Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (11/28)

November 28, 2022

PUBLIC HEALTH 

Aldermen to discuss COVID-19 pandemic response, HIV/AIDS fund for Black Chicagoans Monday: “The City Council Committee on Health and Human Relations will hear an update on the city’s COVID-19 response from Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady and discuss funding citywide programs to fight HIV and AIDS among the city’s Black population during a Monday meeting,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Chicago Moves Up to ‘Medium’ COVID Level, COVID Concerns Rise as Holidays Approach, by NBC 5 Chicago.

ILLINOIS

Illinois lawmakers to discuss SAFE-T Act this week 

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield this week to discuss the passage of the SAFE-T Act, with Thursday being the last scheduled day of the fall veto session.

The bill is set to go into effect on January 1, 2023, unless legislators pass a bill to postpone the law’s enacting date to the end of June.

Indeed, a bill of that nature would give lawmakers a normal legislative session to fix some of the contradictory language in the bill. However, it also would keep the issue alive to opponents of the justice reform package, including dozens of state’s attorneys across the state who have asked the courts to declare the law unconstitutional.

The only proposal calling for amendments to the SAFE-T Act and its Pretrial Fairness Act is Sen. Scott Bennet’s (D-Champaign) SB4228 – filed in September to make a series of clarifications to the law in “an effort to improve consistency.” Some supporters of the law say Bennett’s proposal goes too far, making it  unclear whether a partial fix could receive the support it needs to pass this week.

AROUND THE STATE

Lawmakers, school officials discuss combating violence in schools: “Lawmakers and school officials discussed how schools have worked to combat violence in schools, particularly in Chicago, during a Public Safety and Violence Prevention Task Force hearing last week.  Members of the task force chaired by Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) met with officials who described problems educators are seeing with violence in schools and learned how the Chicago Public Schools system has worked to reduce violence,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois voters signal they’re ready for this red-hot electoral reform: “Ranked-choice voting is perhaps the hottest attempt to change both the way we vote and govern at the moment. From the Midwest to the coasts, people are organizing and trying to find better ways to ensure districts are drawn with less political bias, elections are more competitive, and winners can govern for a full and diverse majority. In Illinois, these developments are taking hold in key corners. Several Democratic state lawmakers are eager to see ranked-choice voting implemented in more elections. Efforts are underway to replicate the Evanston effort in other Illinois communities,” by Crain’s Chicago Business. 

Illinois State Sen. Michael Hastings set to lose important committee chairman’s post: “Senate President Don Harmon will not re-appoint the south suburban Democrat to head a legislative panel after domestic violence accusations,” by WBEZ.

CHICAGO 

Mayor Lori Lightfoot officially files for reelection

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot filed her petitions to run for reelection this morning, an unsurprising yet critical first step in what is predicted to be a tough mayoral election.

Lightfoot submitted her stack of over 40,000 signatures early in the day, forgoing a chance at being the first or last name on the ballot. The incumbent claimed that she is not worried about name recognition, and that positioning on the ballot is not a primary concern.

“I know how to build coalitions. I know how to bring people together,” Lightfoot said in closing remarks before walking out the elections board room. “Every single time there’s been a challenge and you all are speculating, ‘She can’t get it done because of this, that and the other and people don’t like her personality and whatnot,’ we deliver, every single time. So print that.”

Six other candidates have submitted signatures to run for mayor: Ald. Sophia King (4), state Rep. Kam Buckner, activist Ja’Mal Green, businessman Willie Wilson, and former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas. Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6) and U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia are expected to join the ballot as well.

MORE FROM CITY HALL 

Mayoral challenger Willie Wilson criticizes Lightfoot over campaign donations to allies’ committee: “Chicago businessman Willie Wilson ripped Mayor Lori Lightfoot over a committee created by her allies that is unbound by how much money contributors can give or who they are — restrictions Lightfoot must abide by,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Civilian police oversight commission will hold meeting Monday to discuss CPD’s proposed gang database revamp: “The Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability along with representatives from the police department and the city’s inspector general will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday to discuss the police department’s proposed overhaul of its controversial gang database. The timing of the meeting coincides with the police department’s new proposed revamp of the gang database that is open for public comment through Dec. 7. Public comment on the proposal opened Nov. 7,” by The Daily Line.

Progressives looking to expand amid Chicago City Council departures: “How many seats progressives are able to win next year may go a long way in determining the direction the council takes in the next term, and how they work with or against whoever occupies the mayor’s office to try to push through their agenda,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Chicago design studio has MAPPED out local community-based resources: “An online database launched this year is trying to fill an information gap on Chicago-area community projects. MAPPED, a project of Design Trust Chicago, was started because the three founders of the trust realized there was a lack of accessible information about community design programs,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

FEDERAL 

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.

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