Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/12)

May 12, 2023



Gov. Pritzker Hails Health Care Heroes as State Ends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: “As the state of Illinois and the nation reach a major milestone and end the COVID-related Public Health Emergency (PHE) declarations that have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker today declared May 11 ‘Illinois Public Health & Health Care Hero Day,’” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Governor’s office revises revenue estimates: “The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget this week shaved $616 million off its estimate for current-year revenues, marking a downward revision of about 1.1%. The move corresponded with a $532 million, or roughly 1%, increased revenue estimate for the upcoming fiscal year,” by the Daily Herald.

House Democrats push through latest abortion package: “The House voted 72-40 to pass SB1909 by Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Glen Ellyn) that would prohibit crisis pregnancy centers, defined in the bill as ’limited services pregnancy centers’ that don’t provide abortion or other forms of birth control, from ‘deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact’ on how to have abortions, receive contraception, or advertise or practice services,” by The Daily Line.

Pritzker signs bill guaranteeing disability pay to first responders who contracted COVID-19: “Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza’s Chicago cop brother was denied duty disability benefits despite contracting COVID-19 on the job in 2020. She thanked the governor and others who helped get the bill passed,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

County cancels nearly $80M in residents’ medical debt through ARPA-funded initiative: “Cook County’s program to acquire and forgive residents’ medical debt has assisted nearly 73,000 people in eliminating about $80 million in debt, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced in a Wednesday news release,” by The Daily Line.


Johnson announces senior staff appointees

Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson announced a slate of senior staff appointments on Thursday, including appointees from the Cook County government and the Chicago Teachers Union.

Johnson named Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) Chief of Staff Jennifer “Jen” Johnson as his deputy mayor of education, youth and human services.

The mayor-elect also selected Cook County Budget Director Annette Guzman to serve as the city’s new budget director. Guzman previously served as a deputy assessor in the Cook County Assessor’s Office and as deputy chief administrator and chief of staff for the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, according to the news release.

Other appointments include Chair of the Cook County Human Rights Commission S. Mayumi “Umi” Grigsby as director of policy and Jill Jaworski, director and partner at PFM Financial Advisors, as the city’s chief financial officer.

While Johnson cleaned house on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s current senior leadership, he has asked nearly all of Lightfoot’s appointees, cabinet members, and agency chiefs to stay for at least three months, giving them an opportunity to prove themselves within his administration.


Mayor Lightfoot Announces Executive Order to Advance Environmental Justice for All Chicagoans: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot signed an Executive Order advancing the City’s commitment to environmental justice for all Chicagoans, making consideration of health and other community impacts a priority across departments and in City policies,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

NASCAR tweaks its Chicago race plan as residents voice concerns about noise and lakefront access: “Residents who live near the 2.2-mile racecourse voiced their concerns at a meeting with NASCAR officials in April. And in response, the racing brand says it will limit car noise, keep access to the lakefront trail open to pedestrians — by way of Monroe Street and Roosevelt Road — and set aside some greenspace areas for public access during the racing festival’s weekend activities,” by WBEZ.

More than 50 people apply for CPD superintendent job, 32 have affiliation with the department: “Chicago’s Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability received applications from 53 people hoping to be the Chicago Police Department’s new permanent superintendent. Members of the Community Commission for Public Safety and Accountability (CCPSA) held a news conference Wednesday to announce the number of applicants and detail the makeup of those who applied,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago residents blast proposed school board maps for leaving out Hispanic community: “Several Chicago residents spoke out against proposed maps for the Chicago Elected School Board at a Senate hearing Tuesday night saying lawmakers ignored requests for a map that represented the city’s minority community,” by The Daily Line.

More than 1,200 beds from McCormick Place COVID-19 temporary hospital go unused amid migrant housing crisis: “The state has 1,125 more beds from the makeshift hospital but says the city hasn’t asked for them,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Beltway Briefing: Muddled Picture of the Economy

High prices, rising interest rates, stubborn inflation, and banking uncertainty be damned: the U.S. labor market is still chugging along. Employers added 253,000 jobs in April, a higher-than-expected number that suggested the labor market remains strong despite the Fed’s continued campaign to fight inflation.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Rodney Davis, Patrick Martin, and Kaitlyn Martin break down the latest jobs report and its impact on the overall economy. And, ahead of a looming June 1 deadline to raise the debt ceiling and avoid the first default in U.S. history, they also discuss what the White House and lawmakers are doing to revive the stalled debt-limit negotiations.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: The State of the Economy 

  • The state of the economy is unclear, with conflicting indicators of where it is heading. But this uncertainty isn’t stopping Washington, DC from defining the economy for partisan gains.
  • With regional banks remaining under stress, the Biden administration’s banking regulators continue to face a series of problems based around the government’s implicit guarantee of uninsured deposits.
  • As artificial intelligence continues to attract attention from Silicon Valley to Washington, DC, policymakers in the executive branch and Congress are focusing on this emerging technology.

Read the Cozen Currents here.


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