Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (10/10)

October 10, 2022


Illinois Coronavirus Updates: 2 New Omicron Subvariants, Winter Predictions, by NBC 5 Chicago.



Uihlein kicks in $13.9 million more to defeat Pritzker; $1 million to oppose union rights amendment: “With voting already started, Republican mega donor Richard Uihlein poured another $13.9 million into his quest to defeat Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, with the cash to the anti-Pritzker People Who Play By the Rules PAC coming as state campaign finance records show lackluster fundraising by GOP nominee Darren Bailey,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Where the governor’s race stands 4 weeks from Election Day: “The answer appears to be: about where they were before, with Democrats generally leading Republicans in this very blue state. But some races are worth a closer look,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

McLean County Board to vote on $126 million budget: “The McLean County Board is expected to vote Thursday on a $126 million spending plan for the 2023 fiscal year,” by The Pantagraph.

List gets longer for mayor, council candidates in Joliet election: “19 people have pulled petitions so far to run in the next city election for mayor and city council,” by Shaw Local News.   


City clerk, treasurer defend 20.5% pay hikes

At council budget hearings Friday, City Clerk Anna Valencia and City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin said they will accept the 20.5% raises – from $133,545 to $161,016 – proposed in Mayor Lightfoot’s 2023 budget.

“The goal is to reach an equitable and fair salary for the City Clerk position,” Valencia said in a statement. “If the ordinance passes and I am lucky enough to serve as City Clerk next term, I will accept.”

Unlike aldermen, who see their salaries adjusted to inflation on a yearly basis, citywide elected officials can only receive salary increases every four years.

Conyears-Ervin cited that the salary for the two positions has been stagnant since 2006, whereas the maximum aldermanic salary under that time period has seen a 50% increase from $95,000 to $142,000.

Both Valencia and Conyears-Ervin are up for reelection but do not face challengers.


Chicago’s improved finances reflected in bond investor sentiment: “Investors are more bullish on Chicago now than they have been in years as the city’s fiscal outlook brightens, causing its outstanding bonds to perform better than those of other big cities,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Early voting gets underway in Chicago as election officials anticipate higher turnout and fewer problems: “As early voting began in Chicago on Friday, city election officials said they are working to ensure there are enough election judges ready to staff polling places across the city on Election Day and are anticipating more voters will cast ballots for the general election than the low number that showed up for the primary in June,” by The Chicago Tribune.

The rise and fall of another Chicago political dynasty — the 34th Ward Democrats: “The bribery charges that Illinois state Sen. Emil Jones III, D-Chicago, faces might not only end his political career but also mark the fall of the once-powerful 34th Ward Democratic organization — the latest Chicago political dynasty to crumble as the result of federal investigations,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Chicago hospitals working to address health disparities land state funding: “St. Anthony Hospital, Roseland Community Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center are among the hospitals receiving state funds to address health disparities in Chicago. Illinois’ Department of Healthcare & Family Services Friday announced the latest group of health care “collaboratives” that it’s deploying $70 million to in 2023,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Beltway Briefing: Nuclear Anxiety

Will Vladimir Putin use a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, or elsewhere in the West? It’s not an idle question as the Russian dictator, who doesn’t believe in the credibility of the U.S. nuclear deterrent, grows increasingly agitated with mounting setbacks in Ukraine.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin ponder the seriousness of the prospect of Armageddon, raised for the first time since Kennedy and the Cuban missile crisis. They also break down the implications of President Biden’s decision this week to take his first major steps toward decriminalizing marijuana, by issuing a blanket pardon for all prior federal offenses for simple possession of the drug, and discuss the latest developments in the 2022 midterm races.

You can listen to this and any of the previous Beltway Briefing podcast episodes here.


Explore Articles and News

See All News