City Council approves Lightfoot’s $11.6B budget plan

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AP Photo/John O'Connor

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot talks to reporters after meeting with House Democrats for an hour at the state Capitol, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Lightfoot is seeking a break on proposed taxes on a planned Chicago casino to attract developers and wants the Legislature's help on plugging a city budget hole.

The Chicago City Council has passed Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s $11.6 billion budget plan by a 39-11 vote.

Lightfoot’s office says Tuesday the budget is balanced and will close an $838 million shortfall without a “significant” increase in new property taxes.

Lightfoot says in a release that a review of city expenditures identified “structural solutions to balance the budget.”

Her office adds that the budget will eliminate $1.4 billion in lines of credit for short-term borrowing resulting in a reduction of $22 million in borrowing costs. It also plans to refinance more than $1 billion in debt which is expected to generate $210 million in savings.

The budget also increases funding for affordable housing, mental health, anti-violence and homeless prevention efforts by more than $30 million over last year.