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Illinois quick hits: Chicago tax initiative has new life; check smoke alarms this weekend

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Chicago tax initiative has new life

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s proposed measure to raise taxes on real estate transactions has new life.

An appellate court sided with the mayor and the city, saying a Cook County judge was wrong to declare the city had improperly placed the referendum on the ballot. Johnson said he wants to use proceeds from the tax hike to fight homelessness, but the Illinois Policy Institute has revealed documents indicating the Chicago Teachers Union intends to use proceeds from the referendum to help fund housing assistance payments to Chicago Public Schools teachers.

Illinois universities underfunded?

An Illinois state commission has issued a report calculating that public universities in the state are underfunded by about $1.4 billion.

The Commission on Equitable Public University Funding is comprised of 34 members, including legislators and university administrators. It found that dedicating an additional $100 million annually to schools would allow the state to bridge the funding gap in a decade.

Check smoke alarms this weekend

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal reminds Illinoisans to test, inspect, and replace broken or expired smoke alarms in their homes with new 10-year sealed battery alarms while they change the clocks this weekend.

The National Fire Protection Association reports between 2014-2018, almost three out of every five home fire deaths in the U.S. resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. this Sunday.

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