Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (7/27)

July 27, 2022


IL reports 5,205 new cases, seven deaths; Cook County in ‘high’ transmission, CDC says, ABC 7 Chicago reports. 

Monkeypox cases in Illinois surpass 300 as big summer festivals approach, by The Chicago Sun-Times. 


Gov. Pritzker announces $445 million in total tax reported from adult-use cannabis during FY 2022

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced Monday a record-breaking year of $445 million in total tax reported from adult-use cannabis for the State of Illinois, a 50% increase from FY 2021’s $297.7 million. 

Cannabis tax disbursements to local governments also saw a significant jump, increasing from $82.8 million in FY 2021 to $146.2 million in FY 2022.

Additionally, as is required by Illinois’ adult-use cannabis law (410 ILCS 705/), the State has awarded $113.5 million to date in grants designed to support and invest in underserved communities, with a special focus on those that are economically distressed, experience high rates of violence, and have been disproportionately impacted by drug criminalization. 

Gov. Pritzker appoints two members to Boards and Authorities

Governor Pritzker announced two appointments on Monday: Neema Jha to serve as a Member of the Chicago Transit Authority Board and David Olson to continue to serve as a Member of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.

Jah is a Principal, Customer Practice Manager at Amazon Web Services where she oversees a portfolio of enterprise customers. 

Olson is a Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Criminal Justice Research at Loyola University Chicago where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses and performed research since 1997. 

Both appointments are pending confirmation by the Illinois Senate. 


Governor Pritzker Announces Sale of the James R. Thompson Center (JRTC), Google to Occupy Renovated Building: Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) announced Wednesday the final closing of the James R. Thompson Center at 100 West Randolph Street and transfer of property title to JRTC Holdings, LLC. Google will become the building’s new occupant.” From the Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker. 

Labor crunch casts shadow over Cook County’s sunny 2023 budget forecast: “On its face, the $263 million year-end budget surplus Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle declared last month would portend an easy upcoming budget season[…] But the extra money also exposes a major dilemma for the county: system-wide staff shortages that threaten some of the county’s most basic functions,” by The Daily Line. 

DCFS Director Smith set to answer for audit finding agency failed to care for children: “Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Director Marc Smith will speak to lawmakers Tuesday for the first time since a performance audit of his department found it was not following up on the safety of children under its care,” by the Daily Line. 

Governor Pritzker Launches Illinois Cares for Kids Statewide Enrollment Campaign “I Got Love / ¡Siento Amor!”: Governor JB Pritzker announced the launch of “I Got Love / ¡Siento Amor!”, the statewide enrollment campaign for childcare and early education services, featuring Illinois artists, musicians, and production partners.” From the Office of J.B. Pritzker. 


City of Chicago awards $24 million to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership

Mayor Lighfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today the City has awarded $24 million to the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to serve as the lead coordinating organization for the City’s Community Health Reponse Corps. 

The program is a part of the Chicago Recovery Plan, created to support recovery from the social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Response Corps allows CDPH to transition from emergency response to community health response, particularly in addressing the burden of chronic diseases and root causes that contribute to Chicago’s racial life expectancy gap. 

The goals of the Response Corps are aligned with CDPH’s Healthy Chicago 2025, which looks to close the racial life expectancy gap in Chicago. 


Long-delayed push to create police oversight board stalls without Lightfoot’s interim picks: “Mayor Lori Lightfoot has yet to name seven Chicago residents to serve on an interim commission overseeing the Chicago Police Department, halting a long-delayed push to rebuild trust in the scandal-plagued agency,” by WTTW.

Proposed ordinance would resurrect idea of publicly funded Chicago elections: “Ald. Matt Martin’s proposal calls for providing a 6-to-1 public match — up to $3.6 million for mayoral candidates, $180,000 for candidates for city clerk and city treasurer and $150,000 for City Council candidates,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

City Of Chicago Sues Debt Resolution Firms for Exploiting Consumers with Fake Promises to Settle Their Debt: “ The City of Chicago announced Tuesday it has filed a civil complaint in the Circuit Court of Cook County against Monarch Legal, Strategic Financial Solutions, and Timothy Burnette, the head of Monarch Legal, for running a fraudulent debt resolution scheme.” From the Office of Mayor Lightfoot. 

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Three Options for Proposed Renovations to Soldier Field: “Option 1: Fully enclose the stadium by rebuilding both endzones with columns that can support a dome structure; Option 2: Rebuild both endzones with columns to make the stadium dome ready; Option 3: Modify Soldier Field to be a multi-purpose stadium better suited for soccer while improving its flexibility to accommodate major concerts and a range of events.” From the Office of Mayor Lightfoot. 

Mayor Lightfoot and The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Announce New Disability Employment Center: “The new Career Center will assist people with disabilities to access job opportunities and training.” From the Office of Mayor Lori Lightfoot. 


Cozen Currents: One Nation, Deeply Divided, But Evenly Split 

  • In a divided America, few issues seem to cut through the partisan chasm between Democrats and Republicans. But that chasm is on a razor’s edge in close races that can determine control of Congress.
  • The history of partisan legislative agendas is strewn with failure and the party in power suffering the electoral consequences for that. This year is expected to be no different, even if Democrats are on track to achieve some partial success before Congress leaves town for the rest of the summer.
  • The lame duck session is generally thought to be unproductive. That perception doesn’t always match reality, however, and this year, there’s a chance that lawmakers could get a lot done between Election Day and year end. This could include both perennial legislation like a tax extenders package, appropriations, and other bills delayed until after the midterms. 

Read the full update here



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