City Cast

How Progressive is Mayor Brandon Johnson’s $16.6 Billion Budget?

Sidney Madden
Sidney Madden
Posted on October 12
Mayor Brandon Johnson at a City Council meeting May 24

Mayor Brandon Johnson at a City Council meeting May 24. (Brian Cassella / Tribune)

Mayor Brandon Johnson shared his $16.6 billion “people’s budget” with City Council Wednesday, a spending plan that closes the $538 billion budget gap and makes progress on some campaign promises.

First, How Was the Budget Balanced?

Johnson’s plan does not include raising property taxes, new taxes, or fee hikes to cover the deficit, WTTW reported. Instead, he’s proposed using one-time tax-increment financing funds, saving in “operational efficiencies,” and increased revenue projections.

What Are the Standouts of the Budget?

  • 🚨 Police department spending will stay relatively flat around $1.9 billion.
  • 👋 Over $150 million will be allocated to aid the 18,000-plus migrants who have arrived since last year.
  • 🏠 Spending $6.8 million to expand the city’s homeless shelter system.
  • 🏥 Reopening two previously shuttered city mental health clinics.
  • ☎️ Doubling the staff for non-police 911 responses.
  • ♻️ Re-establishing the Department of Environment.

Want to Learn More About the Budget?

Pore over all the city documents, tune into the City Cast Chicago podcast Friday, or head to City Bureau’s budget happy hour Wednesday.

+ Next up is a month of hearings and negotiations before Johnson asks City Council for final approval Nov. 15. A budget must be passed by Dec. 31.

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