Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (3/31)

March 31, 2023


IDPH Reports 13 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.



Illinois Senate votes to lift nuclear construction ban: “The Illinois Senate approved a measure on Thursday that would lift a 1980s-era moratorium on nuclear power plant construction. Senate Bill 76, sponsored by Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, was approved on a 39-13 vote. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

With a $150 million infusion, Illinois’ rainy day fund hits a record: “Comptroller Susana Mendoza reported Wednesday she transferred $150 million into the state’s Budget Stabilization Fund, more commonly known as the rainy day fund. With the new money, the fund now has $1.22 billion set aside for a recession or other downturn — a new record,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Cook County lost 68,000 people last year, Census Bureau says: “According to estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Cook County dropped from 5,177,606 to 5,109,292. That 68,314 decline was a tad less than the 84,000 cut in the year ended June 30, 2021, right after the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Pritzker says state will work to protect preventative services after Texas federal judge issues ruling striking them down: “A federal judge in Texas struck down a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires insurers and employers to cover preventive services for free, including cancer screenings and HIV drugs,” by Capitol Fax.


City Council approve new rules and committees

Aldermen during a special City Council meeting Thursday overwhelmingly approved measures that changes how the council operates and boosts its independence from the mayor’s office.

The new rules (R2023-502) passed with a 34-10 vote, and the committee chair assignments (R2023-503) passed 33-11. The unprecedented reorganization increases the number of City Council committees from 19 to 28 and restricts the direct introduction of ordinances.

With 14 aldermanic seats up for grabs in Tuesday’s runoff elections, critics have argued that the council should wait until new aldermen are sworn in to adopt major changes, while supporters have said they know from experience that the new mayor could start organizing committees before then.

The new council will have to reaffirm the rules and committee chairmanships in May.


Bernie Sanders drew a crowd Thursday to support Johnson: “Thousands packed the UIC Credit Union 1 Arena on Thursday for a Brandon Johnson voter-turnout rally led by progressive icon Sen. Bernie Sanders, less than a week before the mayoral election,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Vallas backed by PAC founded by former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “The political committee’s contribution is a drop in the bucket of dollars pouring into the race in its final days. But it’s an indication that school privatization champions see an opportunity with Vallas’ candidacy,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson, Vallas weigh in on Trump, Arwady — and WBEZ weighs rivals’ facts on more familiar debate topics: “Chicago mayoral candidates turned the national news of Donald Trump’s stunning indictment into political talking points at a WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times debate on Thursday, one of the last public forums before next week’s runoff election,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

CDOT releases ‘vision’ for adding 150 miles of bike lanes across city: “The transportation agency wants to make bicycling safer in the city. It proposes 150 miles of new bike lanes, but some activists are concerned the new mayor may take a different path,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Beltway Briefing: A Looming Indictment and a Potential Ban

With the 2024 presidential election inching closer, the looming potential indictment of the former President dominated the news last week, alongside discussions of a potential TikTok ban.

Public Strategies’ Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin highlight the complexity of the legal calculations being made by prosecutors in New York, Georgia, and DOJ as they examine Trump’s conduct on several fronts, and discuss a Senate bill that would give Commerce Department the ability to review and potentially ban technologies associated with foreign governments, as TikTok faces increased congressional scrutiny.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: The Banking Crisis: What Happens Next?

  • As the dust settles on the most serious banking crisis since 2008, lawmakers and regulators are eying the policies, as well as the politics, necessary to restore stability to the banking system.
  • Whether or not the crypto market collapse was one of the sparks that set off the banking crisis can be debated, but it will not change the reinforced caution with which President Biden’s regulators now view the asset class.
  • If you thought the banking crisis would be a moment of clarity for the debt ceiling, think again. It has reinforced the divide on both sides of the aisle. But when the debt ceiling becomes a full-blown crisis for markets and other policy priorities, dynamics are likely to change.

Read the Cozen Currents here.


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