Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (8/12)

August 12, 2022


C.D.C. Eases Covid Guidelines, Noting Virus Is ‘Here to Stay’: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention loosened Covid-19 guidelines on Thursday, freeing schools and businesses from the onus of requiring unvaccinated people exposed to the virus to quarantine at home,” the New York Times.

— IDPH Offering a Back-to-School Shipment of 1 Million Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests for Illinois K-12 Public Schools, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Monkeypox spread demonstrates need for spending flexibility, Chicago’s top doctor says: “Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Wednesday that in order for local health departments to respond quickly to critical outbreaks such as the monkeypox virus, they are going to need greater flexibility in spending from the federal government.” From the Chicago Tribune.

Free COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing, Oral Health Exams for Kids & Other Healthcare Services Available at State Fair, from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Illinois Department of Corrections hit with contempt charge over health care practices 

A federal judge issued an order of contempt against the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) last Friday for failing to implement court-ordered improvements to the department’s health care practices.

After a group of inmates sued the department in 2010, a federal court ordered IDOC to create a plan to improve health care for inmates. For more than three years, the department has repeatedly ignored court orders and failed to take appropriate steps to improve health care in the State’s prison system.

On Tuesday, a June report was made public wherein a federal court monitor found the department was not making any progress implementing the court’s order. The report found multiple elderly prisoners suffered injuries and health problems so bad that it constituted elder abuse, in violation of Illinois law.

“IDOC’s failure here is staggering,” said Camille Bennett, an attorney at ACLU of Illinois. “They were required by court order three years ago to develop a plan to fix the unconstitutional health care deficiencies for our clients across the state, and they have yet to do it. We hope this will wake up their leadership.”


Gov. Pritzker Announces $34.6 Billion Investment in Transportation Over Six Years: “Governor JB Pritzker joined the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Friday to announce a $34.6 billion program to improve roads, bridges, transit, rail, airports, and ports over the next six years. This funding represents a robust commitment to invest in people and communities backed by the historic Rebuild Illinois capital program.”

Pritzker Administration Announces Funding Opportunity to Improve Housing Accessibility and Stability for Vulnerable Households: “Up to $60 Million in state and federal funding will preserve and develop supportive housing serving persons with disabilities and those at risk of homelessness,” from the Illinois Housing Development Authority.

Bally’s files application with state for first Chicago casino: “Bally’s filed its application with the Illinois Gaming Board on Wednesday, taking a major step in the process to build Chicago’s first casino and the flagship property for its fast-growing company,” by the Chicago Tribune.

Pritzker Administration Awards Over $1.6 Million in Rebuild Illinois Capital Funding to the Village of Hanover Park to Address Stormwater Runoff: “Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Director John J. Kim announced the Village of Hanover Park will receive $1,662,640 in Green Infrastructure Grant Opportunities (GIGO) funding to implement the Springinsguth West Branch DuPage River Stream Corridor Improvements project.” From the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Pritzker Administration Announces Funding Opportunity to Improve Housing Accessibility and Stability for Vulnerable Households: “The number of out-of-state abortion patients at Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ Flossmoor health center have tripled in the weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court’s controversial decision overturning Roe v. Wade, stripping individuals of their constitutional right to an abortion,” the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Legalizing internet gaming could bring in over $200M annually for Illinois, report finds: “Illinois could bring in an extra $273 million if it takes a step only six other states have and legalizes internet gaming, according to a new report by VIXIO Gambling Compliance,” by The Daily Line.


Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs steps down, successor announced

After being a part of Lightfoot’s team for nearly four years, starting with her 2019 campaign, Deputy Mayor of Intergovernmental Affairs Manuel “Manny” Perez notified colleagues earlier this week of his Sept. 6 departure to work in the private sector.

In a statement, Lightfoot praised Perez – the highest-ranking Latino executive in the mayor’s office – for championing “some of the biggest milestones of [her] administration, including multiple budgets, the Chicago Casino, and civilian oversight of police.”

Beth Beatty, Managing Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, will succeed Perez. Beatty has nearly 20 years of experience in City Hall, including as legislative counsel under former Mayor Rahm Emmanuel in the Office of Legislative Counsel and Government Affairs.

In her new role, Beatty will advance Lightfoot’s priority projects at the City, State, and Federal levels to achieve the goals of advocating for and adopting “transformative and equitable legislation at all levels of government that will positively impact residents of [the] City.”


Firing of CPD reform chief won’t slow compliance with federal consent decree – Lightfoot: “Chicago Police Supt. David Brown’s surprise decision to fire the man charged with implementing court-ordered reforms — after Robert Boik protested deep cuts to his office — will not slow CPD compliance, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday. Robert Boik was fired in apparent retaliation for an email he sent criticizing Brown’s decision to move 46 officers under Boik’s supervision to the Bureau of Patrol as part of a larger reorganization,” the Chicago Sun-Times.

Mayor Lightfoot, Senators Durbin, Duckworth, and Congressman Davis Announce $20 Million for Englewood Nature Trail: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and U.S. Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL-07) Thursday announced $20M in federal grant funding awarded to support the Englewood Nature Trail — a project to convert a 1.75-mile abandoned railway corridor into a grade-separated multi use path for walking and biking in Englewood.”

With 8 Declared Candidates, Chicago’s Mayoral Race Heats Up: “So far eight candidates have declared they’re running for mayor next year. The list features: state Rep. Kam Buckner, Chicago police Officer Frederick Collins, community activist Ja’Mal Green, Ald. Sophia King (4th Ward), Ald. Ray Lopez (15th Ward), Ald. Roderick Saywer (6th Ward), former CPS CEO Paul Vallas and businessman Willie Wilson,” by WTTW.

City of Chicago Defies Court Order to Release COPA Report on Watts: “The City of Chicago as of Wednesday has defied a judge’s order to release an un-redacted report on its investigation into disgraced former Chicago Police Sgt. Ronald Watts, dragging its feet again in the biggest scandal in the history of the Chicago Police Department.” From NBC 5 Chicago.


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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