PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday October 30th, 2015, 4:55pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (October 26, 2015 - October 30, 2015).

Chicago and Cook County News:

Sixty-six Chicago activists calling for policing reforms were arrested Saturday outside the International Association of Chiefs of Police's annual conference being held this year at McCormick Place.

As the state budget impasse nears its fifth month in Illinois, the city of Chicago plus its transit agency and school district are looking to Springfield for over $800 million in assistance for their budgets.

Hundreds of Chicagoans protested Monday afternoon against charter school expansion proposed for the Southwest Side. They marched from Thomas Kelly High School to the ward office of local Ald. Ed Burke, who supports a proposal for a new Noble Network of Charter Schools campus in Brighton Park.

One day before Wednesday's budget vote in the Chicago City Council, a Northwest Side community group released new research showing that Chicago renters could take a significant hit under Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed property tax increase.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations was reportedly investigating a deal signed under Barbara Byrd-Bennett during her tenure at the Detroit Public Schools district long before she came to Chicago to run the city's public school system.

The village of Lyons approved a new gun measure Tuesday in an effort to prevent straw purchases.

Hundred of students at Chicago's Kelly High School on the city's Brighton Park neighborhood walked out of school Wednesday afternoon in protest of charter school expansion in the city.

Progress Illinois rounded up the action at Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, during which aldermen approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget -- including a $588 million property tax hike -- and zoning for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The Chicago Board of Education approved two new charter schools Wednesday out of the 13 proposals they considered.

Democracy for America endorsed Kim Foxx in the race for Cook County State's Attorney, the national progressive organization announced Thursday.

The University of Chicago's non-tenure track instructors are pushing to unionize.

State News:

The state's high court is slated to hear oral arguments on the city of Chicago's pension reform appeal on November 17.

Six Illinois universities saw their credit ratings dropped by Moody's Investors Services Monday due to the ongoing budget impasse.

Gov. Bruce Rauner doubled down on his push to get union busting policies passed as a condition to ending the ongoing budget stalemate in Illinois.

Exelon Corp. officials have opted against making a decision on closing a nuclear plant in Clinton, Illinois.

Contract talks were scheduled to resume Thursday afternoon between East St. Louis school district officials and teachers.

United Auto Workers in Normal, Illinois ratified a contract to continue working at a Mitsubishi plant that will shutter in May.

Former Bloomington mayor Walt Bittner passed away Wednesday at the age of 97.

With the use of risky car title loans on the rise in Illinois, consumer advocates are calling for greater state and federal protections against "abusive auto title lending" that can trap borrowers in long-lasting debt cycles.

Illinois is doing better than most states when it comes to children's health-insurance coverage. But Cook County still needs some work.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office says the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is looking into potential ways to comply with the federal Clean Power Plan, which is set to slash carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants.

East St. Louis school district officials and teachers reached a tentative contract agreement early Friday morning. 

National News:

U.S. House Democrats are set to hold a day of action Tuesday at the nation's Capitol to promote proposed policies important to working families.

A two-year bipartisan budget deal backed by congressional leaders and the White House is expected to go up for a vote in the GOP-led House on Wednesday.

At a meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police this week, background checks on gun sales were an agreed upon initiative that the law enforcement officers in the nation say are a necessity.

By a 313-118 vote, the U.S. House advanced a bipartisan measure Tuesday to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank of the United States, which expired on July 1.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to breaking bank reporting requirements in connection with an alleged hush money scheme.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI,1) was nominated by Republican House members as the chamber's next speaker on Wednesday. Ryan was the elected as the nation's 54th House speaker Thursday.

In a new report, education and economic experts caution against using international test comparisons to judge and determine U.S. education policy.

Chanting, "Patients, not profits," a few hundred single-payer health care advocates took aim at the health insurance industry late Friday afternoon with a rally outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower in downtown Chicago.

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