PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday October 23rd, 2015, 7:35pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (October 19, 2015 - October 23, 2015.)

Chicago and Cook County News:

Three men who were allegedly detained and subjected to physical and psychological abuse at Homan Square in Chicago filed suit against the city on Monday.

The city of Chicago plans to partner with churches and community organizations as part of a new gun buyback program to be announced by the mayor on Monday.

Former Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson reported to prison in West Virginia Tuesday morning.

By a 17-10 vote, the Chicago City Council's Finance Committee advanced Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed $543 million property tax increase to cover police and fire pensions on Tuesday.

Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery called on the Chicago Board of Education to reject new charter school proposals that are currently under consideration by the cash-strapped school district.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel dropped his budget proposal to privatize the city's 3-1-1 non-emergency operations on Wednesday, following pushback from 36 aldermen.

In an op-ed, education activist Jitu Brown says former CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett's illegal actions are not a one-off. Instead, he alleges, she is an example of the "corruption and discriminatory actions" waged against public school students and parents via the privatization movement.

An art exhibit opening Wednesday in Chicago is focused on capturing the beauty of an ecologically sensitive area on Lake Michigan.

Trying to get a handle on how much diesel pollution is being pumped into the air by Chicago's cars, trains and trucks is serious work. Over the past few months, air monitors have been set up in popular public places, including the Shedd Aquarium and Chicago neighborhoods such as Pilsen, to get a gauge of what air pollution looks like in the city.

Chicago police accountability activists on Thursday announced a list of demands for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which is holding a four-day conference in the city starting Saturday.

The central committee of the Cook County Democratic Party is expected to vote Friday on whether to withdraw the party's endorsement of Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown.

The Chicago Transit Authority's 2016 proposed budget does not include fare hikes or service cuts. However, the CTA is depending on Springfield, which is entrenched in its own budget battle, to come through with $221 million in funds for capital improvements.

The Cook County Democratic Party has pulled its endorsement of Dorothy Brown for circuit court clerk in light of a federal investigation into a land deal in which she was involved.

The Chicago Public Schools system is reporting a 4,400 drop in enrollment over the last year.

State News:

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger believes Gov. Bruce Rauner should drop his proposed "Turnaround Agenda" items aimed at unions in an effort to get a state budget adopted.

Staffers at the Illinois State Board of Education collected at least $500,000 in severance and payments for unused paid sick and vacation days as they departed from the agency after Gov. Bruce Rauner was elected.

As Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner continues to press state lawmakers to approve union-weakening policy proposals on his pro-business "Turnaround Agenda," a new report finds that laws allowing public employees to collectively bargain "have not led to excessive public-sector pay."

As low-income working families in Illinois grapple with drastic cuts to the state's subsidized daycare program, a national report is calling attention to the high cost of child care in the state and across the country.

Illinoisans spoke out at the state's Capitol on Tuesday against the Rauner administration's child care cuts and the state budget stalemate's impact on the immigrant community.

During the fourth month of the budget impasse in Illinois, Fitch Ratings lowered the state's credit rating by one notch.

Former College of DuPage president Robert Breuder filed a lawsuit against the school's Board of Trustees Wednesday after they voted for his firing Tuesday night.

The Illinois State Museum system could lose its national accreditation due to the closures imposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner during the ongoing budget stalemate.

Former Illinois state Rep. Derrick Smith, of Chicago, was ordered by a federal judge to report to prison on Friday.

Englewood Community Activist Sonya Harper has been tapped to fill the vacant seat of former state Rep. Esther Golar, who passed away late last month.

The state of Illinois and three public employee trade unions have struck tentative contract agreements, the Rauner administration said Thursday.

All 14 Illinois metro areas saw their unemployment rates tick down in September compared to one year ago, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The state of Illinois' credit rating has been downgraded, again.

The ongoing budget impasse in Illinois was under the heat of the national spotlight this week when the 'Daily Show' took a jab at the state for its treatment of lottery winners during the stalemate.

National News:

Women and workers of color are disproportionately represented in lower-paid restaurant jobs, and they face the most barriers to obtaining "living wage" positions in the industry, according to a new report from Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

Vice President Joe Biden opted against running in the 2016 presidential race Wednesday.

A resolution calling on Congress to pass the proposed "Payer State Transparency Act" was introduced in the Illinois Senate Tuesday by State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet).

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI, 1) has apparently secured enough votes to become House speaker after two-thirds of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus threw their support behind the congressman Wednesday night.

Expensive phone calls to and from prison inmates will soon be a thing of the past. The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to cap the rates and fees starting next year.

Cities and states will have to disclose information about tax abatement agreements under new accounting standards issued in mid-August. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board's first-ever reporting requirements on the issue.


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