Thursday, November 17, 2011

Emanuel’s budget passes City Council on unanimous vote - Chicago Sun-Times

The political implications of yesterday's vote:
By pitching a shutout in his first big game on a new field, Mayor Rahm Emanuel has strengthened his hand when it comes to tackling the next big challenges ahead: pension reform and winning contract concessions from police and fire unions.

Emanuel’s $6.3 billion 2012 budget — and the $220 million in taxes, fines and fees needed to pay for it — scored a 50-to-0 vote in the City Council on Wednesday.

That’s a triumph for a rookie mayor — even one who honed his lobbying skills on Capital Hill — and a tribute to the partnership he forged with aldermen by tweaking his budget to accommodate their concerns.

Moments after the final vote, Emanuel warned aldermen from the rostrum that it was only “the beginning” and that “hard decisions” await. Police and fire contracts expire June 30.

“We have to deal with peoples’ pensions. We have to deal with … the costs hidden within our labor contracts …. burdening our taxpayers,” he said.

At a news conference later, Emanuel argued that the 50-to-0 vote, “strengthens the city’s future — not mine” when it comes to confronting those mega-problems.
BTW, Worlee posted a statement from the Alderman's office regarding his vote on the city's yesterday!

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