PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday February 12th, 2016, 4:39pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (February 8, 2016 - February 12, 2016).

Chicago and Cook County News:

Wheaton College and political science professor Larycia Hawkins are parting ways under a mutual agreement announced Saturday.

The city of Chicago is expanding access to free, full-day preschool to 1,000 additional low-income students, the mayor's office announced Sunday.

Cook County might have to reduce programs and staff as a result of the state budget impasse, Board President Toni Preckwinkle said Monday.

Eastern Illinois University is set to lay off 198 civil service workers as a direct result of the state budget impasse, the school's president said Monday.

Chicago police officer Robert Rialmo is suing the estate of the 19-year-old he allegedly shot and killed in December.

Jhatayn "Jay" Travis, a community organizer who is challenging incumbent state Rep. Christian Mitchell in the 26th District Democratic primary, took jabs Monday at her opponent during a press conference with members of the Chicago Teachers Union and a few elected officials.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal related to tobacco products failed to advance out of the council's Finance Committee Monday.

Chicago Public Schools officials announced details of school budget cuts on Tuesday.

Chicago aldermen and community groups are pressing for city council action on a resolution in support of directing tax increment financing (TIF) surplus funds to the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools system.

Although a tax increment financing (TIF) surplus resolution has stalled in the Chicago City Council, one alderman says the fight to redirect such funds to the cash-crunched school system continues.

Progress Illinois provided highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting, which covered everything from city council oversight to the "tampon tax" and a decision on a $3.1 million settlement connected to a class-action lawsuit the city is facing over the Chicago Police Department's residency requirement for applicants.

Illinois drivers are yet another group being impacted by the ongoing budget stalemate, which is now in its eighth month.

With next Tuesday's voter registration deadline quickly approaching for the March 15 Illinois primary election, Cook County Clerk David Orr is reaching out to young people about the importance of voting and how they can register.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Police Accountability Task Force held its second of four community forums Thursday night on the city's South Side, where meeting attendees expressed skepticism that the mayor-appointed task force would lead to meaningful police reforms.

The fair housing advocacy group Open Communities says it has reached a settlement with developers in Evanston to make an eight-story apartment building accessible to people with disabilities.

Lincoln Park High School students walked out of their third period classes Friday to rally against budget cuts at Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Public Schools officials say the district has seen a 65 percent drop in out-of-school suspensions and a 57 percent decrease in expulsions since 2003.

State News:

Chicago State University students and their supporters rallied at the Thompson Center Monday morning, demanding state action to avert a possible shutdown of the predominately black university due to the budget impasse.

As the state budget impasse continues into its eighth month, the executive director of a state commission said African Americans in Illinois are in "a state of emergency." The leader of the Illinois African American Family Commission (IAAFC) urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers to redirect $4 billion in public funds, or approximately 15 percent of the state's budget, to African-American communities "to repair the harm done as a result of Illinois' budget crisis."

President Barack Obama visited Springfield Wednesday to speak in front of a gridlocked Illinois General Assembly.

As Illinois considers long-term changes to the state's criminal justice system, a civil rights watchdog says the majority of voters want reforms now.

The population of eagles in Illinois has hit record numbers in recent years, and conservationists are celebrating the bird's success this weekend.

A contentious bill seeking the use of binding arbitration to resolve labor disputes between the Rauner administration and unions has reemerged in the state legislature.

Investment firm Morgan Stanley will cough up $22.5 million to the state of Illinois as part of a settlement with the state for its "misconduct in its marketing and sale of risky residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) leading up to the 2008 economic collapse," according to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office.

The Small Business Development Center at Southern Illinois University plans to close March 31 as a direct result of the long-running state budget impasse.

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action (PPIA) and the Equality Illinois Political Action Committee have released their respective primary election endorsements.

National News:

President Barack Obama proposed his last budget of his presidency Tuesday, releasing a $4.1 trillion spending plan for the 2017 fiscal year.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won New Hampshire's Democratic presidential primary election. On the Republican side, businessman Donald Trump was the winner in the New Hampshire primary.

Republican presidential candidates Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suspended their presidential campaigns after poor showings at the New Hampshire primary election Tuesday night.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received a key endorsement Thursday in garnering the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus political action committee (CBC PAC).

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is eyeing the last voting bloc that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a seemingly firm stronghold on -- the black community.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has named 10th congressional district Democratic candidate Brad Schneider to its "Red-To-Blue" program.

Illinoisans with the statewide Protect Our Parks campaign are calling on U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) to publicly state his "active support" for two key federal conservation measures -- the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Antiquities Act.


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