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Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:15pm
Thu Jun 23, 2016

Illinois Immigration Reform Advocates Vow To Press On After Supreme Court's Split Vote On Executive Orders (VIDEO)

The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 split on the case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration reform and Illinois advocates are expressing their dismay as they plan to press their efforts forward.

The deadlock vote means the president's November 2014 orders to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and install the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) have been blocked for the time being.

The programs would have deferred deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, while also expanding protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and were not covered by the original DACA program. More than 4 million immigrants would have benefited from the orders, 280,000 people living in Illinois.

"This ruling is deeply frustrating and disappointing for all immigrant communities," said Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights CEO Lawrence Benito.  "Instead of being able to move forward with our lives and contributing further to our entire community, immigrants remain vulnerable to the knock on the door that could separate them from their families and from the lives they have made in this country."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:44pm
Mon Jun 6, 2016

Environmentalists, Oil & Gas Industry Sound Off Over New EPA Methane Rules

Progress Illinois rounds up reaction to the federal government's newly finalized methane rules targeting the oil and gas industry.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Mon May 23, 2016

Great Lakes In Peril? Enviros Concerned About Ballast Water Provisions, Settlement In Michigan Nuclear Plant Leak

Environmental groups are reacting to a U.S. House measure that could open the door to new invasive species in the Great Lakes as well as a recent settlement over a 2011 leak at a nuclear power plant located on Lake Michigan's shoreline.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:57pm
Fri Apr 29, 2016

Duckworth, Warren Talk Retirement Security Policy At Chicago Campaign Event

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth at a Chicago campaign event Friday to talk retirement security with seniors and other supporters. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the discussion. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:18pm
Tue Apr 19, 2016

Pending U.S. Trade Deals Could Gut Environmental Policies, Report Argues

A leading environmental group is sounding the alarm over climate threats posed by pending trade agreements, including the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

TPP is a free trade agreement among the United States and 11 other countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The agreement was signed in February and still needs ratification from the U.S. Congress.

In a recent report, the Sierra Club says the TPP and another proposed trade agreement under negotiation between the United States and the European Union, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), "threaten efforts to keep fossil fuels in the ground."

"Like NAFTA [the North American Free Trade Agreement], the TPP and TTIP would give foreign corporations broad rights, including the right to challenge new fossil fuel restrictions that thwart their 'expectations' for a stable business environment," the report explains. "The trade deals would empower the corporations to bypass U.S. courts and take such challenges to tribunals of three private lawyers, unaccountable to any domestic legal system, under a process known as 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS)."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:32pm
Tue Apr 12, 2016

On Equal Pay Day, Dems Slam Republicans Over Federal Inaction On Paycheck Fairness

Tuesday is Equal Pay Day, marking how far into 2016 women must work in order to earn what men made in 2015.

Women today still earn just 79 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. For African-American women and Latinas, the wage gap widens to 60 cents and 55 cents, respectively, according to an analysis by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Equal pay advocates say it's time to end the gender wage gap, which could be closed in part by passage of the long-proposed federal Paycheck Fairness Act. Under the bill, employees could share salary information between co-workers without retaliation, among other provisions.

Some Democrats are using Equal Pay Day to slam Congressional Republicans over their repeated efforts against the legislation. 

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) is among the Democratic cosponsors of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Duckworth, who is running for incumbent Mark Kirk's (R-IL) Senate seat, is seeking to draw a contrast with her opponent on equal pay issues.

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