Chicago is once again in the national spotlight. This time, the city is making headlines over a protest that led to the cancellation of Donald Trump's campaign rally at the UIC Pavilion. Progress Illinois analyzes the day's developments and its possible long-term implications.
With the state budget impasse now in its ninth month, and as social service providers and higher education institutions struggle to stay afloat financially as a result, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) drew attention Friday to what he says is the "single largest driver of the financial stress" facing Illinois.
Foster spoke at a discussion in Aurora with state lawmakers and social service providers impacted by the budget stalemate, and raised awareness about the "problem" of Illinois being a payer state.
Illinois is considered to be a "payer" or "donor" state because residents pay more in federal taxes than the state receives in the form of federal funds. Consequentially, approximately $40 billion leaves Illinois annually through the federal government, according to Foster, who is proposing legislation in Congress to address the payer state issue. As of 2013, Illinoisans paid about $1,400 per person more in federal taxes and got back about $1,770 less in federal spending than the national average.
Activists and city residents packed the Chicago Temple Building on Wednesday evening to push back against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's fiscal policies, which have led to budget cuts and an ongoing state budget impasse.
Tracey Abman, associate director of AFSCME Council 31, kicked off the night with a spirited attack on Rauner's administration, particularly targeting his decisions on how to allocate state funds.
Abman said the state is "broke on purpose," adding that Rauner is the reason why the state is broken. The audience erupted into a chorus of boo's at the mention of the governor's name.
Chicago Public Schools principals will have to spend less as the cash-strapped district grapples with its pressing financial issues, including an upcoming $688 million pension payment, district officials said Wednesday.
A former Chicago transit worker who claims he was "unjustly" terminated last month saw support Wednesday morning from some Chicago Teachers Union members and community groups, who want the fired bus driver rehired.
The group, including representatives from the Black Youth Project 100, spoke out before the Chicago Transit Board meeting.
Erek Slater, who previously worked as a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus driver and claims to be a "union steward" and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 241 executive board member, said he was "unjustly" fired last month.
According to the group, Slater was fired after initiating, as a union steward, "an inquiry into a possible violation of the contract" by the CTA "on the request of his coworker."