The week that was in Illinois politics and government (September 29 -October 5).
Chicago And Cook County News
The Chicago Teachers Union announced Wednesday that its members approved a three-year contract with the Chicago Public Schools.
PI reported Thursday that the challenge is now paying for the deal, which has so far played out as a battle between the union and district on school closings.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Tuesday that his proposed 2013 budget will provide $4 million more to after-school and summer programs for at-risk teenagers. The mayor has yet to roll out his complete budget.
After much fanfare about the rise in the citywide homicide rate earlier this year, Chicago Police Department statistics indicate that homicide numbers have leveled off over the last couple of months.
Teachers in the Chicago south suburb of Evergreen Park went on strike Monday night, a strike that has continued throughout the week.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel filed a notice of appeal late last Friday on a decision Circuit Court Judge Thomas More Donnelly made a day before to dismiss the October 2011 arrests of 91 Occupy Chicago protesters.
A group of student activists and their advocates marched from Crane High School to a nearby Cook County Juvenile Detention Center on Saturday to protest student suspensions and pushouts.
We reported Friday that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services postponed 375 layoffs that the agency was scheduled to make this week, citing a delay in the administrative process. But cutbacks at DCFS are well under way, with the agency privatizing their main program to prevent children from entering into foster care.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, announced Tuesday that the Obama administration will purchase the unused Thomson prison from the state of Illinois for $165 million. PI reported on how Durbin and the White House went around the objections of U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Virginia).
Several Illinois environmental groups have filed a complaint against Midwest Generation for allegedly violating solid waste and water pollution regulations at the company's four remaining Illinois coal plants.
Caterpillar announced Tuesday that it plans to shut down part of its truck-making facility in Decatur during the last five weeks of the calendar year.
On Monday, striking WalMart subcontractors effectively blockaded a major WalMart supply warehouse in the Will County town of Elwood.
On Friday, a group of like-minded labor advocates marched in front of a downtown Chicago Walmart store, delivering a petition in support of the striking warehouse workers.
We reported Wednesday on the high profile Congressional race between U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-McHenry) and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth, looking at how the contest fits into the Democratic Party’s attempt to take control of the upper chamber.
And we looked Monday at a pep talk in support of Democratic Congressional candidate Brad Schneider, where U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) argued that the union vote may make or break whether Democrats take the House.
The national unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August, with the nation adding 114,000 jobs according to figures released Friday by the Labor Department.
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had their first of three debates Wednesday night at the University of Denver, focusing on fiscal policies such as taxes, the national deficit, Medicare and overall health care costs. The stubbornly high, though relatively declining, unemployment rate was only indirectly addressed.
One issue not mentioned at all in the debate was climate change. We reported Tuesday on how climate change has become a peripheral issue in American politics and how leading environmental groups have responded to the situation.
We examined Wednesday that while Romney wants to court Latino voters, he is basically against Obama’s deferred action immigration program intended to let some undocumented immigrants avoid deportation.
Meanwhile, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano made it official that undocumented immigrants who are same sex partners with American citizens will not be deported unless they have a criminal record.
PI looked Tuesday at a new report documenting how Wells Fargo has been a central financier in the privatization of prisons.
Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) told reporters on Wednesday that U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson (D-Chicago) will stay on the ballot in his bid for re-election in the 2nd Illinois congressional district. However, there is no guarantee that Jackson will appear publicly prior to the election on November 6.