Stories by Paris Schutz

City Council Scrambles for New Revenue in Wake of Pension Ruling

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.

City Council Committee Debates ‘Chi-Raq’ Film Title

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? 

Chicago Pension Reform Struck Down

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. 

Cullerton to Rauner: Submit a New Budget to General Assembly

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.

Blagojevich Gets Some Convictions Overturned by Appeals Court

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.

New Water Disinfection Plant Helps Clean Chicago Waterways

Swimming safely in the Chicago River is now one giant step closer to reality, according to sanitary officials. Chicago Tonight details the new disinfection process making that possible.

Impact of State Shutdown

The state's failure to reach a budget agreement has caused a government shutdown, and now top officials are hashing out in court what exactly can and can't stay open. Medicaid and social service providers are in limbo wondering if they and other government providers will be able to make payroll and stay open, as the legislative standoff drags on. 

Planning for CPS’ Financial Future

Chicago Public Schools was able to make its $634 million pension payment on Tuesday after using borrowed funds and cutting 1,400 jobs. Paris Schutz has the latest on CPS’ funding crisis, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-term plan to address how school districts and teachers’ pensions are funded.

Former Rep. Mel Reynolds Indicted on Charges for Failing to File Tax Returns

Disgraced former Illinois congressman Mel Reynolds is in trouble with the law once again. In an indictment released today, Reynolds is charged with failing to file tax returns between 2009-2012. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner Vetoes Budget Bills

Lawmakers and the governor are now back to square one on the state budget, just five days before a potential state government shutdown. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed all but the education portion of the budget sent to him by the General Assembly, saying it was $4 billion out of whack. But the governor also offered to compromise on big ticket items. Can a deal be saved? 

Toni Preckwinkle Pushes for Sales Tax Hike

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle sounds off on why she wants to raise the sales tax 1 percent. Will she have support from the board to do it?

Celebrating the Stanley Cup Champions

A torrential morning downpour and a limited ticket event didn't dampen Hawks euphoria today. We have a full recap of the parade and rally.

City Expands Blackhawks’ Parade Route

City Council Approves $1.1 Billion Borrowing Plan

The City of Chicago is expanding the planned parade route for the 2015 Stanley Cup Champions. Paris Schutz details why the route is being doubled and the City Council’s vote to approve a $1.1 billion borrowing plan.

Chicago Seeks to Borrow $1.1 Billion

Chicago is going back to the banks to borrow more than $1 billion, despite its recent junk bond status. Paris Schutz details why the city's chief financial officer says it's necessary.  

Could There be a City Income Tax?

With billions of new revenue needed over the next few years to fund pensions, is a city income tax on the table? We get reaction from aldermen and budget experts.

What Happens if a Budget Isn’t Passed?

With no budget and only weeks before the new fiscal year starts, the state is careening toward a government shutdown. Who would that impact? 

Dennis Hastert Pleads Not Guilty

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who’s accused of bank fraud and lying to the FBI in connection with a sexual abuse scandal, pleads not guilty in federal court. 

Debating Illinois’ Energy Future

There's a lobbying and advertising war going on in Illinois. No, it's not related to the state budget. It pits the state's largest producer of energy, Exelon, which is asking for a rate hike to help its struggling nuclear power plants, against wind and solar energy groups that say Exelon is merely a billion dollar corporation seeking a bailout.

Overtime Session Begins in Springfield

Speaker Michael Madigan and the House return to work today as the overtime session begins. Is it political theater or is this a sign of a compromise with Gov. Bruce Rauner?

Rauner Calls for Property Tax Freeze

Gov. Bruce Rauner wants a freeze on all property taxes in Illinois. He says that’s what he needs before he’ll agree on new revenue in a budget. Will it work? Paris Schutz has the latest.

Chicago Police, Fire Pension Plan Passes Legislature

The Illinois General Assembly passes Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s long-anticipated changes to police and fire pensions. But will it stave off a massive property tax hike? And will Gov. Bruce Rauner sign on? Paris Schutz has the latest.

Plan to Fund Chicago Police, Fire Pensions Surfaces in Springfield

A much anticipated plan to shore up Chicago’s beleaguered police and fire pension funds has finally surfaced in Springfield. The measure would double the city's payment into the fund next year and triple it in the next five years.

Rand Paul Campaigns in Chicago

Sen. Rand Paul brings his presidential campaign to the South Side of Chicago. Will his message resonate here? Paris Schutz has the latest. 

Belmont Flyover

Brown Line Project Increases In Size and Cost

In a time of tight budgets, why is the CTA pushing a $570 million 'flyover' project? Paris Schutz reports. 

New City Council Brings New Effort at Reform

The newly seated City Council takes another stab at reform as aldermen select someone to lead the new independent budget office. Paris Schutz has the details on that and more on the heated relocation of Riot Fest.