Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (10/3)

October 3, 2022


No Illinois counties at High Community Level for COVID-19, by NPR Illinois.


2023 Mayoral Budget Address

Today, Mayor Lori Lightfoot presented the City Council with her 2023 Budget Overview.

A bulk of the mayor’s budget address highlighted a list of accomplishments from her first term, including cutting the city’s debt by $866 million, bringing annual pension contribution funding to the actuarially-required level, and landing the historic Chicago casino.

Mayor Lightfoot’s $16.4 billion proposed budget includes several new investments, with a focus on easing the problems of violence, homelessness, and poverty:

  • $242 million to begin a new pension fund policy of prepaying future pension obligations, which will save the city $2 billion in reduced pension contributions along with $30 million in preserved assets based on current market performance. On Sept. 29, Mayor Lightfoot scrapped plans for a $42.7 million property tax increase, stating the city’s “strong revenue performance throughout the course of 2022” and a $260 million revenue increase in 2023 have allowed the city to “forgo, for one year,” the proposed consumer price index (CPI) increase.
  • $100 million for additional public safety investments, including $36 million to fund consent decree obligations, as well as new technologies for the Chicago Police Department such as new police helicopters and vehicle fleet.
  • $10 million to modernize technology infrastructure within City government, ensuring fast and reliable City services and programs.
  • $200 million in investments for homelessness prevention, which will fund increased shelter capacity and rapid re-housing as well as an additional $155 million for affordable housing and $3 million in Chicago Recovery Plan (CRP) funding to launch the “tiny homes” project.
  • $3 million to strengthen supports for reproductive healthcare to keep Chicago a sanctuary city for those seeking abortions from out of state and $5 million to support immigrants shipped to Chicago from Texas and other border states.
  • $10 million in the Chicago Recovery Plan to support artists and arts and culture institutions across the city.
  • The 2023 Budget will also allocate funding to create a Mayor’s Office for Climate and Environmental Equity, which will steer the climate and environmental justice agenda and advance the goals of the 2022 Climate Action Plan.

The budget will now go to the City Council for review. The City Council Committee on Budget and Government Operations will begin department hearings on Thursday, October 6, 2022 and those will last until at least Monday, October 24, 2022. The 2023 Management and Revenue ordinances will be introduced at the City Council meeting on October 26, 2022 and considered in committee the following week. Final passage of the full budget package is expected to occur on Monday, November 7, 2022.


Chicago is offering 12 weeks of paid parental leave to city employees. The new policy applies to birthing and non-birthing parents: “In yet another pre-election sweetener, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Friday that the city is expanding its parental leave policy, effective Jan. 1, to allow all 32,000 city employees up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave whether they are the “birthing or non-birthing parent,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Latest microgrant plans show Chicago aldermen exploring more private security and, in one case, funding for Catholic schools: “The $100,000 sweetener that Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offered each alderman under her 2022 budget — to spend in their wards with wide leeway — has so far generated plans ranging from after-school programs for youth to more private security patrols,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Civilian police oversight commission elects president, VP as local activists note ‘historic’ moment: “Longtime local advocates for police reform recognized Thursday as a “historic” moment as the city’s civilian police oversight commission met for the first time and elected a president and vice president, set its meeting schedule and announced an upcoming special meeting focused on the Chicago Police Department budget,” by The Daily Line.



Illinois Governor Debates: Pritzker, Bailey set for two showdowns: “Nexstar Media stations will host two multi-market live telecasts of debates between the major-party candidates running for governor of Illinois: Democrat J. B. Pritzker and Republican Darren Bailey. The first debate will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Illinois State University campus in Normal, Ill. The second debate will originate from the studios of WGN-TV in Chicago and will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Both debates will be broadcast across the state of Illinois,” by WCIA.

Illinois criticized over funding equity for low-income schools: “A state program intended to deliver equitable funding for Illinois school districts in low-income communities was lambasted by critics who are asking lawmakers in Springfield for more than $1 billion a year to meet the new law’s 2027 deadline to fully fund public education,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Arlington Heights board expected to reject petition to ban taxpayer subsidies for Chicago Bears stadium development: “A petition to prohibit public money for a Chicago Bears development in Arlington Heights won enough signatures to be considered by the village board Monday, but trustees are expected to reject it,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Illinois Department of Agriculture Issues Operational Permits to First Social Equity Craft Grower, Infuser Licensees: “The Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) announced today that Star Buds IL, a social equity Craft Grow licensee, was issued an operational permit and has now successfully commenced business operations. Located in Rockford, Star Buds is 66% Black-owned,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Beltway Briefing: How Should the Government Respond to Hurricane Ian?

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Towner French, Kaitlyn Martin, and Joe Hill discuss how President Biden and Governor DeSantis are managing the Hurricane Ian crisis on the federal and state levels. They also break down the high-profile, high-stakes races in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and extrapolate the trends that could have nationwide implications and affect the country’s political makeup in November.

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


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