Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

City Council Approves Mayor's 2014 Budget

Forty-five aldermen voted for the $7 billion spending package

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago could force its cops and firefighters to stay home.

    The Chicago City Council on Tuesday approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's $7 billion budget.

    Forty-five aldermen voted for the spending package, which includes a few changes since Emanuel officially proposed it last month. Dissenting votes were made by Alds. Bob Fioretti (2nd), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Nick Sposato (36th), Ricardo Muñoz (22nd) and John Arena (45th).

    Of note:

    The proposed cigarette tax increase of 75 cents per pack has been scaled by 25 cents. But that loss of revenue will be made up with another hike. The citation for parking too close to a fire hydrant increases from $100 to $150.

    Additionally, the mayor proposed new rules regarding e-cigarettes. Teens under 18 years old would not be able to buy them after Jan. 1, they would be banned in the same places as regular cigarettes are, and retailers would be required to stock them behind the counter.

    In his remarks to the City Council last month, Emanuel stressed that great progress has been made in righting the city's finances but warned they could be devastated if state lawmakers don't pass pension reform legislation by next year.

    State lawmakers are expected to convene in Springfield next week to discuss pension reform.