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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:58pm
Wed Apr 2, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Emanuel Defends Pension Plan, Aldermen Call Mental Health Service Hearings

Progress Illinois provides some highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:41pm
Mon Feb 24, 2014

Chicago-Area Residents Urge State Lawmakers To Address Social Service 'Crisis' In Illinois

The health and human services system in Illinois is in "crisis," according to Chicago-area residents who pressed state lawmakers at a public forum Friday night to address problems facing social safety net programs.

At the forum held at St. Ita's Church in Chicago's Edgewater neighborhood, residents provided personal testimony on a number of issues, including understaffed Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices and inadequate wages paid to frontline service workers, to name a few.

A coalition of labor and community groups hosted the event, including Alliance for the Community Services, AFSCME Local 2858, IMPRUVE, Northside Action For Justice and SEIU* Local 73.

The coalition specifically wants a wage bump for direct service professionals, more assigned caseworkers in DHS offices and the restoration of Medicaid prescription drug and dental benefits.

State lawmakers in attendance, including Chicago Democrats State Sen. Heather Steans and State Reps. Kelly Cassidy and Greg Harris, all pledged to help bring change and increased funding to Illinois' health and human services system. But the first order of business, the elected officials said, is addressing the state's revenue dilemma.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:01pm
Tue Feb 18, 2014

UIC Faculty Kick Off Two-Day Strike For 'Fair, Equitable' Contract

Members of the faculty union at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) hit the picket lines Tuesday as part of a two-day strike for a "fair and equitable" contract. Progress Illinois was there for the union's morning rally. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:10pm
Mon Feb 17, 2014

Chicago Unions Form Pension Coalition, Vow To Defend City Workers' Retirement Security

A number of public sector workers and retirees in Chicago have officially joined a unified front to protect their retirement security from being diminished as part of citywide pension reform. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the new We Are One Chicago coalition.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:33pm
Tue Dec 10, 2013

U.S. Reps. Davis, Roskam Discuss The Future Of Medicare (VIDEO)

As the baby boomers are rapidly aging out of the workforce, the nation’s Medicare program is not financially secure enough to handle the increase in health care beneficiaries, according to a group of panelists who discussed reform proposals for the social safety net Monday night.

“The issue with Medicare is, we need to find more resources and we need to find better ways of delivering care,” said Cheryl Matheis, national senior policy strategist for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). “We need to kind of hit a balance, but nobody has agreed on what the actual balance should be in order to make [the program] sound for the long term.”

Attempting to address what challenges the Medicare program faces and potential solutions for those challenges, Matheis was joined for the panel discussion by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) and Danny K. Davis (D, IL-7), and Richard Baehr, chief political correspondent of the daily conservative online magazine, American Thinker. The Union League Club of Chicago, at which the panel was held, and WLS 890 AM, a broadcast radio station in Chicago, sponsored the event.

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