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Daily Whale Originals

DuPage board chairman warns businesses are leaving Illinois

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin declared on Tuesday that the people of Illinois “are voting with their feet” and leaving a state after “drowning under the cost of government.”

“The state of Illinois is ranked number two in terms of out migration,” Cronin said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon on Wednesday. “Residents and businesses – they can’t flee soon enough.”

Aldermen want to expand authority of city inspector general

Chicago City Council members proposed amendments to the 1989 City Inspector General Ordinance intended to significantly increase the power of the inspector general, the in-house watchdog of the city’s executive branch.

McDonald’s gets the union treatment

Workers and labor rights activists in Chicago took aim at some of the city’s biggest retail and fast food employers Wednesday in a series of demonstrations calling for higher pay.

Headed by the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago and supported by various local unions and labor groups, the “Fight for 15” campaign prompted employee walkouts at McDonald’s, Macy’s, Victoria's Secret outlets and other chain stores and restaurants starting at 5:30 a.m. yesterday.

Emanuel: There’s an app for energy conservation

Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants Chicago to dip its toes into “cleanweb,” where public data is used to create web applications for mobile devices that will help Chicagoans save energy.

Emanuel announced Tuesday that, starting this weekend, the city of Chicago will over the next year hold a series of “hackathons,” two-day sessions where people will compete to make applications out of city data on the energy efficiency of buildings.

City’s biotech startup incubator in the works

Mayor Rahm Emanuel hopes a new city-sponsored business center will lure young biotech companies downtown.

The center will serve as a space for startup companies in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries to set up shop and network with Chicago’s established medical community.

The project will be Chicago’s second recent jaunt into business incubation; last year, the city helped launch 1871, a tech company startup space located in Merchandise Mart.

Gutierrez, Paul Ryan push for immigration reform during Chicago appearance

U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) made the case for reforming the U.S. immigration system while speaking at a City Club of Chicago luncheon Monday. The unlikely pair said they plan to introduce legislation that would tighten immigration rules while providing a path to citizenship for those who reside in the country illegally.


State finance authority head makes case for muni bonds’ tax-exempt status

With the federal government considering a sweeping overhaul of the tax code, the Illinois government and Cook County Board are waging a preemptive strike against Washington potentially ending the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.

Ex-sports facilities authority exec director sues White Sox owner, former Gov. Thompson

Perri Irmer, former executive director of the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority – which oversees the operation of the Chicago White Sox’s U.S. Cellular Field – is suing White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and former Gov. Jim Thompson for what she claims was a wrongful termination from her position.


Radogno cites pension advances, but reignites ‘cost shift’ debate

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno said on Monday that state lawmakers made progress during the current legislative session toward addressing Illinois’s estimated $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. But the Republican leader from Lemont also criticized Speaker of the House Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) for his focus on downstate teacher pensions.

“We’ve won the battle on acknowledging the problem,” Radogno said of pensions at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. “Now, of course, the difficulty is finishing the war.”

City ordinance promises TIF transparency amid calls for reform

A coalition of aldermen proposed legislation on Wednesday that would require the city to aggregate information and performance metrics regarding Tax Increment Finance projects into a centralized online database.

The “TIF accountability ordinance” builds on the 2009 TIF sunshine ordinance that required the city’s Department of Housing and Economic Development to publish information about spending in each TIF district.