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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:31pm
Wed Jun 22, 2016

Chicago City Council Passes Paid Sick Leave Ordinance, Regulations On Sharing Services

From paid sick days to regulations on popular sharing services like Airbnb and Uber, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:47pm
Thu Jun 16, 2016

Chicago Workers Cheer Committee Passage Of Paid Sick Time Ordinance

Chicago workers burst into cheers Thursday after a city council committee advanced legislation to make earned paid sick leave a requirement in the Windy City.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:56pm
Fri May 20, 2016

Illinois Has The Nation's Highest African-American Jobless Rate For Second Straight Quarter

New reports show a grim employment situation for African Americans living in Illinois.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:55pm
Mon May 9, 2016

Illinois Republican Lawmaker: Budget Proposal Possibly On The Horizon

State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) says she is hopeful a bipartisan committee of state lawmakers will have a budget proposal ready to present soon.

Bellock is a member of the budget working group, which was reportedly formed by the governor and is meeting daily. She spoke Monday afternoon at a City Club of Chicago discussion on the Illinois budget. Three other state lawmakers were on the City Club of Chicago panel, including state Sens. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) and Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and state Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).

The budget working group, Bellock said, is comprised of "budgeteers from all the different (appropriation) committees." The group is "trying to come up with" a budget proposal and is working on "line item after line item after line item," she explained.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:30pm
Thu Apr 7, 2016

Illinois Advocates Ask Business Leaders To Push For A 'Responsible' Budget (UPDATED)

Illinois advocates for seniors and people with disabilities are calling on local business owners to speak out against the long-running state budget impasse and the "dangerous" spending cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Representatives from the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans and Citizen Action Illinois, a public interest organization and a progressive political coalition, are spearheading the campaign. They are targeting organizations with GOP connections and businesses that, they say, have donated to local Republican state lawmakers.

Advocates protested and passed out leaflets this week in front of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation -- for which Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and other GOP legislators are board members -- and Cassens Transport Co. in Edwardsville. The activists rallied at the Firewater Saloon in Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood Thursday afternoon, and plan to visit a Joliet pizza parlor and the Park Ridge Community Bank next week.

Their campaign comes during the tenth month of the state budget impasse. Rauner's pro-business, anti-union policy agenda is at the center of the stalemate, which has created financial chaos for higher education institutions and a range of social service providers. Home health care service providers, for example, have yet to receive over $235 million in state payments owed to them, according to SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, the union representing home care workers.

The advocates are dropping off letters to Illinois business owners, urging them to ask their state lawmakers to "defend the home health care program and the home health providers our state's senior citizens and people with disabilities depend on, and pass a responsible budget that rejects Governor Rauner's dangerous cuts."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:00pm
Tue Feb 23, 2016

Debate Heats Up Over Proposed Chicago Tobacco Ordinance

Some Chicago aldermen, small business owners and retail lobbyists want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reconsider his tobacco tax proposal, saying the plan would adversely affect local businesses and neighborhoods, including those already impacted by black-market sales of "loosie" cigarettes.

But a coalition of health organizations is firing back, calling on the city council to "reject the tobacco industry's rhetoric and to pass a strong tobacco control ordinance."

Debate rages on over Emanuel's proposal to increase the smoking age in Chicago from 18 to 21 and impose a $6 million tax on non-cigarette tobacco products, with the revenue going in part toward Chicago Public Schools orientation programs. The plan is aimed at preventing "young people from picking up smoking, while investing in their education," according to the administration.

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