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Illinois House

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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 Aricka Flowers
7:57pm
Tue Apr 29, 2014

Illinois Senate Adjourns Leaving Fair Tax Act Untouched, Kills Term Limit Amendment

The Illinois Senate has adjourned for the day, leaving the Fair Tax Act untouched. Meanwhile, the GOP-backed amendment to impose term limits on state lawmakers died in the chamber Tuesday.

Despite a large rally by Illinoisans calling for a chance to vote on the Fair Tax Act and attempts by sponsor State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) to drum up support in the House, the amendment was not called up for a vote in the Senate. The amendment, which would have installed a progressive income tax in the state, had to pass through the Senate today in order to even potentially meet the deadline to make it onto the November ballot.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Fri Apr 25, 2014

Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Coalition To Push For $15 Minimum Wage

While legislation to lift the state's minimum wage has been pending in the legislature for some time now, Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he and his fellow Progressive Reform Coalition council members are working to drum up support for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

At a minimum wage forum Thursday night hosted by Action Now’s “Faith in Action” coalition in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Sawyer said the council's progressive caucus is looking to put forward a $15 minimum wage ordinance, though the details are still in the works. 

The first step, Sawyer said, is to get more aldermen and residents involved in the discussion.

"I think (raising the minimum wage is) a basic level of respect to your constituents that are working out here hard," he told Progress Illinois. "I was at one function where a young lady worked 10 years at McDonald's and she talked about how she can't even afford the food to eat where she works. So it's frustrating, and we need to get these wages to a level where they are respectable to the citizens."

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:05pm
Tue Apr 15, 2014

On Tax Day, Activists Urge Illinoisans To Support A Graduated Income Tax (VIDEO)

Considering taxes are on the minds of many today, activists gathered outside of a downtown Chicago post office to campaign for a graduated income tax rate in Illinois.

“This flat tax that people in this state are burdened with right now is totally unfair and makes the poor and middle class pay more in taxes than people who can really afford it,” said Bob Gallie, a volunteer for A Better Illinois.

Gallie was one of a handful of activists with the statewide coalition who passed out literature in Federal Plaza, 230 S. Dearborn St., Tuesday afternoon, urging people to support a “fair” tax, which would implement higher tax rates for those with higher income levels, and lower rates for people who bring in less income.

With the use of the group's Illinois Fair Tax Calculator, activists were able to show people passing through the plaza that they could likely save money on their taxes if the state had a progressive tax rate.

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