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The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (May 16, 2016 - May 20, 2016).

Chicago and Cook County News:

More than 1,000 environmentalists and Chicago-area residents protested Sunday at the BP Refinery in Whiting, Indiana demanding an end to the use of fossil fuels and a transition to the sole use of renewable energy.

On Monday, the Chicago City Council Finance Committee meeting approved a $600 million borrowing plan, a debt transactions "transparency and accountability" ordinance, police misconduct payouts and more. A proposal was also introduced to create a "mental health critical response unit" within the Chicago Police Department.

Current and former Chicago Nabisco bakery workers and their supporters protested Wednesday morning at Mondelez International's annual shareholders meeting in Lincolnshire, targeting the company over its decision to lay off 600 Chicago Nabisco bakery employees as it moves some production work to Mexico.

Lake Michigan water levels are rising, and, as a result, beaches are shrinking.

A resolution seeking to put an advisory question on the November ballot asking Chicago voters whether the city should establish an elected "Independent Airport Authority" was unveiled Tuesday.

controversial proposal to regulate ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft has the support of the Progressive Reform Caucus.

Dante Servin, the Chicago police detective who fatally shot Rekia Boyd, resigned Tuesday.

Fifty-eight security officers are being sent to O'Hare International Airport in an effort to reduce lengthy wait times at security checkpoints, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Tuesday.

In an op-ed for Progress Illinois, Chicago Ald's Scott Waguespack and John Arena said its time to put an end to toxic swap deals and nebulous borrowing practices.

In a guest article for PI, SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Keith Kelleher scribes about the decades-long push by fast food workers for improved wages and working conditions.

From airport security to debt transparency, Progress Illinois rounds up highlights from Wednesday's Chicago City Council meeting.

Eight former Little Village Car Wash workers who have been fighting for years to recoup over $262,000 in alleged stolen wages faced a major setback Thursday.

The Chicago Principals and Administrators Association has elected controversial Chicago Public Schools principal Troy LaRaviere as its president.

An LGBT-friendly, mixed-use development with 100 percent affordable housing units would be built in Logan Square under a plan announced Thursday by local Chicago Ald. Proco "Joe" Moreno (1st).

University of Chicago students protested on campus Thursday to demand action on numerous issues in an effort to "democratize" the school. 

A federal judge on Friday declined to reverse his ruling that may result in Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel being called to testify in a trial about the Chicago Police Department's "code of silence."

High lead levels found at an elementary school on Chicago's South Side have prompted plans for a district-wide lead testing effort, school and city officials announced Friday. 

A Chicago Police Department gang takedown mission resulted in the arrests of 95 gang members, officials said Friday. 

Young Chicagoans with the Bikes N' Roses cycling team are biking to Springfield this weekend in a push for criminal justice reform in the state.

State News:

State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Margeno) is not running for re-election in his 63rd House district.

A new report by the Center for American Progress looked at how difficult it can be for low-income families to navigate an underfunded child care support system.

Illinois Auditor Frank Mautino has been ordered by the Illinois State Board of Elections to explain his campaign spending during his time as a state legislator.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill Monday that would move unresolved labor contract talks to binding arbitration.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four Illinois legislative leaders met late Tuesday morning during the eleventh month of the state budget impasse.  After Tuesday morning's meeting between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois legislative leaders, the policymakers agreed to create another working group that will discuss the governor's "Turnaround Agenda" items.

House Speaker Michael Madigan introduced and advanced a proposal in the House that would fully fund the state's Monetary Award Program for low-income college students. On Thursday, the Illinois Senate approved the proposal.

Illinois lawmakers were set to consider a bill that opponents say would be a taxpayer bailout of one of the country's most profitable energy companies.

Thousands of Illinoisans rallied in Springfield Thursday to press Gov. Bruce Rauner and "his legislative allies" to drop his anti-union Turnaround Agenda and get to the business of running state government.

As the state continues to operate with a budget, lawmakers could be gearing up to consider a tax on sugary drinks.

Legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 for home health care workers who serve people with disabilities cleared the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday.

Mental health advocates say the state budget impasse is having a "devastating" impact on services and pushing state psychiatric facilities to the point where they can't afford basic necessities like toilet paper.  

By a 42-16 vote, a bill to create automatic voter registration in Illinois passed the state Senate Thursday.

The Illinois General Assembly has approved legislation to make possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana an offense punishable by a fine in the state. 

State legislation that would create an elected school board in Chicago has a new chief sponsor in the Illinois Senate.

Illinois' unemployment rate inched up to 6.6 percent in April, while the state added a net 5,400 jobs last month, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday.

New reports show a grim employment situation for African Americans living in Illinois.

Legislation that would require police forces in Illinois to get a warrant before using surveillance equipment to covertly scan people's cellphone data is headed to Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk.

Illinois House members from Chicago requested an "emergency meeting" Thursday with Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool over the issue of school funding. 

National News:

The U.S. Supreme Court made a rare move Monday, voting unanimously to send a case involving access to contraception back to the appeals court system, ordering them to seek a compromise.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) pushed back against attacks made by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) during her time as head of the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs.

The East Chicago City Council voted Monday to remove Councilman Robert Battle, who is sitting in a Porter County jail.

Nitrate contamination in the Illinois River that flows into the Gulf of Mexico has dropped in recent years, according to new research by the University of Illinois and published in the Journal of Environmental Quality.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' continued wins and recent comments by the DNC's chair reinforces the arguments of some who say the presidential process has been rigged in the favor of Hillary Clinton from the start.

Former congressman Mel Reynolds says he will no longer plead guilty in the misdemeanor federal tax charges he faces, saying "sorry for the confusion." 

The GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump released a list of 11 people he would consider as Supreme Court nominees.

Political polarization in Congress led to legislative inaction last year on many key measures important to people living in poverty, shows the annual poverty scorecard issued by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

A lockdown on the White House was lifted at about 4 p.m. Friday local time. A man was reportedly shot in the abdomen by Secret Service near the White House after he displayed a gun and refused orders to drop it.

Cartoons Of The Week:

PI's editorial cartoonist Chris Britt's take on:

the lengthy wait times at airport security checkpoints

Donald Trump's problem with women voters

Mondelez International's decision to offshore 600 Chicago jobs to Mexico; Mondelez is the parent company of Nabisco, the maker of Oreo cookies

GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump's PR team

the frustration among Illinoisans over the ongoing budget saga in the Prairie State


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