Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (8/10)

August 10, 2022


City ramps up testing for monkeypox as health officials expect another 20K vaccine doses in coming weeks: “Chicago public health officials have ‘ramped up’ testing for the monkeypox virus as the number of confirmed cases in Chicago residents has grown to 556 as of Monday afternoon, the city’s top doctor told aldermen during a committee hearing,” by The Daily Line.

Colleges, universities across Illinois begin monkeypox prep with students set to return this month: “With students returning to campuses [soon], universities and colleges across the state are beginning to pull from COVID-19 response plans to prepare for the spreading monkeypox virus, which could pose a unique risk to students because they live in close quarters and often have heightened sexual contact,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Police unions endorse Bailey for governor

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and Chicago Fraternal Order of Police announced Monday they are endorsing Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) for governor.

At a news conference with FOP President Chris Southwood and Chicago chapter President John Catanzara, Bailey pledged his support for law enforcement and outlined a lengthy legislative agenda he would implement as governor to reduce crime and boost support for police officers.

The agenda includes repealing the SAFE-T Act, a criminal justice package Pritzker signed into law last year aimed at addressing longstanding public safety issues and police distrust. Bailey also said he will reinstate cash bail, repeal limits on pre-trial detention for violent criminals, prioritize state funds to hire and retain officers by increasing a sign-on and retention bonus, and work to end anonymous complaints against police.

When asked about Bailey’s vote against legislation to boost mental health resources for police officers and increase funding for the Illinois State Police, which were included in the Fiscal Year 2023 budget, Catanzara brushed it off saying no candidate is “going to check every single box that you agree with.”


Pritzker Administration Approaching $1 Billion in Capital Investments for 24/7 State Facilities through Rebuild Illinois: “Funding supports the construction, expansion, and renovation of state 24/7 facilities,” by the Capitol Development Board.

‘Our children need this information’: State adopts standards for sex education in public schools: Sex and health education have been taught in Illinois schools for decades, but a new law Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed last summer adopts National Sex Education Standards that include guidelines for all grade levels,” by the Daily Herald.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Four Appointments to Boards and Commissions: Pritzker announces appointments to Illinois State Board of Trustees, University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Guardianship and Advocacy Commission, and Illinois Racing Board. From the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois State Fair to Offer Electric Vehicle Charging Station: “The Illinois State Fair along with Governor JB Pritzker, announced that an electric vehicle (EV) charging station will be provided for fairgoers courtesy of a sponsorship with Sunrun.”


City of Chicago releases 2023 Budget Forecast

Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, Budget Director Susie Park, Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett, and Comptroller Reshma Soni released the 2023 Budget Forecast, which projects a $127.9 million budget gap for fiscal year 2023.

The budget gap, significantly down from last year’s $733 million and the previous year’s historic $1.2 billion gap, is one of the lowest gaps in recent city history.

The Forecast projects expenditures to rise by approximately $228.2 million over the 2022 budget due to personnel costs, pension obligations, and contractual services.

The 2023 budget will mark the second year that all four pension fund contributions will reflect a statutorily required actuarially-calculated contribution, meaning the city is paying what independent experts say is owed to pension funds each year. In addition, the city received $40 million from Bally’s for its new casino and has put it all toward Chicago’s annual required pension contribution, Lightfoot said.

The city will raise property taxes by $42.7 million — but that’s less than expected. Despite Chicago property taxes being tied to the consumer price index, Mayor Lightfoot said the city “will provide taxpayers with a much-needed break and lower the CPI to 2.5%, which is the five-year CPI average.”

To view a copy of the 2023 Budget Forecast, or download the Forecast Summary, visit:


Pritzker, Lightfoot tout city’s $422 million deal for green energy: “Chicago has signed a $422.2 million agreement with Constellation New Energy LLC to provide renewable power to government buildings, street lights and all other city assets — and a carbon-free footprint — by 2025,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Push to Use Downtown Property Taxes to Fund Far South Side Red Line Extension Faces Uncertain Future: “A proposal from Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration to use property tax revenue generated downtown to fund the $3.6 billion extension of the CTA’s Red Line from 95th Street to the city’s southern border near 130th Street faces an uncertain future amid opposition from Chicago City Council members,” by WTTW.

CTA, Chicago police to add K-9s, additional officers to transit system following weekend Red Line homicide: “Brown said the department’s police officer deployments to the transit system are “strategic and data driven” and officers are being pulled from desk duties to help meet demand,” the Chicago Tribune.

Ald. Sophia King joins race to unseat Lightfoot: “Ald. Sophia King (4th), chair of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus, on Wednesday will become the seventh African American — and ninth candidate overall — seeking to send Mayor Lori Lightfoot into political retirement,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.

Design of two Invest South/West mixed-use proposals set to undergo critique of advisory committee: “The design of two developments proposed as part of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s Invest South/West program that invests directly in South and West side neighborhoods will come under scrutiny from a planning department committee Wednesday,” by The Daily Line.

More than 18K people apply for CDOT bike giveaway program set to distribute 5K bikes by 2026: “Applications for the Chicago Department of Transportation’s “Bike Chicago” program opened July 18, more than three months after department Comm. Gia Biagi announced during a March 31 City Club speech that the city would give away 5,000 “free bikes, and a helmet and a bike lock” to Chicago residents,” by The Daily Line.

Chicago police union head John Catanzara won’t run for mayor next year: “John Catanzara, the firebrand president of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police, won’t run for mayor against Lori Lightfoot,” by the Chicago Tribune.


Senate passes tax and energy bill

After more than a year of White House infighting, Democrats agreed on a bill to invest in energy initiatives, curb drug prices, and reduce the deficit, paid for by new corporate taxes. The legislation is not as robust as the roughly $4 trillion proposal Biden first envisioned when taking office but is still a significant achievement ahead of the November midterm elections.

The Senate passed a landmark tax, climate and health-care bill Sunday, setting up the legislation for House approval, where the Democratic majority is expected to pass it Friday.

Some highlights from the estimated $740 billion economic package include a corporate minimum tax, a stock buyback tax, IRS enforcement, electric car credits, renewable energy credits, consumer energy perks, drug price reductions and caps, ACA premiums, and drought and water security.

The full 755-page bill, referred to as the “Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,” can be found here.


Live Primary Results: Tuesday’s Key Races: Key races on Tuesday included primary elections in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont and Connecticut, by the New York Times.

Trump’s Florida estate searched by FBI agents looking for classified records: “The FBI searched Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Monday, a move that represents a dramatic and unprecedented escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of the former president,” by the Chicago Sun-Times.


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