PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday October 2nd, 2015, 3:28pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (September 28, 2015 - October 2, 2015).

Cook County & Chicago News:

The teachers strike in Prospect Heights School District 23 ended Sunday after the teachers union ratified a tentative four-year contract.

Chicago City Council hearings on Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget proposal began Monday and will run daily for two consecutive weeks.

Mayor Emanuel made a call for stricter gun laws in the city Tuesday after 12 people were shot in just seven hours, including an 11-month old baby.

The local Fight for $15 movement continues to gain steam as an increasing number of Illinois low-wage workers join the call for better pay and the right to unionize without retaliation.

After facing fierce backlash from parents and educators over special education cuts, the Chicago Public Schools announced Tuesday that it is "conducting a month-long process" to review the proposed funding reductions.

Charter school proponents and opponents spoke out Wednesday night at back-to-back hearings on proposals for new charter schools under consideration by the Chicago Public Schools.

Chicago Public Schools graduation rates from the past four years were revised down after district officials acknowledged Thursday that the numbers were inflated.

Chicagoans vented their frustrations over items in Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2016 budget proposal, including a record $588 million property tax hike, during a Thursday night town hall meeting hosted by the city council's Progressive Reform Caucus.

State News:

The Rauner administration is moving forward with plans to close the Illinois State Museum system and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in southern Illinois during the budget impasse.

A Roosevelt Institute fellow takes a closer look at the idea of "shared services" among local governments and finds that the idea is not as novel as one might suspect.

Gov. Bruce Rauner will reportedly uphold tax incentives offered to ConAgra Foods to lure the company to set up shop in Chicago.

Hunger may be invisible, but it has a face. A neighbor, colleague or even a relative may be among the one in seven Illinoisans at risk for hunger.

This week, Progress Illinois took a look at how African Americans in Illinois fared last year in terms of unemployment rates, based on the latest American Community Survey numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Illinois State Museum System was shuttered Wednesday as a means to save money as the state grapples with the ongoing budget stalemate.

Education activists celebrated the 34-day Dyett hunger strike during a rally at the Thompson Center Tuesday evening and vowed to press candidates on the issue of an elected Chicago school board during the 2016 state legislative elections.

The presidents of nine Illinois universities pressed Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators Thursday to end the ongoing fiscal battle that has left the state without a budget since July 1.

Critical supports for domestic violence survivors in Illinois have deteriorated during the state budget impasse, and the lives of thousands of women and children are at risk, advocates warned at an event held on Thursday.

ConAgra Foods will move its headquarters to Chicago after being lured to the state by unspecified tax credits in exchange for an agreement to bring 150 new jobs to Illinois.

The Illinois treasurer is sounding the alarm over the potential negative impact of the state budget impasse on his office's operations.

National News:

Royal Dutch Shell announced Monday that it is stopping its oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic, which garnered the applause of several environmental groups.

Attorneys for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and federal prosecutors signaled Monday that they are in talks over a potential plea deal, which could lead to the ex-lawmaker's case not going to trial.

The Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative is pushing for a decrease in excessive punishment for juveniles while also achieving a reduction in juvenile crime.

With the deadline to avoid a government shutdown looming, federal employees protested at Chicago's Federal Plaza Wednesday, urging Congress to "act like responsible adults" and keep the government operating.

On Wednesday, Congress passed a stopgap bill to keep the government funded through December 11.

new report from the Center for Biological Diversity highlights how President Barack Obama, or any other sitting president, has legal authority to prevent 450 billion tons of climate pollution.

Deere & Co. has reportedly reached a tentative agreement with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union, likely avoiding a strike by 10,000 workers in three states, including Illinois.

A stopgap federal budget won't take Illinois' state agencies out of limbo anytime soon.

States spend too much money on economic development subsides for big businesses to the detriment of small businesses. That's one of the key opinions expressed by U.S. small business owners in a new survey gauging their attitudes toward state economic development incentive programs.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has resigned from his position and will leave office in December.

The nation's unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent in September, and the economy added a worse-than-expected 142,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department.


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