Illinois Insights An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (6/3)

June 3, 2022

Public Health

  • Chicago now in high-risk COVID category, health officials strongly encourage indoor masking: “Chicago and  Cook County  are now at high risk for COVID-19 transmission, health officials say. The region crossed into the high-risk category this evening after COVID cases and hospitalizations have kept rising in recent weeks. The Chicago Department of Public Health now strongly recommends people wear masks in public indoor settings, ” Crain ’s Chicago Business reports.



Court denies petition seeking to block labor-related constitutional amendment from November ballot

A  Sangamon County Circuit Court judge denied a petition to block Amendment 1 from Illinois ’ November 2022 ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment, the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment, would codify employees ’ rights to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choosing to negotiate “wages, hours, and working conditions and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. ”

The case against the proposal – brought by a group of parents and teachers from Chicago Public Schools – alleges the amendment ’s adoption would violate the National Labor Relations Act and even grant union leaders the right to override certain state laws.

But the judge ’s order shoots those claims down, positing that “Even accepting as true all of Petitioners ’ allegations, there are no reasonable grounds to permit suit. Petitioner ’s claims fail as a matter of law, and impermissibly seek an advisory opinion as to ‘constitutional issues … [which] may never progress beyond the realm of the hypothetical. ’ Slack v. Salem, 31 Ill. 2d 174, 178 (1964). ”

Attorneys for the plaintiffs from Liberty Justice Center and Illinois Policy Institute say they will appeal.

Around the State



Paul Vallas announces mayoral bid

Former Chicago Public Schools CEO and onetime city budgeteer Paul Vallas launched his second campaign for mayor of Chicago this week, saying what the city  “suffers from most is a crisis in leadership. ”

Vallas last ran for mayor in 2019 and received 5.4 percent of the vote, placing him 9th amid the crowded field of 14 candidates.

The situation is expected to be similar this cycle: in addition to Vallas, Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces competition from a growing list of declared contenders, including Ald. Ray Lopez, Ald. Roderick Sawyer, local businessman Willie Wilson, veteran cop Frederick Collins, and state Rep. Kam Buckner. Former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and current Chicago Ald. Brian Hopkins are also reportedly polling for potential mayoral runs.

Chicago’s next mayoral election is slated for February 2023.


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