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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Wednesday will deliver her first budget address, with an expected plan to close an $838 million budget deficit. She’s already accounted for $200 million of that with a proposal to refinance $1.3 billion in city borrowing.

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot waves after being sworn in during her inauguration ceremony Monday, May 20, 2019. (AP Photo / Jim Young)

It’s her first week in office, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot doesn’t have time to waste when it comes to city finances. How can Chicago address its fiscal troubles?

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(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

For the first time since 2015 Illinois may actually have a budget in place before the start of the new fiscal year. And the governor says he will sign it.

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(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, shares his thoughts on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s $37.6 billion spending plan.

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Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger tightens state lawmakers' belts, hoping to force a budget deal. Will that work to break the deadlock?

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A comprehensive list of nearly all of the planned borrowing to be done in 2016 was disclosed today by Chief Financial Officer Carole Brown.

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A Cook County judge ruled Friday that Chicago's plan to change city workers’ pensions was unconstitutional. The city vows to appeal the decision. We look at the ruling, whether any pension reform can be constitutional, what the consequences are to the city's plummeting bond rating, and whether the city will have to raise taxes to cover the pension liability. 

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle won a victory Wednesday after the county board narrowly signed off on her controversial sales tax hike, but there might be some legal and political risks. We’ll talk with the Civic Federation president Laurence Msall and Nick Kachiroubas, an assistant professor at DePaul University’s School of Public Service.

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Illinois is one of only three states that does not tax retirement income. That cost the state $2.2 billion in FY 2013, and along with other tax breaks the total revenue the state is foregoing is close to $9 billion. Is it time to reassess and end at least some of these tax breaks? Laurence Msall, president of the Civic Federation, is just back from Springfield and joins us to share his thoughts.

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With just two days until Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his first budget address, analysts are debating how best to tackle Illinois’ massive budget deficit. The Institute for Illinois' Fiscal Sustainability at the Civic Federation has released a five-year state budget roadmap that it says will stabilize Illinois while protecting important government services.

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Just weeks before Gov. Pat Quinn is set to make his budget address, government watchdog group The Civic Federation releases a proposal it says will balance the state’s budget. The plan would pay down the state’s backlog, but would impose a tax on pension and social security income. Civic Federation President Laurence Msall and State Director for AARP Illinois Bob Gallo discuss how the proposal could affect retirees. Read the full report.

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Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield this week to vote on pension reform. Carol Marin and her guests discuss the deal, and what it would mean for employees. Read the full Conference Committee Report on Senate Bill 1 and details of the proposal.

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Springfield’s inability to reform the state’s pension system has all sorts of consequences: for unions, for the markets, and for taxpayers across the state. We discuss the future with some of the key players.

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A mixed report on the backlog of Illinois' unpaid bills is released. Carol Marin breaks down the billions with the study's author.

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Chicago civic groups back bipartisan pension reform, but will it prompt any action in Springfield? Eddie Arruza and his panel discuss the latest developments.

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It's the second week of no classes for Chicago Public Schools students. What went wrong after things looked so promising on Friday? Where do negotiations go from here? Phil Ponce and our panel have analysis.