Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (9/14)

September 14, 2022


Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Counties at ‘High’ Alert Level, Latest Symptoms, by NBC 5 Chicago.


Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Anne Burke announces retirement

After 16 years on the Illinois Supreme Court, Chief Justice Anne Burke announced Monday she is retiring November 30.

First District Appellate Justice Joy V. Cunningham has been appointed to fill the vacancy left by Burke. Cunningham will become the second African-American female to serve on the Illinois Supreme Court, following Justice Lisa Holder White who was appointed earlier this year.

Supreme Court Justice Mary Jane Theis, who has served on the court since 2012, has been appointed to replace Burke as chief justice for a three-year term, marking the fourth consecutive female chief justice on the high court.

Burke’s retirement announcement comes just ahead of the Nov. 8 election, when the Supreme Court’s 4-3 Democratic majority faces a Republican challenge. It also comes as Burke’s husband, longtime Chicago Ald. Edward Burke (14), awaits a November trial on federal corruption charges.


Gov. Pritzker Issues Disaster Proclamation to Unlock Resources to Assist Asylum Seekers: “Governor JB Pritzker today issued an emergency disaster proclamation and activated approximately 75 members of the Illinois National Guard to ensure all state resources are available to support asylum seekers arriving nearly daily to Chicago from the State of Texas,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

A year after its passage, those behind CEJA happy with its early progress: “A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers passed SB 2408, better known as the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA) on Sept. 13 last year. Those who helped craft the legislation after years of negotiations say they are happy with the bill’s early implementation. CEJA put Illinois on a path toward ending fossil fuel use for electricity within the next 30 years, established tax incentives for buying and manufacturing electric vehicles and required that union laborers construct the next generation of clean energy sources in the state,” by The Daily Line.

State of Illinois Announces Recipients of $3.5 Million Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) Program: “Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the 42 grant recipients that will receive nearly $3.5 million in funding to accelerate local economic recovery initiatives,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Kelly: Party members ‘pressured’ into not supporting her for Dem Party chair: “Tension between Democratic Party of Illinois members and U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) appear not to have thawed over a month after Kelly was ousted as the party’s chair in favor of Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero). On Monday, Kelly argued it was politics that caused Hernandez to receive the majority of the committee’s support and she believes most committee members privately supported her bid for reelection,” by The Daily Line.


Ald. Ariel Reboyras (30) announces retirement 

Alderman Ariel Reboyras (30) announced Tuesday his retirement from the City Council at the end of his term in May, after 20 years as alderperson and 44 years in city government.

The 30th Ward alderman got his start as a city truck driver and worked his way up Parks and Sanitation, Water Management and General Services before becoming alderman in 2003. He now chairs the City Council Committee on Immigrant and Refugee Rights and is a member of the City Council Latino Caucus.

After winning by just over 300 votes in a run-off against Jessica Gutierrez in 2019, Reboyras denied he is walking away in fear of losing. Gutierrez held a campaign kickoff Saturday to announce she’s taking a second run at the 30th ward seat. Four other candidates have also launched their campaign runs.

With his announcement, Reboyras becomes the 15th alderperson to retire, decide not to seek reelection, or announce their intentions to run for another office.


Chicago Tribune wins fight for public records that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration sought to keep secret: “The Chicago Tribune scored a legal victory on Tuesday as a Cook County judge ruled the city of Chicago improperly fought to keep secret documents for cases of alleged employee misconduct, even though the Illinois attorney general had agreed with the news organization,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Aldermen to grill CTA leadership on ‘unreliable service’ and ‘inconsistent train schedules’ during committee hearing: “CTA officials are set on Wednesday to undergo questioning from aldermen about “inconsistent” bus and train service and delays on public transit. The City Council Committee on Transportation and Public Way will hold the subject matter hearing during its 1 p.m. meeting. Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) called for the hearing in a resolution (R2022-688) he filed in June with the support of more than 30 other aldermen,” by The Daily Line.

With wife stepping down from Illinois Supreme Court, will indicted Ald. Edward Burke retire?: ‘It appears more likely that he’s not going to run. That he’s moving in the direction of retiring,’ said veteran political operative Victor Reyes, who has known the Burkes for years. ‘Redistricting put him at a significant disadvantage,’” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

Aldermen give initial OK to sale of former Northtown library branch for more than $960K: “A key committee on Tuesday approved the sale of the former home of Chicago Public Library’s Northtown Branch for a price more than $300,000 above the property’s appraised value. The City Council Committee on Housing and Real Estate approved the sale (O2022-2356) of the property at 6435 N. California Ave,” by The Daily Line.

Metra warns rail strike would likely halt some service: “The commuter rail service said ‘we expect there will not be service; on the BNSF, Union Pacific North, Union Pacific Northwest and Union Pacific West lines in the event of a work stoppage,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot Now Fully Enrolled With 5,000 Participants Receiving $500 Payments in August: “Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Brandie Knazze announced Tuesday that the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot (CRCP), one of the largest monthly cash assistance pilots in the nation, is now fully enrolled. The pilot is a commitment from Lightfoot and the DFSS to end poverty and put residents at the center of the City’s economic recovery,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.


Cozen Currents: Why Do People Hate President Joe Biden? 

  • Republicans love to cuss out the president while Democrats aren’t feeling much love for their party leader. Yet the success and longevity of Joe Biden’s presidency won’t be measured by who he is and how many memes are generated about him, but rather by who he’s not and the policies implemented under his watch.
  • Historical trends would indicate that Republicans should easily reclaim control of both the House and Senate this fall, but unique circumstances this year have led forecasters to predict a much tighter battle and many are favoring the Democrats to hold the Senate.
  • California lawmakers have passed a major children’s online privacy and safety bill, and with comprehensive data privacy legislation stalled in Congress, the Federal Trade Commission offers the most likely route to enacting new federal privacy standards in the near future.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.


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