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    The city’s minority contracting program would be expanded and extended through 2027 under an ordinance approved on Friday. [Jeridan Villegas/Unsplash]

    A City Council committee voted unanimously on Friday to advance a proposal extending and expanding city rules designed to give a leg up to construction firms that typically face discrimination in the industry. If the ordinance earns approval by the full City Council next week, it will renew the program with two weeks to spare before it was set to expire.

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    Banks that apply to hold the city’s money would have to publish detailed information on their lending patterns under an ordinance set for consideration Monday.

    Banks would be required to more thoroughly report their lending patterns before applying to hold the city’s money under a proposal set for consideration on Monday.

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    Most restaurants would not be able to give out plasticware with takeout orders unless customers ask for it, under an ordinance set for consideration on Monday. [Erin Hegarty/The Daily Line]

    Restaurants would almost always be banned from sending customers home with unsolicited plasticware, napkins or condiment packets under an ordinance set to be considered by aldermen on Monday. But supporters of a more sweeping plastics crackdown say the ordinance does not go far enough.

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    Ald. Michele Smith (43) [left] and Ald. Leslie Hairston [5] during a City Council rules committee meeting on Friday.

    Members of the public would still be allowed to virtually speak their minds at City Council and committee meetings even after the danger of the coronavirus pandemic subsides and meetings return to City Hall under a proposal set for a City Council vote on Sept. 14.

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    Greater Englewood is split among six wards — more than any other neighborhood.

    Greater Englewood is one of several communities throughout Chicago carved up into numerous wards and represented by multiple aldermen. While some of those aldermen agree with a prominent community group that wants ward boundaries to be redrawn so they more closely mirror neighborhood lines, others argue it is beneficial to Greater Englewood to be represented by the six aldermen who currently each claim a piece of the neighborhood 

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    Maura McCauley speaks during a committee meeting Thursday. 

    The one-month extension of a rental agreement between the city and a downtown hotel to use 175 rooms as shelter for single men experiencing homelessness cleared a committee hurdle Thursday.

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    An ordinance that would allow sports betting at the city’s ballparks and stadiums is set to escape a City Council procedural snafu on Friday. [Heather Maguire via Unsplash]

    A proposal to legalize sports betting at Chicago’s ballparks and arenas is set to get back on track Friday, setting it up for potential passage later this year after it was knocked off course.

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    Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) used a committee meeting Thursday to ask whether Chicago Board of Ethics members think the city should be involved in the Chicago Park District’s probe into sexual abuse among its lifeguards. Aldermen advanced an update to the city’s excavation rules. A group of aldermen sent a letter to city health officials asking them to impose a requirement for proof of vaccination in indoor spaces. And the City Council Committee on Contract Oversight and Equity is set to advance an extension of the city’s minority hiring program, weeks before the program is set to expire. 
     

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    House Speaker Chris Welch (D-Hillside) at a news conference in June. During Thursday’s floor debate, Welch urged his colleagues to set aside politics and rhetoric while considering the omnibus energy bill. 

    Despite months of gridlock, the House vote to approve the omnibus energy bill on Thursday was overwhelmingly in favor of the legislation. The bill (SB 2408), which required 71 votes for approval, ultimately received 83 yes votes.  

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    Illinois recorded more opioid overdose deaths in 2020 than any other year on record. (Photo: US Department of Homeland Security) 

    Illinois recorded more opioid overdose deaths in 2020 than any other year on record, according to report released last month from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  

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    Rep. Jay Hoffman, Rep. Marcus Evans and Rep. Robyn Gabel addressed reporters Thursday night after the passage of the omnibus energy bill.

    The Illinois House of Representatives on Thursday approved yet another version of the omnibus energy bill, signaling the most significant movement to date for an issue that has been years in the making. The chamber’s approval is set to be confirmed by the Senate on Monday so it can head to the governor’s desk.   

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    The House on Thursday accepted Gov. JB Pritzker’s amendatory veto of the ethics bill. And businessman Jesse Sullivan entered the race to be the GOP nominee for governor.  

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    Eureka College president Jamel Wright on Wednesday endorsed an effort by Rep. Tom Bennett (R-Gibson) to add a statue honoring former President Ronald Reagan to the Capitol grounds.

    Former President Ronald Reagan is the first and only president of the United States to be born, raised and educated in Illinois and as such should have a statue honoring him on the state Capitol ground, a college president told a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday.  

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    Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a probe of the Joliet Police Department. And Rep. Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) will run for the state Senate. 

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    The need for workers across various Illinois job sectors has resulted in an increase in starting pay, according to a new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. [Unsplash]

    The need for workers across various Illinois job sectors has resulted in an increase in starting pay, according to a new report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA). 

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