Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/22)
July 22, 2022
July 22, 2022
As monkeypox cases near 200 in Chicago, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday asked the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to “take more aggressive action to counter the monkeypox virus outbreak” and to prioritize areas, like Chicago, facing the most significant outbreaks.
Chicago is currently awaiting more than 15,000 doses of the vaccine from the federal government, a number Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Allison Arwady fears may still not be enough.
In his letter, the Governor also noted that monkeypox is currently disproportionately affecting the LGBTQ community and specifically men who have sex with men.
Pritzker emphasized that Illinois vaccination and prevention efforts are being prioritized by local public health departments.
— Will Mask Mandates Return Amid Increasing COVID Cases? Chicago’s Top Doctor Weighs In: “Despite high case numbers, Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady says that the city is staying away from a mask mandate, saying that hospital capacity is still adequate to meet the current needs of patients,” NBC 5 Chicago reports.
Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today issued 149 Conditional Adult Use Dispensing Organization Licenses to applicants selected in three lotteries held in the summer of 2021.
Of the lottery-selected businesses, 41% are majority Black-owned, 7% are majority White-owned, and 4% are majority Latino-owned (38% of awardees did not disclose the race of their owners). All businesses qualify as Social Equity Applicants under the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.
“These licenses represent a significant step toward accountability for the decades of injustice preceding cannabis legalization,” Priztker said about the program. “Illinois will continue to deliver on the promises of putting equity at the forefront of this process.”
The businesses awarded Conditional Licenses will have 180 days to select a physical storefront location and obtain the full Adult Use Dispensing Organization License. A full overview with next steps for the process is available here.
— Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Makes History as the First Black Woman to Chair the National Lieutenant Governors Association: “Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton became chair of the National Lieutenant Governors Association (NLGA) at today’s annual meeting, making history as the first Black woman to hold this position.” From The Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
— Pritzker Administration Launches Multi-Agency Effort to Bring Additional State Support to Highland Park and Surrounding Areas: “The Pritzker administration is bringing State agencies and contractors together to supplement local efforts to provide mental health and social service supports to residents affected by the July 4 tragedy in Highland Park.” From The Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
— Illinois to receive $46,851,870 in federal grants for Head Start programs: “U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) announced $46,851,870 in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants toward Head Start services for Illinois children under five years old on Thursday,” by KPVI.
— Expressway Shootings Down Amid Increased Illinois State Police Enforcement Details: “The midway mark for 2022, the Illinois State Police (ISP) is reporting the total number of Chicago area expressway shootings is down 36% compared to this time last year.” From The Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
— Statewide Unemployment Rate Reaches Lowest Point Since Pandemic’s Start, Payroll Jobs Up in June: “The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced today that the unemployment rate fell -0.1 percentage point to 4.5 percent, the lowest the rate has been since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.”
Ald. Michele Smith, whose 43rd Ward includes parts of Gold Coast, Lincoln Park and Old Town, is retiring from City Council next month after 11 years.
The announcement comes just one day after the City Council unanimously passed an ethics reform ordinance (O2022-2064) she championed.
“My decision to retire prior to the completion of this term is a difficult and deeply personal one,” Smith said in a letter to constituents on Thursday. “At this point in my life, I have deepening responsibilities towards family and friends. These personal issues mandate that I step down now.”
Smith’s resignation gives Mayor Lightfoot the opportunity to appoint a new alderperson for the third time this year.
— Speed camera ticket minimum will stay at 6 mph over the limit after aldermen reject proposal to raise threshold to 10 mph: “Chicago aldermen failed to overturn Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s unpopular speed camera rules at Wednesday’s City Council meeting after a long, winding battle waged by one of the mayor’s top critics,” by The Chicago Tribune.
— Lightfoot’s NASCAR race picks up speed with no officials in open opposition: “Despite some loud gripes from aldermen and plenty of lingering questions, the mayor seems likely to get her way,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.
— Water shutoffs for bill nonpayment now banned for Chicago’s residential customers: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s order to end residential water shutoffs for bill nonpayment is now formally part of city law, in an ordinance the City Council approved Wednesday that also prohibits the privatization of Chicago’s water system,” by The Chicago Tribune.
— City Council Pushes Lightfoot To Release Full Report On Little Village Botched Implosion. What Will The Mayor Do? “The measure is non-binding, meaning it does not compel the mayor to do anything. It now falls to the city’s Department of Law, which is under Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s purview, to make the call,” by Block Club Chicago.
— $15 Million Fund To Help South Shore Condo, Co-Op Owners Fix Up Housing Approved By Council: “The program will be piloted in a Crandon Avenue building to make repairs and stabilize the homeowner association’s finances. But Obama CBA organizers have criticized the move,” by Block Club Chicago.
Read the full update here.
— 6 takeaways from Jan. 6 hearing: Kinzinger said Trump ‘did not fail to act … he chose not to act’: “The mob,” said Kinzinger, at Thursday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, “was accomplishing President Trump’s purpose. So of course he didn’t intervene.” From The Chicago Sun-Times.
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