Mayor Lightfoot proposes ‘hundreds of millions’ for infrastructure in 2023 budget

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot recommendations for the 2023 budget last week, including funding for, infrastructure, pensions and debt reduction.

The 2023 budget estimates a $260 million increase in revenues, $16.6 billion spending proposal with no tax increases.

Lightfoot wants to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to fix Chicago’s infrastructure.

“We will be able to use our savings to continue fixing our roads, bridges, and shores through the Chicago Works capital plan,” Lightfoot said. “We will develop a safer and more resilient community with the Chicago Recovery Plan.”

The Chicago Recovery Plan calls for the city to borrow $660 million to fund programs.

“Chicago’s 2023 stability Budget allows us to fulfill an important obligation we have to our residents and future generations: to seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform our city for the better,” Lightfoot said. “We will develop Chicago into a safer, stronger, and more economically resilient city while continuing to deliver best-in-class public services to our residents.”

The mayor also discussed changes in the city’s poorly funded pension system by investing $202 million from the city’s surplus.

“Our pensions obligations are real, not a nicety, but a necessity for us to meet for essential workers that kept us safe and provided city services during the pandemic,” Lightfoot said. “They are depending on us to keep our historical promises.”

The city’s pension funds already cost more than $2 billion annually.

“After three years of hardship, the 2023 budget reflects how prioritizing fiscal responsibility and equity lead to a healthy economic recovery,” said Dowell. “Focusing on investments in historically disinvested neighborhoods, performing meaningful community engagement, and increasing transparency has long been my cornerstones for the budget process. This budget reflects all these values and presents a strong outlook for Chicago’s future.”

The budget will need support from at least 26 aldermen.

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