Posts tagged "Illinois"

Women, Infants and Children program threatened by government shutdown

Women, Infants and Children program threatened by government shutdown
It’s a chilly morning as Maricela Villegas hurries through the doors of the Woman, Infants and Children Lower West Side center at 1643 W. Cermak Road. She has a 1-year-old son and is pregnant with another child. Inside the center, a mini grocery store and pharmacy, where it’s toasty warm, Villegas picks up a prescription... Read more »

For SNAP recipients, coming policy changes could take them from bad to worse

For SNAP recipients, coming policy changes could take them from bad to worse
When more than 2 million SNAP recipients in Illinois have their Link card reloaded on Nov. 1, they may notice a difference. In particular, a difference in the amount of money on their card, which will be less. That’s because for the past four years, people depending on food assistance have been getting a temporary... Read more »

Should private lobbyists in Illinois get publicly funded pensions?

Should private lobbyists in Illinois get publicly funded pensions?
If the word “lobbyist” brings to mind someone working against the public interest, listen closely: Illinois is one of at least 20 states where private lobbyists can collect public pensions. According to an investigation released this week by the Associated Press, decades-old laws allow lobbyists who represent associations of states, counties, cities and school boards... Read more »
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Families out of reach, incarcerated youth often silent about sexual assaults

It’s been six months since Celia Peoples last saw her 14-year-old son. He is only five hours away from her home in the small downstate town of Harrisburg, Ill., but Peoples, who is unemployed and barely making ends meet, can’t afford to take a car or a bus to visit him. Peoples’ son is incarcerated... Read more »

State workers hope for quick end to Virginia contractor’s work on Medicaid redeterminations

State workers hope for quick end to Virginia contractor’s work on Medicaid redeterminations
As part of an omnibus Medicaid reform bill that passed the Illinois General Assembly last summer, legislators signed off on a two-year, $76.8 million contract to privatize Medicaid redeterminations. The state sought to hire a company experienced in working with welfare systems nationwide that could quickly review the rolls and remove recipients who are ineligible... Read more »

Why the Voting Rights Act is still relevant despite the demographic shift in voting patterns

Why the Voting Rights Act is still relevant despite the demographic shift in voting patterns
It was one of the big stories coming out of the 2012 election campaign – the minority vote. For the first time ever, the rate of black voters surpassed that of whites in the United States, by 2.1 percentage points. According to the 2012 Census report on voter turnout, 64.1 percent of white voters came... Read more »
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Solving Illinois' $95 billion pension funding gap means changes for workers, retirees

Low-wage workers use minority unionism to fight for $15 minimum wage

Low-wage workers use minority unionism to fight for $15 minimum wage
When Judith Luna went to work at Sears, she never expected to be paid so little that she would seldom be able to shop at the clothing retail store. Nine dollars an hour barely covered her living costs, and it was especially hard when the store barely gave her enough hours to qualify as part-time... Read more »

Will mandatory prison time for gun possession charges make Chicago safer?

The debate over how to stop the bloodshed in Chicago headed south last week as Illinois lawmakers took up a bill that would put more people with guns behind bars–for longer. There is a logic behind HB 2265, which was introduced by state Rep. Michael Zalewski, a Democrat from west suburban Riverside. The argument: that... Read more »
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Labor fights back from one-two punch

Labor fights back from one-two punch
The numbers say it all. The unionized workforce has shrunk  because manufacturing jobs have been going overseas and the job growth in sectors like retail and service, where there are few unions. Organized labor has tried to reverse the trend. The unions’ methods range from welcoming immigrant workers into their ranks to having large demonstrations when state... Read more »