Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (8/29)

August 29, 2022


Illinois hits 1,000 monkeypox cases; Chicago’s public health chief cautiously optimistic by slowed growth, by The Chicago Tribune.

COVID hospitalizations fell 9 percent in past week, by Capitol Fax.


Federal infrastructure funding allows Illinois to address up to 20% of state orphaned oil and gas wells 

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Friday announced that funding from President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will allow Illinois to begin plugging, capping, and reclaiming up to 20% of the orphaned oil and gas wells in rural communities around the state.

The federal funding will also be used to measure and track methane emissions and contamination in groundwater and surface water.

“We appreciate that the Biden Administration approved our efforts to award Illinois significant funding to cap and reclaim these wells — safeguarding Illinois families, generating good-paying union jobs, and protecting our environment from disastrous methane leaks in the process,” said Governor Pritzker.

Illinois is set to receive $25 million of the initial $560 million awarded to 24 states by the U.S. Department of Interior. IDNR’s Office of Oil and Gas Resource Management will oversee the work in Illinois, which has more than 4,000 orphaned oil wells.

For more information about IDNR’s Office of Oil and Gas Resource Management, click here.


Here’s what Illinois taxpayers need to know about receiving income, property tax rebates: “Whether it be for building-up savings or early holiday shopping, many Illinoisans will receive extra spending money starting in September through the Illinois Family Relief Plan,” by The State-Journal Register.

Pritzker administration responds to Tribune’s pension editorial: “…The Pritzker administration continues to take additional steps to address the State’s unfunded pension liabilities…” by Capitol Fax. Read the Chicago Tribune editorial here.

—  Illinois pot dispensary licensees want OK to sell ownership shares. Some say they can’t open doors without more capital: “Some 200 recreational license owners have signed a Chicago NORML petition asking for permission to sell equity in their companies. But under guidance by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, license holders are prohibited from selling their preliminary ‘conditional’ licenses until they are approved to begin retail sales,” by The Chicago Tribune.


Ald. Leslie Hairston announces retirement from City Council after 24 years 

Ald. Leslie Hairston (5) Friday announced that she will retire at the end of her term in 2023, marking an end to her 24-year run as alderwoman.

“For more than 30 years, I have held jobs serving the public and it is time for me to look at the next chapter of my life,” Hairston said in a statement. “While I haven’t made any decisions yet, rest assured it will be active, engaged and committed to making my community better.”

Ald. Hairston also shared a list of accomplishments “the 5th ward can take credit for,” including the Obama Presidential Center, Metra station improvements, the Greater Grand Crossing Library, and access to the lakefront. The South Side 5th ward includes portions of Hyde Park, South Shore, Grand Crossing, and Woodlawn.

Hairston joins several City Council members who have resigned or announced they are stepping down at the end of their term next year:

  • Mayor Lightfoot has already replaced convicted Patrick Daley Thompson (11) with Nicole Lee, and Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24) with his sister, Monique. Mayor Lightfoot has not yet announced who will succeed Ald. Michelle Smith (43), who resigned effective August 12.
  • James Cappleman (46) is not seeking reelection. Neither is Ald. Harry Osterman (48) nor indicted Ald. Carrie Austin (34).
  • George Cardenas (12), Lightfoot’s deputy floor leader, is leaving after winning a seat on the Cook County Board of Review.
  • Alderpersons Sophia King (4), Roderick Sawyer (6), and Ray Lopez (15) are giving up their seats to run against Lightfoot for mayor.


Private security to aid police, a new ward website, ‘voter education’: How some Chicago aldermen are spending their $100,000 ‘microgrants’: “When Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot rolled out her 2022 budget, she offered each alderman a $100,000 sweetener to spend in their wards virtually however they please. Nine months into the year, some of their priorities are coming to light,” by The Chicago Tribune.

What to know as the municipal election season kicks off with nominating petitions: “Tuesday marks the official launch of campaign season for the 2023 Chicago municipal elections as candidates can begin circulating nominating petitions to earn a spot on the February 28 ballot,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

The Community Safety Coordination Center Marks Its First Year of Operation: “The Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) marks the 1-year anniversary of its activation by recognizing the tireless work of dedicated violence prevention specialists, survivors, and community leaders who have worked collaboratively to drive change and keep communities safe, from The Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

‘It’s just wild:’ Street takeovers continue throughout weekend, leading to clashes with cops but only a few arrests: “A 19-year-old suburban man is facing felony charges for allegedly driving toward a police sergeant, and another man had his car impounded — but otherwise, the mayhem went on for two straight nights,” by The Chicago Sun Times.


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