Explaining Chicago's Budget | WBEZ
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Morning Shift

What happens at City Council budget hearings?

About two weeks ago, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave his 2016 budget address before City Council. It included a massive property tax hike to cover the unfunded pensions that cast a dark cloud over everything. A week later, the 50 members of that body started their question and answer sessions with people like city CFO Carole Brown, Budget Director Alex Holt, the Business Affairs Commissioner, the Police Superintendent, and other department heads to determine everything from “do we really need to spend X money in Y place,” to “how am I supposed to sell these big tax and fee increases to the people in my ward?” But what’s really going on in these hearings? Are aldermen engaged? Are they asking the tough questions...the right questions? WBEZ’s Political Reporter Lauren Chooljian does a little “demystification,” and WBEZ criminal justice reporter Robert Wildeboer provides insight. (Flickr/Daniel X. O'Neil)

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