PI Original Aricka Flowers Sunday October 11th, 2015, 10:08am

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (Oct. 5, 2015  - October 9, 2015).

Chicago and Cook County News:

The Chicago City Council's Black Caucus called for the firing of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy on Monday.

Chicago Ald. Will Burns (4th), chairman of the city council's education committee, has thwarted a resolution in support of a one-year statewide moratorium on the opening of new charter schools.

A Chicago museum is hoping its latest exhibit will help change hearts and minds when it comes to public housing.

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis will reportedly run for re-election despite her recent health issues.

Local elected officials, clergy, labor leaders and community activists gathered Tuesday for an emergency meeting to discuss the violence plaguing many of Chicago's neighborhoods.

Newly-announced cuts to special education in Chicago spurred parents to gather for a special "town hall meeting" Tuesday night to discuss the potential impact of the public school district's latest budget move.

Large corporations in Cook County would have to provide their workers with a "living wage" or pay a fee to help fund public services under proposed legislation that was unveiled before the Wednesday morning county board meeting.

Former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett will plead guilty to the federal corruption charges she was indicted on Thursday stemming from a $20 million SUPES Academy contract kickback scheme.

Ahead of their union election on Saturday, workers seeking to unionize at the Barneys New York in Chicago saw support Thursday morning from three aldermen, who visited the luxury department store and urged management to "treat their employees with respect" and stop alleged anti-union "intimidation tactics."

Housekeepers at the Hotel Burnham in Chicago say their strenuous workloads are taking a toll on their bodies, and they want their employer to improve working conditions.

The arraignment of former Chicago Public Schools (CPS) CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

State News:

Chuck Weaver, a Peoria City Council member at large, was tapped Sunday to fill Darin LaHood's former state Senate seat.

Democrat Laura Murphy was sworn into the state legislature Monday to fill the 28th Senate district seat vacated by Dan Kotowski.

A new public school rating system, based on a 0-100 percent grading scale, will start to roll out this year in Illinois.

This week, the state of Illinois ended many of its free sexually transmitted disease testing services used by county health departments and a number of family planning facilities, including several Planned Parenthood clinics.

Family and friends of nursing home residents in Illinois soon will be able to have additional peace of mind in knowing that their loved ones are receiving adequate care.

The bipartisan Legislative Audit Commission has recommended that state Rep. Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) be tapped for the role of Illinois Auditor General.

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board approved eight new health conditions eligible for treatment under the state's medical marijuana pilot program on Wednesday.

The State of Illinois' budget impasse is eroding the capacity of local health departments to protect the health of its citizens, according to Miriam Link-Mullison, administrator of the Jackson County Health Department in Murphysboro, Illinois.

We recapped Wednesday's state hearing in Chicago on the Rauner administration's changes to the Child Care Assistance Program, which have thus far resulted in nearly 5,000 children being denied access to state-subsidized daycare.

Wednesday was day five of the teachers strike in McHenry High School District 156, where the teachers union and school district are at odds over new contract agreement.

The St. Charles City Council is set to vote on a proposal later this month that would let local bars and restaurants offer video gambling.

The Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board approved eight new health conditions eligible for treatment under the state's medical marijuana pilot program on Wednesday.

The teachers strike in McHenry High School District 156 continued Friday after contract negotiations ended earlier today without resolution. But it appears as though the union and school district reached a tentative agreement over the weekend.

State Rep. David Leitch (R-Peoria) will not seek re-election after his term ends in 2017.

National News:

State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Lisle) was officially selected Monday to manage Illinois-based campaign operations for Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

The U.S. Supreme Court's new term started Monday, and it could take up cases involving abortion, union fees, birth control coverage requirements under the Affordable Care Act, affirmative action in college admissions and state voting districts.

U.S. states should improve access to identification cards for homeless youth, particularly those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT), argues a new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive national think tank.

Negotiations over the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement concluded on Monday.

With the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) a step closer to becoming reality, some advocacy groups say the trade deal could end up hurting some Illinois residents' jobs and health.

Medical and consumer experts are sounding off on a new report that details the shockingly high medical bills some insured Americans are receiving.

U.S. Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL,17) and Rodney Davis (R-IL,13) are scheduled to visit Cuba next week to seek out agricultural opportunities for Illinois farmers.

U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA,23) pulled himself out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) reintroduced federal legislation Friday seeking to make the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) permanent.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) wants to help make higher education more affordable and accessible for students by reducing college textbook costs.

Environmentalists are putting pressure on Morgan Stanley to cut its financing ties to the coal industry as part of a larger disinvestment campaign aimed at big banks.


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