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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:07pm
Fri Jul 24, 2015

Report: Higher Ed Investments Key To Closing Racial Unemployment Gap In Illinois

Young Illinois adults of color are facing significant disparities in employment, wages and educational attainment, a new report shows.

The Millennial research and advocacy group Young Invincibles put out the report, arguing that greater investments in higher education are key to closing the gaps.

"Creating more opportunities for people of color to attain higher education is a critical step towards addressing the striking disparities in employment and wages in Illinois and nationwide," Eve Rips, Midwest director of Young Invincibles, said in a statement. "With Illinois students paying some of highest tuition in the country, proposed cuts to higher education could further fuel racial disparities in education attainment."

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
8:43pm
Fri Jun 26, 2015

Rauner's Budget Veto Draws Ire Of Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Service Providers

Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a $36.3 billion budget bill may force the state into a government shutdown, which doesn't sit well with State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester), chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC).

"We cannot stand back and allow this to happen," said Lightford, who fought back tears, after learning of the veto. "I don't give a damn how much money he has. He can sit up in his mansion and not be affected, but all of us will feel the pinch. I want to fight. I need all of you all to fight with us. We have to fight this governor."

"Don't confuse my tears as a sign of weakness. I am mad as hell," Lightford added. She made the statements at an ILBC rally against spending cuts proposed under Rauner's Turnaround Agenda. The governor's plan calls for a set of reforms on workers compensation, term limits and a property tax freeze, among other things.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
9:58pm
Thu Jun 25, 2015

U.S. Homeownership Rate Keeps Falling, While Tally Of Cost-Burdened Renters Hits Record High

The national homeownership rate continued its downward trend in 2014 as the share of U.S. renter households reached its highest level in 20 years, according to the annual State of the Nation's Housing report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. A record number of U.S. renters are also facing housing cost burdens, the new research showed.

For the 10th straight year, the national homeownership rate dropped in 2014, falling to 64.5 percent. The rate ticked down to an even lower 63.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

The number of U.S. owner-occupied households fell for the eighth consecutive year in 2014, dropping by 233,000.

"Perhaps the most telling indicator of the state of the nation's housing is the drop in the homeownership rate to just 64.5 percent last year," the Joint Center for Housing Studies's Managing Director Chris Herbert said in a statement. "This erases nearly all of the increase from the previous two decades. In fact, the number of homeowners fell for the eighth straight year, and the trend does not appear to be abating."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:16pm
Fri Jun 12, 2015

Report: Low Wages In Full-Service Restaurant Industry Cost Taxpayers $9.4 Billion Annually

Many full-service restaurant industry workers are forced to seek public aid to supplement their low wages and lack of benefits, and that leaves U.S. taxpayers with a $9.4 billion tab each year.

That's according to a recent report by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC). The restaurant worker advocacy group found that nearly half of the more than 4 million full-service restaurant workers live in households enrolled in at least one public assistance program.

Of that $9.4 billion, $1.4 billion represents the public cost of low-end pay and benefits provided at the country's five largest full-service restaurant companies, which collectively earned $704 million in profits and paid their chief executives $27 million in the last year alone, according to ROC.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:58pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Illinois Renters Must Earn $18.78 Hourly To Afford A Two-Bedroom Apartment, Report Finds

The gap between wages and rents continues to widen in Illinois and nationally, shows a new report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

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