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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:35pm
Wed Mar 5

Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Debate Social Issues

The four Illinois GOP gubernatorial hopefuls faced questions about a number of social issues at a Tuesday night debate, ranging from the death penalty and women’s reproductive rights to helping ex-offenders reintegrate into society. Progress Illinois provides some highlights from the forum.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:59pm
Fri Feb 28

Retirees to Rauner: Put Senior Citizens Before Profit

Ahead of Thursday night's GOP gubernatorial debate, a small group of retirees and senior citizens braved the bitter cold and held a protest outside of ABC 7 Studios in Chicago, where the event was being held, to call on candidate Bruce Rauner to "put seniors before profit."

Chicago resident and retired Chicago Public Schools teacher Beatrice Lumpkin, 95, joined the protest, orchestrated by the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans.

"I was horrified to learn that someone who wants to come and run things for Illinois and Springfield (was) one of the owners of a Florida nursing home," Lumpkin said of Rauner, who is in a four-way race for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. "And those places they're really good. They take care of people. People can take care of themselves. But some of them are just hell houses, and he's been cited for that kind of thing. We don't want him having anything to say about nursing homes in Illinois."

Lumpkin was referring to the string of abuse and neglect cases at nursing homes owned by GTCR, a private equity firm headed by Rauner until 2012. Rauner's ties to the nursing home business is the subject of a recent ad backed by the Illinois Freedom PAC, which is associated with public employee unions.

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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
7:33pm
Wed Jan 29

Breaking Down Quinn's State Of The State Address

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s “State of the State” speech Wednesday afternoon zeroed in on job creation, a new early childhood education initiative and efforts to boost small businesses and rebuild the middle class, including a renewed push to raise the state's minimum wage. Progress Illinois takes a look at some of the highlights from the speech.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:47pm
Thu Jan 16

Same-Sex Couples Get Some Clarity On Illinois Marriage Equality Bill (VIDEO)

    Same sex couples can legally marry in Illinois starting June 1, but many members of the LGBTQ community have questions about how the new marriage equality law will be implemented, prompting a handful of elected officials to host an informational forum Wednesday night on the North Side of Chicago.

“The Cook county clerk is the only clerk in Illinois that can legally marry people – I don’t know why the law is in there but that’s what it is, maybe the other clerks didn’t want it,” said Cook County Clerk David Orr. “So the nice thing for me, as soon as that comes, I will be able to also conduct ceremonies.”

Hosted at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, at 1230 W. Greanleaf Ave., the informational forum covered topics ranging from converting civil unions into marriages to changing names and filing state and federal tax returns as married couples.

“We won,” said Ed Yohnka, director of communications and public policy for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, who joined Orr and other elected officials, including Ald. Joe Moore (49th), State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), for the forum. Read more »