Alderman Looks to Tax Sugary Beverages

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July 29, 2015 - Alderman Looks to Tax Sugary Beverages

Could Chicagoans soon be paying higher taxes for sugary drinks? We'll tell you about that and other items Chicago's City Council took up today.

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Aldermen Weigh Options for Tackling City's Deficits, Pension Debts

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July 29, 2015 - Aldermen Weigh Options for Tackling City's

The City Council today tackled a host of issues in its final meeting before a two-month break. But one issue that didn't come up between aldermen and Mayor Emanuel is the big, expensive elephant in the room. Carol Marin talks with a panel of aldermen to analyze the city’s options for making its pension payments. 

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BGA: Chicago Ranks No. 1 in Fatal Police Shootings Among Top 10 Cities

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July 28, 2015 - BGA: Chicago Ranks No. 1 in Fatal Police

Chicago police officers shot and killed 70 people between 2010 and 2014, according to a new report from the Better Government Association. Andrew Schroedter, senior investigator with the BGA, joins Chicago Tonight to talk about these numbers and their implications for Chicago.

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What's Next for Chicago's Pension Problems?

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July 27, 2015 - What's Next for Chicago's Pension Problems?

A Cook County judge ruled Friday that Chicago's plan to change city workers’ pensions was unconstitutional. The city vows to appeal the decision. We look at the ruling, whether any pension reform can be constitutional, what the consequences are to the city's plummeting bond rating, and whether the city will have to raise taxes to cover the pension liability. 

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Emanuel to Phase Out Seven Downtown TIF Districts

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July 23, 2015 - Emanuel to Phase Out Seven Downtown TIF

This month Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he plans to wind down seven Tax Increment Financing Districts located near downtown. Critics of the move say he’s hanging downtown out to dry, but others say this is a first step toward taxing transparency. We’ll hear from Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz and Tom Tresser of the TIF Illumination Project.

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Cullerton to Rauner: Submit a New Budget to General Assembly

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July 22, 2015 - Cullerton to Rauner: Submit a New Budget

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is a key player in the state budget standoff. Yesterday, Gov. Rauner told reporters that the state would have a budget if it was up to him, Sen. Cullerton, and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Today, what remained of the goodwill between Rauner and Democratic leaders seems to have evaporated. Paris Schutz has more.

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Rauner Lays Blame for Budget Impasse at Madigan's Feet

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July 21, 2015 - Rauner Lays Blame for Budget Impasse

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday held a press conference to lay blame for the weeks-long partial state government shutdown at the feet of House Speaker Mike Madigan, and to decry lawmakers for taking a pay raise when there's no budget in place. We'll get the latest Springfield news from Chicago Tonight's Amanda Vinicky.

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State Budget Stalemate: Week Three

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July 20, 2015 - State Budget Stalemate: Week Three

This is week three of the partial state government shutdown. Carol Marin talks with four lawmakers about whether a compromise is in the foreseeable future.

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Cook County Board Approves Sales Tax Increase

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July 15, 2015-Cook County Board Approves Sales Tax Increase

Cook County Commissioners approved Wednesday a 1-percent increase in the county portion of the sales tax, which brings Chicago’s sales tax to 10.25 percent. President Toni Preckwinkle’s proposed penny-on-the-dollar sales tax was approved by a vote of 9-7.

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City Council Scrambles for New Revenue in Wake of Pension Ruling

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July 28, 2015 - City Council Scrambles for New Revenue in

Mayor Emanuel, back in Chicago after a vacation in Europe, returns to a fiscal situation that is bleaker than it was when he left, thanks to last week's court ruling throwing out a law that cut benefits for many city retirees.

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City Council Committee Debates ‘Chi-Raq’ Film Title

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July 27, 2015 - City Council Committee Debates ‘Chi-Raq’

There was heated debate at a City Council committee meeting Monday on whether or not to strip Illinois Film tax credits from Spike Lee's forthcoming film Chi-Raq. Some say the title validates gang culture while others fumed that aldermen have far better things to do with their time. Is the title Chi-Raq here to stay? 

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Chicago Pension Reform Struck Down

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Mayor Emanuel and the city of Chicago are back to square one in efforts to resolve the funding crisis for two of the city's four pension funds, likely exacerbating the city's ongoing fiscal problems. 

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Newt Minow on Donald Trump’s Candidacy, Problems with the Primary Process

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July 23, 2015 - Newt Minow on Donald Trump’s Candidacy

He famously called television a “vast wasteland," but Newton Minow's influence goes far beyond that iconic phrase. Geoffrey Baer sat down with Minow to talk about some current political issues.

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Blagojevich Gets Some Convictions Overturned by Appeals Court

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July 21, 2015 - Blagojevich Gets Some Convictions Overturned

A U.S. Appeals Court on Tuesday overturned five of the 18 convictions against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently serving a 12-year sentence in a Colorado federal prison.

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Task Force Proposes Consolidation, Dissolution of Local Governments

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July 21, 2015 - Task Force Proposes Consolidation

In a city that has 50 aldermen, it might not come as a surprise that Illinois has the most units of government in the country, nudging out the competition with 6,964 governmental bodies, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This fact isn’t lost on Gov. Bruce Rauner, who created the Local Government and Unfunded Mandates Task Force to come up with recommendations on how to trim down that number. We discuss the task force’s recommendations.

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Analyzing the Cook County Sales Tax Hike

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July 16, 2015 - Analyzing the Cook County Sales Tax Hike

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle won a victory Wednesday after the county board narrowly signed off on her controversial sales tax hike, but there might be some legal and political risks. We’ll talk with the Civic Federation president Laurence Msall and Nick Kachiroubas, an assistant professor at DePaul University’s School of Public Service.

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Illinois Senate Passes Temporary Budget

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July 15, 2015- Illinois Senate Passes Temporary Budget

The Democratic-led Illinois Senate on Wednesday passed the temporary one-month budget by a vote of 39-0 (with 15 voting present) that the House passed last week, but can they override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto? Amanda Vinicky joins us tonight with the latest updates from Springfield.

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