Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Chicago Cuts Budget Deficit Nearly in Half

Mayor Emanuel says he made "tough but necessary" changes to ease budget crunch

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Chicago Cuts Budget Deficit Nearly in Half

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Chicago's budget crisis is easing just a bit, according to new numbers released by the mayor's office.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel estimates the city will face a $369 million budget shortfall in 2013, nearly 50 percent less than the $741 million gap that was originally projected. It's considered the city's lowest budget since 2009.

Emanuel credits the progress with reforming city government to save money, cutting staff, improving debt collection, saving on health care costs and consolidating public safety headquarters.

"This will not be done in one year," Emanuel said in a statement, "and while a $369 million budget shortfall is a substantial gap, we are continuing to make the difficult but necessary choices as we right the city's financial ship and stabilize its fiscal future."

Emanuel said city aldermen and city workers will spend the next few months discussing ways to continue slashing away at the deficit. Emanuel will reveal his 2013 budget proposal in October, and the city council plans to vote on it in November.

Meanwhile, Emanuel wants residents to submit ideas on how to further cut the budget deficit. Head to the city's budget website to participate in the online forum.

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