Illinois’ new happy-hour law comes with more nanny-state mandates

Illinois’ new happy-hour law comes with more nanny-state mandates
A couple of decades ago, the state of Illinois decided to ban happy hours. But a new bill moving through the Illinois General Assembly would make after-work drink specials legal – sort of. The proposal, Senate Bill 398, would allow establishments with liquor licenses to offer discounted drink specials for a total of 15 hours per... Read more »

Forget ‘Chiraq,’ why is Illinois paying for movie making?

Forget ‘Chiraq,’ why is Illinois paying for movie making?
If you live in the Windy City, you know there’s been much ado about “Chiraq,” a term used to describe the roughest neighborhoods in city limits, and the title of a new project from director Spike Lee. And when the state agreed to give Spike Lee’s company, Forty Acres and A Mule Filmworks, a $3... Read more »

Chicago’s pedicab emigrants embraced in Evanston

Chicago’s pedicab emigrants embraced in Evanston
Hailing a pedicab is a popular, efficient and reasonably priced way to get to and from Northwestern University home football games. Despite their increasing popularity, City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz put forth an idea earlier this month to allow no more than 10 pedicabs to operate in Evanston, according to Evanston Now. All 10 aldermen voted... Read more »
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Chicago taxicab safety audit baits rideshare opponents, highlights broken system

Chicago taxicab safety audit baits rideshare opponents, highlights broken system
“The real safety risk is posed by so-called ride-share operators like Uber and Lyft that are barely regulated at all.” That’s what Tracey Abman, associate director of AFSCME Council 31, said in a statement to the media after reports surfaced that a city audit revealed failures in Chicago’s taxicab safety inspections. She also maintained that... Read more »

Amid budget season, Illinois politicians declare vending-machine snack preferences

Amid budget season, Illinois politicians declare vending-machine snack preferences
In the wake of Illinois’ recent sugary-drink tax proposal, state politicians have come out with another health-conscious priority: increasing the number of low-calorie snacks found in vending machines. At the urging of state legislators, vending machines in the state’s 11 welcome centers and 30 rest stops may begin offering at least three “healthy snacks” with... Read more »

Proposed law would require permit to sell soda in Illinois, tax consumers for buying it

Proposed law would require permit to sell soda in Illinois, tax consumers for buying it
The federal government heavily subsidizes corn production. Corn is one of the main ingredients in high-fructose corn syrup, a cheap sugar substitute used in soda. Now, some Illinois politicians want to tax their constituents for consuming these unhealthy drinks. State Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, and state Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston, reintroduced the Healthy Eating Active... Read more »
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3 taxes that make Chicago an expensive city

To lure more shoppers over the President’s Day holiday, the shops at 900 North Michigan Ave. hosted a “Tax-Free Weekend.” That’s a big deal in a city where the total combined sales tax is 9.25 percent – among the highest of all major U.S. cities, according to the Tax Foundation. Everyone knows that shopping in... Read more »

‘Countdown clocks’ a Band-Aid for Chicago’s failed red-light camera program

Two Chicago aldermen are calling for changes to the city’s disgraced red-light camera program. Aldermen Tom Tunney and Anthony Beale want to require “countdown clocks” to alert drivers how much time is left before stoplights turn red, according to the Chicago Tribune. Tunney and Beale have also proposed mandating minimum yellow-light lengths of 3.2 seconds,... Read more »

Chicago not the only city in Illinois keeping out food trucks

In Chicago, food trucks aren’t allowed to operate within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant. These mobile businesses struggle to survive in pockets of busy, overcrowded “parking zones,” which are the only places they are allowed to sell to hungry customers. Vendors have endured a long struggle with City Hall for the right to do... Read more »
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Alderman considers city cameras to patrol dog owners

In Chicago, city government already watches you as you drive through intersections. Now it wants to watch your dog … poop. Alderman Danny Solis is considering installing cameras around Mary Bartelme Park, DNAinfo reported. Neighborhood residents posting to South Poop regularly dish on their displeasure with the level of animal excrement left behind by rude... Read more »