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Robin Kelly

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:22pm
Tue Jun 7, 2016

Former Illinois Governor Calls For Compromise In Springfield As Budget Impasse Continues

With the state budget stalemate nearing the one-year mark, former Illinois Republican Gov. Jim Edgar made a plea Tuesday for "civility," "compromise" and "compassion" in Springfield.

Speaking in Chicago, Edgar said the "best public policy comes out of compromise," explaining that "you can't get things done if you're not willing to meet your adversaries halfway."

"We ought to have checks and balances, but we shouldn't have shouting matches," he added at the "Illinois: Vision for the Future" event, hosted by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform at the Standard Club.

Edgar, who became governor in 1991 and served two terms, said Illinois is currently in the "worst shape" he seen over the 50 years he's been around state government.

"We have so many people out there hurting because government's not solving the problem," he stressed. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
6:41pm
Thu Feb 19, 2015

Obama Designates Pullman District National Monument, Praises Emanuel Days Before Election

President Barack Obama was in Chicago Thursday to designate the Pullman factory district as a national monument. With a stroke of the president's pen, the Pullman Historic District is now a national monument, and the city's first national park. The new monument's boundaries are 103rd Street to the north, 115th Street to the south, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and the Norfolk & Western Rail Line to the east.

In his speech at the designation ceremony, which was attended by Gov. Bruce Rauner -- who has a reputation for being a union antagonist, Obama highlighted the importance of labor unions, saying "As Americans, we believe workers' rights are civil rights."

"Gradually our country would add protections that we now take for granted: a 40-hour workweek, the weekend, overtime pay, safe workplace conditions and the right to organize for higher wages and better opportunities," the president said. "So this site is at the heart of what would become America's labor movement -- and as a consequence, at the heart of what would become America's middle class."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:59pm
Tue Sep 30, 2014

Public Interest Group Urges Against 'Wasteful Spending' On Illiana Expressway

An Illinois public interest organization is raising concerns about the proposed Illiana Expressway, saying the privatized toll road that would serve mainly as a trucking corridor "may charge tolls too high to attract trucks, and will likely require hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies."

The Illiana Expressway, a public-private partnership endeavor, is cited as one of 11 highway "boondoggles" across the country in a new report by the Illinois PIRG Education Fund, which is calling on "decision makers to reprioritize scarce transportation dollars to other projects."

The report highlights the proposed 47-mile Illiana tollway, which would connect I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, as an example of "wasteful highway spending based on its outdated assumptions of ever-increasing driving."

"The Illiana Expressway is based on the presumption that traffic in the 18 county region affected by the road will increase by .92 percent annually between 2010 and 2040, as measured in total vehicle miles traveled (VMT)," the Illinois PIRG Education Fund noted. "However, that is more than double the annual rate of increase from 2001 and 2010 (.42 percent). And, since 2010, VMT in the region has been down .49 percent annually."

Quick Hit
by La Risa Lynch
2:19pm
Fri Aug 22, 2014

U.S. National Parks Director Visits Chicago To Review Efforts To Include Pullman Area In System

Efforts to designate parts of the Pullman community on Chicago’s far South Side as a national park site could see some presidential muscle behind the cause.

The head of the U.S. National Park Service toured what remains of the Pullman Palace Car Company Thursday as part of a visit to gage public support for including portions of the community, created by its namesake founder George M. Pullman, in the national park system. Jonathan B. Jarvis, the national parks system director, said a little known presidential power given under the 1906 Antiquities Act could make the proposal a reality sooner than later.

That route seems doable since legislation proposed by U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) and U.S. Rep Robin Kelly (D-IL,2) have been stuck in committee in both chambers since the bills were introduced. The Antiquities Act allows a president to use an executive order to designate a site as a national monument.

Jarvis said there are two ways to establish a new park within the national park system — one is through Congress, which he said “we have not seen a lot of movement on” even though both bills have bipartisan support.

“But there is an alternative path and that is presidential power,” he added.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:26pm
Wed Jun 18, 2014

Most Illinois Congressional Members Get Passing Grades On National Poverty Scorecard

Six Democratic members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation had a perfect voting record in 2013 on legislation important to people living in poverty, according to a new scorecard and report published by the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law.

Meanwhile, no Republican Congressmen from Illinois earned a grade higher than a 'D' on the center's 2013 Poverty Scorecard, which looked at the voting record of every U.S. senator and representative on poverty-related issues during the last calendar year. The scores were tabulated based on 18 votes taken in the House and Senate on legislation covering a variety of subject areas including budget and tax, food and nutrition, health care, immigrants, cash assistance, domestic violence, education and the workforce, to name a few.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
11:10am
Mon Jun 2, 2014

Six Illinois Congressmen Get F's On Immigration Score Card

Most lawmakers in the GOP-led U.S. House are "failing the Latino community" when it comes to immigration issues, according to a preliminary score card released last week.

The initial 2014 National Immigration Score Card is based on immigration-related votes taken by the 435 House members of the current 113th Congress.

The worst score of 59 percent went to 219 House members, all of whom are Republicans including six from Illinois. A total of 170 House lawmakers, all Democrats, received the best score of 100 percent, with nine of them being from Illinois. As a whole, the House earned an average score of 77 percent.

“Our community is being disproportionately devastated by the broken immigration system that this Congress refuses to fix. This preliminary score card shows that most in Congress are clearly failing us on immigration right now,” said the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement's (LCLAA) Executive Director Hector Sanchez. “Latinos can no longer tolerate more excuses on why reform has not passed."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:39pm
Tue Apr 22, 2014

Congresswoman Kelly Committed To Renewing Push For Federal Gun Control Legislation

Although gun-control legislation has stalled in Congress, "common-sense gun reform" remains one of U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly's top priorities, the Democratic congresswoman said at a Monday night event in East Hazel Crest to review her first year in the House.

Kelly, a former state representative, was elected last April to fill the 2nd congressional district seat left vacant by disgraced former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. after he resigned in 2012. The district covers Chicago’s far Southeast Side and a large swath of the southern suburbs.

While in Congress, Kelly introduced gun-control legislation meant to place stricter safety standards on guns and keep "violent, dangerous people" from being able to purchase firearms. But supporters of gun curbs simply cannot get gun-control legislation to the House floor for a vote, Kelly said. 

"There is gun legislation dealing with background checks, and there is about 180 to 190 bipartisan signatures, Democrats and Republicans," the congresswoman said. "But we cannot get it called to the floor, so what I tell people when people come and see me about the gun issue [is], 'I'm your choir.' So we need to call other people across the United States and call Speaker [John] Boehner [to] at least [bring] the bill to committee and to the floor and let it be voted up or down." 

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