Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/1)

May 1, 2023


IDPH Reports 4 Illinois Counties at an Elevated Community Level for COVID-19, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.



Illinois’ assault weapons ban enforcement blocked by federal judge in southern Illinois: “A federal judge in southern Illinois temporarily blocked enforcement of Illinois’ months-old assault weapons ban Friday, saying the law not only restricts the right to defend oneself but, in some cases, ‘completely obliterated that right,’” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Departure of Deputy Chief of Staff for Equity Dr. Sekile Nzinga: “Governor JB Pritzker announced the upcoming departure of Deputy Chief of Staff for Equity Dr. Sekile Nzinga, who has overseen the state’s first comprehensive efforts to ensure equity and inclusion,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

House approves amended bill to establish state regulation of digital asset companies: “The House voted 90-21 Thursday afternoon to pass HB3479 by Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights) to establish statewide regulations of digital asset businesses and cryptocurrency companies operating in Illinois. The bill requires the companies to obtain licenses from the state,” by The Daily Line.

Welch tempers expectations on boosting funding for local governments: “Speaking to members of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and Illinois Manufacturers’ Association last Wednesday in a forum with House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), Welch was asked about the possibility of a funding increase for the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) as mayors from across the state clammer for more state funding. Local governments should not expect to see the full funding increase they’ve been asking for, House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) said,” by The Daily Line.


Lightfoot sends letter to Gov. Abbott urging his administration to pause migrant bussing

Mayor Lori Lightfoot sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott Sunday, urging his administration to pause plans to bus migrants to Chicago and calling the action “inhumane” and “dangerous.”

With more than 8,000 migrants already arriving in Chicago since August of last year – nearly all in dire need of food, water, and clothing –the city is running out of shelter, space, and resources, Lightfoot said.

The influx of migrants is expected to increase with the May 11 expiration of Title 42, a 2020 U.S. policy that tightened border regulations in response to COVID-19.

While financial responses such as a city ordinance appropriating $20 million in state grant funds and an additional $10 million from the Illinois Department of Human Services to support asylum seekers, Budget Director Susie Park said that the city has received “zero dollars” from the federal government for 2023 costs.

At a joint City Council committee meeting Friday, Park also said the City Council will be asked to approve a mid-year budget amendment to close a $53 million shortfall in funding.


Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson names more appointees to transition subcommittees: “Nearly 400 people — including politicians, activists, civic leaders and businesspeople — are on the lists,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

A decade into the work, Chicago is finally taking out toxic lead pipes when it replaces water mains: “With fewer than 90 miles of water mains still to be replaced, state law is forcing city workers and contractors for the first time to pull out toxic pipes at the same time,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Beltway Briefing: Biden Announces Run for a Second Term

What a week it has been: on Wednesday, Public Strategies hosted a reception for Rodney Davis, officially welcoming the former five-term congressman representing Illinois’ 13th District to the firm. On Tuesday, after months of teasing and a lot of built-up anticipation, president Biden announced he will seek a second term in office, joined by Vice President Harris as his running mate. And on Monday, Fox News star host Tucker Carlson was abruptly fired.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Patrick Martin, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin talk about Biden’s announcement and discuss the impact on the conservative media landscape of Carlson’s sudden departure.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.


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