Mayor Rahm Emanuel intends to create a new finance authority to issue debt on behalf of the city, using new powers built in the state’s 2018 budget passed last month that the mayor called a “key part” in addressing the city’s debt load and slumping credit ratings. Mayor Emanuel briefly discussed the initiative at the city’s annual Investors Conference, a yearly closed-door presentation the mayor and his finance team give to bankers in order to bolster the city’s fiscal image.
Though the “new tool” had been in the planning stage for over a year, through the city’s lobbying efforts in Springfield, this was the first time he spoke about it publicly, even if for only a few minutes.
“It allows us to issue our G.O. – our general obligation debt – in a way that is much more financially viable for the city,” Mayor Emanuel said of the new mechanism two-thirds of the way into his speech. “It will create a revenue that is essential for the city to continue on the path or restructuring and rebalancing the finances to create the certainty and stability that’s essential for the economic growth for the city of Chicago.”