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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:26pm
Wed Feb 5, 2014

Chicago City Council Roundup: Aldermen OK $1.9 Billion In Borrowing; Ervin Wants A State Rep. To Resign

Progress Illinois provides a recap of Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:10pm
Mon Jan 13, 2014

Quinn Announces Emergency Rules For Petcoke Management In Illinois

    Gov. Pat Quinn announced the state’s plans to push for emergency administrative rules for the management of petroleum coke, or petcoke, a thick, powdery byproduct of oil refining that can pollute the air and water.

“We want to make sure that every neighborhood in the state of Illinois is protected from the hazard of petroleum coke,” Quinn said at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:43pm
Fri Jan 10, 2014

A Look At the Proposal To Ban Plastic Foam Food Containers In Chicago (UPDATED)

   Chicago Alds. George Cardenas (12th) and Ed Burke (14th) want to ban the use of Styrofoam and other polystyrene food service products in the city. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:53pm
Wed Nov 20, 2013

Ald. Burns Introduces Chicago Corporate Tax Disclosure Ordinance

Ald. Will Burns (4th) wants all publicly-traded corporations seeking subsidies or contracts from the city of Chicago to publicly disclose the amount they pay in Illinois income taxes as well as any tax breaks they receive. 

Burns introduced the Chicago Corporate Responsibility and Tax Disclosure Act at Wednesday's city council meeting. Under the proposed measure, big corporations asking for city actions, subsidies and contracts would also have to report net and taxable income.

Alds. Pat Dowell (3rd), Leslie Hairston (5th), Roderick Sawyer (6th), Natashia Holmes (7th), Toni Foulkes (15th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Deb Mell (33rd), Michele Smith (43rd), James Cappleman (46th), Ameya Pawar (47th), Harry Osterman (48th) and Joe Moore (49th) have signed on as co-sponsors to the measure thus far. Leaders with the Fair Economy Illinois coalition are also in support of the proposed ordinance, which has been sent to the Finance Committee.

"We are increasingly turning into a society, which in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. takes necessities away from the many and gives luxuries to the few," Fair Economy Illinois leader Rev. Marlan Branch of St. James AME Church said before Wednesday's council meeting. "The city of Chicago spends millions of dollars each year subsidizing and contracting with big corporations. Those corporations have a particular responsibility to support the common good, which should include publicly disclosing the corporate income tax they pay to the state of Illinois."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:38pm
Wed Oct 30, 2013

Chicagoans Demand Aldermen Release Crucial Legislation From Rules Committee (VIDEO)

Chicagoans took to City Hall Tuesday afternoon to demand that aldermen resurrect critical ordinances from the Rules Committee, also known to some as the place "where good legislation goes to die."

About 50 organizers with the Grassroots Collaborative, a coalition of labor and community groups, staged a "burial protest" highlighting the various measures stalled in the rules committee, putting a specific focus on a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Surplus Ordinance Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) introduced back in July.

The ordinance calls for any TIF surplus funds to be sent back to government agencies, including the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) district, which would help ease recent school budget cuts. The measured garnered support from 32 out of the  council's 50 aldermen, but it's been pending in the Rules Committee since it was introduced.

TIF funds come from a portion of collected property tax dollars from those living inside a TIF district. TIF dollars are typically used for economic development projects in the city. The activists, however, said the "buried" TIF Surplus Ordinance would release millions of additional dollars that could be used for the struggling public schools system as well as expanded community services, including the reopening of six city mental health clinics that closed last year.

"But instead of being debated and voted on, this ordinance is stuck in [the] Rules Committee," stressed Grassroots Collaborative Executive Director Amisha Patel. "There it's buried along with many other good ordinances."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:40pm
Wed Jul 24, 2013

Aldermen Introduce TIF Surplus Ordinance, Wrigley Revamp Gets The OK At Bustling Council Meeting

Progress Illinois recaps some of the highlights from Wednesday's city council meeting.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
3:50pm
Thu Jul 18, 2013

Outraged Parents Seek Explanation For CPS Budget Cuts (VIDEO)

Officials from the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) had few answers Wednesday night for community residents outraged over devastating district-wide budget cuts that threaten to deprive students of much-needed teachers and resources next year. Progress Illinois was there for the heated meeting.

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