Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/17)

May 17, 2023


Kim du Buclet appointed to Illinois House

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner Kimberly Neely du Buclet was appointed Saturday to fill the 5th District state representative seat, replacing Ald. Lamont Robinson (4) who resigned ahead of being sworn into the Chicago City Council Monday.

Du Buclet previously served as a state representative from 2011 to 2013 after being appointed to fill a vacancy in the 26th House district. She did not seek election after her appointed term was up in 2013.

Du Buclet has most recently served as a commissioner for the MWRD since November 2018 and was elected vice president of the board in January.

Gov. JB Pritzker will need to appoint a replacement for the MWRD seat left vacant by du Buclet’s resignation.


Illinois Lawmakers Work to Iron Out Budget Agreement in Session’s Final Week: “After a COVID-induced trend of more money coming into state coffers, the latest report from the state’s nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability found that the state’s main revenue account ‘took a dramatic turn’ last month ‘as receipts fell a stunning $1.844 billion’ compared with the month prior. That downturn led the group to reduce its revenue expectations for the current year,” by NBC 5 Chicago.

Bills bolstering firefighter, Cook County pension benefits gain traction: “A trio of bills designed to keep government pension funds in compliance with federal law — but at a heavy cost to Illinois taxpayers — has begun to move in Springfield, with final passage quite likely. At issue are two bills dealing with the Firemen’s Annuity & Benefit Fund of Chicago and a separate measure that covers the Cook County Pension Fund,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Lawmakers explore new toll lanes on I-55; safety and fare changes on public transportation in final week: “The House Transportation: Regulation, Roads and Bridges Committee voted unanimously to advance HJR23 Tuesday that supports continuing the process at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) for creating new tolled express lanes on I-55 in the Chicago area. Senate Democrats are also working to move forward HB1342 to make constituent-demanded reforms at public transit agencies,” by The Daily Line.

Illinois Supreme Court hears arguments over state’s highly contested gun ban: “The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the state’s appeal of a downstate judge’s ruling that temporarily struck down the state’s sweeping gun ban, which faces numerous legal challenges in both state and federal court,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Cook County Public Defender announces immigration division to become permanent part of office: “Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined officials to announce that a pilot program that provides legal representation to immigrants with ties to Cook County who cannot afford counsel will become a permanent fixture within the public defender’s office,” by The Daily Line.



Mayor Brandon Johnson assures asylum-seekers Chicago will embrace them: “Johnson said finding resources in several levels of government to continue to help the immigrants was going to be a collaborative undertaking, and he says he’s had conversations with leaders at the federal level on the issue,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Johnson allies push $12 billion financial package, including wealth and income taxes: “Allies of Mayor Brandon Johnson today are rolling out a $12 billion financial proposal that doubles down on controversial tax-hike ideas pitched by Johnson during his campaign and adds a few more — including enactment of a city wealth tax and income tax, deep cuts in police spending, and an effective end to all tax-increment financing projects,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

No honeymoon for Brandon Johnson — at least not with Fulton Market Association: “Just as Johnson was settling into his first full workday at City Hall, restaurant owners, business and community leaders in that burgeoning Near West Side neighborhood were making demands of Chicago’s 57th mayor. Besides demanding 5,000 more surveillance cameras to stop violent crime, the leaders said they would oppose any new or increased taxes until existing tax increment finance funds are raided and the TIF system is reformed,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


Beltway Briefing: 2016 Redux?

President Biden, Speaker McCarthy, and other congressional leaders were scheduled to meet on Friday to talk about a possible deal to increase the borrowing limit and meet the GOP demand of reducing federal spending. But the meeting has been postponed until early next week. On Wednesday, in what was the first major television event of the 2024 presidential campaign, CNN hosted a prime-time town hall with Donald Trump, propelling a tsunami of criticism from inside and outside the network.

Public Strategies’ Howard Schweitzer, Mark Alderman, Rodney Davis, Towner French, and Kaitlyn Martin discuss the debt-ceiling fight gripping Washington and the renewed questions about how the news media should handle the challenge of covering the Republican Party’s leading candidate going into the 2024 election.

Listen to the full Beltway Briefing here.

Cozen Currents: No News is Good News

  • With the standoff over raising the debt ceiling, Washington, DC is asserting its prerogative to be the center of the universe. All eyes are on whether policymakers can once again raise the debt ceiling or if this time really is different.
  • The expiration of Title 42 authority under the Covid-19 public health emergency late last week means that immigration is poised to become a more prominent issue going into the 2024 election.
  • The first two years of President Biden’s term saw the use of generous tax incentives to address climate change. The latter two years will see more stringent regulations added to the mix.

Read the Cozen Currents article here.


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