Government

Fri, 02/24/2012
Lawmakers in the Illinois House earned an extra $661,000 last year for serving as committee officers, even though some committees met fewer than five times and a handful met once, a Chicago News Cooperative analysis found. The House paid members who serve as committee chairmen and spokesmen (Springfield’s term for ranking minority members) $10,326...
Wed, 02/15/2012
Ahead of this spring’s NATO and G8 summits, four influential aldermen on Wednesday proposed prohibiting audience members from waving signs or engaging in any “demonstration of approval or disapproval” during City Council meetings. Under the proposal, the banned conduct in the council chambers would include — but would not be limited to — “cheering...
Mon, 02/13/2012
For years, environmental and health organizations have called for the closing of the 83-year-old coal-fired State Line Power Station, one of the Chicago area’s top polluters. Now the plant, which is in Hammond, just across the Indiana border on Lake Michigan and adjacent to Calumet Park, is burning through its last stores of coal. It will stop...
Thu, 02/09/2012
Chicago elementary schools that underwent various reform efforts since 1997 improved during the first four years of intervention, but still lagged behind the district on state exams, the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research said in a report released Wednesday. The long-awaited report also found that high schools that implemented...
Wed, 02/08/2012
Chicago Central Food Mart, a corner store in West Humboldt Park, straddles the northern edge of an area considered one of Chicago’s “food deserts.” The store’s faded yellow awning promises “fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables.” But until recently, little fresh produce could be found among the 99-cent sodas, chips, and canned meats packed onto the...
Mon, 01/30/2012
Illinois’ financial outlook could go from bad to catastrophic, according to a new analysis of state budget figures from a government watchdog group. The report from the non-partisan Civic Federation comes two days before Gov. Pat Quinn is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address, traditionally a chance to tout the health of the state....
Wed, 01/18/2012
Despite his reputation as a hard-charging and foul-mouthed politician, it’s a 10-letter c-word –compromise – that has become a buzzword of rookie Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. After tweaking his 2012 budget to secure unanimous approval from the City Council in November, compromise was the word of the day at City Hall on Tuesday also....
Mon, 01/16/2012
Lobbying by Illinois lawmakers would be barred under a bill proposed by the Legislature’s inspector general, who monitors ethical conduct by state representatives and senators. “Legislators should not be allowed to be paid to lobby on behalf of clients before any public body,” said the inspector general, Thomas J. Homer, who plans to introduce the...
Wed, 01/11/2012
Gov. Pat Quinn called for a “rendezvous with pension reality” and said the state must get its pension debt under control this year. At a news conference Tuesday, Quinn said pension reform would be one of his top priorities for the legislative session that starts January 31st. The state’s chronic inability to address its pension shortfall was a...
Mon, 01/02/2012
A new Army Corps of Engineers study of Chicago-area waterways has stirred the debate over whether to sever the connection between Lake Michigan and inland waterways that were created by the construction of canals a century ago. The study, released on Dec. 7, is part of the Corps’s nearly decade-long process aimed at preventing invasive species,...