Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (4/26)

April 26, 2023


IDPH Reports 2 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Cook County commissioner to introduce bodily autonomy discrimination ordinance 

Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison plans to introduce an ordinance at tomorrow’s Cook County Board meeting that would prohibit employer discrimination related to the exercise of bodily autonomy. The amendment to Chapter 42, Article II, Section 42-35 of the Cook County Code states that an employer shall not:

  • Discriminate against any individual in hiring practices on the basis of the applicants or applicant’s family member’s decision regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care;
  • Discriminate nor take retaliatory personnel action against a worker with respect to compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employments because of, or on the basis of, the workers or worker’s family member’s decision regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care;
  • Require an applicant or worker to sign a waiver or other document which purports to deny the individual or individual’s family member’s the right to make their own decision regarding reproductive health care or gender-affirming care; and
  • Without the worker’s informed affirmative written consent, access information about a worker’s or worker’s family member’s decision regarding reproductive health care or gender affirming care.

State’s Attorney Kim Foxx will not seek reelection in 2024

Speaking to the City Club of Chicago Tuesday, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx announced that she will not run for a third term next year. Foxx became the first Black woman to lead the office after defeating former State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in 2016.

Despite two terms marked by controversial policies and handling of high-profile cases, Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson issued a statement saying that Foxx has been instrumental “in overturning nearly 200 wrongful convictions, expunging more than 15,000 cannabis crimes, and bringing equity to a criminal justice system that has long disenfranchised people and communities of color.”

Names already in contention to make a run for state’s attorney in 2024 include former County Commissioner Richard Boykin, former Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson, former prosecutor Daniel Kirk, former Ald. Bob Fioretti, and Foxx’s top deputy, Risa Lanier.

Newly elected Ald. Bill Conway (34), who lost to Foxx in the 2020 Democratic primary campaign for state’s attorney, released a statement Tuesday saying he is “squarely focused on the job I was just elected to do” and is “not considering” another race for state’s attorney.


Forest Preserve Board appoints interim treasurer and CFO, honors Johnson, enacts land acknowledgement: “The forest preserve district board approved by consent calendar a resolution (23-0310) honoring Johnson, the Chicago mayor-elect, who will soon vacate his position on the Cook County Board of Commissioners and the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners. The forest preserve district board also approved the appointment (23-0301) of forest preserve district Comptroller Damon Howell to acting treasurer and interim chief financial officer of the forest preserve district,” by The Daily Line.

County committees to consider Indigenous land acknowledgement, revisions to food desert tax incentive: “County commissioners will meet in committees Wednesday to consider changes to a property tax incentive for supermarkets in food deserts, hear details of a countywide bike plan and consider approval of regular land acknowledgements during board meetings,” by The Daily Line.

Giannoulias Issues First 100-Days Report Outlining Major Accomplishments: “Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias released his First 100 Days report today, highlighting his administration’s accomplishments since taking office in January,” from the Office of the Secretary of State.



Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson’s team moving quickly to find interim police superintendent: “Those likely to be in running to replace departing interim Supt. Eric Carter include three former members of CPD’s leadership team,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Positions in new Office of Climate and Environmental Equity half-filled as Lightfoot leaves office with promise to bring back Department of Environment unfulfilled: “While half of the 10 positions under the city’s newly created Office of Climate and Environmental Equity are filled and a study analyzing the feasibility of re-establishing the Department of Environment is on track to come out in June, Mayor Lori Lightfoot will leave office next month without having brought back the standalone environment department despite it being one of her 2019 campaign promises,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago’s 2023 election results finalized: Highest number of ballots cast since 1999: “A total of 613,795 Chicago voters cast ballots in the runoff. While turnout at nearly 38.7% was only slightly higher than recent years, it was the highest ballot count of any municipal election since February of 1999, Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Max Bever said,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Lightfoot touts benefits of CHA land deal with Chicago Fire at groundbreaking for team’s West Side training facility: “Determined to cement her political legacy, Mayor Lori Lightfoot claimed credit Tuesday for having filled ‘two of the largest parcels of vacant land’ on the long-neglected West Side her successor, Brandon Johnson, calls home,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mayor Lightfoot Joins City and Community Leaders To Cut Ribbon On 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge In Bronzeville: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined Alderman Sophia King (4th), the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), and members of the Bronzeville community to celebrate the opening of the 43rd Street Pedestrian Bridge,” from the Office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

  Mayor Lightfoot, CDA Cut Ribbon for The Orange Line Restaurant at Midway International Airport: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot joined the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) for a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of The Orange Line, the latest restaurant concession offering at Midway International Airport,” from the Office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.


Beltway Briefing: DeSantis v. Trump

Gov. DeSantis made a trip to Washington, DC this week in a bid to rally congressional support, but his trip was overshadowed by a parade of new endorsements of Donald Trump, including those from several Florida House Republicans. DeSantis is widely viewed as Trump’s chief competitor in next year’s GOP presidential primary.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin ponder if this week’s announcements underscore Trump’s enduring strength among Republicans and discuss President Biden’s likely announcement of his 2024 re-election bid next week and the possibility of a Trump-Biden rematch in 2024. And, as the federal government is expected to run out of cash as early as June, they also revisit the status of debt-ceiling negotiations.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: Getting to Yes on the Debt Limit

  • The political dynamics of the House Republican conference reflect the fractious “five families” of “The Godfather.” Getting all of them on the same page to negotiate over the debt ceiling will be a challenge for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).
  • Friendshoring and industrial policy were supposed to work toward the same end, a reduced reliance on China, but an inherent tension has emerged between the two policies.
  • The Federal Reserve is at a crossroads with personnel, policy, and politics that will have major implications for the economy and the 2024 elections.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.


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