The mayor’s scheduled to deliver the budget address at 10 AM; there’s a full house at City Hall, but you can watch below. Early reports suggest that TIF surpluses will play a substantial role, and that police-officer headcount will be a controversy; the basic numbers are an $8.3b budget, $298m deficit; more to come (if you haven’t heard that much about this year’s budget, Curtis Black has an explanation, and Ben Joravsky has more).
* City revenues up $40m, according to mayor. Despite some good news, it’s not a lot to work with.
* No hikes to fuel, amusement, property, sales tax; head tax will be cut.
* Mayor says the city’s putting money back in the rainy-day fund.
* Emanuel addressed the increase in homicides, while citing a drop in overall crime stats. As Lauren FitzPatrick points out, the mayor went off-script to talk about meeting the mothers of crime victims.
* Talks up new CPD recruits, but it’s still a controversial subject.
* The Annual Financial Analysis is up here, overview and other documents to come.
* Free eyeglasses and exams for CPS students.
* The city has increased tree trimming 40 percent. #humblebrag (no, seriously: I was in St. Louis a couple weeks ago and was legitimately surprised at how many stop signs were hidden behind lush greenery; these are the things I notice now that I read about transportation design too much).
* The mayor spent quite a bit of time on the complexity of licensing in the city, cutting number of licenses needed by 60 percent, reducing number of inspections.
* The small business center, “end-to-end” services for owners, is intriguing.
* Pension payments will represent 22 percent of the budget within four years, equivalent to expense of police salaries. Setting it up as pensions versus essential services versus 150 percent property tax increase, calls to Springfield for action. Not much else in the way of specifics, though. Maybe it means action on the downstate teachers’ fund? Hard to say.
Photograph: Chicago Tribune
3 days ago