Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (9/16)

September 16, 2022


Gov. J.B. Pritzker ends COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated school workers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Thursday lifted the state’s COVID-19 testing requirement for unvaccinated workers in Illinois schools and day care centers as part of his continued plan “to carefully unwind the state’s COVID-19 executive orders.”

“Vaccination continues to be the most effective tool we have against COVID-19, and I’m proud that millions of Illinoisans have taken advantage of these life-saving vaccines – they have given us the ability to adjust these requirements,” said Governor Pritzker.

The change is effective today, September 16, and is in line with federal guidelines. School districts can continue to set their own requirements; a Chicago Public Schools spokesperson said the district intends to continue to require weekly testing for unvaccinated staff members.


Pritzker administration to distribute $371 million in second round of COVID-19 relief funds 

Governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced Wednesday that more than 1,200 small cities, towns, and villages across Illinois will receive $371 million as part of the second round of funding through the federal American Rescue Plan Act.

The funding is specifically designated for Non-Entitlement Units (NEUs): cities, towns, and villages that did not receive direct aid from the federal government. Illinois NEUs are receiving a total of $742 million between the first and second funding allocations.

The full list of recipients and funding amounts can be found here.


Changes to the SAFE-T Act? Republicans want to see them and Democrats are working on some: “At a news conference Wednesday, Gov. JB Pritzker said there could be changes to the SAFE-T Act but did not elaborate. Attention on Illinois’ controversial SAFE-T Act exploded in the last week as conservative groups shared infographics around the internet promoting what they think the bill does,” by The Daily Line.

Statewide Payroll Jobs Up, Slight Increase to Statewide Employment Rate in August: “The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced Thursday that the unemployment rate rose +0.1 percentage point to 4.5 percent, while nonfarm payrolls increased by +4,100 in August, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES.”

State of Illinois Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month: “The State of Illinois and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15 by honoring the important contributions of Latino entrepreneurs and business owners, and Illinois’ Latino communities at large.”


Proposal to allow booting of cars citywide gets initial approval

A divided City Council Committee on License and Consumer Protection on Thursday voted 12-6 to advance an ordinance (O2022-1217) that, if approved by the full City Council next week, will allow private companies to boot cars in parking lots citywide.

Currently, vehicle booting is only allowed in wards where the local alderperson chooses to opt in – a practice that exists in 35, or two-thirds, of Chicago’s 50 wards.

Aldermen who oppose the citywide booting argue the expansion isn’t necessary, saying the practice can be unfair and open the door for the city’s largest private booting company, Innovative Parking Solutions, to expand its reach.


Aldermen grill CTA over wide-ranging concerns about service, safety: “Aldermen grilled the agency over wide-ranging concerns about unreliable service, safety, cleanliness and outreach to people living on trains at a public hearing on Wednesday. CTA President Dorval Carter did not attend,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Aldermen approve $9.5M+ in new grant funding, local organizations concerned about federal grant dollars running dry: “A key City Council committee on Wednesday approved more than $9.5 million in new grant allocations, the biggest of which will help fund a Department of Family Support Services’ program that helps aging Chicagoans,” by The Daily Line.

Committee to consider deputy IG for public safety appointment, measure concerning police officers filling civilian roles in CPD: “The City Council Committee on Public Safety will consider the appointment of a new deputy inspector general for public safety and a measure that takes a closer look at sworn police officers filling civilian roles in the police department during its 1 p.m. meeting Friday,” by The Daily Line.

Clobbered in race for Illinois secretary of state, Valencia will seek reelection as city clerk: “After taking July off to catch up on sleep, vacation with her husband and reconnect with her 2-year-old daughter, City Clerk Valencia chose to shake off the ethics scandal centered around her husband’s lobbying activities,” by The Chicago Sun-Times.

17 City Council members to forgo an inflation-tied pay raise of nearly 10%, including indicted Ald. Ed Burke: “With Aldermen Edward Burke, 14th, and Samantha Nugent, 39th, turning down the salary increase, that brings to 17 the number of City Council members passing on the raises that, because they’re automatically tied to inflation, will be 9.6% next year,” by The Chicago Tribune.

Lightfoot likely to appoint new 43rd ward alderman in next few days: “Expect Mayor Lori Lightfoot to announce her appointment to replace retired Ald. Michele Smith as 43rd ward alderman today or Monday, a move sure to upend the campaign for the seat next February,” by Crain’s Chicago Business.

Community Safety Coordination Center Announces Expanded Home and Business Protection Program: “The City’s Community Safety Coordination Center (CSCC) today announced the launch of a new Income-Based Application that allows Chicagoans to obtain outdoor security devices based on income,” 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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