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PI Original
by Matthew Blake
6:01pm
Fri May 11

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois politics and government (May 7-11).

Quick Hit
by Brandon Campbell
4:12pm
Fri May 11

New Report: U.S. Fails to Protect New, Working Parents

With Mother’s Day approaching, a new report released this week shows the U.S. is failing to do all it can to help the nation’s newest working mothers and fathers.

The report, Expecting Better: A State-by-State Analysis of Laws That Help New Parents, points out that the U.S. is one of about four modern countries that does not provide federally-mandated maternity leave for new mothers. In contrast, 178 countries provide moms with newborns some type of employment protection, and 54 extend those laws to fathers as well.

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Quick Hit
by Matthew Blake
3:25pm
Fri May 11

Tenaska Compromise Doesn’t Win Over Skeptics

The Nebraska-based energy company Tenaska, Inc. negotiated a deal with state lawmakers this week to run a proposed electricity plant in Taylorville on natural gas instead of coal gasification, and the amended legislation will be called before the House Public Utilities Committee next Thursday.

But environmentalists against the original proposal remain opposed for now – they contend that the new legislation will let Tenaska phase into the more expensive and environmentally risky proposition of converting Illinois’ abundant downstate coal into gas.

“It is kicking the most expensive and dirty parts down the road,” says Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club Illinois chapter. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:19pm
Fri May 11

Dold Using Planned Parenthood Bill To Downplay Voting Record, Say Dems

U.S. Rep. Robert Dold (R-10) went against party lines Wednesday and introduced a bill that would prohibit lawmakers from barring Planned Parenthood -- and other clinics that perform abortions -- from receiving federal Title X dollars that go toward family planning and contraceptive services.

The first-term Republican’s bill, H.R. 5650, or the Protecting Women’s Access to Health Care Act, gained approval from Planned Parenthood, but some of Dold’s critics, including his Democrat opponent in November’s general election, Brad Schneider, aren’t convinced he’s a true advocate for women’s reproductive freedom.
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PI Original
by Matthew Blake
4:47pm
Thu May 10

Occupy Chicago Outlines NATO Protests (VIDEO)

Occupy Chicago says thousands of protesters will go to Chicago next week before the city hosts the NATO summit, May 20 and 21. While Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel views the summit as raising Chicago’s profile, Occupy thinks the event will call attention to their concerns and invigorate the Occupy Wall Street movement that started last fall.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
3:58pm
Thu May 10

Obama Endorses Gay Marriage; Romney Apologizes For Past Bullying, Kind Of

President Barack Obama became the first U.S. President to formerly endorse gay marriage in an interview with Robin Roberts on "Good Morning America." 

Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is under fire for attacking a gay student with a group of classmates during his senior year in high school. Romney has apologized for his "hijinks and pranks" in high school, but some gay rights advocates say that's not good enough.

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