Stories by Paris Schutz

Higher Rates for Municipal Aggregation Program

Hundreds of thousands of city residents have chosen to get their electricity through the municipal aggregation program. But now many of those might want to opt out because of higher rates. Paris Schutz has more.

IL Supreme Court Ruling An Ominous Sign for Pension Reform

Illinois leaders are reacting today to a state Supreme Court ruling that could spell doom for state and city pension fixes. In a 6-1 decision, the court in a separate case deemed cuts to public retiree health benefits unconstitutional. 

Quinn Signs Bill Relaxing Voting Restrictions

The governor signs a bill relaxing voter restrictions, but Republicans say it's a backhanded ploy to elect more Democrats. Paris Schutz has the very latest.

Vertical Farming’s Rise in Chicago

Is the farm of the future indoors and multiple stories high? Paris Schutz takes us inside some of the area’s vertical farms to showcase the newest food growing technology, and shows us an indoor farm in a building millions of people travel through every day.

Fair Maps Voter Amendment Faces Roadblocks

Should an independent commission – instead of political power brokers – decide how to redraw state legislative maps every year? That is the question a grassroots organization is attempting to put before voters on the November ballot. But their effort may be in peril due to some major roadblocks.

Chicago Pension Law Exposes Rift in Public Unions

The public employees union AFSCME says it will sue to stop Chicago’s recently signed pension reform law. But not all unions agree with that stance. Paris Schutz has more on what’s behind the rift, and on how the city plans to pay for the new law.

Chicago Pension Reform

Quinn Signs Chicago Pension Law; Property Taxe Hike Off-table

After a long wait, the Governor today finally signed the bill into law that reforms two of the city's underfunded pension systems. The governor urged City Council to avoid using property tax hikes to fund the new law, and the mayor responded by taking property tax hikes off the table in the first year of the new law.

Mayor Emanuel: City's Top Watchdog to Stay

Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he’s struck an accord with the City’s Inspector General, Joe Ferguson. Today's comments from the mayor indicate Ferguson has agreed to serve at least the remaining three-plus years of his tenure.

Cardinal George Gives Video Deposition

Cardinal Francis George is questioned under oath today in a civil case involving defrocked priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack. 

Cardinal George to be Deposed in McCormack Case

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is set to give a deposition tomorrow in a group of lawsuits involving the former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel McCormack.

The Return of Digital Billboards

Chicago Tonight first reported on the wave of digital billboards that were sprouting up unregulated in neighborhoods, a year ago. Despite complaints from residents, aldermen, electronic billboards are back. 

Rauner Makes Pitch to Suburban Women

The Republican candidate for governor is seeking to beef up his credentials with an important constituency that helped decide the last gubernatorial election: suburban women. Today, Bruce Rauner appeared at a town hall in the North Shore in front of an all-female crowd. 

Busy Day for City Council

Plastic bag ban, pedicab drivers, digital billboards, and more, Paris Schutz has the latest on a flurry of activity by the Chicago City Council today. 

City Watchdog Reports Corruption

Chicago’s Inspector General, Joe Ferguson, says the city should have put $2.2 million into its coffers from a settlement, but a technicality prevented it. Ferguson also says the City should designate the Office of Inspector General as a “law enforcement organization.” Read an article.

Gambling in Chicago

Could Chicago soon be home to one of the world’s largest casinos? Read an article.

Rauner Wants "Special Deal" for Police, Firefighter Pensions

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner says he favors a different set of retirement benefits for state police and fire personnel. Read an article.

Rauner, Quinn Feisty in First Face-to-Face Meeting

Gloves Come Off Between Candidates at Teachers Union Event

Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn and Republican Challenger Bruce Rauner agreed on one thing at Friday’s appearance before a giant crowd of suburban and downstate teachers union members. Read an article and watch a web extra video.

Cardinal George: Death "Not Imminent"

Cardinal Francis George says he’s asked the Vatican to begin the process to find a successor to take over as Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. George appeared before reporters Friday morning, a few days after undergoing chemotherapy for cancer in his kidney and liver. Read an article and watch a web extra video.

Quinn Slams Emanuel's Pension Bill

Gov. Pat Quinn has thrown a big wrench into efforts to save part of the city's pension mess. Today, the governor said no to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposal to raise property taxes as part of a pension fix. But could a late-breaking development salvage a deal in Springfield to avert a fiscal crisis? Paris Schutz has the details. Read an article and Emanuel's new pension amendment.

Potential Property Tax Hike

How big a hit will homeowners and commercial property owners take if Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s pension reform proposal goes through? Read an article and view a chart.

Chicago Aldermen React to Mayor's Pension Plan

Chicago aldermen react to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's proposed pension plan as they will have to take the tough vote to raise property taxes. Paris Schutz has the details. Read an article.

CTA Union Chief: “We’ve All Dozed Off Driving a Train”

O’Hare Blue Line Crash Sets off War between CTA, Rail Union

Transit riders beware: the head of the CTA’s rail union says dozing off while driving a train is not all that uncommon. Read an article and watch a web extra video.

Gov. Quinn Delivers 2015 Budget Address

Gov. Pat Quinn delivers his annual state budget address. Paris Schutz has the details from Springfield. Read an article and watch Quinn's full address.

Legislative Redistricting

An End to Gerrymandering?

Could Illinois voters put an end to gerrymandering of districts? We have the details on why one campaign says it could happen this year. Read an article, watch a video, and view a map detailing how each state approaches the redistricting process.

Rauner, Quinn Break Bread with Respective Political Parties

The March Primary is over and the parties are coalescing around their respective candidates for governor. Paris Schutz has more on what is shaping up as a bruising battle. Read an article and view a map of Republican gubernatorial votes by county.