PI Original Aricka Flowers Saturday April 9th, 2016, 4:50pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (April 4, 2016 - April 9, 2016).

Chicago and Cook County News:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Working Families Task Force released a report Sunday, recommending that employers in the city provide their workers with a minimum of five earned paid sick days per year.

Apparently the editors of Fortune magazine agree with the thousands of Chicagoans who have hit the streets in recent months to rally against Mayor Rahm Emanuel's stewardship over the Windy City. In one of the magazine's recent rundowns of politicians and business chiefs, Emanuel made of the list of those who "serve as great examples -- of how not to lead."

Chicago has seen a sharp rise in shootings and murders over the past three months, while police stops have decreased by 90 percent.

A tentative settlement under consideration by the city of Chicago would provide a $4.9 million payment to Philip Coleman's family.

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin wants the gas tax hiked by 4 cents to pay for a youth employment and anti-violence initiative.

Downtown Chicago security officers rallied for a pay increase Tuesday, a week before their first day of bargaining with the Building Owners and Managers Association for a new union contract.

A plan to deploy Cook County sheriff's officers to Back of the Yards to combat crime has sparked debate in the South Side Chicago neighborhood.

Skills for Chicagoland's Future (Skills) matched 1,000 unemployed or underemployed Chicago and Cook County residents with jobs last year as part of its partnership with the city, officials announced Wednesday.

An error at the Chicago Public Schools resulted in the district mistakenly sending out acceptance letters for a top magnet elementary school to nearly 500 students.

Under a redevelopment agreement proposed on Wednesday, the old Cook County Hospital building would be rehabbed into a mixed-use site with a hotel plus retail and residential space.

Chicago Ald. Leslie Hairston (5th) has proposed replacing the city's Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) with a new "independent citizen police monitor."

SEIU* Local 1 is calling on Chicago Aviation Commissioner Ginger Evans to rebid an O'Hare International Airport janitorial contract in light of revelations that the company may have mob connections.

Karen Lewis has secured another three-year term as president of the Chicago Teachers Union.

It cost $500,000 for the Chicago Police Board's search for a new police superintendent.

Grocery shoppers in Illinois and other states say they would consider paying more to purchase foods produced in a more environmentally friendly manner, according to a new survey.

With the city of Chicago set to begin testing tap water in homes of children affected by lead poisoning, the Water Management Department's commissioner is "stepping down to pursue other professional endeavors," according to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office. 

Some 20 Logan Square residents blocked traffic and protested Saturday morning in front of a construction site where a luxury development is being built.

State News:

Medical marijuana sales in Illinois hit $1.9 million in March, up 30 percent from February.

On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois religious leaders urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature on Monday to resolve state employee contract negotiations in a "peaceful manner."

With Monday marking the start of the state legislature's spring session, Illinoisans urged lawmakers to support a "Responsible Budget Resolution."

An Illinois Senate committee has moved forward proposed legislation that would raise the age for buying tobacco in the state.

Legislation meant to modernize the process for transgender people in Illinois to obtain a new birth certificate matching their lived gender made progress in the state legislature this week.

Members of the Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Caucus went to Springfield Wednesday to push for a state budget solution.

State legislation aimed at improving building accessibility for people with disabilities was approved Tuesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Chicago police and fire pension legislation was sent last week to Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk.

Chicago parents put pressure on Illinois Senate President John Cullerton Wednesday over a standardized testing opt-out bill that has been pending in the upper chamber for nearly a year.

As the state budget impasse drags on into its tenth month, Illinois Republicans proposed a plan to partially pay for social services via state funds that have been designated for pet projects.

The sale of loose cigarettes would be decriminalized under a bill that passed through the state House Thursday and is headed to the Senate.

State legislation seeking to hike the gas tax to pay for roads and other infrastructure projects is pending in the legislature.

Legislation aimed at improving college access and affordability for undocumented Illinoisans is moving forward in the state legislature.

At least four individuals are alleged sexual abuse victims of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

President Barack Obama is visited the University of Chicago Law School Thursday to discuss his U.S. Supreme Court nominee.

Illinois advocates for seniors and people with disabilities are calling on local business owners to speak out against the long-running state budget impasse and the "dangerous" spending cuts proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Infant child care in Illinois costs an average of $12,964 per year, or about $1,080 a month. And that's simply too expensive for families, according to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) and Illinois parents and child care providers.

Illinois parents have questions about computer scoring of the new state-mandated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test.

After a visit to an Illinois prison this week, U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky is calling for criminal justice reform, saying "we need to change the laws and make sure that we are not incarcerating people who don't need to be there."

National News:

Most U.S. business executives support policies to boost the minimum wage and provide workers with paid sick time, predictive scheduling and increased maternity and paternity leave, an internal poll shows.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential run appears to be missing the clear messaging on its inspiration and purpose, while the motivation behind U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-VT) push is quite apparent, MSNBC's Chris Matthews argued ahead of the Wisconsin primary.

U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Tex Cruz won by double-digit margins Tuesday night in Wisconsin's primary.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) met Wednesday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has requested that he be sentenced to probation.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) received rare endorsements Wednesday from President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in her campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Ford says it will shift its small-car production from its factory in Wayne, Michigan to Mexico, a move that will create 2,800 jobs at its new plant in the San Luis Potosi state by 2020.

In a win for Wisconsin unions, a Dane County judge overturned the state's right-to-work law on Friday.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won Saturday's Wyoming caucuses.

Editorial Cartoon Rundown:

Chris Britt offers his take on:
Chicago's soaring murder rate

Poor Blago. He just can't catch a break

Donald Trump's double-digit loss to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in Wisconsin

Ford's decision to expand and add jobs  -- in Mexico

Anti-LGBTQ laws that have recently passed in Mississippi and North Carolina

* The SEIU Illinois Council sponsors this website.

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