Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (3/22)

March 22, 2023


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


Gov. Pritzker announces $175 million available in B2B grants 

Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Tuesday announced $175 million in ARPA funds to support small businesses most negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Back to Business (B2B) grant program is designed to provide additional support for the hardest-hit sectors, including $50 million for restaurants, $75 million for hotels, and $50 million for creative arts businesses and organizations.

Applications are open from April 5 through May 10, 2023 and awards are expected to be made several weeks after the deadline date.


House sends 41 bills to Senate as Friday legislative deadline looms: “The measures, among others, included a ban on polystyrene food containers, bills focusing on gender inclusivity in state law and a requirement that expectant parents have a ‘duty’ to split pregnancy-related costs, including for abortions,” by Capitol News Illinois.

Gov. Pritzker Names Bria Scudder Deputy Governor: “On Tuesday, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Bria Scudder will serve as Deputy Governor for Public Safety, Infrastructure, Environment, and Energy,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois Counties Lead the Nation for Corn and Soybean Production in 2022: “The USDA National Agriculture Statistic Service (NASS) released county estimates for 2022 corn and soybean production, with Illinois counties holding the top spot for production in both crops,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Emboldened by end of Roe v. Wade, March for Life takes pitch directly to state lawmakers: “Thousands of activists descended on the State Capitol in Springfield Tuesday to celebrate the historic Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson last year and call on Illinois lawmakers to reduce some of the nation’s strongest abortion laws,” by The Daily Line.

Ex-ComEd attorney testifies he was pressured by Michael Madigan associates to hire clout-heavy law firm while negotiating legislation in Springfield: “The former general counsel for Commonwealth Edison testified Tuesday that he was pressured by associates of then-House Speaker Michael Madigan to hire and later renew a contract for a clout-heavy law firm while the utility was in the middle of negotiating two major bills in Springfield,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Illinois attorney general urges Kia, Hyundai to take ‘comprehensive action’ over Chicago area car thefts: “Last year, 10% of all registered Kia vehicles and 7% of all registered Hyundai vehicles in Chicago were stolen, according to Atty. Gen. Kwame Raoul’s office,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Medical debt is devastating Illinois families, a new report shows: “A proposed state law would mandate that hospitals screen uninsured patients for financial help,” by WBEZ.



Brandon Johnson, Paul Vallas grilled on past comments on policing and future plans for CPD at Tuesday’s Chicago mayoral debate: “Chicago mayoral candidates Brandon Johnson and Paul Vallas differed on the city’s police chase policy, whether more detectives alone can solve crime, and approaches to education during a Tuesday night debate where they largely focused on substantive issues but occasionally attacked one another and answered for past controversies,” by the Chicago Tribune.

City Council urged to postpone declaration of independence: “The Better Government Association and the League of Women Voters say no changes in rules or committees should be approved until a new Council is seated in a couple of months,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

 Candidates for open City Council seats in South Side’s 4th, 5th Wards focus on public safety, development: “A state lawmaker and the outgoing incumbent’s chief of staff are vying for the open seat in the 4th Ward. And just to the south, a lawyer is competing against a religious charity director in the 5th Ward,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Nicole Lee and Anthony Ciaravino face off in Chicago’s first Asian-majority ward: “Chicago Chinatown leaders fought for representation in City Council but two candidates face off in the 11th Ward runoff — one Asian and one white,” by WBEZ.

In contentious 45th Ward race, Ald. Jim Gardiner tries to secure reelection over attorney Megan Mathias: “Ald. Gardiner is trying to find a few hundred more votes to win a second term in the runoff, while opponent Megan Mathias is joining with other candidates who challenged Gardiner to try to convince residents they don’t want another four years of someone with his temperament and policies representing their interests at City Hall,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Beltway Briefing: What’s Next for the Banks and Ronald vs. Donald

In what was a textbook case of classic bank runs, Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank collapsed with astounding speed last weekend.

Are these failures the legacies of poor practices specific to these banks, or did aggressive interest-rate hikes and poor bank supervision cause their downfall?  Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, and Towner French break it all down and debate the current makeup of the Republican presidential field.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: The Politics of Moderation

  • President Biden is taking actions to move towards the center of the electorate as he prepares a re-election bid. Underlying this move is a desire to be a palatable alternative to MAGA Republicans as well as to embrace moderate and populist positions.
  • At the center of Biden’s move to the middle – and the top of the GOP’s list of policy priorities – is energy reform.
  • Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was seen as a rising star at the start of President Biden’s term, but recent controversies and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo’s own rise have taken some of his shine off.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.


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