• article-image
    Mayor Lori Lightfoot plans to use $46 million in federal recovery funds to plant 75,000 new trees in Chicago during the next five years.

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s pitch to add 75,000 new trees to the city’s canopy during the next five years could have little impact unless the city also works to maintain existing trees and ensure new trees receive proper care, according to one conservation group.

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    Chicago Budget Director Susie Park briefed aldermen on the city’s 2021 year-end balance sheet during a committee meeting last month.

    The Chicago City Council’s expedited two-week round of budget hearings is set to kick off on Friday with a high-level overview from city finance officials, promising to offer an early look at aldermen’s appetite for Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s plan to pair a mild property tax hike with a panoply of new federally backed spending.

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    Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget proposal includes the addition of a new “full-time recruitment team” to swell the ranks of the Chicago Police Department, she said. [Colin Boyle/Block Club]

    Chicago’s sharp rise in violent crime this year has forced Mayor Lori Lightfoot into the center of a debate over whether the city should work to beef up the ranks of the Chicago Police Department or invest in alternative programs like mental health supports and antiviolence intervention.

    With the rollout of her $16.7 billion budget proposal, she gave her answer: both.

  • The Press Box: A deep dive into the mayor's 2022 budget proposal

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled her long-awaited budget proposal for the 2022 Fiscal Year, and Chicagoans have plenty of questions. How will she propose to spend the $1.9 billion the city is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan? How will she try to close the city's $733 million budget gap? Will city residents see any hikes in taxes, fees or fines? The Daily Line reporter Erin Hegarty, editor Alex Nitkin and special guest A.D. Quig of Crain's Chicago Business answer those questions and more about the mayor's budget proposal on this Episode of The Press Box.

    Watch below: 

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    Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35) said during a news conference before Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s budget address that her administration had been "copying" the Chicago Rescue Plan "coalition's homework." [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] 

    As part of her third budget address Monday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled her $2.5 billion Chicago Recovery Plan, her proposal for using the city’s nearly $1.9 billion in federal pandemic-related stimulus funds and other new spending to aid in recovery from the pandemic.

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    Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Monday that her 2022 budget proposal does not include "any new taxes, no reduction in city services, and no layoffs." [Don Vincent/The Daily Line]

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot is proposing to use a combination of leftover tax-increment financing, federal aid from the American Rescue Plan and a smorgasbord of brightened cost and revenue projections to balance the city’s 2022 budget.

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    Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to introduce her 2022 budget proposal on Monday. [Don Vincent/The Daily Line] 

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot is set to unveil her 2022 spending plan Monday, about one month earlier than the city’s typical budget schedule, amid calls for the city to pump directly into communities nearly $1.9 billion in federal pandemic-related grant money.

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    Chicago Budget Director Susie Park briefed aldermen on the city’s 2021 year-end balance sheet on Monday.

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s top financial officials stood firm on Monday amid prodding from aldermen over their plan to use hundreds of millions in federal rescue dollars to unwind a risky pandemic-era financial maneuver instead of plowing it all into social and economic programs.

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    Members of the Chicago Aldermanic Black Caucus during an October 2019 news conference [Alex Nitkin/The Daily Line]

    Chicago’s Aldermanic Black Caucus will look to the city’s 2022 budget to prioritize bringing more resources and regional development to the city’s South and West sides, according to the group’s leader. 

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    Ald. Gilbert Villegas (36), who chairs the City Council Latino Caucus, outlined the caucus' 2022 budget priorities.

    Leaders of the City Council Latino Caucus will push for a majority of the $1.9 billion in federal stimulus dollars to go to residents and businesses instead of using the windfall to pay off the city’s debt, according to caucus leadership.