Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (4/28)

April 28, 2023


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



Brandon Johnson gets advice at his final County Board meeting: “Current and former Cook County leaders on Thursday showered one of their own — Chicago Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson — with praise, gifts and a bit of advice during his final board meeting as a county commissioner,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Discrimination protections for reproductive health and gender-affirming care, ban on sale of flavored nicotine products introduced at county board meeting: “The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a measure allowing a land acknowledgement to be read at the beginning of meetings, revisions to a tax incentive for supermarkets in food deserts and a resolution calling for accountability for the company behind a train derailment in Ohio. Also during Thursday’s meeting, county lawmakers introduced a proposed ban on the sale and distribution of flavored nicotine products and protections for workers and tenants related to reproductive health and gender-affirming care decisions,” by The Daily Line.

Pritzker signs bill on healthcare staffing as pandemic-era emergency rules expire: “With COVID-19 Public Health Emergency proclamations set to lapse on May 11, state Rep. Bob Morgan, D-Deerfield, passed a bill Wednesday providing stability to Illinois healthcare professionals and access to healthcare services amid expiring pandemic emergency measures,” by Capitol Fax.

Illinois Gaming Board Approves Measures including New Plans for Casinos in Joliet/Aurora and Responsible Gaming Signage at Video Gaming Locations: “The Illinois Gaming Board considered a number of regulatory matters during its regularly scheduled meeting today including approval of Penn Entertainment’s plans for new Hollywood Casinos in Aurora and Joliet,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Cook County bans reporters from bringing computers, phones into courthouse — for now: “Reporters covering hearings and press conferences in Cook County have long been allowed to bring their computers and cellphones into the criminal courthouse at 26th and California to do their job. No more, under an order issued Wednesday by Circuit Court Presiding Judge Erica Reddick,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Legislators announce measures to address ongoing teacher shortages in Illinois school districts: “Senate Democrats held a news conference Thursday morning to announce a variety of legislative ideas that would help bridge the gap as school districts throughout the state continue to struggle to fill teaching positions,” by The Daily Line.

House Appropriations Higher Education Committee discusses budget challenges for colleges: “University representatives from Chicago State, Governors State, Northeastern Illinois and Western Illinois University presented their budgetary concerns during the House Appropriations Higher Education Committee meeting on Thursday,” by The Daily Line.


Johnson reveals transition team

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson announced the members of his transition team, which includes a slate of notable names, current city leaders, progressive activists, and campaign supporters.

Following a campaign season centered around crime and public safety, Johnson showed it remains a top priority by naming former Chicago Police Department (CPD) Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan a member of the transition committee.

The list names a number of subcommittees, including ones for public safety, economic vitality and equity, housing, education and youth, transportation, and more. The full list of transition committee and subcommittee co-chair appointments can be found here.

The appointments come a week after the mayor-elect named Richard Guidice as his chief of staff and Cristina Pacione-Zayas as his deputy chief of staff. Johnson also previously named notable Illinois political figures as inaugural chairs for his “Chicago for the People” transition team, including Attorney General Kwame Raoul, U.S. Rep. Delia Ramirez, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Gov. J.B. Pritzker, and Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin.


Aldermen to hold hearing on status of asylum seekers arriving in Chicago: “Two City Council committees will hold a joint hearing Friday to discuss the status and costs of migrants arriving in Chicago. The meeting of the Committee on Budget and Government Operations and the Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights comes more than one month after the City Council approved an ordinance appropriating $20 million in state grant funds for the city’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) to help recently arrived asylum seekers with housing, food and services,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois delegation asks Congress for $75M to pay for 2024 DNC: “The Illinois congressional delegation is pushing colleagues to help pay security costs for the Democratic National Convention in Chicago next summer. In a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate and House appropriations subcommittees on commerce, the Illinoisans are asking that a total of $150 million be appropriated, half to Chicago and half to Milwaukee, where the Republicans are due to meet,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.


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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