By Meredith Wilson
Gov. Bruce Rauner presented a balanced budget to the Illinois Legislature on Wednesday that did not include a single tax hike.
The proposed state budget for fiscal year 2016 is $31.5 billion, a decrease of 21 percent from the $38.2 billion agencies reported needing for fiscal year 2016, known as the maintenance rate. Revenue is expected to drop from $34.1 billion from fiscal year 2015 to $32 billion, a tightening of 6.5 percent. Fiscal year 2015 ends June 30. Continue reading
By Emily Hoerner
For Chicago’s food insecure children, this season’s blistering cold temperatures may present additional barriers to learning in the classroom.
When weather is especially harsh, people turn to food services like pantries, soup kitchens and shelters more frequently, said Jim Conwell, communications director at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Continue reading
By Lei Xuan
“The world is in a currency war,” says A. Gary Shilling, president of the New Jersey-based consultants A. Gary Shilling & Co.
His reasoning is simple and global: “Many central banks are chopping interest rates to push their currencies down. They all hope to spur exports to offset internal weakness.”
A moderate depreciation of currency is, indeed, especially good for countries who rely heavily on exports. A weaker currency makes export goods cheaper in foreign markets. Continue reading
By Lucy Ren
The majority of the participants at the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting leaned towards delaying the interest rate hike, according to the FOMC’s January meeting minutes released on Wednesday.
By Meg Rauch
A Pew Research Study says that one-third of adults under 30 in the U.S. do not identify with any religion. A Catholic Church in Chicago is bringing more young people back to mass and getting them involved in their faith. Continue reading
By Adriana Cargill
President Obama will arrive this Thursday in the Pullman Historic District to officially designate the neighborhood as the first national monument in Chicago. Pullman will join the ranks of the Statue of Liberty in telling the nation’s story.
George Pullman is a controversial 19th century railroad industrialist who created an experimental town to house his workforce. Most of the original buildings are still standing today. Pullman’s company town played an important role in labor history and early African American civil rights history.
Many neighborhood residents are elated about the designation but others remain skeptical.
By Adam Banicki
Story updated on Feb. 19 with details about federal lawsuit.
The Chicago City Council voted 49-1 to ban the resale of certain animals in an attempt to rid the city of puppy mills. The ordinance goes into effect next month.
Owners of small neighborhood pet shops, such as Jim Sparks who owns Park Pet Shop in Mount Greenwood, feel it unfairly targets their sales of properly cared for animals.
By Matt Yurus
President Barack Obama heads home Thursday to designate America’s next national monument: Chicago’s historic Pullman Park, a site that was home to unprecedented advances in industrialization and impacted African-American and labor history.
In 1879, George Pullman, the man who gave America the luxurious Pullman railcar, built his factory and America’s first “company town” on the Far South Side of Chicago. Continue reading
By Mathias Meier
U.S. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez says a federal judge’s decision to temporarily block President Obama’s executive action on immigration may delay but won’t prevent efforts at reform.
This story followed Gutiérrez on the road while he spoke to immigrants planning to apply to the program and has his reaction when he heard about the legal decision to stop it.
By Dean DeChiaro
Academics and policy wonks said this week they were encouraged by the creation of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s Commission on Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform, but called on the governor to bolster its credibility and efficiency by including formerly incarcerated people among its appointees.
The commission, which Rauner created by executive order last week, has a mandate to examine ways to reduce the state’s prison population by 25 percent in the next 10 years through a largely holistic approach that considers a range of issues in the criminal justice system.
To fully understand those issues, experts said, the commission needs to hear from those who know them best.