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How the Midway Lease Changes the Budget Picture

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Chicago Mayor Richard Daley says leasing Midway Airport will give the city about a hundred million dollars to spend freely. That comes as he tries to fill a $420-million hole in the city’s budget.

When Mayor Daley announced the details of the winning bid for Midway Airport, there was a lot of curiosity about the $100-million. Specifically, if it would be used to help get the city out of its budget problems.

DALEY: Well, yeah, so you use a hundred-million dollars. What do you do after that? That’s it. You’ll have nothing next year. So what do you have next year?

Daley says he doesn’t know how the city will spend the money, but he did say the budget is so bad, he’s looking in the area of a thousand lay-offs.

Meantime, Alderman Bob Fioretti says the hundred million dollars should go toward the budget. He says using the money from leasing Midway and other major public assets could all help close the $420-million gap. City Council still needs to approve the proposed Midway lease.

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