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Pat Quinn

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:27pm
Fri May 9

Sodexo Workers Rally To Save Food Service Jobs At The Thompson Center (VIDEO)

In the face of expected layoffs, food service workers from the Thompson Center cafeteria rallied Friday morning in downtown Chicago, calling on Gov. Pat Quinn to protect their jobs in the building that houses his local office.

“We need Quinn to step in and save our jobs, we’re in his house, serving his employees and—while he’s saying he wants to raise the minimum wage—we’re about to be unemployed,” said Sharon Nix, 35, a contract Sodexo employee at the James R. Thompson Center, at 100 W. Randolph St., for roughly 13 years.

Nix’s manager at Sandella’s Flatbread Café told workers in April that Sodexo, one of the nation's largest contracted food and facilities companies, plans to leave its post at the Thompson Center’s Great State Fare cafeteria by June 30, she said. Nix claims she was told she and her colleagues would be laid off, and would have to reapply for a position with the new company that takes Sodexo’s place.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:30pm
Tue May 6

Environmental Group Blasts IDNR For Paying 'Industry Front Groups' To Review Draft Fracking Rules

An environmental group is up in arms after learning that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) apparently paid more than $35,000 to oil and gas "industry front groups" to review draft rules related to the state's Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act, which Gov. Pat Quinn signed into law in June.

IDNR released its first draft of the Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act's administrative rules on November 15. The agency is currently weighing some 35,000 public comments it received on the state's proposed rules for the controversial horizontal oil and gas drilling technology. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is the practice of releasing Earth's natural gas by horizontally drilling with a high-pressure mixture of water, sand or gravel, and chemicals to create cracks in deep layers of shale rock.

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
7:57pm
Tue Apr 29

Illinois Senate Adjourns Leaving Fair Tax Act Untouched, Kills Term Limit Amendment

The Illinois Senate has adjourned for the day, leaving the Fair Tax Act untouched. Meanwhile, the GOP-backed amendment to impose term limits on state lawmakers died in the chamber Tuesday.

Despite a large rally by Illinoisans calling for a chance to vote on the Fair Tax Act and attempts by sponsor State Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) to drum up support in the House, the amendment was not called up for a vote in the Senate. The amendment, which would have installed a progressive income tax in the state, had to pass through the Senate today in order to even potentially meet the deadline to make it onto the November ballot.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:54pm
Fri Apr 25

Chicago City Council's Progressive Reform Coalition To Push For $15 Minimum Wage

While legislation to lift the state's minimum wage has been pending in the legislature for some time now, Chicago Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th) said he and his fellow Progressive Reform Coalition council members are working to drum up support for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

At a minimum wage forum Thursday night hosted by Action Now’s “Faith in Action” coalition in Chicago's South Shore neighborhood, Sawyer said the council's progressive caucus is looking to put forward a $15 minimum wage ordinance, though the details are still in the works. 

The first step, Sawyer said, is to get more aldermen and residents involved in the discussion.

"I think (raising the minimum wage is) a basic level of respect to your constituents that are working out here hard," he told Progress Illinois. "I was at one function where a young lady worked 10 years at McDonald's and she talked about how she can't even afford the food to eat where she works. So it's frustrating, and we need to get these wages to a level where they are respectable to the citizens."

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