The Chicago City Council gets a look at Mayor Emanuel’s improved proposed 2015 budget plan. Some budget items have been known for a while, but there are a number of surprises in store for closing the $297 million budget hole. We discuss where Chicagoans can expect cuts, and what payments will be pushed back to next year. Our panel of aldermen will also address the latest news from the mayoral race, and more.
The city's 2015 budget was unveiled at Wednesday's City Council meeting by Mayor Emanuel. The mayor's proposal touted a $8.90 billion budget with no plans for property, sales or gas tax hikes. The budget will also sell city parking lots used by city employees and other vacant properties. Mayor Emanuel noted this reform stemmed from a recommendation by the city's Inspector General and assured this will bring in millions to the city in 2015.
"This one change alone will save taxpayers $10 million," the mayor said during the meeting.
The budget also includes plans to expand the city's pothole crew in preparation for the winter and investment in urban neighborhoods by expanding citywide graffiti removal and adding 30 percent more rodent control crews.
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis announced she will not run in the upcoming mayoral election, according to a statement released Monday afternoon.
“Karen Lewis has decided to not pursue a mayoral bid,” Jhatayn “Jay” Travis, coordinator of the Karen Lewis Exploratory Committee, said in a statement. “Yet she charges us to continue fighting for strong schools, safe neighborhoods, and good jobs in every community.”
Last week, Lewis was hospitalized and had emergency surgery for what CTU officials called a serious illness. Lewis’ withdrawal from the race leaves Ald. Bob Fioretti as Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s only challenger in the February election.