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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:27pm
Wed Apr 20, 2016

CTU President Karen Lewis Calls Rauner 'The New ISIS Recruit'

CTU President Karen Lewis had some choice words Wednesday for Gov. Bruce Rauner over his handling of the state budget. She also rejected the school district's request to move contract talks into binding arbitration.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:30pm
Thu Apr 7, 2016

Illinois Advocates Ask Business Leaders To Push For A 'Responsible' Budget (UPDATED)

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.

Representatives from the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans and Citizen Action Illinois, a public interest organization and a progressive political coalition, are spearheading the campaign. They are targeting organizations with GOP connections and businesses that, they say, have donated to local Republican state lawmakers.

Advocates protested and passed out leaflets this week in front of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation -- for which Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and other GOP legislators are board members -- and Cassens Transport Co. in Edwardsville. The activists rallied at the Firewater Saloon in Chicago's Edison Park neighborhood Thursday afternoon, and plan to visit a Joliet pizza parlor and the Park Ridge Community Bank next week.

Their campaign comes during the tenth month of the state budget impasse. Rauner's pro-business, anti-union policy agenda is at the center of the stalemate, which has created financial chaos for higher education institutions and a range of social service providers. Home health care service providers, for example, have yet to receive over $235 million in state payments owed to them, according to SEIU* Healthcare Illinois, the union representing home care workers.

The advocates are dropping off letters to Illinois business owners, urging them to ask their state lawmakers to "defend the home health care program and the home health providers our state's senior citizens and people with disabilities depend on, and pass a responsible budget that rejects Governor Rauner's dangerous cuts."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:26pm
Mon Apr 4, 2016

Internal Poll Shows Most Business Executives Back Minimum Wage Hike, Other Pro-Worker Measures

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.

The poll findings, obtained by the progressive watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, clash with the policy positions of business groups fighting against such proposals.

Luntz Global, operated by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, conducted the poll of 1,000 U.S. business executives on behalf of the Council of State Chambers. Among those surveyed, 63 percent belong to a chamber of commerce.

According to the findings, 80 percent of survey respondents backed an increase in their state's minimum wage, compared to 8 percent who opposed the idea.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:00pm
Tue Feb 23, 2016

Debate Heats Up Over Proposed Chicago Tobacco Ordinance

Some Chicago aldermen, small business owners and retail lobbyists want Mayor Rahm Emanuel to reconsider his tobacco tax proposal, saying the plan would adversely affect local businesses and neighborhoods, including those already impacted by black-market sales of "loosie" cigarettes.

But a coalition of health organizations is firing back, calling on the city council to "reject the tobacco industry's rhetoric and to pass a strong tobacco control ordinance."

Debate rages on over Emanuel's proposal to increase the smoking age in Chicago from 18 to 21 and impose a $6 million tax on non-cigarette tobacco products, with the revenue going in part toward Chicago Public Schools orientation programs. The plan is aimed at preventing "young people from picking up smoking, while investing in their education," according to the administration.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:13pm
Fri Feb 19, 2016

Schneider, Rotering Court Small Business Community, Discuss National Topics In Waukegan

Democrats vying for the 10th congressional district seat participated in a candidate meet-and-greet Friday with members of the small business community. Progress Illinois provides highlights from the event, hosted by the Small Business Advocacy Council in Waukegan.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:04pm
Thu Sep 10, 2015

New Overtime Proposal Could Have Big Impact On Single Mothers, Women Of Color

A recent analysis shows 3.2 million women would become newly eligible for time-and-a-half pay under the Obama administration's new overtime proposal. Women of color and single mothers would be impacted the most by the proposed overtime policy, according to the research. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:42pm
Thu Jan 22, 2015

Worker Advocacy Group Calls For Strong Federal Overtime Reforms

Ahead of new overtime regulations expected to be released by the Labor Department next month, the National Employment Law Project is calling for strong reforms to ensure workers are compensated fairly for the long hours they work. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue and the group's recommendations.

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