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Disability advocates propose plan to save state $337M by closing institutions

Disability advocates from around Illinois presented a proposal to lawmakers Wednesday that they claimed could save the state $337 million per year. The plan called for closing institutions that house individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and replacing their services with community integration programs.

Department of Buildings commissioner highlights city’s top contractors

Two of the contractors that helped construct the newly-opened Lowes Chicago Hotel were on the list of builders that Chicago Department of Buildings Commissioner Felicia Davis named as the top companies behind the city’s recent development boom.

Columbia College VP moving to U of C

Alicia Berg announced she will be leaving her role as vice president of campus environment at Columbia College to take a new position at the University of Chicago.

At U of C, Berg will be the new assistant vice president of campus planning and sustainability. She will work under the direction of Steve Wiesenthal, the senior associate vice president for facilities and university architect.

Resolute VP named Illinois Beverage Association executive director

Jim Soreng began serving last month as the Illinois Beverage Association’s new executive director. Soreng is a vice president with Chicago-based public affairs firm Resolute Consulting.

In his role, Soreng will work as a liaison between the non-alcoholic beverage industry, elected officials and members of the public throughout Illinois. The IBA’s membership consists of beverage distributors, bottlers and employees. The beverage industry directly or indirectly employs more than 100,000 Illinoisans, according to an IBA press release.

Reps. Zalewski, McAullife aim to promote vaccination awareness

Following an outbreak of the measles virus in Illinois, state Reps. Mike Zalewski (D-Riverside) and Mike McAuliffe (R-Chicago) have introduced a resolution to encourage parents to vaccinate their children against contagious diseases.

Chicagoland Chamber PAC honors chamber’s former president and CEO

Jerry Roper, former president and chief executive of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, was honored with the Chicagoland Chamber PAC’s inaugural PAC Advocacy Champion Award on Friday.

The CCC said almost 150 people attended the event, which took place downtown at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Several elected officials were among the attendees, including Alderman Tom Tunney (44th), Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. (27th) and Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

Mayor talks library Internet hot spots at City Club

While introducing Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon at a City Club of Chicago event on Wednesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel discussed the library’s new program that allows patrons to check out Internet hotspots.

Rep. Kelly to serve on House Oversight Committee

U.S. Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) was selected to serve on the U.S. House Oversight Committee for the 114th Congress, her office announced on Tuesday.

The committee acts as the House’s main investigative body and oversees federal government operations, the implementation of federal regulations, cybersecurity and government contracting. Utah’s Jason Chaffetz (R) is the committee’s chair. Kelly will be the ranking member of the Information Technology Subcommittee and will serve on the National Security Subcommittee.

City’s education leaders discuss elected v. appointed school board

Looking ahead to Chicago's Feb. 24 elections, leaders from the city’s education community discussed making seats on the Chicago Board of Education elected positions during a Sunday episode of WTTW/Channel 11’s “Chicago Tonight” program.

Voters in 38 Chicago wards next month will have an opportunity to weigh in on whether they support an elected Board of Education.

IMDC head leaving for biotech trade organization

The Illinois Medical District Commission on Tuesday announced Executive Director Warren Ribley plans to resign and take over as head of the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Ribley plans to resign from the IMDC on Jan. 30, according to the IMDC. He will begin serving as president and CEO of iBIO and the iBIO Institute on Feb. 2. iBIO is dedicated to forging business-education partnerships in an effort to make Illinois and the Midwest “one of the world’s top life sciences centers.”

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