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Dick Durbin

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:23pm
Fri Sep 13, 2013

Report: Bolstering Earned Income Tax Credit For Childless Workers Could Reduce Poverty

The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income working families helps to promote work and offset the tax burden households face. But the federal aid program has some glaring problems, according to a recent report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The tax credit reaches few low-income childless workers, and those who are eligible see little relief from the hefty federal tax load they are forced to shoulder.

“This is the group we’re taxing deeper into poverty,” said Dan Lesser, director of economic justice at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

There are two pieces of legislation pending in Congress focused on combating this issue by expanding EITC to more childless workers and boosting the maximum credit from $487 to $1,350.

Samantha Tuttle, director of policy and advocacy at the Heartland Alliance, said increasing the maximum credit would make a “huge difference” in the lives of low-wage, childless workers.

“That’s a huge percentage of income for people experiencing poverty,” she said.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:25pm
Thu Aug 22, 2013

Chicagoans 'Out' General Electric For Dodging Taxes, Demand Sen. Durbin Close Loopholes (VIDEO)

Chicagoans from across the city rallied downtown Thursday afternoon to “out” General Electric as a corporate tax dodger and to call upon U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) to take charge and make corporations pay their fair share.

Chicago is one of 10 cities taking part in the National People's Action campaign this week meant to shine a light on various corporate tax dodgers across the county. According to the protestors, GE received $8.4 billion in federal tax breaks between 2008 and 2010.

“Everyday people are suffering while corporate taxes are at historic lows, even though corporate profits are at an all time high,” said Toby Chow, a leader with IIRON.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
3:38pm
Wed Aug 7, 2013

Protesters Stage 'Die-In' Against Stand Your Ground Laws Outside Of ALEC Conference (VIDEO)

On the first day of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) annual conference in Chicago, nearly 100 activists staged a “die-in” at the meeting's doors to protest the powerful right-wing policy group’s promotion of controversial Stand Your Ground gun laws.

“Stand Your Ground? I call them the ‘Shoot First Laws,’” said Carl Gibson, 26, co-founder of U.S. Uncut and participant in Wednesday’s action. “It’s not really standing your ground, it’s just a shoot first, ask questions later law and it enabled George Zimmerman to get away with murdering a child.”

ALEC is hosting its 40th national conference from August 7 to August 9 at the Palmer House Hilton in downtown Chicago and, upset with the organization’s conservative agenda and impact on legislation, protesters kicked off a series of rallies and protests to be held throughout the week.

On Wednesday, as members of ALEC filtered into the hotel and prepared for the first day of the conference, roughly 80 protesters from a plethora of local grassroots organizations, such as Stand Up! Chicago and Action Now, “died” outside of the hotel’s lobby.

“ALEC is here today to push Stand Your Ground laws all across our nation. Do we want that,” asked Shani Smith, 38, a project organizer with Stand Up! Chicago, who participated in Wednesday's demonstration. “We are here today to stand up to ALEC and let them know that we will no longer allow them to terrorize working families.”

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:31pm
Tue Aug 6, 2013

Attempts To Deport Nine DREAMers Gets Spotlight As Grassroots Immigration Reform Efforts Surge On

Nicho Gonzalez said he is confident his undocumented friend Lulu Martinez, who is without a criminal record, will soon be released from the Arizona immigrant detention center at which she has been held since June.

Her “unwarranted” detention, he said, will send the message to all of America’s undocumented immigrants that “it’s time to stand up and let our voices be heard.”

“We need to talk about deportations,” Gonzalez, 26, said. “We’ve been talking about this immigration reform legislation, but nothing is being done to stop the deportations or bring back the 1.2 million deportees.”
PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:21pm
Tue Aug 6, 2013

A Look At How Climate Change Could Affect The Prairie State

Illinois is on track to experience more scorching summers and frequent extreme weather events like droughts, heat waves, and severe storms in the upcoming years if significant steps to address climate change are not taken soon, climate experts say. Progress Illinois examines what climate change means for different parts of the state. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:19pm
Thu Jul 18, 2013

Local Groups Voice Displeasure With Kirk's Votes On Nominations

Two local groups have voiced their displeasure with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) votes on the nominations of Mel Watt for the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Gina McCarthy for the job of administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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