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Daily Whale Originals

Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District awarded $36 million in federal grants in 2015

Congresswoman Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) on Tuesday issued a press release stating the federal government had awarded over $26 million in grants to municipalities, public safety departments, health and housing agencies and schools in the 2nd District over the last year.

In total, entities in the second district received 43 grants in 2015. The grants provide funding for a variety of community needs, including equipment and training for local firefighters, expanding health and housing services, making infrastructure improvements, and supporting STEM education.

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Officials break ground on extension of North Branch Trail

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RTA Board approves $2.9 billion 2016 operating budget

Regional Transportation Authority Board of Directors on Thursday adopted 2016 operating budgets for the RTA, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra and Pace totaling $2.9 billion. The board also approved a five-year, $3.9 billion capital program that includes an estimated $872 million in capital expenditures next year.

RTA’s $2.9 billion in 2016 operating expenses include $1.47 billion for CTA, $759.8 million for Metra, $228 million for Pace Suburban Bus Service, $174.8 million for Pace Regional ADA Paratransit and $35.2 million for the RTA.

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MWRD infrastructure projects to improve sustainability and efficiency

President of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Mariyana Spyropoulos said the district is in the midst of infrastructure updates that will improve the sustainability and efficiency of the region’s water management system.

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Schillerstrom stresses importance of intergovernmental collaboration to strengthen Illinois’ position as country’s transportation hub

Chairman of Illinois Tollway Board of Directors Rob Schillerstrom said Illinois state and local transportation agencies must work together to improve the state’s transportation systems in order to maintain its status as a national leader in transportation.

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City Council cracks down on illegal tobacco sales

On Wednesday, Chicago City Council passed an ordinance to combat illegal tobacco sales by doubling the fines for sales of illegal cigarettes. The City Council’s Committee on License and Consumer Protection had approved the ordinance on Tuesday, the Chicago Sun Times reported.

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Madigan stresses importance of moderate approach to budget-making

Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) said the solution to the current Illinois budget impasses lies in moderation during a speech at the City Club of Chicago on Wednesday.

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House task force holds hearing on gun violence

The U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, led by Chair Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) and Vice Chair Robin Kelly (D-Ill.), on Tuesday hosted a hearing in Washington, D.C.  

Tuesday’s forum, entitled “No More Silence: Commonsense Solutions to Address the Gun Violence Epidemic,” brought together “expert panelists to discuss what actions Congress can take now to enhance community safety and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals,” according to a press release from Kelly.

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Supreme Court will not review Highland Park assault weapons ban

The Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal filed by Dr. Arie Friedman and the Illinois State Rifle Association of a lower court ruling upholding Highland Park’s ban on assault weapons, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

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Political Strategist Stan Greenberg: Shifting societal demographics could spell trouble for Republicans in 2016 elections

Political strategist and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg on Thursday argued changes in the make-up of the U.S. population and its belief systems have produced a “new American majority with different values.” 

Greenberg made the remarks at a City Club of Chicago event on Thursday. During the event, he spoke about observations he detailed in his recently-published book, “America Ascendant: A Revolutionary Nation’s Path to Addressing Its Deepest Problems and Leading the 21st Century.”

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