CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Aldermen have advanced Mayor Emanuel’s proposed 2014 budget, leaving it poised for final action next week.
WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports Mayor Emanuel’s nearly $9 billion budget easily cleared the Council’s Budget Committee. It includes a new independent fiscal analysis office for the alderman, but it does not include $25 million that alderman like Rick Munoz want to use to hire 500 additional police officers, but there will be a hearing before next week’s final budget vote.
“That’s what we are talking about right now. It is legislation; we are negotiating back and forth on whether or not this can be done and by how much,” said Munoz.
So far the administration has insisted it will simply use the officers it has more efficiently, but Munoz says talks continue and the budget could be amended.
Some alderman like Leslie Hairston expressed reservations on the the $0.75 a pack rise in the cigarette tax in the budget, saying it will do more harm than good when people head to the suburbs or Indiana to buy say tobacco product.
“It is kind of like smoke and mirrors because we are not really impacting what we need to impact and as my colleague Alderman Ervin said, we are decimating some communities with the illegal trade that we have created,” said Hairston.
But Budget Director Alexandra Holt says the numbers show the City will raise enough for health programs and other things even if fewer people smoke or buy cigarettes in Chicago.