Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/22)

May 22, 2023


House and Senate to return this week to finalize budget 

After failing to enact a budget by their self-imposed deadline last Friday, the Illinois General Assembly will reconvene this week to finalize the state’s FY24 budget. Both the House and the Senate will meet on Wednesday and Thursday, while the House has scheduled Friday session as well.

Fiscal constraints and growing economic uncertainty resulting from the lack of previously received pandemic-relief funding, coupled with the rising costs of certain programs – most notably the healthcare program for undocumented immigrants – persuaded the General Assembly to extend session.

The migrant healthcare program was created for people 65 and older in 2020 but has since been expanded to cover those 42 and older. Due to higher-than expected enrollment, the program’s original $220 million budgeted costs are now anticipated to cost the state around $1.1 billion in FY24.

Advocates and some Democratic lawmakers still are pushing to expand the program’s enrollment parameters further to include individuals aged 19-41, which could cost the state an additional $380 million in the first year alone.


Bipartisan vote sends Pritzker bill to end state’s ban on nuclear construction: “A bill to end Illinois’ nearly four-decade ban on new nuclear reactor construction advanced to the governor with bipartisan support in both chambers. The House voted 84-22 Thursday to pass SB76, which deletes language in state law passed in 1982 that banned the state from building new nuclear power plants beginning in 1987. The law currently states the state shall not build a nuclear facility until a way to dispose nuclear waste is discovered,” by The Daily Line.

House, Senate Republicans take opposing stance on bill to allow DACA recipients to become police officers — pending federal legislation: “House and Senate Republicans are on opposing sides of a bill that could allow DACA recipients and non-citizens allowed to work in the United States to become police officers. The Senate voted 37-20 to pass HB3751 with all Republicans along with Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Reddick) voting against it. The partisan vote comes after the House initially voted unanimously to pass the bill in March,” by The Daily Line.



As City Council prepares for first full meeting, committee assignments still unknown: “When the new City Council meets for its first full meeting Wednesday, aldermen are scheduled to vote on committee assignments and leadership and council rules for the next four years. But as of Friday, committee assignments had not yet been solidified,” by The Daily Line.

Mayor Brandon Johnson’s team eyeing Wright College as shelter for migrant families: “Four hundred asylum seekers could be housed at Wilbur Wright College starting June 1 — and remain on the Northwest Side campus until Aug. 1 — to minimize the need for migrant families to sleep on the floors of Chicago police stations, a top mayoral aide said Friday,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

While DNC coming to Chicago might provide good vibes, experts say economic boost might be overhyped: “The estimates by convention boosters and recently departed Mayor Lori Lightfoot that the economic impact on Chicago for the convention will climb to $150 million to $200 million are clearly overblown, according to economists who’ve studied the fiscal impact recent political conventions have had on host cities, by the Chicago Tribune.


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