Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (10/14)

October 14, 2022


IDPH Endorses Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Recommendation for Children 5 and Older, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Sun-Times/WBEZ poll shows Pritzker, Democrats hold strong leads 

Governor JB Pritzker continues to maintain his double-digit lead over Republican opponent Sen. Darren Bailey, according to a new Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ poll.

And with the general election just weeks away, Illinois Democratic candidates in other races are using the governor’s political coattails to maintain sizable leads over their Republican counterparts, including in races for secretary of state, attorney general, comptroller, and treasurer.

Secretary of state candidate Alexi Giannnoulias and comptroller Susana Mendoza lead by over ten percentage points, respectively, over their GOP opponents. In addition, first-term Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul is ahead of Republican Thomas G. DeVore by a 44% to 35% spread.


Pritzker floats $1 billion jobs ‘closing fund’ as he touts re-election credentials: “In an interview with Crain’s, the governor offered few details on SAFE-T Act tweaks or even his abortion agenda—but he did take time to mention an economic development tool he’d like to have in a potential second term,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Former Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes makes first in-person court appearance on charges stemming from ComEd bribery probe: “Timothy Mapes, the former chief of staff to then-Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, walked into the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse on Thursday morning for a status hearing on charges he lied to a federal grand jury investigating the alleged ComEd scheme,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Cook County health care budget, guaranteed income pilot net praise during Thursday budget hearing: “During the first hearing Thursday morning, funding to support health care access and equity and the county’s guaranteed basic income pilot program were two dominant topics among public speakers,” by The Daily Line.

Secretary Osman, IDOT join in pledge to boost opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses: “At an event hosted by the Equity in Infrastructure Project, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman joined the transportation departments of California, the District of Columbia, Kansas, Louisiana and Michigan in signing a pledge to leverage infrastructure spending to build wealth in underserved communities through increased opportunities for historically underutilized businesses,” from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Lewis hoping to make jump to Senate in race against former DuPage County Board member: “After two years in the House, freshman Rep. Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett) is hoping to make a jump to the upper chamber and fill an open Senate seat in DuPage County,” by The Daily Line.

Yang Rohr fighting for second term over Republican challenger Richard Janor in Naperville House district: “Rep. Janet Yang Rohr (D-Naperville) is fighting for a second term in the House as Republicans try to claw back the district Yang Rohr flipped in 2020,” by The Daily Line.


Aldermen call out city officials for voter precinct consolidation

Aldermen at the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners budget hearing Thursday voiced their concerns regarding the reduction in the number of voter precincts ahead of the upcoming general election and next year’s municipal election.

In August, election officials released their plans for the new ward and voter precinct map, which includes 779 fewer precincts and changes polling locations in certain areas. Aldermen have since expressed that the new maps will cause voter confusion and inaccessibility and overcrowding issues.

Despite its backlash, the precinct consolidation is projected to save the city $2 million on recruitment and payment for election judges. The reduction also allows the city to increase funding for new electronic poll books.


Aldermen press DFSS on whether guaranteed income pilot will become permanent, how the city is helping asylum seekers: “Aldermen during Thursday’s budget hearing with the city’s Department of Family and Support Services learned more information about the city’s $31.5 million guaranteed income pilot program and how Chicago is helping the more than 3,000 asylum seekers who have been bused to the city from Texas,” by The Daily Line.

City’s Black contractor numbers still too low, Council’s Black Caucus says: “Chicago paid $763 million to prime contractors through July 31, but only 11% — $82 million — went to firms owned by African Americans. Hispanics fared better, at $109 million, or 14%. Asian Americans, Chicago’s fastest-growing ethnic group, got a 7% piece of the contracting pie,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

City plans to add 182 new electric vehicles next year, no signs on movement for ComEd franchise agreement: “The Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) Interim Comm. Sandra Blakemore told aldermen during a Wednesday hearing held by the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations that the 182 electric vehicles will consist of trucks and SUVs,” by The Daily Line.

City Council’s Latino Caucus Wants Lightfoot To Issue State Of Emergency To Help Care For Influx Of Immigrants: “Nearly 3,000 people from Central and South America have been bused to Chicago from Texas since Aug. 31. Latino Caucus members say a state of emergency would free up more resources to assist them,” by Block Club Chicago.

Animal Care and Control launches first CTA ad campaign, but aldermen push for more funding, better volunteer process: “Aldermen again called for more funding for Chicago Animal Care and Control following the department’s first-ever ad campaign on CTA buses and trains,” by The Daily Line.

City Council members unleash barrage of complaints about dogs on the loose: “With Animal Care and Control Executive Director Mamadou Diakhate testifying at City Council budget hearings, Ald. Scott Waguespack (32nd) used the opportunity to air complaints about unleashed dogs whose owners are thumbing their noses at the law that requires dogs to be restrained while in public,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.


Cozen Currents: The Politics of Democracy

  • The 2020 election and its aftermath were a major stress test of American democracy. There are more stress tests to come in this year’s midterm election and in 2024.
  • While the Fed covets its traditional independence that has not kept it from increasingly being caught in the political crossfire.
  • The Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling last term raised concerns over politicization of the Court’s decisions. Its conservative 6-3 majority is likely only to exacerbate those concerns in its new term.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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