PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday September 25th, 2015, 4:58pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (September 21, 2015 - September 25, 2015).

Cook County & Chicago News:

Dyett protesters, who ended their hunger strike over the weekend after 34 days, detailed their next steps in the fight for "educational justice" in the city of Chicago Monday afternoon.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's budget is seeking to hike property taxes in the city by close to $600 million over the next four years. Emanuel's budget plan also looks to increase the number of police officers on the streets and in high-crime areas. Progress Illinois broke down Emanuel's 2016 budget address and rounded up reaction to his fiscal proposals, including the massive property tax hike meant to cover police and fire pensions and school construction costs.

At a time when minority students comprise over half of the nation's public school students, a new study shows that minority teachers are sorely underrepresented in public elementary and secondary schools in Chicago and several other major U.S. cities.

The Oak Park Village Board voted down a proposal Tuesday that would have imposed a 6 percent tax on medical marijuana.

Attorneys for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert are seeking an additional extension to file pre-trial motions in the case involving concealment of the ex-lawmaker's alleged sexual misconduct.

Elgin is looking to make misdemeanor marijuana possession of less than 30 grams an offense punishable by a fine.

A principal has been selected to lead the new arts-focused Dyett High School, the Chicago Public Schools announced Thursday.

The Emanuel administration took a hit in court Thursday over its lawsuit involving the long-term lease for the Park Grill restaurant in Millennium Park.

The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance at its monthly meeting Thursday that will legalize and license food cart vendors in the city who sell cut fruit, tamales and other food items. Ald. Lopez also introduced an ordinance that would save drivers with disabilities more money.

The Prospect Heights Education Association voted down the school district's contract proposal on Thursday.

Most Chicago aldermen want a moratorium placed on the opening of new charter schools in the city and the state this school year.

A soup kitchen on Chicago's North Side says they've seen an uptick in the number of individuals depending on their free meals since the state's budget impasse started nearly three months ago.

State News:

The faculty strike at Rock Valley College in Rockford continued Monday after professors rejected contract language proposed by a federal mediator brought in to assist with negotiations over a new labor agreement. But the faculty strike at Rock Valley College in Rockford ended Tuesday after professors voted to approve language for a new labor contract.

State Rep. Esther Golar (D-Chicago) passed away Monday at the age of 71.

Advocates for low-income working families in need of affordable daycare sounded the alarm Monday over the potential economic impacts of the Rauner administration's recent cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program.

U.S. Sen Dick Durbin (D-IL) says the the activation of the Thomson Correctional Center "remains on track."

The layoffs of over 100 state employees have reportedly been postponed by the Rauner administration.

Will the death penalty be coming back to Illinois? There have been no executions since 2000, when a moratorium was put in place by Gov. George Ryan, and capital punishment was eventually abolished in 2011. And despite one lawmaker's desire to bring capital punishment back to Illinois, experts say it is unlikely to happen.

Mark Curran exited the race for Lake County state's attorney this week.

The Federal Highway Administration abandoned its appeal of a ruling that jeopardizes the future of the controversial Illiana expressway, a proposed 47-mile tollway connecting Illinois' I-55 to Indiana's I-65.

The Illinois Gaming Board voted against a proposal to open video gambling businesses in a Hometown strip mall.

The SEIU Illinois Council has endorsed Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza in the race for Illinois Comptroller.

Homeless youth, service providers and state lawmakers rallied for a fair budget at the Thompson Center on Wednesday.

An Illinois House Committee passed legislation that would authorize $3.8 billion in state spending for human services. The committee also heard a pitch on Chicago's proposed property tax exemption for those owning property that is valued below $250,000.

Leaders from over two dozen Chicago-area social service groups say critical programs for Illinois children and families are being dismantled during the state budget impasse, and it is time for lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to end the nearly three-month-old stalemate before more harm is done.

Former Illinois congressman and 10th congressional district candidate Brad Schneider hosted a roundtable discussion on gun violence prevention with Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy in Mount Prospect on Friday morning.

An Illinois newspaper filed a lawsuit against Gov. Bruce Rauner this week over his administration's refusal to hand over information contained in his appointment calendar.

National News:

Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped out of the 2016 presidential race Monday afternoon, calling it a "difficult decision."

If current conditions prevail, women won't be paid as much as men until the year 2059, according to a report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

School meal programs are critical in Illinois, where one in five children frequently don't know when or where they'll get their next meal. The Child Nutrition Act helps fund many of these programs and is facing a September 30 deadline for reauthorization by Congress.

It's an opportunity of a lifetime for Chicago fast-food worker Adriana Alvarez, who was in Washington D.C. Wednesday to welcome Pope Francis to the United States.

Pope Francis was at the nation's Capitol Thursday morning to deliver a historic address to a joint session of Congress, covering topics including climate change, the Syrian refugee crisis and immigration.

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH,8) abruptly announced Friday that he will step down from Congress at the end of October. 

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