Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (5/26)
May 26, 2023
May 26, 2023
Late Thursday night, the Illinois Senate voted 34-22 to pass an amended Fiscal Year 2024 budget, a day after Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Democratic lawmakers announced a budget agreement.
The $50.6 billion state spending plan (SB 250) and its implementation companion bill (HB 3817), which take effect July 1, largely preserves the budget Pritzker proposed in February despite recent controversies regarding spending and revenue figures.
The package includes an allocation of $250 million to expand childcare and preschool to all Illinois residents, an additional $350 million for K-12 education, a $100 million increase in higher education funding, and a $100 million increase for Monetary Award Program grant funding.
The agreed-upon budget proposal also allocates $550 million to cover the healthcare costs of undocumented immigrants aged 42 and above and includes “tools” that allow Pritzker’s office to manage the program’s costs in the future.
The House is expected to hold session later today and a second round of session after midnight on Saturday morning to reach the three-day requirement for review.
— Pritzker opposes fast-moving bill to hand Ameren a monopoly on building regional transmission lines: “The governor has rarely used his veto pen, but we might possibly see that happen if this bill reaches his desk. This language proposal was included as a late Senate amendment on HB3445, the energy omnibus yesterday. It’s now awaiting House concurrence,” by Capitol Fax.
— Illinois legislature sends bill reforming property tax sale system to Gov. J.B. Pritzker: “Illinois’ property tax sale system is slated for reform now that a measure backed by the Cook County treasurer’s office and the Chicago Community Trust has cleared the legislature and is headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk, where he is expected to sign it into law,” by the Chicago Tribune.
— Lawmakers push back Chicago school board maps deadline to 2024 after public criticism: “State lawmakers are punting drawing maps for the elected Chicago school board until next year as a part of an amendment to an elections bill that passed the General Assembly Thursday. The amendment tacked on to SB2123, which passed the General Assembly Thursday night, off the deadline for drawing the maps until April 1, 2024. Lawmakers were facing a July 1 deadline for the maps, which will take effect with the 2024 election,” by The Daily Line.
— Cook County employees could soon receive 12 weeks of paid parental leave: “Parents who work for Cook County government would get 100% pay for up to 12 weeks of leave,” by WBEZ.
— County board approves flavored nicotine ban, anti-discrimination measure for bodily autonomy: “The Cook County Board of Commissioners approved two major pieces of legislation during its meeting Thursday — a ban on the retail sale, distribution and display of flavored liquid nicotine products and an ordinance extending discrimination protections related to reproductive health and gender-affirming care decisions,” by The Daily Line.
Mayor Brandon Johnson, in coordination with interim Police Supt. Fred Waller, announced in a press release Thursday their summer public safety plan for the city, starting this Memorial Day weekend.
The plan includes an increased police presence on public transit and large gathering areas and bag checks at the city’s public beaches and parks, in addition to the deployment of thirty yellow-vested peacekeepers to deescalate “hot spots” of violence.
To provide the increased police capacity, Chicago Police officers will have one of their days off for this weekend canceled, a practice that has been standard procedure in recent years but faces criticism for decreasing officer morale. Johnson committed to not relocating officers to one neighborhood at the expense of others.
The plan includes a $2.5 million investment from the Partnership for Safe and Peaceful Communities Chicago Fund to support violence prevention efforts and youth outreach initiatives that aim to engage young people in safe activities and support youth programming efforts.
The mayor also stressed the importance of community efforts when it comes to safety and violence prevention. “It’s going to take all of us, not just the police, not just the government, to ensure that our communities can live and thrive in peace and safety,” Johnson said during a news conference at 63rd Street Beach yesterday.
— Proposal to allow ADUs citywide among new legislation submitted by aldermen: “Wednesday marked the first City Council meeting of the new term and several alderpersons didn’t waste any time submitting new legislation they hope to pass in the next four years. Ald. Bennett Lawson (44) proposed multiple ordinances including one measure (O2023-2075) that would expand the city’s current accessory dwelling unit (ADU) pilot program citywide,” by The Daily Line.
— Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. still can’t explain what happened with $165,000 in campaign money: “Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. (27th) still can’t explain to the satisfaction of state elections authorities what happened with $165,000 he got in campaign contributions,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.
— Half of Chicago neighborhoods lack electric vehicle chargers for public use: “Electric vehicles are registered in all 77 community areas in Chicago, but more than 40 of those areas have no public EV chargers, city officials say,” by Chicago Sun-Times.
Read the Cozen Currents article here.
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