WBEZ | fiscal year http://www.wbez.org/tags/fiscal-year Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Majority of aldermen call for budget changes http://www.wbez.org/story/majority-aldermen-call-budget-changes-93680 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-21/CPL books.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A majority of Chicago's aldermen are calling for changes to Mayor Rahm Emanuel's 2012 city budget. They say his proposed budget cuts would hurt public safety and quality of life.</p><p>Twenty-eight of the city's 50 aldermen signed the letter to Mayor Emanuel.&nbsp; They say his plan to cut library hours would cause too many layoffs and negatively effect patrons who rely on the library.</p><p>"We're hearing it loud and clear, all across the city, from the West Side to the East Side to the North Side to the South Side," said Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd). "Everybody's complaining about the cuts."</p><p>Fioretti said cutting library hours, as mayor Emanuel has proposed, would hurt kids and people who use the internet to search for jobs.</p><p>In addition to the library cuts, the 28 aldermen voiced other concerns.</p><p>The current budget proposal also consolidates 12 mental health clinics into six, and privatizes some health services. Aldermen say public clinics are vital for Chicago's neediest and must be protected.</p><p>Other concerns include the $10 million cut from the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. That would eliminate fire and police dispatcher positions - and, aldermen say, endanger public safety.</p><p>The bloc says they also "have reservations" about the proposed near doubling of the fee for city stickers on SUVs. But aldermen recognize that the 2012 budget won't avoid cuts entirely, said Ald. Walter Burnett (27th).</p><p>"'Cause somethin' have [sic] to give. And we're rational enough to understand that. But we just wanna see if we can balance the burden out a little bit more," Burnett said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Mayor Emanuel said he remains open to changing his proposed budget, as long as alderment identify other cuts or revenue sources to offset the ones they don't like.</p><p>"I hear them. It doesn't mean I agree. But it doesn't mean I disagree," Emanuel said. "And as I always said, not all signatures on a letter are created equal."</p><p><br> &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 02 Nov 2011 11:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/majority-aldermen-call-budget-changes-93680 New report: CPS faces "enormous budget gaps" http://www.wbez.org/story/new-report-cps-faces-enormous-budget-gaps-90827 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/Civic Federation Report.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Public Schools 2012 budget is acceptable, but only for the short term. That's according to a report released by the Civic Federation on Monday.</p><p>The checkbook that Chicago Public Schools has to balance is like any of ours, but far bigger and far scarier.&nbsp; Laurence Msall, President of the Civic Federation said, "It is in a very dire situation."</p><p>The Federation's 82-page analysis of next year's CPS budget endorses some painful decisions - like denying teachers a four percent cost of living increase and raising property taxes. It says such decisions are in part necessary to maintain class size.</p><p>Despite these hand-wringing choices, Msall said, "This is a good budget and a good short-term plan for Chicago Public Schools. It is not the long-term plan that they need in order to get through the next three to five years."</p><p>Looking ahead, the Federation report uses phrases like "fiscal calamity in the very near future." Some of the highlighted causes include a broken pension system that may be beyond repair, and the financial instability of the state of Illinois as a whole.</p><p>The Federation is urging CPS leadership to start planning for the widening future budget shortfall now. In a press release, Msall stated, "If nothing is done, the pain and controversy of the FY2012 budget will seem mild in comparison to the massive cuts in personnel and services that will be necessary to balance the budget in FY2014."</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 11:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/new-report-cps-faces-enormous-budget-gaps-90827