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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:26pm
Wed Oct 1

Report: U.S. Temp Work At Record High, More Protections Needed For Workers

The U.S. economy currently has a record number of "temporary help jobs," but many of them fall short in terms of safety and pay for workers, according to a new report on the growth of the staffing industry by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the National Staffing Workers Alliance (NSWA).

“The shift towards temp work is creating an economy in which working people who move and produce products for some of our nation’s largest and most profitable corporations are treated like any other input, to be acquired at the cheapest cost,” said the report's co-author Rebecca Smith, NELP's deputy director. “Staffing agencies not only fail to provide livable wages, benefits or job security for their workers, but their influence in an industry can lower standards for all workers in that industry.” Read more »

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

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which would connect I-55 in Illinois to I-65 in Indiana, as an example of "wasteful highway spending based on its outdated assumptions of ever-increasing driving."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." Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:34pm
Mon Sep 29

New Report Calls Attention To Educational Barriers Impacting African-American Girls

A new national report is sounding the alarm on school-achievement obstacles that harm African-American girls.

Young African-American females are "faring worse than the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement" due to "pervasive, systemic barriers in education rooted in racial and gender bias and stereotypes," according to the report by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

"The futures of African-American girls are on the line," stressed NWLC's Co-President Marcia Greenberger. "It’s shameful that too many girls are falling between the cracks of an educational system that ignores their real needs. A strong education is essential for people in our country to compete in our economy and earn wages that can support themselves and their families. It's critical to turn this crisis around and put these girls on a path to success." Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
6:40pm
Tue Sep 23

A Closer Look At The 8th Congressional District Race

Progress Illinois takes a look at the 8th congressional district race that pits incumbent Democrat Tammy Duckworth against Republican challenger Larry Kaifesh.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Mon Sep 22

Worker Advocates Fearful Of Rauner's 'Anti-Labor' Agenda

Critics of GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's stance on labor issues say his proposed policies would spell bad news for Illinois workers, retirees and unions.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
12:33pm
Mon Sep 22

Young Illinoisans Weigh In On The Governor's Race

Young Illinois Democrats and Republicans say a lot is at stake for them in the November gubernatorial election. Progress Illinois chats with younger Illinoisans about the governor's race and several policy issues on their radar.