Your NPR news source
Mayor Brandon Johnson presents the 2024 Executive Budget Recommendations during a Chicago City Council meeting at City Hall, Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.

Mayor Brandon Johnson presents the 2024 Executive Budget Recommendations during a Chicago City Council meeting at City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.

Ashlee Rezin

The Rundown: Mayor Johnson’s $16 billion budget

Good afternoon! I’m going to need the Halloween season to last another month with so many spooky ways to celebrate in the Chicago area. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Mayor Brandon Johnson pitches a budget with funding for migrants and says he won’t raise property taxes

The spending plan released today includes $150 million for helping the thousands of migrants that continue to arrive in Chicago and keeps the Police Department budget relatively flat, my colleagues Tessa Weinberg and Mariah Woelfel report.

Property taxes won’t go up as part of the plan. Instead, Johnson said the city will close a $538 million budget gap through a surplus of tax increment financing dollars, saving on “operational efficiencies” and hundreds of millions of dollars from increased revenue projections for next year.

The budget also appears to make progress on Johnson’s campaign promises, including reopening two shuttered mental health clinics and reinstituting the city’s Department of Environment.

Meanwhile, Johnson also plans to accept an automatic raise for himself next year — something his administration previously refused to clarify, Weinberg and Woelfel write. [WBEZ]

2. Two Venezuelan migrants were shot outside a Chicago police station

Two Venezuelan migrants were recently shot outside the Grand Crossing police station, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Yerlianny Romero said she was holding her son when gunmen pulled up in a Jeep and started shooting toward the migrants camped outside the South Side station. [Chicago Sun-Times]

More than 3,800 migrants are living in police station lobbies and O’Hare Airport while they wait for a spot in maxed-out city shelters that are housing nearly 10,800 migrants and asylum-seekers, WBEZ reports.

The city is expected to lay out a plan tonight for two new migrant shelters in the West Loop. Ald. Walter Burnett Jr. said the housing could be ready this week. [Block Club Chicago]

The news comes a day after plans to open a migrant shelter in the Amundsen Park field house were put “on hold” after criticism from neighbors, according to Ald. Chris Taliaferro, who said a nearby warehouse is being evaluated as an alternative. [Block Club Chicago].

3. With cash bail eliminated in Illinois, the Cook County Jail population shrinks

The jail has fewer than 5,000 detainees for the first time in almost four decades. Experts attribute the drop to the state’s elimination of cash bail last month, my colleague Chip Mitchell writes.

The Pretrial Fairness Act bars detaining defendants unless they’re considered a significant safety or flight risk.

Mitchell writes that “researchers tracking the law’s effects suspect much of the jail population shrinkage owes to quicker release of defendants who formerly would have spent days or weeks coming up with their bond money.”

But a WBEZ analysis also found the jail population began to decrease even before cash bail was officially eliminated on Sept. 18. A local criminologist attributes that trend to judges considering the changes before they officially went into effect. [WBEZ]

4. Israel agreed to create an emergency government amid its war with Hamas

Through the deal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition party leader Benny Gantz and other top Israeli officials will work together to make military decisions with greater legitimacy, The New York Times reports.

The agreement sets the stage for the war to escalate as more details emerge about Hamas’s attack against Israeli civilians over the weekend, including people shot dead at a bus stop. [New York Times]

About 150 people taken from southern Israel are believed to be held hostage in Gaza, with Hamas threatening to execute one person every time an Israeli airstrike hits Gazan civilians, the New York Times reports. [New York Times]

Israel bombarded the Gaza Strip today, and more than 2 million Palestinians have now lost electricity. [NPR]

In Chicago, a Jewish City Council member’s resolution condemning the attack on Israel received pushback from another alderperson asking for “a more nuanced understanding” of the conflict. [Chicago Sun-Times]

5. NASA is about to start a six-year journey to an asteroid with a metal surface

Scientists hope the mission will help them understand how violent collisions during the solar system’s early years led to the formation of planets with metal-rich cores, including Earth, NPR reports.

“We’re trying to understand about the metal core of the Earth,” said Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University, the principal investigator for this mission. “We are never, ever going to go to those cores — way too hot, way too deep — so this is our one way to see a core.”

The asteroid, named Psyche, is about the size of Massachusetts and believed to be shaped like a potato. Researchers think about 30-60% of it is made of metal. [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Rep. Steve Scalise won the nomination for House GOP speaker. [NPR]

  • Rookie Connor Bedard helped propel the Blackhawks to a 4-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins in his NHL debut. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Peoples Gas is requesting a record $402 million rate hike. [Chicago Sun-Times]

  • Salman Rushdie is writing a memoir about his experience being stabbed on stage last year. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

The Chicago International Film Festival kicks off today with a block party outside the Music Box Theatre and runs until Oct. 22, with works from filmmakers around the world.

This is the second year for the festival’s free kick-off party, Block Club reports. Local musicians will perform, and local vendors will sell food and goods. [Block Club Chicago]

Filmmaker Minhal Baig, a graduate of Northside College Prep, will open the festival with We Grown Now, a movie about “the joys and hardships of growing up” in the Cabrini-Green housing complex. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Tell me something good ...

What’s your favorite fall treat?

David Kraft writes:

“Gotta be cinnamon apple cider donuts. Enjoy!”

And Becky writes:

“A variation on the [Rosh Hashanah] apples and honey theme (wishing you a sweet new year!): apples dipped into homemade caramel sauce.”

Feel free to email us, and your response might be shared in the newsletter this week.

The Latest
Plus, what we know about “The Bear” season 3. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Laurie Metcalf returns to Chicago for Steppenwolf Theatre’s “Little Bear Ridge Road.” Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, why Wieners Circle is fighting with Portillo’s on social media. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, piping plovers Imani and Searocket have laid eggs at Montrose Beach. Here’s what you need to know today.
Plus, Chief Keef’s long-awaited return to Chicago. Here’s what you need to know today.