Illinois Venture Capital Association Illinois Legislative Report
David Stricklin / Stricklin & Associates
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
CASH BAIL REFORM BEGINS
Monday marked the first day of landmark changes to the cash bail system in Illinois which ranks among the most controversial public policy debates in recent memory. Named the “SAFE-T” act, Illinois becomes the first state in the nation to eliminate cash bail.
Advocates for reform argued the cash-bail system penalized defendants who could not afford the bail needed for release from custody while defendants with resources could make the bail even if charged with similar offenses. Opponents have warned that despite safeguards in the law there will be defendants released who should be held and will go on to commit additional crimes. Change of this magnitude will obviously take time for the courts to manage and for the merits to be proven, or not.
The articles below detail specific cases heard in the courts on the first days under the new system:
STATE LANDS BATTERY MAKER
Slow but steady wins the race? A deal apparently two years in the making was announced recently which furthers Illinois’ interest in being a hub of electric vehicle activity. The announced facility is said to employ 2,700 people when fully operational.
“This is a big win for Gov. Pritzker and Illinois, which has made major strides in revamping the package of incentives to make us competitive with neighboring states,” Illinois Manufacturers’ Association President Mark Denzler said in an email. “The IMA worked with the governor and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass these changes in the General Assembly, and it’s great to see today’s announcement of significant new jobs and capital investment that are a direct result of these new laws.”
Midwest states are furiously competing to claim EV superiority. Crain’s reports Illinois is making progress while has room to go, ranking behind Michigan, Ohio and Indiana:
GOVERNOR OFFICE TRANSITION
One of the drivers of the state’s efforts to attract EV business and economic development issues generally is leaving state government to run the 2024 Democratic National Convention which is taking place in Chicago. First Assistant Deputy Governor Christy George earned universal praise for her work on behalf of Governor Pritzker with business leaders and on economic development issues.
Readers of this column are keenly aware of the liabilities of the state’s pension systems and efforts to bring into line those unfunded liabilities. A house committee has been meeting this summer to hash out potential solutions, while favorable economic conditions have helped the state infuse additional hundreds of millions into the system above the required minimum.
Attached is a comprehensive overview of the problem and possible solutions, with an eye toward further pension legislation being considered in the 2024 legislative session:
CITY OF CHICAGO TREASURER UPDATE
“One example was the Treasurer’s attempts to force BMO Harris, one of the city’s depository institutions and securities brokers, to give a mortgage to a third party on a building in which her husband maintains his aldermanic office,” the letter stated. “To use the Treasurer’s words, the instruction was to ‘leverage’ the city’s banking relationship (meaning the fact that the city maintains hundreds of millions of dollars in deposits) to get a mortgage on the building.”