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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:47pm
Mon Jul 18, 2016

Report: Legislative Advances, Setbacks For Progressives During 2016 Statehouse Sessions

A new report from the progressive State Innovation Exchange details some of the best and worst policies from this year's state legislative sessions.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:12pm
Tue May 17, 2016

Nabisco Workers To Protest Chicago Layoffs, Offshoring At Mondelez's Shareholders Meeting

Current and former Chicago Nabisco bakery workers and their supporters are set to protest Wednesday morning at Mondelez International's annual shareholders meeting in Lincolnshire. The workers are targeting the company over its decision to lay off 600 Chicago Nabisco bakery employees as it moves some production work to Mexico. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
11:21pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Where's The Beef? MSNBC's Chris Matthews Looks For The Meat Of Clinton's Presidential Campaign

As the Democratic and GOP presidential candidates gear up for Tuesday's potentially table-turning Wisconsin primary elections, MSNBC's Chris Matthews closed out his Monday night Hardball show evaluating the platforms of a few White House hopefuls.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) "political revolution" campaign is founded in taking down the "rigged economy" and giving the power back to working class Americans saddled with oppressive student loan debt, hefty health care costs and a job market that has been stripped of good-paying positions. The Vermont senator's platform can easily be laid out in one of those elevator speeches everyone is advised to have on hand should they come across the need to pitch their business or skill set to a potential client or hiring manger.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's campaign, however, appears to lack that sort of clear and concise messaging, according to Matthews. 

Quick Hit
by Op-Ed
8:09pm
Tue Mar 29, 2016

Op-Ed: Friedrichs Decision Is A Win For Workers, Albeit A Temporary One

The following is from Ross Eisenbrey, vice president of the Economic Policy Institute.

The Supreme Court's 4-4 split decision in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which was issued today, upholds a lower court decision that permits public employee unions to assess fees on non-members who benefit from collective bargaining and union representation. The decision is a victory for working people, whose rights are protected by strong unions even if they themselves are not in a union.

It is also a reminder about the importance of the president's choice of the next Supreme Court justice, since the 4-4 split guarantees that another case attacking union security agreements will find its way to the Court before long.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:46pm
Wed Feb 17, 2016

Rauner Gives Dems An Ultimatum During State Budget Address As Stalemate Continues

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second annual budget address Wednesday, even though the state has yet to enact a spending plan for the fiscal year that started more than seven months ago. Progress Illinois provides highlights from and reaction to the address, during which the governor gave Democrats a budget ultimatum.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:30pm
Wed Jan 27, 2016

Rauner's State Of The State Address Sidesteps Illinois' Blaring Fiscal Problems, Critics Say

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his second State of the State address Wednesday, during the seventh month of the state budget impasse. Progress Illinois provides highlights from Rauner's speech and rounds up reaction to his agenda for the state.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:51pm
Wed Jan 6, 2016

SCOTUS To Hear Oral Arguments Monday In Major Labor Case

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Monday in a high-profile labor case that could significantly affect public employee unions nationwide.

At issue is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a case brought by 10 nonunion public school teachers in California who object to paying "agency" or "fair share" fees to their local union.

The plaintiffs -- represented by the the Center for Individual Rights (CIR), a conservative public interest law firm -- argue that the mandatory fees, which support costs associated with collective bargaining, violate their First Amendment rights.

"Requiring teachers to pay these 'agency fees' assumes that collective bargaining is non-political," reads a posting on CIR's website. "But bargaining with local governments is inherently political. Whether the union is negotiating for specific class sizes or pressing a local government to spend tax dollars on teacher pensions rather than on building parks, the union's negotiating positions embody political choices that are often controversial."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:58pm
Fri Dec 11, 2015

Record Number Of Renters Were Burdened By Housing Costs Last Year

The number of U.S. renters burdened by housing costs hit another high last year as rents increased while earnings stayed flat, a new report by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University shows.

There were 21.3 million cost-burdened renters in 2014, meaning they paid more than 30 percent of their income on housing. That's up from the previous high of 20.8 million cost-burdened renters in 2013.

What's worse, there were 11.4 million severely cost-burdened renters last year who paid more than 50 percent of their income on housing.

In all, 46 percent of U.S. renters were cost-burdened last year, while 26 percent had severe burdens.

"More families are renting and too many of them are struggling as supply fails to meet demand and stagnant incomes fail to keep up with rising rents," said Julia Stasch, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which provided funding for the report. "The affordability of rental housing is a critical national issue that deserves more attention and more action from policymakers."

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