• article-image
    Chicago Police officers oversee a protest. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago] 

    Just two weeks after the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) Board of Education unanimously voted to ban police officers from CPS, a House committee advanced a measure that would put decisions about school resource officers (SRO) back in the hands of Local School Councils (LSC).  

  • article-image
    Ald. Maria Hadden, attorney Ed Mullen and Bring Chicago Home advocates gather in front of the Illinois Appellate Court on March 1, 2024. [Michael McDevitt/The Daily Line]

    The Illinois Appellate Court on Wednesday reversed a lower court’s ruling to suppress the outcome of the city’s referendum to change the real estate transfer tax structure from a flat rate to a graduated rate, allowing the results of the measure known as Bring Chicago Home to be counted. 

    The appeals court reversed the previous ruling largely on the grounds that the lawsuit was “premature” and that the referendum is a protected part of the city’s legislative process, since the city must receive voter approval before it is allowed to raise the transfer tax.

    “The holding of an election for the purpose of passing a referendum to empower a municipality to adopt an ordinance is a step in the legislative process of the enactment of that ordinance,” the appeals court said in a unanimous judgment and opinion delivered by Judge Raymond Mitchell. “Courts do not, and cannot, interfere with the legislative process.”

  • article-image
    City Hall is pictured in this file photo

    Cook County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Burke did not elaborate on her reasoning for invalidating the Bring Chicago Home referendum in a Friday ruling. In a court order received Monday by the Chicago Board of Elections, the defendant in the lawsuit against the referendum, Burke wrote that she ruled against the legality of the ballot question to raise the transfer tax on high-end property sales “for the reasons stated in open court and on the record.” 

    The court order confirms that the Bring Chicago Home referendum (R2023-0004166) will remain on the primary election ballot but will not be countable or reportable unless an appeals court reverses the decision. The city filed a notice of appeal on Monday. 

  • article-image
    A file photo of voting booths.

    A Cook County judge on Friday sided with real estate and commercial groups that had sued the Chicago Board of Elections to keep the Bring Chicago Home referendum off the March 19 primary election ballot. While voters might still be able to vote on the ballot question, the results could be suppressed if a higher court does not reverse the decision on appeal.

    The fight to raise the real estate transfer tax was supported by Mayor Brandon Johnson while he campaigned for office. In a statement Friday evening, the mayor’s office said the city was disappointed, believed in the referendum’s legality and was exploring “every legal option available” to ensure voters remain the final say on the question. 

  • article-image
    Mayor Brandon Johnson is pictured at a press conference in January. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The City Council approved millions of dollars in police-related legal settlements, two mayoral appointments and a bag tax amendment Wednesday. But Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposal for a $1.25 billion borrowing plan is in limbo.

  • article-image
    Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf walks through the Illinois Capitol on Tuesday. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf took a trip to Springfield on Tuesday to pitch lawmakers on a reported plan to devote $1 billion to help the team build a new ballpark in The 78 just south of the Loop in Chicago.  

  • article-image

    Chicago’s mayor announced a massive lawsuit against multiple oil and gas companies and an oil industry trade association. And Cook County has received additional philanthropic dollars for a criminal justice reform program.

  • article-image
    Cook County Appellate Court Judge Jesse Reyes, left, and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham, right, are running for the First District Supreme Court seat. [Reyes Campaign & Illinois Supreme Court]  

    What is the right mix of experience and diversity? That’s the question Cook County Democratic primary voters are being asked as Appellate Court Judge Jesse Reyes and incumbent Supreme Court Justice Joy Cunningham try to win over voters in the 1st Supreme Court District.  

  • article-image
    Illinois Republican Party Chair Don Tracy speaks at Republican Day at the Illinois State Fair last August. [Ben Szalinski/The Daily Line] 

    Early voting and mail-in voting is OK and might even help Republicans win elections, the leader of the Republican Party told a large gathering of Illinois Republicans on Friday night as part of the party’s new embrace of practices to make voting more accessible.

  • article-image
    Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36) attends a City Council meeting in October 2023. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    The mayor and 15 alderpeople are backing legislation (O2024-0007305) that would effectively ban current forms of natural gas energy from being used for heating or appliances in new construction.

    Advocates say it’s a necessary first step, as about 68 percent of Chicago’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the built environment. While having a limited effect on existing buildings, the legislation is seeking to make sure the emissions share doesn’t increase with new developments. 

    But another group representing more than half the City Council is supporting a measure that calls for a cost analysis of the proposal before any decisions are made.