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Kankakee Co
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:39pm
Tue Apr 22, 2014

Congresswoman Kelly Committed To Renewing Push For Federal Gun Control Legislation

Although gun-control legislation has stalled in Congress, "common-sense gun reform" remains one of U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly's top priorities, the Democratic congresswoman said at a Monday night event in East Hazel Crest to review her first year in the House.

Kelly, a former state representative, was elected last April to fill the 2nd congressional district seat left vacant by disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. after he resigned in 2012. The district covers Chicago’s far Southeast Side and a large swath of the southern suburbs.

While in Congress, Kelly introduced gun-control legislation meant to place stricter safety standards on guns and keep "violent, dangerous people" from being able to purchase firearms. But supporters of gun curbs simply cannot get gun-control legislation to the House floor for a vote, Kelly said. 

"There is gun legislation dealing with background checks, and there is about 180 to 190 bipartisan signatures, Democrats and Republicans," the congresswoman said. "But we cannot get it called to the floor, so what I tell people when people come and see me about the gun issue [is], 'I'm your choir.' So we need to call other people across the United States and call Speaker [John] Boehner [to] at least [bring] the bill to committee and to the floor and let it be voted up or down." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:18pm
Thu Jan 30, 2014

New Report Provides Sobering Look At Illinois Poverty Trends Over 50 Years

A new report from the Social IMPACT Research Center at the Heartland Alliance finds that the poverty rate in Illinois, at about 15 percent in 2012, is the same as it was in 1960.

The report, which comes on the heels of the War on Poverty's 50th anniversary, also shows that 388,000 Illinoisans still live in poverty despite having someone in their household who works full-time.  

“Today, the jobs that are available at the low-skilled end of the economy simply don’t provide wages and benefits that create economic security,” Social IMPACT Research Center Director Amy Terpstra said in a statement. “What this means is that, in Illinois, you can work full time and still be living in poverty.”

Since 1960, the number of working age Illinois men and women in poverty has increased, poverty rates have barely changed for African Americans and Latinos, and women are still more likely to be poor than men, the report showed.