Illinois Insights: An Update from Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies (9/30)

September 30, 2022

PUBLIC HEALTH 

IDPH Reports 493,000 Doses of New Bivalent COVID19 Vaccines Administered in Less than One Month, from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: New COVID Booster Side Effects, Post-COVID Symptoms, by NBC 5 Chicago.

ILLINOIS

Gov. Pritzker gives $1 million to Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign, donates $11 million to Illinois Democrats

Governor Pritzker’s office reported Thursday a $1 million donation to Democratic secretary of state candidate Alexi Giannoulias, despite backing Giannoulias’ opponent in the primary four months ago.

This contribution is just a fraction of the more than $11 million the billionaire governor has recently donated towards Democratic candidates and organizations throughout Illinois.

In addition to Giannoulias’ campaign, Pritzker donated $1 million to incumbent Attorney General Kwame Raoul, $3 million to Democrats for Illinois, and $1.5 million to the Illinois Democratic Party. Democrats running in two contested Illinois Supreme Court races – Elizabeth Rochford and Mary Kay O’Brien – also each received $500,000.

Pritzker also donated an additional $20 million to his own campaign, on top of his previously donated $125 million, in an attempt to extend his current 15-point lead over his GOP challenger State Sen. Darren Bailey.

AROUND THE STATE

Local planning efforts awarded $10 million in IDOT grants: “Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation announced today that more than $10 million has been awarded as 29 local grants for projects and activities to support the planning efforts of long-range transportation projects across the state,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Illinois EPA Announces Notice of Funding Opportunity for Public Light-Duty Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure: “Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) Director John J. Kim Wednesday announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the purchase and installation of new Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) light-duty electric vehicle charging stations at publicly accessible locations,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gov. Pritzker Appoints Nora Daley to Serve as Chair of the Illinois Arts Council: “Governor JB Pritzker announced Nora Daley as the new Chair of the Illinois Arts Council. She replaces interim chair Rhoda Pierce, who will remain on the board and continue to serve as Vice Chair,” from the Office of Gov. JB Pritzker.

Welch slams ‘common place’ political ‘behavior that we would reprimand our children for,’ calls for more political unity: “With about six weeks before Election Day, House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) is calling for politicians to tone down their rhetoric and focus more on having civil and productive political discussions rather than spreading misinformation about policies they disagree with,” by The Daily Line.

Poll: Pritzker holds double-digit lead over Bailey; economy remains top issue for voters: “With early voting starting in some parts of Illinois this week, Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker holds a commanding 15-point lead over GOP challenger, State Sen. Darren Bailey, according to a new WGN-TV/The Hill/Emerson College Polling survey of likely voters,” by WGN.

Illinois State Bar Association releases judicial recommendations for Nov. 8 election: “The Illinois State Bar Association, the state’s largest legal association with about 28,000 members, released its recommendations for Cook County judicial candidates running in the Nov. 8 election,” by Daily Herald.

Cook County proposal would create tax incentives for supermarkets in food deserts:Ordinance 22-5345 would create a new property tax incentive class – 7d – for new grocery stores that open in a food desert or for stores already in food deserts that expand or renovate their spaces. The new classification would provide for a reduced property tax assessment rate of 10 percent of the actual market value for a 10-year period, though the agreement would be renewable for one subsequent 10-year term,” by The Daily Line.

CHICAGO 

Mayor Lightfoot eliminates pre-election property tax increase

Mayor Lightfoot announced Thursday she no longer plans to ask the City Council to approve a $42.7 million property tax increase, as she prepares to kick off her 2023 budget push early next week.

Lightfoot had previously announced plans for a 2.5% raise – half of what an automatic escalator would have allowed – as part of her 2023 budget plan, but decided otherwise after mayoral allies urged her to cancel the tax hike and avoid a likely budget defeat.

According to Lightfoot, the City’s “strong revenue performance throughout the course of 2022” and revenues that “exceed our estimates” by $200 million for FY 2023 have allowed the City to “forgo, for one year,” the increase in Chicago’s property tax levy.

The “good news for taxpayers” will likely prove beneficial for Lightfoot, making it easier to pass the overall budget and sparing her from having to defend the property tax increase during her re-election campaign.

MORE FROM CITY HALL

City’s top watchdog finds ‘shortcomings’ in law department, CPD data collection on litigation: “Chicago’s Inspector General found ‘shortcomings’ in the city’s data collection on legal claims against the Chicago Police Department and its employees that resulted in more than $250 million in payments from 2017 through 2020,” by The Daily Line.

Committee approves tax incentives for Pullman zinc company, delays vote on incentive for scaffolding business in North Lawndale: “Committee members unanimously approved a proposal (O2022-3003) for a Class 6(b) tax incentive for Imperial Zinc Corporation for their property at 1031 E. 103rd Street in Pullman in the 9th Ward. Separately during Thursday’s meeting, aldermen delayed a vote on a proposal (O2022-3006) for a Class 6(b) tax incentive for United Scaffolding, Inc. for the property at 1327 S. Kilbourn Ave. in North Lawndale in the 24th Ward,” by The Daily Line.

Mayor Lightfoot Issues Request for Proposals to Encourage Urban Agriculture in the City: “Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the Food Equity: Community Growers Program. The program is a $2 million investment in urban agriculture that seeks to increase food equity in communities with a history of disinvestment by encouraging the development of urban agriculture sites by local growers,” from the Office of Mayor Lightfoot.

FEDERAL

Cozen Currents: The Changing Politics of Crises

  • Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill face differing political calculations on climate change policy but both are experiencing divisions in their parties and shifting public opinions.
  • President Biden’s recent statement that the “pandemic is over” was far more than an off-the-cuff statement — it will have serious consequences for Democratic priorities.
  • In an era of acronyms like corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental and social governance (ESG), customers, employees, investors, and some voters expect corporations to play a part in tackling the crises of the moment. But speaking and acting out carries its own trade-offs for CEOs in a more fractured and politicized environment.

Read the full Cozen Currents article here.

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