Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (8/5)

August 5, 2022


Feds ramping up Monkeypox vaccine deliveries — but no money — amid ‘all-hands-on-deck’ strategy, Arwady says: “Demand for Monkeypox vaccinations and testing services still far outweigh supply as the Northalsted neighborhood prepares to host the Market Days festival this weekend — but more help is on the way, Chicago Department of Public Health Comm. Allison Arwady said during a news conference on Thursday,” The Daily Line.

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: COVID Surging in Parts of State, BA.5 Symptoms: “According to Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, southern Illinois “is surging” currently,” NBC 5 Chicago.

Public Health Officials Announce 30,762 New Cases of Coronavirus Disease Over the Past Week, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports.


Illinois announces multi-state partnership in Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour project

The state of Illinois announced Wednesday a multi-state partnership with Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin to build 1,100 miles of scenic route along Lake Michigan’s shoreline, equipped with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.

The Lake Michigan EV Circuit Tour will target charger installations at key coastal communities, lighthouses and tourism attractions such as state parks, hospitality locations, breweries, vineyards, restaurants and other small businesses.

The new chargers will be tied together with the existing charging infrastructure, much of which is already operable today. Drivers can expect the remainder of the Circuit to be completed within the next few years.

The project was solidified by a Memorandum of Understanding signed by key officials from each state.


Governor Pritzker Kicks Off Back To School Tax Holiday August 5 – August 14: “Governor Pritzker joined lawmakers and stakeholders to encourage Illinois families to take advantage of the State’s Back to School tax holiday, Aug. 5 through Aug. 14. The 10-day sales tax holiday – the first for Illinois in over a decade – was created to save families $50 million on school supplies and is part of the $1.8 billion Illinois Family Relief Plan, with relief on gas, property taxes, and groceries.” The Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Announces Medicaid Reimbursement Increases and Expanded Title X Funds for Reproductive Health Care Providers: “Governor Pritzker announced a 20% increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates for abortion services and a new expansion of Title X funding through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) for family planning and reproductive health service providers across the state,” The Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Critical Illinois Workforce Programs Receive $33 Million in Highly-Competitive American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge Grants: “The U.S. Department of Commerce Wednesday announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding $33 million in American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge grants to fund two critical workforce programs in Illinois.” The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Gov. Pritzker Announces $21 Million in Funding for Infrastructure Projects in Cahokia Heights: “Governor JB Pritzker along with local officials, stakeholders, and the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced $21 million in funding to the City of Cahokia Heights to support infrastructure projects in the area.” The Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Governor Pritzker Announces $17.5 Million in Funding to Renovate Rend Lake Resort in Southern Illinois: “Gov. Pritzker announced Wednesday a long-awaited renovation of the popular Rend Lake Resort in Southern Illinois will get underway in 2023 with an investment of more than $17.5 million. The funding will be used to renovate the conference center, restaurant, cabins, pool, and boatel.” The Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois Aviation System Plan released, provides blueprint for airport growth: “The Illinois Department of Transportation Thursday announced the release of the Illinois Aviation System Plan, identifying short- and long-term needs and goals of the state’s airports and marking the first comprehensive study of its kind in more than 25 years,” Illinois Department of Transportation.

Gov. Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation for St. Clair and Washington Counties Due to Severe Weather and Flooding: “Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have approved an Illinois Disaster Proclamation for the severe weather and flooding that affected St. Clair County and Washington County on July 25 and July 27.” The Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.


Financial audit reveals the cost of Chicago’s TIFs, tax breaks cost the city more than $90M last year

The City of Chicago’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for FY 2021 revealed tax increment financing (TIF) districts alone sponged about $71.8 million from the city last year — total tax incentives resulted in the loss of $92 million in property tax revenues.

Used in Chicago since 1986, the city has more than 130 TIF districts. The financing tool, however, has come under heavy criticism for its potential to divert public funds to special accounts that lack transparency and public accountability.

While most TIF dollars are used for public initiatives like school renovations or road projects, the tax incentive can also be used to boost private developments, which redirect funds that would have otherwise gone directly to the city.


POP! Plazas Planned for Nine Chicago Neighborhoods:Mayor Lightfoot announced that 10 new public plazas will create spaces for recreation, performances, pop-up shops, gardening, and other neighborhood activities at strategic locations across the South, West, and North sides. These projects will be supported with funding from the Chicago Recovery Plan,” Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Family and Support Services Announce Community Services Block Grant Scholarships (CSBG) Available for Chicago Residents: Mayor Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Brandie Knazze announced that $230,000 in CSBG scholarships are now available for Chicago residents seeking to continue their education. Residents have until Friday, August 26, 2022, at midnight to apply,” Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

Northwest Side Alderman Promises More Affordable Housing At Belmont Triangle After Community Push: ‘I’m With You’: “Facing pressure from local leaders, Ald. Ariel Reboyras said he “will not accept” 20 percent affordable housing for the city-led redevelopment,” by Block Club Chicago.


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 order on abortion access following Kansas win: “The order will direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to consider actions to help patients travel outside their states for abortions using funds from Medicaid—a move that conservatives will likely challenge in the courts,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Democrats say they’ve reached agreement on economic, climate package: “Senate Democrats have reached an accord on eleventh-hour changes to their top-priority economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, clearing their major hurdle to moving the measure through the chamber in coming days,” The Chicago Tribune.


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