Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (1/4)

January 4, 2023


Illinois Coronavirus Updates: New COVID Variant XBB.1.5, Symptoms to Expect, by NBC 5 Chicago.


Illinois Supreme Court halts abolition of cash bail

One day prior to the SAFE-T Act’s January 1 effective date, the Illinois Supreme Court paused the controversial Pretrial Fairness Act provision meant to eliminate cash bail throughout the state.

Kankakee County Chief Judge Thomas Cunnington first ruled on the matter Thursday, siding with state’s attorneys from 64 counties across Illinois. In his ruling, Cunnington wrote that “the appropriateness of bail rests with the authority of the court and may not be determined by legislative fiat.”

Following an appeal by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and an emergency motion for a supervisory order from state’s attorneys in DuPage and Kane counties, the landmark criminal justice reform’s cash bail provision now awaits a ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court.

The high court has not yet set a date to hear arguments, but a spokesman for the court said they would undergo an expedited briefing process before the justices hear oral arguments.


New Laws Taking Effect in 2023 Impact Employers, Employees: “As the New Year begins, employers and employees across the State should be aware of new laws taking effect that impact workplace rights,” from the Illinois Department of Labor.

Increase Coming for Illinois Minimum Wage on Jan. 1: “The Illinois minimum wage is set to increase another dollar on Sunday, January 1, 2023, making the new required minimum wage $13 an hour,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

IDOT in 2022 Rebuilding Illinois continues with completed projects, new ones planned for 2023 across the state: “The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), under the leadership of Governor JB Pritzker and Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman, continued to make history in 2022, delivering transformational projects across the state that will improve safety, enhance quality of life, and create economic opportunity across multiple modes of transportation for generations to come,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.



Lightfoot asks for tens of millions more in state money for migrants, citing arrivals from Texas; state says funding will cease in January: “Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is asking Illinois state legislators for $54 million to help fund emergency services to asylum-seeking individuals and migrants. Lightfoot made the request in a letter to state legislators from Chicago, obtained by the Tribune,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Indicted crypto magnate’s political contributions to Jesús ‘Chuy’ Garcia making waves in mayor’s race: “As disgraced cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces charges he defrauded investors of billions of dollars, his wide-ranging political campaign contributions to politicians, including Chicago mayoral candidate Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, are drawing questions and criticism,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago saw a wave of new unions form in 2022. Getting to the bargaining table is the next challenge: “For the hundreds of newly unionized workers in Chicago, the hard work has only just begun; now they must negotiate a first contract with their employers. Labor leaders see a contract as the gold standard for protecting workers’ rights and securing gains in areas like pay and benefits. But the process can take years,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Residents protest increased property taxes in Pilsen with caravan to Cook County Building downtown: “Residents living in the city’s fast-gentrifying Latino communities saw some of the steepest increases in property taxes in the city, and protesters Friday took their displeasure to the streets, with a caravan beginning in Pilsen’s Dvorak Park and ending at the Cook County Building downtown,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly Running Unopposed For 5th Term After Sole Challenger Drops Out: “Chris Cleary, a former vice president at BMO Harris and recent founder of an e-commerce company, withdrew from the 42nd Ward race late last week, according to the Chicago Board of Elections,” by Block Club Chicago.



Vice President Kamala Harris comes to Chicago on Wednesday to tout Biden administration accomplishments: “President Joe Biden and top administration officials will fan out across the nation the day after Republicans take control of the House,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

A House in revolt: A small but steadfast minority of Republicans in Congress threw the House into chaos yesterday, as they rejected California Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid for speakership three separate times before adjourning until Wednesday.

President Biden has made choosing diverse federal judges a priority: “The Senate confirmed 97 federal judges during President Biden’s first two years in office, setting records for the sheer numbers of jurists and their diversity. In the end, federal courts may be one of Biden’s deepest legacies, since judges often get the last word on what the law means and how it plays out in people’s lives,” by NPR Illinois.


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