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Council vote today on the mayoral plan

Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to ask Chicago lawmakers to vote on the $16.4 billion 2023 budget on Monday. This is the last chance to present the city’s spending plans before it meets voters next February.

With the election season continuing, Lightfoot’s administration designed her budget to be as uncontroversial as possible, but it wouldn’t have been a Lightfoot initiative without a few fights. As part of his budget, he has faced criticism for pushing for measures to give incoming mayors automatic annual salary increases in line with inflation, but mayors can opt out of pay increases.

Lightfoot has also faced backlash from city councilors who are upset about her decision not to create a Ministry of the Environment in 2019., which is staffed with fewer than a dozen positions.

Ahead of Monday’s vote, Lightfoot also appeared on the radio to denounce city council member Southwest Side Aldo. Matt O’Shea questioned his support for law enforcement by not supporting her budget. O’Shea refuted her idea that he didn’t support the police and that her spending plans weren’t enough to keep them from retiring at exorbitant rates.

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Still, negotiations this budget season have been remarkably quiet compared to negotiations the year before, which erupted in some of Lightfoot’s most controversial battles with aldermen. Lightfoot took a less openly belligerent tone this year, backing out of her first proposed property tax hike. Her administration announced a higher than expected revenue of $134 million this year and denied the need to raise property taxes.

Another provision in Lightfoot’s budget, which has faced scrutiny from aldermen, is a maximum total fine for vehicles that block bike lanes or contain tinted windows or obscure license plates, from $500 to $250. It was a pulling motion. A representative of the city’s legal department explained that an Illinois Court of Appeals ruling earlier this year mandated a lower cap, and only an amendment to state law by Congress could change that.

Aldermen have criticized the Lightfoot administration for failing to address the issue, saying it undermines public safety and the city’s finances.

Outgoing Aldo. Leslie Hairston (No. 5) accused the mayor’s office of not using lobbyists in Springfield, blinding the city council.

“There is a complete breakdown of communication,” said Hairston. “We are sitting here in the dark about everything. Our representatives have not been in touch with us.”

When it comes to police, the mayor’s budget plan reflects her ethos that combining a strong police department with street action and other comprehensive programs is the solution to the city’s persistent gun violence. This year’s shootings and murders are down so far from 2021, the worst in decades, but still higher than before Lightfoot took office.

One of the City of Lightfoot’s budget’s most impressive goals is to contribute an additional $242 million to all four of the city’s pension funds. The mayor likened this to ending the practice of paying only a minimum monthly amount on his credit card. If current market performance is maintained, future contributions will be cut by him by $2 billion, officials said.

Overall, the 2023 budget will cost pension payments $2.7 billion, up from $2.3 billion last year. Mayor Lightfoot says that through improved financial planning and cash flow management, the city has increased his annual pension contributions by $1 billion and reduced outstanding debt by $377 million in three years. .

https://www.chicagotribune.com/politics/ct-chicago-city-council-budget-20221107-pzakjppe5baqxcbzrt65wntbte-story.html#ed=rss_www.chicagotribune.com/arcio/rss/category/news/ Council vote today on the mayoral plan

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