House Approves GOP Tax Overhaul, With Senate Outlook Uncertain

The House has narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul, clearing the first major hurdle in Republican attempts to cut taxes and rewrite the tax code. The vote was almost along party lines, with no Democrats voting in support of the bill and some GOP defections over provisions in the measure that would eliminate important tax deductions taken by constituents in some high tax states. "It has been 31 years since we last did this, and it is finally time that we get the general interest of...

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Pretzel City Kitchens will be open for free tours as part of an event at Wagner House.

The project to create a certified, commercial grade kitchen that would be open for community use began in earnest several years ago. Now, after much grant-seeking and traversing several hurdles, it’s almost ready to open for business.

Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow says Pretzel City Kitchens is an important part of the city’s hope for the future.

 

 

Jenna Dooley

The Illinois General Assembly’s new ethics watchdog can now begin investigating a backlog of 27 cases.
They’ve been piling up for nearly three years while the office has been vacant.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law yesterday that removes an expiration date on some of the complaints. Rauner wasn't satisfied with all of the bill's content.

“House Bill 137 is very flawed," he said.

The opening of a new police academy this fall in Decatur was expected to mean that the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, just 50 miles away in Urbana, would close.

But director Michael Schlosser announced Thursday that the Police Training Institute will continue to offer classes in 2018. He said the university signed an agreement Wednesday with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to continue the PTI.

Schlosser says demand is up for police training in Illinois.

Sessions from Studio A - The Giving Tree Band

Nov 16, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Giving Tree Band performs "Live Love" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find The Giving Tree Band online at thegivingtreeband.com.

niu.edu / afscme.org

The chief negotiator for Northern Illinois University says the union representing more than 600 NIU employees turned down the campus-wide three-percent wage approved by the NIU Board of Trustees in October and scheduled to take effect this month.

The chief negotiator for AFSCME Local 1890 says that’s not the whole story.

NIU has been negotiating an initial contract between and a new unit of the largest union representing clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees at NIU for nearly two years.

Rockford's Famous Kantorei Takes On A New Dimension

Nov 16, 2017
Guy Stephens/WNIJ

For more than half a century, the youth choir Kantorei has been known as the Singing Boys of Rockford. This year, that changed.

On a late Tuesday afternoon, members of Kantorei’s Training Choir go through their paces. The treble voices sound a lot like those in years past. It’s when you look at them that you notice the difference. The long-time boy choir now includes … girls.

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The leader of Wisconsin’s firefighters union announced his bid for governor this week. 

Mahlon Mitchell previously ran for public office in 2012 for lieutenant governor, but lost to Rebecca Kleefisch.  However, his 1.2 million votes were the highest tally in a single election received by any of the gubernatorial candidates so far. 

Leaf River Fire Protection District

A memorial fund has been set up for the family of a Leaf River firefighter who died last week.

According to the Ogle County Sheriff’s Office, by the time authorities got to the home of the Wood family in Leaf River early Friday morning, they found it engulfed in flames.

The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate an alleged assault on a Muslim woman in DeKalb.

The group says the woman was wearing Islamic attire when a man approached her while she was shopping at the DeKalb WalMart. He allegedly began shouting “Muslims are not welcome in this country” and  “Americans don’t want her here.” 

When it comes to funding public schools, Gov. Bruce Rauner has wavered a bit.

A few months ago, he vetoed a major funding reform bill, saying it sent too much money to Chicago Public Schools. Later, he signed a compromise measure that gave the Chicago schools even more.

Now he has another bill on his desk.

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News From NPR

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On today's Weekly Wrap, we're consumed by tax reform and discuss voodoo economics, which is a euphemism for trickle-down economics coined by a Republican. Then it's on to President Trump's goal to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and whether or not the tax plan could further that. And in Zimbabwe, negotiations continue for a political settlement after Tuesday's intervention by the country's military. Finally, we play a clip from this season of The Uncertain Hour about how one ordinary citizen helped change the peanut butter industry.

Catherine Rampell of The Washington Post and Linette Lopez of Business Insider join us to discuss this week’s business and economic news. We discuss the viability of trickle-down economics, the concept the new GOP tax bill is built upon, and it’s rocky history in the public eye. We also talk about the differing versions of the tax bill going through both the Senate and the House. Plus, how will this tax bill truly affect both smaller and larger businesses? 

The head of Puerto Rico's power authority stepped down Friday amid controversy over his handling of a system that still can't deliver electricity to that island two months after Hurricane Maria destroyed the power grid.

Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, or PREPA, resigned as he was unable to shake off questions about a $300 million contract that he had awarded to Whitefish, a small Montana-based energy firm, that was supposed to restore power on the island.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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