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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
2:51pm
Wed Jul 1

Illinois Social Service Supporters Rally For A State Budget Settlement (VIDEO)

Illinois social service supporters took to the Thompson Center in Chicago Wednesday morning to rally for a resolution on a state budget with adequate funding for vital programs.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:42pm
Mon Jun 29

As Illinois Government Shutdown Looms, Calls For Progressive Revenues Intensify

As Illinois moves closer to a government shutdown, a coalition comprised of community and labor groups, clergy, service providers, elected officials and others called for progressive revenue options to tackle the state's pressing fiscal issues at a "people's budget" meeting on Monday.

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
8:43pm
Fri Jun 26

Rauner's Budget Veto Draws Ire Of Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, Service Providers

Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of a $36.3 billion budget bill may force the state into a government shutdown, which doesn't sit well with State Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester), chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC).

"We cannot stand back and allow this to happen," said Lightford, who fought back tears, after learning of the veto. "I don't give a damn how much money he has. He can sit up in his mansion and not be affected, but all of us will feel the pinch. I want to fight. I need all of you all to fight with us. We have to fight this governor."

"Don't confuse my tears as a sign of weakness. I am mad as hell," Lightford added. She made the statements at an ILBC rally against spending cuts proposed under Rauner's Turnaround Agenda. The governor's plan calls for a set of reforms on workers compensation, term limits and a property tax freeze, among other things.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:04pm
Wed Jun 24

Service Reductions, Layoffs Imminent Without A 'Responsible' State Budget, Say Illinois Community Providers (VIDEO)

Gathering at the Thompson Center Wednesday morning, dozens of community providers, people who depend on their services and leaders with the Responsible Budget Coalition urged Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers to enact a "fair budget" in short order that includes adequate revenue to avert deep cuts to vital programs. Service providers detailed the potential program cuts and layoffs that could occur if a "responsible budget" is not adopted by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:38pm
Tue Feb 17

Gutierrez, Illinois Immigration Reformers Call Judge's Ruling A 'Temporary Setback' (VIDEO)

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL,4) says educational outreach around President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration will press ahead, despite a federal judge's ruling on Monday that temporarily stalled the administration's deportation relief plans.

The Obama administration is expected to appeal the judge's ruling, which comes in response to a lawsuit filed by a group of 26 mostly Republican-run states seeking to stop the president's immigration directives. Illinois has not joined the lawsuit, which claims the two immigration executive orders signed by Obama in November are unconstitutional. The federal judge, Andrew Hanen of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Texas, determined that the states met the minimum requirements needed to proceed with the lawsuit. 

Hanen's temporary injunction blocks Obama's two new immigration programs from taking effect before the case is decided. The application process for one of the new immigration policies was slated to launch Wednesday.

At a Tuesday morning press conference in Chicago, Gutierrez and leaders with SEIU* and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) called the judge's decision a "temporary setback" that won't derail their efforts to help immigrants prepare for administrative relief.

"This process can be delayed, but we as a community will not be deterred," Gutierrez said, adding that he believes Obama's new immigration policies will ultimately prevail after the legal process plays out. "Let's make it absolutely clear that the president's actions are well established in legal precedent."

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