Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (3/13)

March 13, 2023


Chicago’s COVID-19 Risk is Low, from the Chicago Department of Public Health.



Gov. Pritzker Signs Historic Legislation Guaranteeing 40 Hours of Paid Leave: “Governor JB Pritzker today signed SB208 into law, making Illinois the third state in the nation, and the first in the Midwest, to mandate paid time off to be used for any reason. The historic legislation provides employees with up to 40 hours of paid leave during a 12-month period, meaning approximately 1.5 million workers will begin earning paid time off starting in 2024,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Make natural gas utilities more accountable to customers and the state: “It’s unfair and costly to consumers to allow gas companies to get away with not providing basic transparency and safety information to consumers and regulators. During this legislative session we need to adopt a number of measures that will protect gas customers,” Gov. JB Pritzker’s op-ed in the Sun-Times.

House, Senate committees move bills to regulate e-cigarette use: “Each General Assembly chamber moved proposals out of committee this week that would classify e-cigarettes under the state’s Smoke Free Illinois Act regulating smoking in public places. As e-cigarettes grow in popularity, proponents of the legislation say state law needs to keep up and people cannot ignore the negative health effects from the liquid-based devices. They added that despite their sometimes seemingly harmless effects on people around those who smoke them, e-cigarettes carry many of the same secondhand smoke risks as tobacco cigarettes,” by The Daily Line.


Paul Vallas, Brandon Johnson pick up key endorsements over weekend

Chicago mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson both received critical endorsements over the weekend.

Of those announcing endorsements for Vallas, the most noteworthy include the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC, Plumbers Local 130 and the Ironworkers union.

Johnson landed endorsements from former presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, Cook County Commissioner Dennis Deer, and AFSCME, along with a handful of Illinois state legislators, two of which – state Sen. Ram Villivalam and state Rep. Theresa Mah – supported Jesus “Chuy” Garcia in the mayoral primary.


Mayor Lightfoot Announces Executive Order on Pay Equity Audit for City Workers and Other Workplace Equity Efforts During Women’s History Month: “Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, with Department of Human Resources (DHR) Commissioner Christopher Owen, Director of the Office of Budget Management (OBM) Susie Park, and Department of Assets and Information (AIS) Commissioner Sandra Blakemore, signed an Executive Order requiring DHR, OBM, and AIS to conduct a bi-annual comprehensive pay equity audit of the City of Chicago workforce, focused on identifying both racial and gender pay discrepancies,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Mayoral rivals keep their differences mostly issue-focused as they disagree over taxes, vouchers and charter schools at women’s forum: “Mayoral candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson differed on taxes, schools and the privatization of public resources during a robust forum Saturday largely dedicated to women’s issues. Perhaps the most spirited exchanges between the two were over how to raise money to fund programs and the fallout over governments privatizing services,” by the Chicago Tribune.

United Center’s concessions workers reach tentative deal: “A weekend bargaining session has led to a tentative agreement on a contract for concessions workers at the United Center, averting a possible strike. Spokesman Dan Abraham of Unite Here Local 1, which represents about 700 workers at the arena, said members will vote on the proposed contract Friday,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

City of Chicago Announces Chicago Fire Football Club and Chicago Housing Authority Sign Lease on New Near West Side Training Facility: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Fire Football Club, Alderman Jason Ervin (28th Ward), and the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) today announced the signing of a ground lease for a new training facility for Chicago’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team in the Roosevelt Square neighborhood on the Near West Side,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

City will ask developers to submit tiny home proposals later this year: “City officials expect during the second quarter of this year to issue a request for proposals for developers that want to bring tiny homes to Chicago, Bryan Esenberg, managing deputy commissioner for the city’s Department of Housing, told aldermen during a Wednesday meeting of the City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate,” by The Daily Line.


Beltway Briefing: How Strong Is Trump’s Grip on the GOP

With less than two years to go until the 2024 presidential election, reports are swirling about which public figures may throw their hats in the ring for what is already shaping up to be one of the most heated political races in American history.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin debate whether Trump still remains a power center within the Republican electorate or if his influence may be on the decline. They also discuss how the White House is trying to navigate the politically charged issue of crime, including President Biden’s decision not to use his veto power to block a GOP-led effort to repeal changes to the District of Columbia criminal code.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


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