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Daily Whale Originals

Preckwinkle projects $152 million deficit in 2014 preliminary budget

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle released on Thursday a preliminary budget for the county’s next fiscal year, which includes an expected $152.1 million operating deficit.

The deficit is driven by $166 million in cost increases related to employee healthcare benefits, personnel and non-personnel spending, according to a press release from Preckwinkle’s office.

This year’s rollback of the county’s 0.25 percent sales tax accounts and a recent reduction in the non-titled use tax will lead to an estimated $60 million in lost revenue.

City Colleges chancellor outlines goals for 2018

While speaking Monday at a City Club of Chicago luncheon to an audience that included Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman outlined targets that the system hopes to reach by 2018.

CTA to conduct Blue Line infrastructure update study

The Chicago Transit Authority announced on Thursday it plans to conduct a study to determine the need for infrastructure updates to the Blue Line track along the Eisenhower Expressway.

CTU president fears more teacher layoffs on the way

Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, warned on Tuesday that the 855 pink slips issued by the Chicago Public Schools last week are, perhaps, “just the tip of the iceberg” for CPS layoffs.

The downsizing announced on Friday includes 420 teachers represented by CTU, who taught at the 50 schools scheduled to close when the current school year ends. Lewis said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon on Tuesday that any future layoffs would more likely be the result of district-wide budget troubles than further ramifications from school shut downs.

New city program launched to attract data centers to Chicago

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday joined Server Farm Realty CEO Avner Papouchado for the official opening of the firm’s new downtown data center. The new facility, located at 840 S. Canal St. in the South Loop, is already in operation and the company is working to attract new clientele, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Byrd-Bennett stresses community involvement in CPS plan for future

Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer Barbara Byrd-Bennett presented a five-year “district action plan” on Monday that repeatedly emphasized a “shared responsibility” to create successful CPS students between parents, community members, and a range of for-profit and non-profit institutions.

“We need to draw on all of the resources of our city and its people,” Byrd-Bennett said during a speech at Westinghouse College Prep on the Near West Side.

Largest Internet retailer trade show to remain at McCormick Place

Trade show organizer GLM has agreed to hold its Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Chicago over the next several years.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced in a press release Friday that GLM inked a 6-year extension of its contract with the city to hold the IRCE at McCormick Place, which will keep the show in Chicago through 2020.

Entrepreneurial Center CEO talks successes, challenges in city’s startup sector

Chicago Entrepreneurial Center CEO Kevin Willer discussed the many successes of Chicago’s startup community while at a City Club of Chicago luncheon on Thursday, but he said that the city still has more work to do to establish itself as a burgeoning hub for entrepreneurs.

Lawmakers cast blame for pension reform inaction

Several state lawmakers discussed upon whom to place blame for the legislature’s recent failure to pass pension reform while appearing on a Monday night episode of WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight.”

During the show, state Rep. Michael Connelly (R- Naperville) said there is “nothing more important than pension reform” and added that Gov. Pat Quinn was ultimately to blame for the legislature’s failure to reach an agreement on pension system reform.  

Chicago Republican Party vows ‘serious’ drive for Windy City candidates

Four days after the Illinois General Assembly ended its spring session without passing legislation to overhaul the public employee pension system, the Chicago Republican Party declared its challenge to “one-party rule” in Illinois.