Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (11/23)

November 23, 2022

Editor’s note: There will be no Illinois Insights update on Friday, November 25th. Updates will resume on Monday, November 28th


Illinois doctors swamped with spike in pediatric flu, RSV cases, by CBS News Chicago.

Be prepared: Surge of winter sickness likely on its way, city’s top doc says, by The Chicago Sun-Times.


Pritzker outlines three new budget proposals following revised revenue projects 

Reports released last week by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) and the non-partisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) showed increased revenue projections for Fiscal Year 2023 thanks to better-than-expected revenue numbers over the first month of the fiscal year that began July 1.

GOMB estimates Illinois will finish the year taking in $50.1 billion of revenue after state lawmakers passed a budget in April that projected $46.4 billion in revenue. CGFA puts the number higher at $51.3 billion. Both budgets note that most of the projected increase was from one-time sources.

With the improved outlook for Fiscal Year 2023, Pritzker announced in a news release last week he wants to use the extra funds for three budget items: (1) to boost the state’s “rainy day” fund to about $2.3 billion from its current level of just over $1 billion, (2) to pay down a $561 million debt from $1.5 billion of revenue bonds issued over a decade ago during the Great Recession, and (3) to make an additional unspecified contribution to the unemployment insurance trust fund.

“Even with a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2023 and a significantly improved financial trajectory, the state must continue to build on the progress made in recent years while carefully preparing to face an uncertain fiscal outlook due to national economic conditions,” the GOMB report reads.


Bennett’s Pretrial Fairness Act proposal and where advocates think it falls short: “Democrats who crafted the SAFE-T Act and its provision banning cash bail, the Pretrial Fairness Act, have not produced any specific changes with lawmakers set to return to Springfield next week for the final time before the law takes effect.  The only proposal for changes publicly on the table comes from Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), who filed SB4228 in September to make a series of clarifications and tweaks to the Pretrial Fairness Act in ‘an effort to improve consistency’ throughout the law, Bennett said in a news release. Bennett is a former prosecutor who voted in favor of the SAFE-T Act when it passed the Senate in January 2021,” by The Daily Line.

Welch, poised for another term as speaker, reflects on growing House majority: “Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, who recently announced he has the support for another term as House speaker, says he looks forward to governing with an even larger supermajority than he had during his first two years,” by The State Journal-Register.

Illinois Supreme Court rejects clerk’s request in tight state legislative race: “The Illinois Supreme Court, in an unsigned order Monday, rejected a request by the DuPage County clerk to lift a local judge’s ruling directing the clerk on how she should verify the authenticity of late-arriving mailed-in ballots,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Gov. Pritzker will conduct national search for Illinois State Board of Education superintendent: “The first woman of color to serve as superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education has announced plans for retirement. Carmen Ayala, who has served as superintendent since 2019, will retire at the end of her current term Jan. 31, 2023,” by The State Journal-Register.



City Leaders Break Ground on INVEST South/West Commercial Avenue Corridor Improvement Project: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot Tuesday joined the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and local leaders to break ground on a $43 million streetscape improvement project in South Chicago as part of the INVEST South/West initiative to revitalize historically underserved neighborhoods,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

From races with at least 8 candidates to incumbents who have yet to file: a look at who’s submitted petitions to run for alderman: “More than 120 people have filed petitions to run for alderman in the city’s 50 wards ahead of the Feb. 28 election. Candidates who filed to run for the 50 seats on the City Council represented about 67 percent of the total 182 people who filed signatures on Monday and Tuesday, the first two day candidates could file. A full list of candidates who have filed petitions is available on the Chicago Board of Elections website,” by The Daily Line.

Mayor Lightfoot Launches First Phase of $10 Million Equitable Transit-Oriented Development Program: “On Tuesday, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) launched the first phase of the Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (ETOD) grant program, a $10 million initiative. This initiative, supported by funding from the Chicago Recovery Plan, will fund and support community-led, equitable development near train stations and high-frequency bus corridors,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

US Rep. ‘Chuy’ García reports $600,000 haul in first campaign contribution filing of mayoral run: “In his first fundraising report since launching his campaign for Chicago mayor, U.S. Rep. Jesús ‘Chuy’ García reported a hefty $607,000 in contributions, largely from his traditional political allies,” by The Chicago Tribune.


Cozen Currents: The Fed, Crypto, and Big Tech Race Post-Election Politics

  • The election may be over, but the politics for Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell and his Fed colleagues are just getting more complicated as they seek to bring down inflation.
  • FTX’s collapse could grease the wheels of the bureaucracy to produce a range of new oversight of the industry, from legislation to rulemakings to more aggressive enforcement.
  • Big Tech is coming under greater scrutiny from Republicans and Democrats. Deep divides lie between them though over what issues are of greatest concern, which makes forging bipartisan action challenging. But some common ground does exist and could still serve as the basis for turning pointed rhetoric into action.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

Beltway Briefing: End of an Era, Pelosi Steps Down

Democrats’ strongest showing in a presidential midterm in the last two decades enabled them to retain control of the Senate. After more than a week of vote counting, Republicans secured a slender majority in the House on Wednesday, a delayed yet consequential finish to the 2022 midterm elections that will reorder the balance of power in Washington and is certain to complicate the Biden administration’s efforts to enact parts of the President’s legislative agenda for the next two years. After leading the House Democrats since 2003, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she will step down next year from her spot at the top of the party, leading to a seismic change on Capitol Hill.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


Biden extends student loan pause as court battle drags on: “President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that his administration will extend a pause on federal student loan payments while the White House fights a legal battle to save his plan to cancel portions of the debt,” by Daily Herald.

Elon Musk restores Trump’s Twitter account after online poll: “Elon Musk reinstated Donald Trump’s account on Twitter on Saturday, reversing a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, as Congress was poised to certify Joe Biden’s election victory,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.


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