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    Ald. Pat Dowell (3) presides over Friday’s budget committee meeting. 

    Aldermen on Friday gave quick approval to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed $16.7 billion budget plan with some added changes from the City Council, including the creation of an oversight subcommittee to monitor the city’s spending of federal stimulus money. 

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    Cook County had banked on $1.7 million in tax revenues from guns and ammunition sales in 2022. The Illinois Supreme Court struck down the tax on Thursday. [ripster8 on Unsplash]

    The Cook County Board of Commissioners is set to plunge into a full week of departmental budget hearings on Monday, days after the Illinois Supreme Court blew a nearly $2 million hole in board President Toni Preckwinkle’s budget proposal.

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    The City Council Latino Caucus says its proposed map takes its cues from census data and federal law. But the chair of the Aldermanic Black Caucus says it would be illegal. [City Council Latino Caucus; Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    A new Chicago ward map filed by the City Council Latino Caucus would bring the city’s representation closer in line with its population and unify neighborhoods sliced up under the existing map, proponents say.

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    Budget Director Susie Park [left] and Chief Financial Officer Jennie Huang Bennett answer questions during a finance committee meeting on Thursday. 

    Several aldermen initially balked on Thursday before advancing an ordinance giving the city the greenlight to borrow $660 million to help fund Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed Chicago Recovery Plan, saying they don’t trust city officials to fully carry out plans for the money in their respective wards. 

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    A plan by developer Trammell Crow to build two new towers at the corner of May Street and Carroll Avenue cleared the Chicago Plan Commission despite pushback from some members.

    Plans for a two-tower development that would add a gush of new apartments and offices to the booming Fulton Market district cleared a key hurdle on Thursday despite myriad questions over whether the developer has done enough to satisfy the city’s shifting affordable housing policies.

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    One provision of the budget Management Ordinance set for approval on Friday would extend the authority of the Department of Water Management commissioner to replace the city's lead service lines. [Pexels] 

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $16.7 billion budget plan is set to clear another major hurdle on Friday, as her administration’s more than 600-page budget appropriation ordinance (O2021-4238) comes up for a committee vote.

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    Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed ordinances to fund next year’s spending plan are set to face a committee vote on Thursday. 

    Aldermen are set on Thursday to take an initial vote to approve the funding mechanisms for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s proposed $16.7 billion spending plan. And while the plan may not technically include new fines, it does propose to capture revenue from hiked fines for environmental violations and a modest property tax increase.

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    A trio of aldermen are pushing for the 2022 budget plan to include a “formalized” mechanism for oversight of how the city spends nearly $2 billion in American Rescue Plan funds. [Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago]

    Aldermen are furiously negotiating with Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration this week to finalize an array of tweaks they hope to insert into the city’s spending plan before it reaches a final vote next week.

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    ComWell Behavioral Health Services executive director Shea Haurey was one of several behavorial and mental health providers who urged lawmakers on Friday to provide the industry greater funding to help address workforce shortages. 

    With an increased demand for mental and behavioral health services and a shortage of workers, Illinois should fully utilize its federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars, deploy mobile health units, waive regulations and ultimately change the way providers are paid, a panel of state officials and advocates told lawmakers on Friday.  

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    Democrats on Friday released an updated congressional map proposal. And Gov. JB Pritzker ordered COVID-19 vaccinations for daycare staff. 

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    Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) posted his best quarter yet in terms of fundraising according to his latest campaign finance reports. 

    New campaign finance reports revealed the ongoing struggles of the state Democratic Party to raise money, a surge of new donations to legislative leaders and the continued financial difficulties facing the Republican candidates running for the chance to oust Gov. JB Pritzker. 

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    Faith Colson, who testified before a Senate committee in August, praised the chamber’s passage on Wednesday of a bill aimed at combatting sexual abuse and misconduct in Illinois schools. 

    The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure designed to bolster training and resources to combat sexual abuse and misconduct in Illinois schools, plus a separate bill to make midwifery in Illinois a licensed occupation.  

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    Witnesses on Wednesday urged Democrats to keep the state’s 3rd congressional district intact. And Gov. JB Pritzker announced a new school safety initiative and a fifth union vaccine agreement.  

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    A three-judge panel on Tuesday issued an opinion that found the legislative redistricting maps touted by Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero) and Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) earlier this year were unconstitutional. 

    A panel of judges handling two of the lawsuits challenging the state’s legislative redistricting maps on Tuesday issued an opinion that said the June-approved district boundaries violated the U.S. Constitution, leaving open the possibility for the federal court to create new maps.  

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    Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) on Tuesday touted a bill that would give prisoners the right to vote. Four GOP senators proactively pushed back on a bill that would eliminate Illinois’ parental notification law for teen abortions. And Gov. JB Pritzker encouraged elderly residents to get their COVID-19 booster shots.   

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