PI Original Aricka Flowers Friday November 6th, 2015, 6:46pm

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois and national news and politics (November 2, 2015 - November 6, 2015).

Chicago and Cook Co. News:

Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis encouraged members on Monday to "save at least 25 percent of their pay in preparation for a possible strike."

Southeast Siders and environmentalists took to Chicago's streets Tuesday for a "Day of the Dead march" against industrial pollution in their community.

Restorative justice advocates and two Cook County commissioners want an increase in county funding for community-based violence prevention programs aimed at encouraging positive behavior, reducing recidivism and addressing trauma in communities.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle's proposal to extend the county's 3 percent amusement tax to cable TV, bowling and golf may not have enough support to pass, according to one Cook County commissioner.

Former stagehands at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago who were allegedly fired by JAM Productions for union activity want their jobs reinstated, back pay and a fair unionization process.

The Chicago Public Schools district is looking to close four "chronically underperforming" charter schools, officials announced Thursday.

Chicago parents, community members and elected officials want the city to rebuild Independence Public Library in the Irving Park neighborhood after an extra-alarm fire damaged the library and destroyed several nearby businesses last Friday.

The United Neighborhood Organization (UNO), which formerly managed the UNO Charter School Network, is facing potential bankruptcy, according to media reports.

There is a lack of "political will" to improve the state of public housing in Chicago, participants at a roundtable discussion on the "future of public housing" argued Friday morning.

Chicago Public Schools students rallied Friday evening at the Thompson Center, where they called on Gov. Bruce Rauner and state lawmakers to come to a budget solution in order to avert deep cuts and layoffs at CPS.

State News:

Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is gearing up to release an education reform agenda for the state in the near future.

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday sided with a transgender student in Palatine High School District 211 who has been denied access to a school locker room.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to open soon in Illinois.

Forty-one protesters with Fair Economy Illinois were arrested Monday after they blocked the entrances of the Chicago Board of Trade building as part of their campaign for a "LaSalle Street tax," or a tax on financial transactions to generate state revenue.

The state of Illinois has launched a program that will allow private investors to subsidize services for people in need. In return, the companies would potentially receive a fiscal return for their financial assistance.

Former Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Fitzgerald has died.

Those seeking health care coverage through the Illinois marketplace are facing double-digit percentage increases in insurance prices in some regions of the state.

Illinois is among a coalition of 25 states and cities, including Chicago, that is backing the federal Clean Power Plan in the legal battle over the new environmental regulations, Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office announced Wednesday.

Nearly 2,500 families from 100 child care centers in Illinois have lost access to state-subsidized daycare because of the Rauner administration's cuts to the program, according to a new survey of child care providers in the state.

As demand for federal housing vouchers intensifies in Illinois, residents in need of affordable rental housing are encountering mostly closed wait lists for the Housing Choice Voucher program across the state, a new report shows.

Representatives for teachers in the Alton public school system and district officials are resuming contract talks this afternoon in hopes of avoiding a strike.

As the battle rages on over restrictions made to Illinois' Child Care Assistance Program, new research shows that child care workers make very low wages, and over 90 percent cannot afford a one-person family budget in most metro and rural areas in the country.

During the last cycle of state Supreme Court elections, Illinois had the largest share of outside spending by interest groups. That's according to a new national report on campaign finance, which also showed that Illinois ranked second in the nation for the total amount of outside spending in 2014 state Supreme Court elections.

The number of approved medical marijuana patients in Illinois has now reached 3,300, according to new numbers by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Texas-based energy company Dynegy Inc. plans to shut down its Wood River Power Station, a coal-fired power plant located in Alton, by mid-2016.

National News:

Sunday marked the start of the third enrollment period for health care coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Hillary Clinton was in Chicago Monday to raise funds for her presidential campaign.

Federal prosecutors have issued another subpoena for the records of former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock.

U.S. Senate Candidate Andrea Zopp held a roundtable Friday in the Washington Park neighborhood on Chicago's South Side to discuss her recently-released plan for community-based policing.

The U.S. economy added a better-than-expected 271,000 jobs in October, and the nation's unemployment rate fell to a seven-year low of 5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline application and lamented the amount of political energy the proposal has consumed.


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