Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (8/3)

August 3, 2022


Gov. Pritzker declares monkeypox a public health emergency

Governor Pritzker issued a disaster proclamation Monday declaring the monkeypox virus a public health emergency in Illinois.

The proclamation will allow the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) to utilize resources for coordinating a statewide response in treating and preventing the spread of monkeypox. It will also allow IDPH to expand vaccine and testing capacities with the help of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and via state and federal recovery and assistance funds.

The declaration also authorizes emergency procurements to facilitate the state’s response. The proclamation is in place for 30 days.


COVID Update: IL reports 5,096 new cases, 0 deaths, ABC 7 Chicago reports.


Gov. Pritzker announces four appointments to boards

Gov. Pritzker Monday announced the following appointments to his administration:

Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees

  • Matthew Hunt to continue serving as President and a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board. Hunt has served on the Board since June 2019 and was appointed as President in August 2021.
  • Maria “Mia” Jazo-Harris will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board, a position she has held since March 2021.
  • Maureen Mena will continue to serve as a Trustee of the Teachers’ Retirement System Board. Mena has served on the Board since April 2019.

Educational Labor Relations Board

  • Michelle Ishmael will continue to serve as a Member of the Educational Labor Relations Board. Ishmael has served on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board since March 2021.


Judge grants defense until next year to file motions in racketeering case against ex-Speaker Michael Madigan: “The racketeering case against Michael Madigan and his longtime confidant will likely not see any significant court action until next year after a judge Tuesday granted the defense a lengthy extension to review the massive pile of evidence turned over by prosecutors,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Illinois Department of Labor Finalizes Domestic Worker Rules: “The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) has finalized rules for the employment of domestic workers to better define pay, record keeping, and other requirements that apply to domestic work.” From The Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois health insurers propose price increases for Affordable Care Act exchange plans: “Ten Illinois insurance companies that sell plans on the exchange, at, are proposing average rate increases of about 3% to nearly 16% for plans in 2023,” by The Chicago Tribune.

IDFPR Calls for Federal Student Loan Servicers to Prioritize the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: “The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced today the Department has issued a letter to all federal student loan servicers encouraging them to immediately implement best practices to help alert and educate eligible student loan holders about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.” From The Office of Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

July fundraising recap: Giannoulias posts big numbers while Bailey misses goal: “Democratic nominee for secretary of state Giannoulias raised more in July from contributions of $1,000 or more than any candidate in either party. Bailey finished July with $129,000 from contributions of $1,000 or more, but he still fell short of his campaign’s fundraising goal for July,” by The Daily Line.


$3.6 billion Red Line Extension poses funding controversy 

Chicago and CTA planning officials last week released a detailed funding plan for the long-stalled Red Line Extension, which would divert natural property tax growth from areas outside the project area and create a controversial new tax increment financing (TIF) district on the Far South Side.

The extension would add 5.6 miles of rail and create four new stations past 95th Street — at 103rd Street, 111th Street, Michigan Avenue (near 116th Street) and 130th Street near Altgeld Gardens.

With hopes to secure $2.16 billion from a federal grant program called New Starts, which helps fund rail extension and new line projects across the country, the CTA must come up with the other 40% to qualify for the grant.

The proposed financing mechanism to raise $950 million of the $1.44 billion needed is a new transit TIF that would funnel property taxes out of areas in and near Downtown to the Far South Side.

Ald. Anthony Beale (9), whose 9th Ward encompasses three of the four new proposed stations, said the Red Line Extension is “desperately needed,” but argued Chicago taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear its cost, as city and CTA officials have long promised him that the federal government would pick up the entire tab of the multibillion-dollar project.


Annual city audit shows Chicago on the road to post-pandemic recovery: “The certified annual financial report for 2021 shows Chicago closed the books on 2021 with a total fund balance of $679.1 million, with $318.1 million of that categorized as “unassigned,” meaning it isn’t yet dedicated for a specific expense,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Lightfoot defends terms of NASCAR deal: “The terms are not as generous as in a new 10-year extension with Lollapalooza, but the mayor said it ‘doesn’t make sense’ to compare the events, calling the music festival a ‘phenomenon unto itself,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

No public money for Bears stadium? Conservative group wants village to ban subsidies for businesses: “Americans for Prosperity, a conservative political advocacy group, is gathering signatures to petition the Arlington Heights village board to pass an anti-corporate welfare ordinance banning any public giveaways for the proposed Chicago Bears redevelopment at the racetrack,” by The Daily Herald.


Beltway Briefing: Ready, Set, Recess

Heading into August recess, Congress is on the cusp of delivering President Biden two back-to-back legislative victories: on Wednesday, after more than a year of wrangling and frustration, Senate Democratic leaders and Joe Manchin announced a reconciliation agreement for a sweeping tax-and-spend plan known as the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.

The breakthrough bill includes $433 billion in new federal spending, including $369 billion in energy and climate change investments, and is designed to generate an estimated $739 billion in revenue and reduce federal deficits by $300 billion over 10 years.

On Thursday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the CHIPS and Science Act, a $280 billion funding package that will boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and cut reliance on chip products from foreign sources.

You can listen to this and any of the previous Beltway Briefing podcast episodes here.


Biden to sign executive order aimed at protecting travel for abortion: “President Joe Biden on Wednesday will sign an executive order aimed in part at making it easier for women seeking abortions to travel between states to obtain access to the procedure,” by Fox 32 Chicago.


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