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PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:43pm
Tue Jul 29

EPA Holds 'Clean Power' Hearings; Poll Finds Climate Change To Be A Hot Topic For Minority Voters

A new poll shows that minority voters in key battleground states view climate change as a "high-profile issue" and will be more likely to back candidates who support efforts to combat the problem. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the implications of the the poll's findings as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency holds public hearings in four cities this week on its proposed plan to cut carbon emissions.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:53pm
Thu Jul 24

Chicagoans Push Back Against Walgreens' Potential Tax Inversion (VIDEO)

Tax fairness activists delivered 70,000 petition signatures to a downtown Chicago Walgreens store Thursday, calling on the nation’s largest pharmacy chain to remain a U.S company and pay its "fair share of taxes."

It is rumored that Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. is considering plans to reincorporate itself offshore in Switzerland, a "tax haven," through a maneuver called a corporate tax inversion. Such a move could reportedly cost U.S. taxpayers $4 billion in lost tax revenue over a five-year period. Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:20pm
Tue Jul 22

Laid Off Illinois Workers Say Defunct Magazine Distributor Violated Labor Laws (VIDEO)

Former Illinois employees of a now shuttered magazine distribution business, who were abruptly laid off in May, are demanding that the company pay them 60 days of wages as required by state and federal labor laws. Progress Illinois has more on the wage theft allegations.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:11pm
Mon Jul 21

Republicans In Competitive IL Congressional Races Get Support From Koch Brothers

The Koch Brothers have their eyes on Illinois. Republican candidates running in four of the state's competitive congressional races received campaign contributions last quarter from the political action committee of Koch Industries Inc., a Kansas-based energy and manufacturing conglomerate run by the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

From April 1 through June 30, the Koch Industries Inc. Political Action Committee, or KochPAC, gave a collective $17,500 to the Illinois GOP candidates in 11th, 12th, 13th and 17th congressional districts, according to second-quarter reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The industrialists Charles and David Koch are well known nationally as big election spenders who also fund a number of right-wing organizations. The notorious billionaire brothers are reportedly expected to spend $290 million in the 2014 election.

“Out of state billionaires like the Koch Brothers are bankrolling Illinois Republicans like Mike Bost, Darlene Senger, Rodney Davis and Bobby Schilling because the Kochs will pay top dollar for anyone who will stack the deck for special interests and the ultra-wealthy at the expense of hardworking families,” said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the campaign arm of U.S. House Democrats. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:17pm
Fri Jul 18

Chicago Commercial Buildings In Retrofit Program Making Progress To Cut Energy Use

In the first two years of the Chicago Commercial Building Initiative, participating buildings have cut their collective energy use by seven percent compared to their 2010 baseline, officials with the city and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said Friday.

The seven percent reduction in energy use is the equivalent of avoiding 28,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, or taking some 5,800 cars off the road for a year. 

Over the past two years, the 32 commercial buildings enrolled in the voluntary program reduced their collective energy use by switching to more efficient LED lighting; installing motion sensors connected to heating, cooling and lighting systems; upgrading heating and cooling systems with better ventilation fans and motors; and improving tenants' office-space efficiency. Read more »