Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (10/31)

October 31, 2022


IDPH Reports an Uptick in COVID-19 Cases, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Top public health official predicts Chicago will move back into medium risk level for COVID-19 this winter, by The Chicago Tribune.

Winter’s coming — and so is COVID ‘trouble’ as coronavirus cases rise but vaccine booster rates don’t, by The Chicago Sun-Times.



Duckworth, Underwood lend support to Amendment 1 as boost for state’s competitiveness: “Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) met with union members in Joliet Friday to discuss federal legislation and how it impacts union workers in Illinois as well as explain how they believe Amendment 1 will benefit Illinois,” by The Daily Line.

Tom Cullen, longtime brain in Madigan political operation, provided testimony for feds: “When federal prosecutors tied former House Speaker Michael Madigan into a conspiracy case involving AT&T this month, they included an insider at the heart of the scandal with an overarching view of Madigan’s once-vaunted statewide Democratic organization and his secretive moves at the Capitol,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Illinois governor says education funding, learning recovery are top priorities if reelected: “Incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat running for a second term in office, has said that he wants to increase funding for K-12 schools and to make early childhood education and higher education more affordable. Republican challenger state Sen. Darren Bailey has said that he would cut education spending and fire the state board of education,” by ChalkBeat Chicago.

After a tumultuous first term, Gov. J.B. Pritzker spends big and plays it safe in reelection bid: “As he seeks a second term, Pritzker, who’s spent much of his adult life nursing political ambitions, is casting a wide net for support, an effort aided by a personal fortune that can underwrite months’ worth of TV ads and a robust campaign operation,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Pritzker Administration Awards $8.6 Million for South Central Illinois (SCI) Training & Innovation Center: “Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

(DCEO), local and state leaders today announced the award of $8.6 million for a new South-Central

Illinois (SCI) Training & Innovation Center,” from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.


Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson announces run for Chicago mayor

Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson officially launched his bid for mayor at a kickoff event Thursday morning.

Johnson has represented the 1st District on the Cook County Board of Commissioners since 2018. Should he win reelection for his board seat against Libertarian James Humay on November 8, he will continue in that role, a campaign spokesperson said. If he is elected mayor in February, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle would appoint a replacement and there would be a special election for the 1st District seat.

Johnson, a middle school teacher and Chicago Teachers Union organizer, said his experience as an educator will greatly influence his work as mayor, if he is elected.

“As a teacher, I experienced the painful impact of disinvestment on my students and their families, and this personal experience — seeing children endure inequity — is what fuels my commitment to building a stronger, safer and more equitable Chicago,” Johnson said in a statement.

Johnson joins an already crowded race for Chicago mayor, with City Council members Sophia King (4th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), and Ald. Ray Lopez (15th), state Rep. Kam Buckner (D-Chicago), millionaire businessman Willie Wilson, former CPS CEO Paul Vallas, community activist Ja’Mal Green, and Chicago police officer Frederick Collins all running in an attempt to unseat Mayor Lori Lightfoot.


Alderman aims to assert control of committee after mayor’s failed attempt to replace her: “Sophia King has scheduled a meeting of the Education Committee in November, the move coming two days after Mayor Lori Lightfoot was rebuffed in her attempt to appoint a new chair,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


Cozen Currents: Industrial Policy is Back

  • After several decades in which industrial policy was out of fashion in Washington, a bipartisan consensus has emerged around the need for the US to have its own, largely to counter China.
  • A rare point of agreement on Capitol Hill over the past two years was providing funding to create US jobs and to compete better with China, culminating in the CHIPS and Science Act.
  • Some provisions that didn’t make it into the final CHIPS and Science Act could make a reappearance during the lame duck session, but the outlook for significant congressional action on trade under divided government is dim. The focal point for trade is likely to shift towards the White House.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


Debate between Duckworth, Salvi highlights stark differences between nominees: “Duckworth, a military veteran and first term senator from Hoffman Estates, led the latest WGN/Emerson College poll released Wednesday by 10 points over Salvi, an attorney from Mundelein. Duckworth defeated former Republican Sen. Mark Kirk in 2016 55 percent to 40 percent. Thursday’s debate provided the only televised platform for the candidates to share their views. Duckworth focused on her involvement in several pieces of legislation passed by Congress, particularly during President Joe Biden’s term. Salvi spoke mostly in general terms on issues and struggled to answer questions, including mistakenly saying Iowa was east of Illinois after saying she admired the two U.S. Senators from Iowa, though she was not able to name them,” by The Daily Line.


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