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Daily Whale Originals

Alvarez: I would not jeopardize prosecution to score political points

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez on Wednesday defended her handling of the criminal case against Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago Police officer who faces murder charges for the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. The shooting garnered national attention after the public release last fall of a dash-cam video showing Van Dyke shot McDonald 16 times.


Stagnant state reimbursement rates leave human service providers with funding challenges

Illinois Partners for Human Services, a coalition of over 850 service providers in the state, released a report on Tuesday revealing that state reimbursement rates in the majority of service areas have failed to keep up with increasing in the cost of living and other inflation rates.
The state’s failure to increase reimbursement rates has resulted in a decrease in reimbursement value. Service providers, consequently, have been unable to cover the costs of basic operational and administrative support needed to stay in business. 


Durkin calls for compromise on budget; asks Dem leaders to keep an open mind during negotiations

State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (Western Springs) on Monday called on Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly to look past political rhetoric and bring an open mind to future negotiations on the state’s budget.


Foxx: Judgment, not experience, should be deciding factor in state’s attorney’s race

Cook County state’s attorney candidate Kim Foxx on Thursday said the county needs a state’s attorney with better judgment than the current officeholder. 
Responding to a question about her lack of experience trying felony cases following a speech at the City Club of Chicago, Foxx argued that experience alone does not make a good state’s attorney. While acknowledging incumbent State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez has been a prosecutor for 29 years and has extensive trial experience, Foxx contended, “It’s not her experience that has failed us; it’s her judgment.”


MWRD reduces tax liability for Cook County property owners

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Board of Commissioners last week unanimously passed an ordinance to reduce taxes for wastewater and stormwater services by $3,391,347.
According to a release from the MWRD, the owner of a home with a market value of $200,000 will save an estimated $232.80 and will be reflected in the second installment of 2015 real estate tax bills that will be mailed to homeowners this July. The tax reduction was made possible by MWRD’s savings on bond transactions. 


Chicago, Evergreen Park file legal action against CSX Transportation for blocking railroad crossings

The City of Chicago and the Village of Evergreen Park have filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board against CSX Transportation alleging the company has improperly and repeatedly blocked grade crossings – intersections of railway lines and roads.


Civic Federation’s plan for Illinois fiscal stability calls for spending cuts, tax increases

The Civic Federation’s Institute for Illinois’ Fiscal Sustainability on Thursday released a comprehensive, three-year plan that calls for spending cuts and state income tax increases.


Cook County Board approves new disclosure requirements for large legal settlements

The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved an ordinance amending disclosure requirements for county attorneys seeking board approval for large legal settlements.


Dedicated gun court, pushing aside IPRA on More’s wish list for Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office

Cook County state’s attorney candidate Donna More on Tuesday said she would push for the creation of a dedicated gun court and establish a county safety alliance to address gun violence if elected.

During a speech at a City Club of Chicago breakfast event, More claimed there were over 2,900 shootings in Chicago last year, including over 400 shooting homicides. She said taxpayers paid more than $165 million last year to treat gunshot victims, noting the average cost of an ER visit in such cases was about $55,000.


Emanuel announces administrative reforms for early learning programs

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Monday announced reforms designed to reduce the administration costs for early learning programs in an effort to free up money to expand full-day prekindergarten programs in Chicago.