The country has made great strides in the 50 years since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, but much remains to be accomplished, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL,11) said at a panel discussion on the topic in Darien Monday morning.
July 2 marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and natural origin.
"As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and all the steps forward ... we really have to continue to ask ourselves: What are the great civil right struggles that we face today," Foster asked at the talk with community members, held at the Indian Prairie Public Library in DuPage County.
For-profit employers would be barred from using religious beliefs to deny contraception coverage or other federally mandated health services to their employees under federal legislation introduced Wednesday.
Senate Democrats say they will advance legislation to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling allowing some companies with religious objections to avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Obama administration said Wednesday that the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the religious claims of Hobby Lobby and other for-profit businesses supports the government's position in separate, ongoing disputes with religious-oriented nonprofit organizations.
The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union's costs of collective bargaining.
The "Wasting Our Waterways" report ranks Illinois as the 13th worst U.S. state for the total volume of toxic industrial releases to waterways.
At the national level, polluting facilities dumped 206 million pounds of harmful chemicals into American waterways in 2012, according to the report. And some 8.39 million pounds of toxic pollution were discharged into the Great Lakes watershed. Ammonia, chromium and lead are among the chemicals released into Illinois' waterways, according to the report.