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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:56pm
Mon Nov 10, 2014

Should The State Legislature Boost Exelon's 'Economically Stressed' Nuclear Plants?

Chicago-based nuclear giant Exelon Corp. insists several of its Illinois power plants are in dire financial straits, and the company appears poised to request a legislative fix from state lawmakers next year to avoid closing facilities. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:20pm
Thu Jul 10, 2014

Report: Give Tipped Workers The Regular Minimum Wage

Millions of tipped workers in the United States who face high poverty rates and other challenges would fare better if they earned the same government-mandated hourly minimum wage as non-tipped employees, according to a new Economic Policy Institute report. Progress Illinois takes a look at the report's findings and recommendations.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:18am
Tue May 13, 2014

Illinois Bill Looks To Ban Criminal History Questions From Private Employer Job Applications

Illinois could soon become the fifth U.S. state to "ban the box" that inquires about criminal history on initial applications for most private sector jobs.

The state House recently voted 63-53 to approve the "Job Opportunities for Qualified Applicants Act," which would require private employers or employment agencies in Illinois with 15 or more employees to evaluate an applicant's skills and qualifications before asking about criminal history. Under the measure, sponsored by State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), employers would be allowed to conduct background checks and request conviction information from applicants, but not until later in the interviewing process. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:04pm
Fri Feb 7, 2014

State Senate Committee Calls For Education Funding Reforms

Most state public education dollars should be distributed under a single funding formula based on the needs of school districts, a state Senate advisory committee argued in a report recently submitted to the governor and the Illinois General Assembly.

Created last July, the Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee was tasked with recommending ways to improve the current public education funding system in Illinois, which has remained unchanged since 1997.  

Following months of discussion on the issue, the bipartisan committee, chaired by State Sens. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), recommended in the report that 96 percent of state education dollars should be combined under one school funding formula, with the exception of funds for early childhood education, capital projects and high-cost special education.

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