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Chicago Lay-Offs a Possibility in Bleak 2009 Budget Picture

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The talk of Chicago’s City Hall is the grim budget outlook for 2009. Aldermen are now saying any thing or any body could go.

To put some context to just how grim things are, in an unusual move, the mayor has postponed the annual first peek at the new budget. Originally, aldermen would’ve seen that budget today. Instead, they got city budget director Bennett Johnson saying the administration needs more time to assess the city’s finances.

JOHNSON: It’s not a pretty picture.

Johnson says the bad economy’s hit the city hard. When asked if lay-offs were inevitable, Johnson left the option open.

JOHNSON: Inevitable is a strong word and right now all I can say is we are looking at everything.

Johnson says there is no one plan to bail the city out, but most of the big ideas, like a casino or leasing Midway Airport, are long-term and wouldn’t necessarily help the bottom line.

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