filed and more likely on the way.

The first lawsuit, filed in Crawford County on behalf of three gun owners, argues that the ban on assault weapons violates the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms. It also argues that the gun registry requirement violates the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The second, filed in Effingham County by last year’s Republican nominee for Illinois attorney general Tom DeVore, is on behalf of hundreds of plaintiffs. The lawsuit alleges that the approval method of the new law makes it unconstitutional, as it violated the requirement that legislation be confined to one subject.

The third suit is a federal lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois Tuesday.

On top of the legal challenges, over 80 county sheriffs in Illinois have expressed their opposition to the portion of the law that would require owners of banned guns to register them with the state; they said they will refuse to enforce such a provision.

An emergency hearing is scheduled for today in Effingham County to determine whether a temporary restraining order to halt the enforcement of the law should be enacted, impending legal action.


Illinois could lose billions in motor fuel taxes as electric vehicle sales grow, report warns: “Despite Illinois’ efforts to smoothly integrate electric vehicles into the state’s economy, a new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute is warning of a potential steep decline in transportation revenue as the process of electrification accelerates,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

A graduated income tax revival is in the works: “Asserting that the second time could be the charm,  Sen. Rob Martwick, who represents portions of Chicago’s Northwest Side and adjacent suburbs, is preparing a new effort to get the state to enact a graduated income tax. He said he still believes the state, and particularly middle-class families, need the income and lower property taxes, respectively, that a graduated income tax would bring, even though voters in 2020 rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to do that by about a 10-point margin,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Speaker Welch Announces Committee Chairs for 103rd General Assembly, by Hannah News.

Cook County commissioner urges law enforcement to not enforce the state’s gun ban: “Cook County Commissioner Sean Morrison is calling on county law enforcement to not enforce a recently enacted law banning certain semi-automatic firearms and magazines. State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, said no matter what people’s feelings are, the law is the law,” by the Center Square.

Bill awaiting Pritzker’s signature would create new funding mechanism for local governments to use for tourism promotion: “The General Assembly approved HB268 on bipartisan votes in the House and Senate last week. The bill creates the Tourism Preservation and Sustainability Act and now awaits Gov. JB Pritzker’s signature. The bill establishes a framework for local governments to use to create tourism districts where fees will be collected from hotel patrons to fund local convention and visitors bureaus,” by The Daily Line.



City Council Passes Bodily Autonomy for All Ordinance to Further Protect Those Seeking Reproductive or Gender-Affirming Care from Discrimination and Retaliation: “Today, City Council passed the Bodily Autonomy For All ordinance introduced by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Alderwoman Maria Hadden (49th Ward), Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th Ward), Alderwoman Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez (33rd Ward), and Alderman Matt Martin (47th Ward) in December,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Various Measures Introduced to and Approved by the Chicago City Council, from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Chicago mayoral candidates share ideas on city investment, schools and crime: “Four candidates for Chicago mayor shared ideas Tuesday ranging from the creation of an independent development authority to invest in projects such as a hedge fund to the redirection of new business property taxes toward feeding and housing vulnerable Chicagoans,” by the Chicago Tribune.

At least 20 percent of aldermanic candidates — most of them incumbents — won’t face a challenger in February: “Nine of the 10 aldermanic candidates who will not face challengers are incumbent members of the City Council. Ald. Brian Hopkins (2), Ald. Pat Dowell (3), Ald. Greg Mitchell (7), Ald. David Moore (17), Ald. Walter Burnett (27), Ald. Scott Waguespack (32), Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35), Ald. Brendan Reilly (42), newcomer Bennett Lawson, who is running in the 44th Ward, and Ald. Matt Martin (47) will all run unopposed in February,” by The Daily Line.

 Swept Into Office by Promises of Reform, Lightfoot Faces New Scrutiny on Ethics Record: “Lightfoot’s campaign for a second term has been weighed down by a growing amount of evidence that not only has she failed to fulfill campaign promises to ‘bring in the light,’ but also that she has at times governed more like an old-school machine politician than a reformer. For her part, Lightfoot has said that her administration has made strides in pushing back against corruption,” by WTTW.

Zoning committee OKs zone change for proposed Lincoln Park cannabis dispensary: “The City Council Committee on Zoning, Landmarks and Building Standards on Tuesday approved a zone change to allow a proposed cannabis business in Lincoln Park to move forward with plans. The committee approved a zone change request for the site from B3-3, Community Shopping District, to C2-3, Motor Vehicle-Related Commercial District,” by The Daily Line.

Early Voting for Chicago Mayor, City Council Starts Jan. 26 Downtown, Expands Citywide Feb. 13: “Chicago voters can cast their ballots for mayor, alderpeople and police district council members starting Jan. 26 at two Downtown locations and Feb. 13 across the city. Election Day is Feb. 28. In races for mayor and City Council, if no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates will head to a runoff on April 4,” by WTTW.


Cozen Currents: Trump is Biden’s Best (and Worst) Case for Re-election

  • Presidential re-election campaigns are generally a referendum on the incumbent, but for President Biden, the negative case for a second term (i.e., he’s not former President Trump) is stronger than the affirmative case.
  • Trump is the weakest he has ever been in his third run for president, but MAGA continues to be a potent element of the Republican Party.
  • The Biden administration recently released the latest version of its regulatory agenda, which will now come to the fore as the White House seeks to further its partisan agenda in the face of a divided Congress.

Read the full Cozen Currents here.

Beltway Briefing: CPS Welcomes Former Congressman Rodney Davis

In this episode, Public Strategies introduces Rodney Davis, a former five-term congressman representing Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, who has joined the firm as a managing director. Rodney will leverage his substantial experience in public affairs to provide strategic counsel to the firm’s government relations clients.

Rodney and regular co-hosts Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin break down the measures taken up to advance the GOP’s agenda during the first full week of the new Congress, with a House speaker finally elected, members sworn in, and the rules for the 118th Congress adopted.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing podcast here.


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