The full City Council convenes today for what should be a quick meeting to defer and publish the package of ordinances that make up Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2018 budget.
Wednesday is essentially a procedural meeting. The chairs of the Council’s Finance and Budget Committees will report out all budget items that were addressed at their respective meetings on Monday. After the ordinances are deferred and published, they return back to Budget and Finance for a second round of votes.
Finance has scheduled a meeting for Thursday. This will be the final stretch for any proposed changes ahead of the final full City Council vote on the budget scheduled for Nov. 21.
Full Slate of Items
- O2017-7824, the 2018 Management Ordinance, includes code cleanup and granular changes to the city’s building and licensing code for taxi and Uber Drivers. (Cheat Sheet, Taxi and Uber Code Change Cheat Sheet)
- O2017-7809, the 2018 Revenue Ordinance. (Cheat Sheet)
- O2017-7841, the 2018 Municipal Code Corrections Ordinance.
- O2017-7834 is the expenditure of portion of Motor Fuel Tax Fund, allocated to the city for 2018. O2017-7836 includes the corresponding distribution to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA).
- O2017-7807 is the property tax levy for Year 2018, the final year of the four-year hike for the city’s police and fire pension funds.
- O2017-7122, an intergovernmental agreement with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office that allows for more collaboration in enforcing and prosecuting the city’s quality of life laws.
- O2017-8303, O2017-7654, two ordinances concerning federal aid and community block grant expenditures, most of which cover social services.
The 2018 Revenue Ordinance advanced out of Finance Committee with one abstention from Ald. Brendan Reilly (42). The ordinance includes a change to the city’s 911 surcharge and Reilly, a former telecom executive, generally refrains from voting on telecommunication-related items. He has previously gone on record explaining he does it out of “an abundance for caution.”
Ald. George Cardenas (12) tried to vote down that section of the ordinance, saying he was against the increase on phone bills. But the city’s Law Department intervened, explaining that the amendments are a package deal. Aldermen can only vote in favor or against the entire revenue package, not on individual aspects of the code.
Most of the discussion around the tax code changes concerned the increase surcharge on Uber and Lyft rides. Some aldermen requested strengthened reporting requirements from the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) as it will benefit from the additional $16 million in revenue projected under the increase.
Budget Committee met for under an hour with few issues raised about the Management Ordinance. Reilly requested the city amend the city residency requirement or increase the proposed salary for the two unfilled city psychiatrist positions. The Department of Public Health (CDPH) has spent years trying to fill the positions but argues a national shortage and the wage rate have made it a tough sell.