Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (10/19)

October 19, 2022


Pritzker Administration and IDPH Award up to $3.7 Million to Address Systemic Health Disparities Highlighted by COVID-19 Pandemic: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced Tuesday that the state is awarding up to $3.7 million to 18 different organizations across Illinois to address systemic health disparities that have been highlighted by the COVID19 pandemic,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

City’s public health chief points to funding cliff ahead as COVID support slips: “The Chicago Department of Public Health’s budget topped $1 billion in 2022, thanks to more than $775 million in federal grant money funneled to the agency to address the COVID-19 pandemic. But in 2023, as some of those grants expire, CDPH’s budget is slated to shrink 7% to about $963.7 million, according to CDPH’s proposed 2023 budget, which was discussed before the City Council’s Committee on the Budget & Government Operations Monday,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Summer financial reports show Democrats in strong financial position

Quarterly financial reports submitted Monday by Illinois candidates and political committees show Democrats continued to hold strong in fundraising and spending between July 1 and Sept. 30.

In particular, the reports highlight how important Gov. JB Pritzker’s money is for Democrats; Pritzker has donated hundreds of millions this election cycle, not only to his campaign but also to other Democratic candidates and organizations throughout Illinois.

On the Republican side, Lake Forest billionaire Dick Uihlein has been donating to Dan Proft’s super-PAC, People Who Play By The Rules, which has financed ads highlighting crime as a top issue in the race.

As Republicans are hoping to win key statewide races and to gain seats in the General Assembly in the upcoming midterm elections, they are being significantly out-raised and out-spent by Democrats.


Pritzker more poised while Bailey sticks to his message in final debate for governor: “The second debate comes as new polling shows a wide gap between the two candidates. A Sun-Times/WBEZ poll released last week shows Pritzker holds a 15-point lead over Bailey. Pritzker leads Bailey substantially in Chicago and Cook County, by three points in the collar counties and is tied with Bailey downstate. Nine percent of voters were undecided,” by The Daily Line.

Pritzker Administration Announces Launch of a Statewide PACE Program to Spur Commercial Investment in Clean Energy Renovations and New Construction: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Finance Authority Monday announced the launch of a statewide PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) program to spur investment in electric vehicle charging stations, energy efficiency, and water conservation, and to stimulate the growth of renewable energy and resilient building design throughout Illinois,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker. 

Illinois EPA Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity for Lead Service Line Inventory Grant Program: “Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim Tuesday announced a new funding opportunity to assist communities in meeting the requirements outlined in the Lead Service Line Replacement and Notification Act,” from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Issues Operational Permits to First Social Equity Infuser Licensees: “The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today that two licensees were issued operational Infuser permits and had successfully commenced business operations,” from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Treasurer’s race: Demmer pledges to be ‘check’ on Democratic governing, Frerichs hopes to build on investment success: “The treasurer’s office can be obscure and complex as it deals with technical financial processes. But Demmer has used his campaign to play up taxation issues voters can relate to while Frerichs is running off of two terms of successes that can directly touch a person’s life,” by The Daily Line.

Cook County’s basic income pilot: 184,000+ applicants, just 3,250 spots: “The Cook County Promise Pilot Program is the latest pilot in the Chicago area that will give selected residents $500 a month for two years with no strings attached. The deadline to apply is Friday,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gov. Pritzker announces $3.4 million released for Cairo Port development: “Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that $3.4 million has been released through Gov. Pritzker’s Rebuild Illinois capital program to continue advancing plans for a new inland port under development in Cairo,” from the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Pritzker Administration Announces a $1.25 million fine for Celtic Insurance Company for Violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Network Adequacy and Transparency Act, from the Illinois Department of Insurance.


Mayor Lightfoot releases 2023-2024 Chicago Works Infrastructure Plan

On Tuesday, Mayor Lightfoot laid out the next phase of the multi-year, multi-billion-dollar Chicago Works Infrastructure Plan, originally announced in April 2021 for the purpose of addressing “long-standing and persistent injustices of inequitable distribution of resources in the City of Chicago.”

The two-year plan will prioritize public infrastructure projects in order to promote the health and safety of Chicago residents, strengthen the city’s economic position, and increase environmental resiliency.

“Ultimately, the goal of this multi-year initiative is to thoughtfully invest in our City’s collective wealth—our streets, sidewalks, bridges, and waterfronts, etc.—to uplift the quality of life for all Chicago residents,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We’re heading into year three of our first five-year plan and, already, residents are experiencing the benefits of this work with enhanced street safety, cleaner waterways, and improved public facilities throughout our city.”

The 2023-2024 Chicago Works Infrastructure Plan includes critical investments towards public safety and public infrastructure assets. A list of 2023-2024 capital improvements and developments can be found here.


Mayor Lightfoot Announces Chicago Riverwalk Concession Program Opportunities: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the City of Chicago Tuesday issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for concession operations for the Chicago Riverwalk.  The goal of this RFP is to receive proposals from qualified teams who can operate food and beverage, retail, recreational, entertainment, cultural, and educational facilities along Chicago’s beautiful Riverwalk,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Fundraising in race for 1st Ward alderman tops $277K during most recent fundraising quarter: “Four candidates for 1st Ward alderman raised a combined nearly $277,000 during the fundraising quarter ending Sept. 30, state campaign finance records show. The race for 1st Ward alderman includes former alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno, attorney Sam Royko and president of Logan Square Preservation Andy Schneider all hoping to unseat first-term Ald. Daniel La Spata (1),” by The Daily Line.

Lightfoot campaign raises $1 million in 3 months — and more than half of it is spent: “The mayor spent $607,449 of the $1 million she raised in the three months that ended Sept. 30. This could cause problems for her when her reelection campaign shifts into high gear,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Aldermen press Arwady on health department grant reliance, expansion of mental health crisis response pilot: “One year into the launch of the Crisis Assistance Response and Engagement (CARE) program, aldermen pressed Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady to expand the services citywide and said the department is too slow in its work to scale up the program. At the same time, Arwady expressed concern over securing more permanent funding sources for when grant funds run out in the future,” by The Daily Line.

COPA, civilian oversight in Chicago setting example for others nationwide: chief administrator: “During her first official budget hearing as chief administrator of the city’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, Andrea Kersten touted her office’s progress on helping to bring more accountability to the police department and serve as a national example for civilian oversight,” by The Daily Line.

Witzburg details OIG budget with 10 new positions, calls lack of ethics committee chair an ‘obstacle’: “While next year’s budget for Chicago’s Office of Inspector General is proposed to drop by 13 percent compared to 2022, the office plans to add 10 positions and restructure its division of employees working on information technology and analytics,” by The Daily Line.

City Council questions DCASE on balancing arts and event recovery with neighborhood quality of life: “Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) Comm. Erin Harkey discussed ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic for the city’s arts and events scene and answered aldermen’s questions about improving operations at the neighborhood level during a hearing before the City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations Tuesday,” by The Daily Line.


Beltway Briefing: Countdown to 2022 Midterm Elections

The 2022 midterms are around the corner, and there may not be a more consequential election than this one. From inflation to a possible recession, tax policy, gun control, abortion law, immigration reform, and more, American voters have a plethora of issues to consider on November 8. All 435 House seats are up for election, and a shift of only five seats would transfer control of the chamber to Republicans. In the Senate, a total of 35 seats are up for election, with a net change of one seat in either direction altering the balance.

Listen to this and any of the previous Beltway Briefing podcast episodes here.


Ahead of key Illinois Supreme Court elections, federal judge blocks state campaign contribution limits in judicial races: “With less than a month to go before voters determine the balance of power on the Illinois Supreme Court, a federal judge has temporarily blocked provisions in two recent Democratic-backed state laws that limit contributions in judicial races,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Chicago-area congressional Democratic candidates lead in fundraising, new FEC reports show: “Chicago-area Democrats running for Congress in districts that may have some swing potential — all incumbents — have substantially out-raised their GOP competition, new Federal Election Commission reports show,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.


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