Illinois quick hits: Chicago advances property sales tax increase; prison libraries get grants

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Chicago advances property sales tax increase

A plan to hike taxes of the sales of properties worth $1 million or more has cleared a hurdle. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said the tax increase would raise funds to fight homelessness.

A public hearing that took place Wednesday represented a crucial step in the process required before voters in the March primary election can decide the fate of the proposal. Some landlords of multi-family units have warned that an increased tax will mean rent hikes for those least able to afford them.

University faculty look to unionize

Hundreds of Illinois State University faculty members are continuing their efforts to unionize.

According to the Illinois Federation of Teachers, 650 tenured and tenure-track faculty at ISU in Normal filed for membership cards with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board Wednesday to express their intent to unionize. Faculty could be certified to form a union next summer.

Prison libraries get grants

The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office is awarding more than $400,000 to the Illinois Department of Corrections to support 28 prison libraries throughout the state.

The funding is designed to provide each correctional facility library with $15,000 to purchase reading materials, such as books, magazines and library supplies. The Secretary of State’s Office awarded the grants using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds.

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